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06/2017

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Farnham Castle Meeting and Conference Centre has become the latest venue to join Lime Venue Portfolio, further strengthening the group’s status as the largest collection of unique and unusual venues in the UK. The venue joins Hever Castle, Beaulieu and Hatfield House within the portfolio and gives event organisers an unparalleled choice of historic venues across the South East.

Farnham Castle has already established itself as a first-class events facility within the conference and training market, with its 11 meeting rooms supported by 32 en-suite bedrooms. The venue, which can host up to 180 for a conference, has a unique blend of historic venues and modern facilities, and will partner with the sales, marketing and service initiatives found within Lime Venue Portfolio.

“Lime Venue Portfolio has great relationships with event organisers across the country and can help us drive further awareness of our great facilities and build relationships with new customers,” comments Ian Parkinson, Operations Director for Conference Channel, Farnham Castle. “It’s a great time to be joining the portfolio and we look forward to being in the company of so many other outstanding venues.”

“This is becoming a record year for us in terms of acquisition of new venues” comments Jo Austin, Sales Director, Lime Venue Portfolio. “We’ve already seen the arrival of Aston Villa, Twycross Zoo and Edgbaston Priory Club, and with Farnham Castle, we’re offering our customers another excellent historic venue which is proven in this market.”

Jo continued, “Our growth makes us an increasingly attractive option for events professionals who demand choice. We’ve got some really exciting plans to open up our portfolio to new customers by showcasing how unusual venues deliver great events.”

Lime Venue Portfolio announced the arrival of Aston Villa FC to the portfolio earlier this year with Twycross Zoo and Edgbaston Priory Club following shortly after.

World Obesity is encouraging event organisers to create healthier meetings as part of its international campaign ‘Healthy Venues’ whilst at The Meetings Show this year. The association, which represents over 300 national bodies concerned with obesity, is calling for event organisers to do more for their delegate’s mobility and health.

World Obesity itself organises a number of large meetings around the world, and has highlighted the meetings and events industry as a key area of focus in their fight against the global obesity epidemic. The association joined the SEC, the first venue to achieve the accreditation, at The Meetings Show to encourage more and more event organisers to encourage more healthier options for delegates.

“The accreditation is awarded to venues, but the responsibility should still lie with the event organisers to ensure they are doing everything they can to encourage positive habits for their delegates,” comments Shaba Haque, Head of Events, World Obesity. “Large conferences and meetings can be really difficult places to be when you’re trying to follow a healthy lifestyle, we need to make these environments more supportive for delegates.”

World Obesity launched the ‘Healthy Venues’ accreditation as a way for venues to create healthier meeting environments for visitors, but is also putting pressure on the event organisers to show more proactivity. The association also recently spoke at the World Association Congress to an audience of over 180 event planners on the importance of encouraging healthy activities and less sedentary behaviour at meetings.

Already the Scottish Event Campus (Silver), the Vancouver Convention Centre (Bronze) and the Convention Centre Dublin (Bronze) have all gained the Healthy Venues accreditation. World Obesity joined the Scottish Event Campus at The Meeting Show to raise awareness of the global obesity epidemic and the massive contribution the events industry can make.

“This industry can be a major win for us in our global battle against obesity,” concluded Shaba. “Every day the industry hosts millions of people in events around the world. If we take on our responsibility we can make a major difference on both a personal, and a global level.”

Catering and events specialists, Sodexo Prestige Venues & Events unveiled its new events and wedding spaces, following an £800,000 refurb, with a taster evening for local businesses.

Around 80 members of the local business community were given access to the new-look venue as well as a sneak preview of the 2017 events and hospitality menus.

Following the major renovation project, which saw the venue’s suites, events spaces and meetings facilities updated to provide modern, elegant facilities, the Racecourse is now able to offer weddings in its Duke’s Suite, which has been expanded and can now seat 160 guests. The former Conservatory Café, now renamed ‘The Hill’, has also been transformed to offer a brand new events space for private celebrations and corporate dinners. While its brand new outdoor serving area makes it the perfect base for BBQ fun days.

The venue’s catering & hospitality offering has also received a makeover for the new Spring/Summer season, and guests were treated to a selection of Scottish dishes, each of which feature on the events menu.

Taster plates of Hickory roast Shetland salmon, Roast smoked Rannoch Estate beef and Hebridean sea salt baked beetroot with ham and whipped goats cheese, were served as starters. Dishes including slow roasted maple glazed pork loin with potato croquette, Ayrshire bacon and a jus flavoured with Cuddybridge apple, and roast breast of chicken with Orkney butter and crispy leg bon bon followed. Scotland’s national soft drink was given a twist for dessert, with Iron Brewlee tart, clotted cream, salted candied almonds, white chocolate and mandarin, among the sweets served.

David Trotter, Account Director with Sodexo Prestige Venues & Events, said, “Treating guests to the best food made with the best Scottish ingredients, is at the heart of what we do at Hamilton Park Racecourse.

“The renovation project enhances our offering for private and corporate events and with the addition of The Hill, which represents a brand new opportunity, we are confident will be a huge success.

“Guests can look forward to celebrating in premium dining, bar and hospitality areas as well as hosting conference and meetings in our fresh facilities.”

Sodexo Prestige Venues & Events recently extended its partnership with Hamilton Park Racecourse for a further 10 years.

Catering and event specialist, Sodexo Prestige Venues & Events has announced the appointment of Brian Martin to the role of General Manager at Hamilton Park Racecourse. Brian joins the team from Cordia Services, where he spent 16 years delivering leisure, care and hospitality services on behalf of Glasgow City Council.

In his most recent role, Brian held the position of Hospitality Services Manager at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena and later took on the role of Venue Operations Manager, where he was responsible for the venue’s role in the Glasgow Commonwealth Games. At Hamilton Park, he will lead the venue team and take responsibility for the running of both race day and non-race day events on behalf of Sodexo, including meetings, conferences and corporate events.

David Trotter, Account Director with Sodexo Prestige Venues & Events, said, “Brian is joining Hamilton Park Racecourse at a very exciting time. We have recently completed a major refurbishment, updating our restaurant, events, suites and meeting spaces to provide modern, elegant facilities for raceday and non-raceday guests.

“Brian has an enviable track record of delivering first-class hospitality and events services and brings with him a host of experience of working in sporting venues across the region.

“Hamilton Park Racecourse is a unique asset for Scotland and a valuable part of the Lanarkshire community. Brian will be tasked with ensuring we continue to deliver an unrivalled experience for corporate clients and the race-going public.”

Sodexo Prestige Venues & Events recently extended its partnership with Hamilton Park Racecourse for a further 10 years.

Rockliffe Hall’s championship golf course will again play host to the MASfab North of England Open Foursomes on Wednesday 12th July.

In its second year, attracting talented golfers from across the region, this 36 Hole Scratch competition is open to professionals and amateurs, gents, ladies and juniors, with a maximum handicap of 5.

The prize for 1st place is a guaranteed £1000 each with additional prizes down to 10th place, plus best 1st and 2nd round scores.

Any pairings are permitted for this competition – 2 professionals, 2 amateurs, 1 pro/1 amateur, 2 ladies, 1 lady/1 man, 2 juniors – at a cost of £150 per pair to include two rounds of golf and a delicious lunch in The Clubhouse.

The event is sponsored by MASfab, a custom welding and steel fabrication company based in Tursdale, Durham.

For further information or to enter call The Pro Shop at Rockliffe Hall on 01325 729980, or email golf@rockliffehall.com

Designed by Hawtree, the world-renowned course architects, Rockliffe Hall’s 18 hole championship golf course is renowned for being one of the most challenging, and longest, in Europe. Alongside the exceptional course is a fully stocked Pro Shop, extensive practice facilities and driving range, a luxurious yet relaxed clubhouse serving fabulous food, and a top quality golf services team, including 4 PGA professionals.

The Rockliffe Hall resort also boasts 61 sumptuous guestrooms and suites, three superb restaurants and an award-winning spa.

Contact Rockliffe Hall on 01325 729999 or visit www.rockliffehall.com

NYS Corporate are the first TMC to integrate The Apartment Network into their service offering, providing an extensive inventory of alternative accommodation options for business travellers.        

Wednesday 7th June 2017

Today, NYS Corporate announced the integration of The Apartment Network into their service offering.  Following the enhancement, NYS clients will have access to an inventory of close to 100,000 serviced apartments across 20 countries.  This will provide business travellers with an extensive range of spacious, well-appointed apartments to select from, in addition to the hotels, B&Bs and guesthouses already available on the NYS system.

“We regularly analyse market trends and consider ways to enhance the service we provide to our clients.  Having observed the growing popularity of serviced apartments, we engaged with The Apartment Network to expand our content further, offering business travellers more choice and an alternative to Airbnb for those corporates not allowing the use of these. There will always be a place for hotels, but when it comes to longer or more regular travel, serviced apartments can offer a more comfortable and economical solution, which we feel will add value to our clients.”

Leanne Fowler, Sales and Marketing Director, NYS Corporate

NYS Corporate have been providing varied content for several years now, with their booking system already including inventories from some of the UK’s top serviced apartment providers.  Having seen the advantages apartments offer to business travellers and the substantial cost-savings available to clients, NYS took this initiative one step further and became the first TMC to partner with The Apartment Network.  

Serviced apartments are, on average, three times the size of a hotel room, and provide space to work and relax.  In addition to offering great value for longer stays, they are associated with higher productivity and lower subsistence costs.  Research from Savills and ASAP predicts that the serviced apartment sector is set to expand faster than any other segment of the UK hospitality market over the next two years.  ASAP forecast a growth in supply of 8.4% per annum by the end of 2017 (based on known planning consents), outpacing the 6% anticipated for budget hotels and 2.6% average across all hotel types.  NYS Corporate’s most recent enhancement puts them ahead of the curve, ensuring that their clients can take full advantage of this growing trend.

 

Bedford Lodge Hotel & Spa has launched its new and most recent à la carte dessert menu, which turns retro classic desserts into modern masterpieces. The new desserts combine outstanding seasonal flavours with innovative cooking methods to inject humour and intrigue into the menu – the Head Pastry Chef, Lee O’Neill, has even incorporated cockney rhyming slang and his study of braille onto the plate.

The Hotel’s 2AA Rosette restaurant, Squires, open to both residents and non-residents, is known for taking classic British dishes and giving them a modern twist to provide diners with a unique dining experience.

Lee commented on the new menu: “Coming up with a new menu is probably any chef’s favourite part of what they do – it is when you have complete freedom to try, test and taste new flavour combinations and cooking techniques. Throughout the process of creating this menu I wanted to take classic dishes and give them a new lease of life. Being able to use things I have learnt outside of the kitchen, like braille, and include them in my dishes has been really rewarding – now I just hope the customers like the desserts as much as we do here at the Hotel!”

The new menu features six desserts:

1.  Blackberry Braille – a blackberry bavarois with cassis jelly on a fennel & ginger base, a lime and violet macaron, fresh blackberries, blackberry & liquorish sorbet, with Black Jack sweet flavoured braille that reads ‘Spring’

2.  Apple and Pears’ with ‘Rosie Lee’ gel – a vanilla parfait filled with Calvados caramel formed as an apple and robed in an apple gel to finish, served alongside a thyme poached pear filled with honey cremeux, a ginger staircase and a tea gel.

3.  The Newmarket Gin Fondant – this dessert takes the botanical essences from The Newmarket Gin and turns it into a dessert of juniper infused chocolate fondant, white chocolate soil, Seville orange & horseradish sorbet, Devils Dyke orchid gel with the “Newmarket Stripe” racing colours in coulis.

4.  Yuzu tart – an Asian-inspired take on the classic lemon meringue pie, using the sharp citrus Japanese yuzu fruit on a sweet pastry base, served with Italian meringue, blueberry and Thai basil gel with blueberry & ginger sorbet.

5.  Terra “Cotta Pot”bringing the outdoors inside with a carrot, ginger & cumin infused panna cotta plant pot, strawberry ‘mushrooms’, chocolate & honeycomb soil with popping candy and cola jelly,  and a chocolate mousse and meringue snail.

6.  Retro-Roll – a pistachio & cherry arctic roll which sits alongside pistachio and almond nougat, peach purée crisps and jelly, as well as white chocolate crumb.

Not only does the new menu offer a chocolate fondant based on gin, but Bedford Lodge Hotel & Spa has also launched a special, one day only, gin cocktail menu in celebration of World Gin Day, which takes place on Saturday 10 June. Gin flights including Bombay Sapphire, Hendricks and The Newmarket Gin will also be served. For more information on opening times and to book a table, please call: 01638 663175.

Chefs at the helm of a new floating restaurant on the Thames have unveiled a series of early summer menus – and a famous local dish takes a starring role.

Bateaux Windsor’s vessel, The Melody, which launched in April, operates lunch, dinner and Sunday lunch cruises along the Thames at Royal Windsor.

And among the first dishes chosen to impress diners is Eton Mess, named in honour of the Berkshire town’s famous Eton College.

The traditional British dessert, of meringue, cream and fresh strawberries, rounds off the three-course Sunday lunch menu, which begins with asparagus velouté, followed by roasted free range chicken.

Asparagus – sourced from neighbouring Oxfordshire and in season for just a short period – also features on the dinner menu, where it accompanies a smoked salmon cannelloni starter.

The four-course dinner menu begins with an amuse bouche and also features a main course of roasted rump of new season lamb, followed by a white chocolate and raspberry ingot dessert with soused strawberries, basil jelly and honeycomb and Cornish brie with truffle honey and crisp sourdough.

Diners on a lunch cruise will be served a ham hock and pea pressé, with a main course of chicken, leek and chestnut mushroom puff pastry pie and a dessert of lemon and ginger cheesecake – and Fairtrade tea and coffee are served at the end of all meals.

Gemma Amor, head chef at Bateaux Windsor, said: “Planning these menus has been an absolute joy as there is so much superb produce within Berkshire and its environs for us to choose from.

“Our menus will be changing in line with what’s available and seasonal to make the most of the local ingredients but I have a feeling Eton Mess – which is not only one of the UK’s best loved and most popular desserts but has such obvious local significance – will become a fairly regular feature. I just hope our Sunday lunch diners feel we’ve done it justice.”

Bateaux Windsor prices start at £35 per person for the afternoon tea and lunch cruises, £45 for the Sunday lunch cruises and £75 for the dinner cruises and diners are asked to adhere to a smart casual dress code.

Children aged under three are not allowed on board the day time cruises while the dinner cruise carries a minimum age requirement of 12 years.

Cruise packages are available to buy online at www.bateauxwindsor.com and can also be purchased as gift vouchers.

 

For further information, or to book, call 01753 202302 or email reservations@bateauxwindsor.com. Card payment only.

In a recent panel discussion at Birmingham’s Park Regis hotel on May 11th, HBAA’S Alternative Accommodation Committee made efficient work of turning the booking agents in attendance into serviced apartment experts. For many corporate guests, knowing how and why to book a serviced apartment can prove complicated. “The time had come for an educational event.” said Martin Klima, SilverDoor Head Account Manager, and one of the day’s speakers.

Before an audience of mainly hotel bookers, panel members, including Erica Livermore, Prestige Reservations Managing Director, delivered a comprehensive crash course in everything serviced apartment-related: from pricing to health and safety. Particular care was taken in highlighting the fact that serviced apartments are not just a long-term accommodation choice, but also great for short trips too.

Alex Neale, SilverDoor Head Account Manager, singled out wellbeing as a key reason why a relocating employee might book a serviced apartment over a hotel, while for Amy Chapman, Siemens Senior Buyer, serviced apartments offer a “high level of service and better rates”.

The seminar attracted 30 agents and 10 suppliers. And they couldn’t have asked for a better setting than the hotel’s Sky Bar, located as it is on the 16th floor, with views overlooking the city.

For a practical understanding of the points raised, a full tour was given of serviced apartments on-site at the Park Regis Birmingham hotel. What better way for bookers to get to grips with the privacy, space and flexibility attached to this popular accommodation alternative.

In concluding, Martin notes: “The agents that attended came away with a far better understanding of how the serviced apartment industry works, rest assured that the quality and duty of care provided are of the highest standard.”

 

 

There’s a buzz about Rockliffe Hall, as the award-winning hotel, golf and spa resort in Hurworth, near Darlington, welcomes 20,000 new long-term residents – two hives of bees.

Rockliffe’s head gardener, Phil Mennell, has attended a special bee-keeping course and is looking after the new Rockliffe recruits, who it’s hoped will soon be producing delicious honey to be served on resort.

In the short time Phil has been looking after the Buckfast bees he’s become an avid beekeeper and is rapidly learning about these fascinating creatures. He’s checking them once a week while they continue to settle in to their new surroundings in a secret part of the resort so they aren’t disturbed.

In time, the bees will also help pollenate the Walled Kitchen Garden in the Mischmasch multi-functional parkland development, due to open at the end of Summer 2017.

Some fun bee facts:

Bees cannot see the colour red (but visit red flowers because they are able to see the UV markings on the petals). 

Bees have five eyes - 3 simple eyes on top of the head, and 2 compound eyes, with numerous hexagonal facets.

There are about 25,000 known species of bee in the world.

The largest bee in the world is thought to be Megachile pluto – a leafcutter bee whose females can grow as long as 3.9cm.

The smallest bee in the world is believed to be Trigona minima – a stingless bee whose workers are about 2.1mm long.

 

Contact Rockliffe Hall on 01325 729999 or visit www.rockliffehall.com

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