19th April 2018
#RoadTrip time again!
Liz and Danielle here - reporting on our latest venue inspecting road trip!
University of Sussex, Farnborough, St Anne’s, Luton Hoo:
Our two-day venue inspection road trip started off at the University of Sussex. Situated in Falmer with an on-site train station, it makes for smooth and speedy travel from London. The University has a dedicated floor for events and conferences available throughout the year, with capacities ranging from 15-250 theatre style. For events during the summer months, the University is able to offer large, modern lecture theatres with a maximum seating for 500 delegates. With lots of onsite accommodation available during the summer months (500 rooms), the university is currently expanding their student accommodation which in time will offer further accommodation on campus.
Next up was a stop at Holiday Inn Farnborough which has recently undergone a large refurbishment inline with the new Holiday Inn contemporary feel of the ‘open lobby’. The new meeting rooms with capacities from 20-220 theatre style offer delegates their own tea/coffee facilities, so delegates can stay in their self-contained areas for refreshments.
Just a short distance away from the Holiday Inn was our next venue; Farnborough International and their £30 million newly opened, purpose-built venue, Hall 1. The venue is an amazing space, with its 12,500 sqm exhibition space large enough to fit 2,500 delegates theatre style (that's three football pitches or 46 basketball courts or an impressive 1,200 double decker buses!), it’s certainly a versatile venue with ample space for conferences that require meetings, exhibitions and catering. With nine additional function rooms available to accommodate groups as small as 54 theatre style, it’s the perfect venue for those requiring space near London. With a variety of hotels all located within 15 minutes’ drive (The Aviator is located directly across the road), it has everything you could need for a conference.
Next on our agenda was the Hilton St Anne's which has also recently undergone a refurbishment was our penultimate venue. The hotel is set in some wonderful woodlands which is perfect for team building activities or a marquee to host summer events. The venue has two large meetings rooms that are able to accommodate 100 or 200 delegates theatre style respectively, these are then able to be partitioned into smaller meeting rooms. Both meeting rooms also have access to outdoor space, perfect for summer drinks receptions or BBQs.
Our final stop was the Luton Hoo Hotel, a magnificent mansion house set in acres of land with excellent access links via road, train and air. Luton Hoo offers two completely contrasting venues for meetings and events; you have the mansion house or the purpose-built Warren Weir with five function rooms and 83 bedrooms and suites, which enables guests to have a totally self-contained event. The Mansion house encapsulates the beautiful stately rooms like the Churchill Room and the Romanov Suite which can sit up to 120 delegates theatre style, whilst the Wernher Restaurant enables guests to have an incredible dining experience looking out over the grounds. Holding an event at Luton Hoo guarantees you a wonderful event, from the drive through the estate to being greeted by the staff who provide an impeccable service – you know that your event is in safe hands!
With over 800 years of university history and educating some of the world’s most famous novelists, thinkers and writers, Oxford offers some incredible meeting spaces, ranging from contemporary to the historic. Access to Oxford could not be easier; with fast and efficient train services linking Oxford with London, easy access by road and with some of the UK’s best park and ride services it makes it the perfect accessible location for all delegates.
Our day started off at the Examination Schools, built in 1876-1882 to cater for Oxford’s examinations, and whilst still used for the same purpose today it also has large and flexible event spaces perfect for conferences/exhibitions and smaller meetings. The South and North Writing Rooms situated at the top of a beautiful sweeping marble staircase are the largest rooms with maximum capacities of 330-440 theatre style, whilst there are smaller rooms available with capacities ranging from 16-100 theatre style.
Next on our tour of Oxford was Osler House, the club house for the medical students at the university. With more of a casual, non-formal feel, this venue would be suitable for small day meetings with a maximum capacity of 70 theatre style.
Next up was the Sheldonian Theatre, an interesting venue that we were lucky enough to be some of the first to experience the new drinks reception area and seated dinner in the newly refurbished theatre. The Main Theatre, completed in 1669, used by the university as their ceremonial hall, can accommodate up to 750 guests, theatre style. This room can now also be used for seated dinners, with beautifully laid out tables, we had a wonderful live plated two course lunch which was executed with amazing finesse and attention to detail – however red wine lovers beware, it’s a red wine free zone to preserve the flooring! The Sheldonian Theatre has the only 360-degree view of Oxford’s skyline. The space can accommodate 80 guests and combines with their new drinks reception area. The space showcases the beautiful wooden beams of the theatre’s roof, all which are lit with colour changing lighting.
Our fourth and final venue was St Luke’s Chapel, a grade II listed building which was formerly the church of the Radcliffe Hospital. The venue is perfectly suited to host smaller lectures, drinks receptions, exhibitions and dinners with a maximum capacity of 90 delegates theatre style.
If you can see your next meeting in one of these venues, give our Venue Finding team a call now 01323 644644! Don't forget it's a totally free service!
21st March 2018
It's time for another #FavouriteFive....!
We're proud to be based in the South of England, right by the sunny seaside and as such we couldn’t let English Tourism Week pass us by without a little nod to five of our favourite tourist locations which double up as fantastic areas to host your next event!
Let’s start with our South Coast neighbour - Brighton, this vibrant city has a variety of amazing venues from the historic Grand Hotel to the world’s tallest moving observation tower, the i360. But if you’d like something a little further inland, Brighton Dome is a beautifully unique venue originally built in 1805 and currently undergoing a £21million redevelopment with exciting new spaces available from 2019 onwards.
Perfect for: Candy floss, a stick of rock and beach-side cocktails!
How about Bath? This famous city is home to the simply beautiful Roman Baths which are available for hire, a stunning location for a drinks reception for up to 300 guests. If hotels are more your thing, then there’s the new Apex Bath City Hotel which has the largest capacity in terms of conference space in the city or for more of an escape why not unwind in luxury at the 5 star Royal Crescent Hotel.
Perfect for: A nice hot-spring bath!
Or maybe you’d like Oxford. This prestigious university city has numerous event spaces that allow you to embrace your surroundings including the stunning Examination Schools or Macdonald Randolph Hotel. If you want to explore outside of the city centre, then Kassam Stadium would be a great place to start, with its 38 flexible meeting and event rooms for up to 600 delegates – there’s something for everyone!
Perfect for: History buffs and sports fans alike!
We definitely couldn’t forget Harrogate in our five favourites. This town in North Yorkshire has a plethora of fantastic venues including Rudding Park Hotel, who can offer anything from private bar events to large scale marquee hire, and The Majestic Hotel which boasts inspiring landscapes and 18th century architecture. It is also home to the Harrogate International Centre (HIC) Yorkshire, this fantastic facility has a variety of different spaces including an auditorium for nearly 2,000 delegates along with exhibition space and on-site accommodation.
Perfect for: Events that need everything!
Finally, this feature wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Cambridge. Another lively city, famous for its University, dating back to 1209. University colleges include King’s, famed for its choir and towering Gothic chapel, and St John’s, with its 16th-century Great Gate. Tamburlaine Hotel is a great base to explore the city from and also has flexible stylish events spaces. But if you’re looking for the wow factor, Ely Cathedral with a capacity of over 1,000, would leave a lasting impression on any guest!
Perfect for: Fans of architecture!
So - if any one of our #FavouriteFive destinations would suit your next event, call one our team today on 01323 644644!
15th March 2018
What a perfect opportunity to share our #FavouriteFive venues in Ireland with St Patrick's Day this weekend!
Fitzpatrick Castle Dublin
Family owned since the 1970’s and steeped in Gaelic history, this is four star luxury overlooking Dublin Bay and just 20 minutes from the City Centre. It is a genuine mix of Olde Worlde elegance and modern flair, all wrapped up with Irish charm. If you are happy to be just outside the city you will love it!
Best for: self-contained conferences of up to 150 delegates.
This is a truly spectacular venue and the best Titanic experience anywhere in the world. She was built here and you can experience every emotion from design, launch and disaster. A great place to visit and best for a special conference dinner and entertainment.
Best for: a unique delegate experience.
Amazing five star property set in 840 acres, in the beautiful South West of Ireland. The Wild Atlantic Way is an hour or so away. Nothing left to chance here with brilliant guest care and every facility for meetings and events.
Best for: high level meetings and conferences for delegates that you really want to look after.
Clayton Hotel, Burlington Road
Iconic hotel, the largest in the City, set in the Ballsbridge part of Dublin and near the Centre. The hotel has a huge range of meeting rooms and has a very good conference operation as well as 502 bedrooms. The largest conference facility in the hotel, with the Fitzwilliam Hall seating 1200 delegates.
Best for: large conferences where you need plenty of space.
The home of the black stuff! Located in the original brewery, an amazing Irish adventure over seven floors, ending in The Gravity Bar with views over the city and a pint in your hand!
Best for: small or large dinners in a unique setting with the Irish craic.
If our #FavouriteFive has made you dream of Ireland - give us a call, and let us find you your perfect Irish meeting.