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My Interview with Eventopedia

Last week I was interviewed by Eventopedia. You can read the interview here.  Eventopedia helps Event Managers plan their events with ease. It’s an independent resource and I find it ever so useful in my role.

It is so great to be featured as a influential Event Manager each week on their weekly leaderboard and to be able to talk about Eventprofslive – Kate and I are so proud of the way our group is growing!

 

Eventprofslive

Eventprofslive is a networking group for Event Managers setup and run by Event Managers!11928685_10153490985521224_2089140882_n

We know there are a few in our industry however what we couldn’t find when we decided to set up Eventprofslive was a networking group run by people actually working in the industry, every day, 9 to 5 (or more like 7 to 8) and we think that makes our group unique.

We think this is important when you need advice, information and support and hopefully, that’s where we can help. img_0058

We have monthly breakfast, lunch and evening events in London to see new spaces, network and have a few drinks.

 
For further information email eventprofsnetworking@gmail.com

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Darts

London based Flight club is very hot right now and quite rightly so. It seems people just can’t get enough of darts and after a few throws last week with darts expert Justin Irwin, I can see why.

I like to think outside of the box with my events and try to do things a little differently so, I threw out a question to my social media network a few months back asking how to find a darts expert. The lovely Amanda Thurlow came back with a suggestion to check out the Capital Arrows website which is a fab website that helps you find darts pubs in London and also has a lot of really great information on darts.  The website lead me to Justin (phew… see the power of social media) whom I then contacted and the rest is history.

Justin has now come along to two of my events in which I hired the private room at the Three Lords pub in Aldgate and my clients have loved it.  Justin is amazing with the guests and is very flexible in terms of how you want the event to run. He will come back to you with a suggested itinerary and in, in the case of my latest event, adapt to a not so structured event and let people get a feel for darts at their own leisure.

I really hope to do another darts event soon and if you are looking for some help for your event, I would recommend you get in touch with Justin here.

 

Eventprofslive – FAM Trip

There is a three letter word that, as an Event Manager, sparks more interest than most for me and that is FAM. I love a FAM trip. I love being able to experience a location and a hotel first hand. See how they treat their guests, how comfy are their beds, how do they check people in… the list is endless and by attending a FAM trip you develop this amazing knowledge of that venue that stays with you forever, ready to recommend should it suit a particular brief.

Eventprofslive had its very first FAM trip just two weeks ago at the stunning Ashdown Park Hotel & Country Club.  Our group of Event Managers were just eight in total and we had a fabulous time.

Ashdown Park is situated just 30 minutes from London and then just a 10 minute taxi ride from its closest station, East Grinstead. The hotel is part of the Elite Group of hotels (everyone knows Luton Hoo) and has 106 bedrooms in total and when Kate and I checked in to ours, we immediately called each other to come and check each other’s out. The first thing I do is check out the bathroom (I love a bathroom) and filled with Molton Brown treats, a very impressive shower with too many jets to count meant I was in heaven.

We had invited a select few of event and hotel bookers to our FAM Trip. The majority of our group arrived around 6.00 pm where after checking-in, we met in the foyer with Chillisauce whom had organised a treasure hunt around the hotel’s vast grounds for us.  This was an amazing way to see all the grounds of the hotel (including its lake, on-site golf course and meeting spaces) and after 45 minutes and some very odd selfies (all part of the treasure hunt) we headed back to the main house to award the winners and cringe at the photos!

After our team building it was on to the most important part of the trip… For our group, it’s all about the meeting rooms and there is definitely something unique about the spaces at Ashdown Park.  Meeting rooms with amazing arched ceilings and natural daylight via stained glass windows would make for impressive syndicate rooms and the hotels “Richard Towneley Suite” can seat up to 250 (split over two floors) and also offers six syndicate rooms, all self-contained.  There is even an original organ in there! You can view the capacity charts here.

After a quick nip back to the hotel to change, we were back in the foyer to meet the hotel’s General Manager and Group Business Development Manager for some cocktail making, very tasty canapes (what diet) and a lovely dinner in the private dining room.  Chef Andrew Wilson is in charge of the menu and his Michelin Starred experience is very much evident in his food and presentation.  The food was amazing and paired well with some great conversation on everything from events to weekend plans being discussed.

After dinner a few of us stayed up chatting away in one of the hotels fab private rooms and having a few wines before turning into the oh-so-comfy beds.

Next morning it was a run(stroll) thorugh one of the hotels 3 jogging tracks, a scare by some of the deer on premises and then a trip to the gym, a swin and a massage! Absolute bliss. The gym is fully equipt and the swimming pool and Jacuzzi were very popular with the group.

I adore Ashdown Park it would work so well for any number of events, retreats and conferences.  For more information on the hotel or events assistance you can contact Carina here.

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The Caledonian Club – Eventprofslive

Early in the month, my networking group held their May event at The Caledonian Club.  Our networking group is run by Kate and I for event managers and each month we hold a breakfast and an evening networking event in and around London.  We have just recently started hosting FAM trips as well (we’re pretty busy).  If you would like to know more you can email us here.  I hope you enjoy the blog!

Earlier this month we held our May Eventprofslive networking event at the beautiful Caledonian Club.  Situated in Belgravia, The Caledonian Club is a little bit of Scotland in the city and on the 17th of May, we welcomed 15 members to see the stunning spaces.

The club has a private entrance for corporate and private events with the capacity to seat up to 200.  Whilst it is a private members club, membership is not necessary in order to hold your event there and with its eight function rooms spanning over the five floors of the club, add in an outdoor terrace and you have every type of event space covered.  The venue is even licenced to hold weddings and civil partnership ceremonies.  It really would be perfect for a wedding as it also has 39 bedrooms in its original clubhouse from single rooms to junior suites.

Our event commenced at 6.30 pm and as always tube delays meant a few of us were a little late however we got there in the end and arrived to a very welcome glass of prosecco and canapes.

The service at the Caledonian club is outstanding and all of our guests commented on how often their glasses were re-filled and how amazing the canapés were.  After a brief welcome speech by the GM,  we were shown in groups around the stunning spaces and there really are a lot!

After our show round we mingled and welcomed four new members to the group and got to know them a little better.

We had a great time at the Caledonian Club and already have two members whom use the spaces and am pretty sure they will have a few more clients after our event.

The Caledonian Club is located at 9 Halkin Street, SW1X 7DR and you can find out more information by contacting Lyndsey at Park Lane Events.

 

 

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Amsterdam to Tonbridge with Chef Justin Brown – Old Fire Station Tunbridge

Last night, the husband and I attended a pop-up event at The Old Fire Station in Tonbridge with Chef Justin Brown.  Built in 1901, the fire station stood empty after its closure for nearly 35 years before it was purchased by a local, and turned into an amazing space that hosts pop-ups for restaurants, bars, artists and much more.

The venue is just a short train ride from London and very close to Tunbridge station. Last night however we decided to drive and it only took 45 minutes from Weybridge and as I had literally tried every wine on the menu, it probably wasn’t as pleasant a drive on the way home as it was going there. “Lairy” I think Bradley likes to call me when I have been drinking white wine! ha ha

The event last night started at 7.30 pm and was sold out to capacity with 40 covers. On arrival, we sat on a shared table next to a lovely couple and my new friend and I started with wine one on the list. The wine/beer list isn’t extensive, however it is all local wines, with last nights offerings coming from the Hush Heath Estate, Staplehurst in Kent. Of all of them, “Skye’s English Chardonnay was my favourite, and at only £5 for a large glass it was lovely.

Our Chef, Justin Brown trained at the Landmark (one of my favourite hotels) and has also worked with an array of amazing Chef’s including Jamie Oliver.  Justin also worked at private members club the Harrington Club owned by Ronnie Wood and has worked a lot in my other home Australia,  so Bradley and I were very excited for the evening.

We started with confit salmon which was poached in olive oil and had some lovely horseradish cream with it before moving onto a cauliflower risotto.

The cauliflower risotto was probably my favourite part of the menu. Its texture and taste was lovely.  Next up was the bao bun which is a steamed bun with crispy chicken and cabbage slaw inside.  You can see from my picture what it looks like and if I could make them myself, I would eat them every day. I have never had anything like them and Bradley even had seconds!

After the bao bun we had a good sized piece of brie with black truffle and then chocolate mouse with frozen yoghurt and pomegranate molasses which tasted amazing.  It tasted like a melted chocolate bar as a mouse (not very descriptive I know) but it was sooo good (not sure how many calories I need to put in My Fitness Pal for that one!)

Our night at the Tonbridge Fire Station was lots of fun and something different. It really is a great event space and it would be great to hire for a group if you were doing a conference in a nearby hotel. The space would also suit a private, intimate party as it is so unique. I am looking forward to seeing what other pop-ups they host in the future.

For more information on the venue, contact Sam here.

The Old Fire Station – Castle Street, Tonbridge, TN9 1BH

 

 

 

 

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Intercontinental Mar Menor Golf Resort & Spa

I was in two minds on whether to write this blog post, I don’t want to jinx this little gem I’ve found but hey ho..

I’ve just spent the last four hours at the fabulous Intercontinental Hotel, Mar Menor. That husband sure does love the golf so whilst Bradley gets to play at a different course to his usual, I get to visit the spa at the hotel for the day and I can get though the four hours it takes him to play 18 holes wanting an extra hour because I’m so content.


The spa is located on the ground floor of the hotel, and I’ve come to adore it. It has loads of treatment rooms and lovely staff that do an amazing job.   I make a booking to accommodate going to it’s fab gym, a few treatments, a little dip in the thermal pools, a steam and then a few wines waiting for Bradley to finish.

This time, I paid only 76Euros to use all the facilities, have a facial and an amazing pedicure.  I know it’s never going to be London prices but it’s pretty bloody cheap.

You can find a link to the hotel here. I usually email to get an appointment as I don’t speak Spanish…yet!

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MURCIA – VENUES

LA VISTA – PERALEJA GOLF RESORT – SUCINA

Every time we come to our second home in Sucina, I make it a priority to have dinner (at least once) at La Vista.

Just a short drive from the town centre of Sucina, La Vista is located in the Peraleja Golf Resort with views spanning not only the course, but of the stunning Mar Menor.

Every time we go, the menu is completely different and whilst limited on its offerings (which I think shows a better menu), it has something to cater for all. My husband and I adore steak and it’s hard not to choose it every-time (also its boring) so last night we skipped the starters after I had irritated the hell out of him all day by complaining how fat I was and went straight for the mains. I had the rack of lamb on minty mash with some pretty tasty peas and the husband went for the duck. Whilst mine was amazing, I had serious food envy as the duck was not only huge but cooked to absolute perfection and served on pak choi and these amazing cabbage deep fried ball things (am sure there is a technical name).

The wine list is extensive and it is here that we first discovered Paco & Lola white wine which has become one of my favourites.  We had a bottle of that to start and then realising we’d ordered lamb and duck, had a few glasses of fab Copa Vino De La Casa which was only 4.50EUR a glass.  Now I say glass but it was more like half a bottle per glass and it was lovely. After dinner we each had a Disaronino and shared a mini-cheesecake which was also outstanding.

I love this place and will continue to go back. The service is outstanding, every waitress we have had has been exceptional with the Head Chef coming out at the end of the evening to say hello to everyone is another draw for me. I love that kind of service/detail.

In terms of holding a private event there, at the end of the restaurant there is a private dining room that would accommodate I would say 10 and cant see why a full restaurant buyout wouldn’t be allowed. I would love to use it for a summer party, gala dinner or perhaps an awards dinner.  That balcony overlooking the golf course and the Mar Menor offers some pretty amazing views.

Our bill came to 102.20EUR which I think was cheap for one of Sucina’s fanciest restaurants.

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Top tips to heat up your summer holiday event

Rio Lounge are a leading independent event hire company. They are a supplier of stylish, cool and contemporary hire furniture to the commercial and private sector and supply for  weddings, product launches, garden parties, conferences, exhibitions, film premieres, festivals and hospitality events.

Below they take you through the top tips to heat up your summer holiday and I know which ones I am stealing! 

Are you planning a big ‘do’ this summer? Whether it’s a family knees-up, a barbecue for friends, a corporate event or a party to celebrate a special occasion, now is the time to start making it happen. The fun starts here; you have the power to transform your summer event into something really memorable and different by following some of these sizzling tips to help your summer party go with a bang.

1.   Make summer a statement

Create a seasonal sensation with classic summer features. You could fill giant silver bowls with boozy punch, play croquet on the lawn or create a fake beach complete with deck chairs and ice cream. Wherever you can, let your guests savour the unique delights that summer has to offer; deck out your venue with opulent blossoms, offer tasty seasonal fare such as asparagus and strawberries, and serve refreshing drinks – Pimms, Mojitos and pink lemonade would all hit the spot.

2.   Entertain in comfort and style

Don’t underestimate the power of high quality, stylish furniture.  Whether yours is a chilled out gathering or an elegant event, choosing the right tables, chairs and other accessories will transform your venue and let your guests relax and mingle in style. Daybeds are a fantastic and practical feature to promote that beach party feel, while funky bar stools and elegant dining chairs will set the tone for people to eat, drink and be merry!

3.   Weather it out

This is a big one. While some parts of the world will guarantee you endless long, sunny summer days perfect for partying, the UK just isn’t one of them, as anyone who has experienced the soggy disappointment of a typical August Bank Holiday will understand. So, while your imagination runs wild with thoughts of tanned guests soaking up the sun by the pool, remember to always factor in a wet weather contingency when planning an event. Make sure there’s a sheltered area and patio heaters you can use if the weather isn’t on your side, and that any outdoor furniture can be transferred indoors with minimal fuss. Don’t rely solely on an outdoor entertainment option; give your guests something exciting to focus on if rain spoils play, whether it be music, dance or party games.

4.   Game on

Talking of games, this is where a summer party can really come into its own – so get everyone in the summer party spirit by laying on plenty of fun and games. Activities like Twister and Giant Jenga are fabulous fun for all ages, and also transfer well to an indoor setting if the need arises. Or you could hold a summer sports day with egg and spoon races to get everyone in that end-of-term, summer holiday mood. Add to the festive feel with piñatas or bubble kits.

In conclusion

Whatever your event, you’re off to a great start by holding it in the summer. While the weather can’t be guaranteed, you do have long days of sunlight and amazing seasonal produce on your side. Just make sure you capitalise on all the best bits of summer, while making contingency plans for less-than-ideal meteorological occurrences. The rest is up to you!

Email – hire@riolounge.co.uk

Address

Units 1-5 Roe End Farm
Roe End Lane Markyate
Hertfordshire AL3 8AQ

Telephone 0845 46 77483