Three reasons to book a Christmas lunch at 8 Northumberland Avenue

Looking for the perfect venue to host a Christmas lunch party? 8 Northumberland Avenue have rounded up their top three reasons for booking a midday Christmas feast with them:

  1. Value

Your guests deserve only the best Christmas celebrations and you don’t want to be held back by your budget and at 8 Northumberland Avenue you will save around £40 per head just by booking during the day instead of the evening.

2. Dates

Finding a perfect date that suits everyone during the festive season is a difficult task but booking a Christmas lunch party at our central London venue, means you have a better selection of days to ensure you don’t have to compromise on your preferred date.

3. Themes

We take great pride in choosing our themes (this year we have The Lost Palace of Atlantis and Winter Glitz & Glamour) and bringing them to life. Guests at our Christmas lunches will have the same amazing experience as our Christmas dinner party guests meaning they won’t miss out on the immersive theming for their Christmas party.

Festive lunches at 8 Northumberland Avenue start from £95 per person ex VAT*. Contact our team for more information events@8northumberland.co.uk.

*T&Cs:  price dependent on numbers.

Refurbished Private Dining Rooms at The Lansdowne Club

The Lansdowne Club is delighted to announce that its two newly refurbished private dining rooms are now available to book.

The Findlay Room for up to 18 guests provides the perfect setting for corporate or private gatherings with stunning Art Deco design.

For larger parties the Shelburne Room can seat up to up to 50 guests and benefits from its own private reception area with bar where arrival drinks can be served.

For more information or to make a booking please contact lucymannering@lansdowneclub.com.

The House of Commons launches new menus

The House of Commons has launched its new menus ready for Autumn and Winter 2016. Whether you are looking for a free range chicken breast or a classic beef Wellington their wide range of dishes will help create a memorable feast for your next event.
The House of Commons offer an extensive range of poultry, game, meat and fish to ensure that your guests are well fed and its award-winning pastry chef uses seasonal fruits and ingredients to ensure that the desserts are the perfect end to a delicious meal.
The sourcing wherever possible of the best regional and organic produce is at the heart of all their banqueting menus. The South of England has some of the finest producers and suppliers in the UK and the House of Commons are delighted to champion their fabulous produce.
View the menus here.

BAFTA 195 Piccadilly shows you how to bring Hollywood glitz to your next dinner party

With the 2016 EE British Academy Film Awards ceremony fast approaching, BAFTA 195 Piccadilly Head Chef Anton Manganaro has been hard at work designing a menu of mouth-watering canapés to feed the A-list guests assembled for the big night.

This year’s ceremony will see guests wowed by the following quartet of show-stopping canapés: Smoked Lincolnshire Poacher puff with chicken and apple salad, spicy tomato pickle and crispy skin; Loch Duart beetroot cured salmon, rye cracker, bergamot and dill mayonnaise; Lincolnshire hot smoked trout on Tattie scones with crème fraiche and lemon caviar; Crispy dark rye with pickled golden beetroot, pear gel and cranberry granola (vegan friendly).

Happily for those without a ticket to the event on 14 February 2016, Anton has adapted his canapé menu specially for preparing at home. These new recipes are straightforward to follow, allowing you to bring a flourish of Hollywood glitz to your next dinner party. Find them on the 195 Piccadilly website.

Where to have lunch in Westminster

Whether it’s a mad dash to the canteen, a quick scoff at your desk in between emails or skipped altogether, we think its high time lunch got the attention it deserves and where better to stop the clock and tuck into a midday bite than Westminster? Here are our top five places to indulge.

Dishing up everything from a £10 set menu for those of you short on time to a decadent Sunday Roast with all the trimmings, the Blue Boar Restaurant at Conrad London St James has your midday munch covered. Their seasonal menu includes 3 courses for £22.50, with the option to take your dessert back to the office. Working lunches are available Monday-Friday, 12:00-2:30pm. The restaurant is also available for private dining with two dedicated rooms and a private drinking room for more intimate gatherings.

Want a working lunch venue with a difference? The talented chefs at House of Commons are always developing exciting new dishes and their brand new autumn and winter menus are available from Monday 12 October. They include wonderful winter warmers like flaked Gloucester old spot pork with sticky apple and crackling and Earl Grey tea jelly and butternut squash veloute with pumpkin seed tuille, perfect to keep you toasty on a crisp winter afternoon.

Located in the heart of Westminster, Bistro is the primary dining offering at St. James’ Court, on Buckingham Gate, just a few steps from Buckingham Palace and St. James’ Park. Contemporary European restaurant Bistro impresses with unique presentations and flavours, local sourcing of fresh produce and Executive Chef David Tilly’s careful selection of ingredients. Lunch offers include two courses for just £19.50 and three courses for £23.50.

RIBA Venues, just a short walk from Oxford Street, offers lunch with a twist with their sandwich-free ‘brain food in a box’. The three-course lunch boxes contain a mixture of oily fish, low-fat meats, whole-grain products, fruits and vegetables to keep delegates alert throughout the day. The range of dishes include fresh salmon or chicken, whole-grain pasta and vegetables cooked with herbs grown in the venue’s own herb garden all designed to keep you on track and focused throughout the afternoon.

At City Café at the DoubleTree by Hilton London– Westminster private luncheons can be enjoyed for up to 150 guests. The cuisine is modern European and the chef’s unique afternoon tiffin stand matches the contemporary design. For private lunches you can work with a member of their team to decide on menu choices and be ensured your experience at the venue will be taken care so you can enjoy a relaxing afternoon at this SW1 London restaurant.

So there you have it. There can be no excuse now for a skipped, rushed or wasted lunch. But don’t just take our word for it. Take back your lunch hour and see what Westminster has to offer!

London breakfast hang-outs to supercharge your 9-5 day

Whether it’s the first thing you think about when you wake up or it’s a quick grab on the way to work, breakfast still remains the most important meal of the day. With London Breakfast Meetings Week returning this October (5-9th) there is no better time to kick start your day with something special.

Breakfast is often an undervalued time of the day but a meeting of minds over a delectable Danish or two can actually increase productivity, save money and help kick start your day. Here we highlight some great breakfast meet-up spots in Westminster.

At the Army and Navy Club, just a stone’s throw from St James’s Park, they offer a budget busting breakfast with a selection of breakfast pastries and coffee for just £5.50. A continental and Full English breakfast total £12 or £15.50 respectively. Breakfast at the Army and Navy Club also provides for the more health conscious with energy boosting items like eggless omelette on the menu to supercharge your day.

To find out more about Breakfast Meetings at the Army & Navy Club and how their spread can enhance your meeting agenda, contact Elana Kruger on Club@TheRag.co.uk or call 020 7827 8031.

Also providing a health-packed breakfast to set you up for the day is 8 Northumberland Avenue, London’s most central venue. Their brain-boosting breakfast packages include superfoods such as avocado, goji berries and coconuts, ensuring you are alert and engaged for your morning meeting. Sitting just moments from Trafalgar Square, the venue has a wide variety of events spaces and can accommodate up to 600 delegates.

A short walk down The Mall from 8 Northumberland Avenue is Conrad London St. James conveniently located opposite St James’s Park tube station. The hotel’s restaurant, The Blue Boar, offers contemporary British dining and has two spaces that can be hired privately, connected to the main restaurant by a floor-to-ceiling wine wall.

The Blue Boar offers a classic breakfast menu including ‘The Full English’, Omelette Arnold Bennett and their ‘Wellbeing Breakfast’, where guests can chose between bircher muesli, fruit salad and other healthy treats. Breakfast is served between 6.30–10.30am, Monday to Friday and the full menu can be found here.

Moving from the modern to the historic, One Great George Street offers a more relaxed and informal buffet style breakfast set in a magnificent Grade II listed, four-domed, Edwardian building. With 21 function rooms accommodating up to 450 guests, the venue suits a vast variety of breakfast meetings, events and conferences. With everything from sun-blushed tomato and Caerphilly cheese scones, to individual goji and cranberry bircher muesli, the variety on offer at One Great George Street doesn’t just end at the events spaces.

Enjoy a variety of brilliant breakfast deals across Westminster this September, including 10% off breakfast when booking a meeting at the family-owned, five-star The Athenaeum Hotel. The hotel has three meeting spaces and can cater for up to 100 guests, with a focus on personalisation, so your wish is truly their command.

Breakfast meetings really are a smart choice for anyone looking to hold a meeting or conference. They allow you to catch your colleagues at their most dynamic and creative, make better use of the working day and are kinder to the budget. Find out more about hosting meetings over breakfast by getting involved in London Breakfast Meetings Week 2015.

Christmas party planning tips to banish bad weather blues

Quick! It’s raining and dreary. Push cocktails and sun-soaked evening barbeques to the back of your mind and seize this miserable introduction to AW15 to start daydreaming about the most epic of Christmas parties, before everyone else does.

You’ve got to get in there quickly if you want a bite at the best London venues for your end of year bash, because it’s rain-soaked days like this that kickstart the festive fantasies and see the clever office elves begin their quest to plan enticing, amazing parties. Believe it or not, many companies start planning their Christmas events as early as March! Luckily, we’ve pulled together some tips to help focus your mind and get you into the festive zone fast.

1) Lock in the date

If you’re organising a company bash, first things first, fix your date. If it’s a company party for your staff, assess availability and preferences by reviewing diary dates with key members of staff in your next team meeting. For teams scattered across different offices, you could do this by running a poll, using a scheduling tool such as Doodle. Simply circulate the link to participate via email and you’ll soon have a tally of the most popular date options. Having first, second and third date options pencilled down will widen your pool of possible venues.

2) Theme for the majority

Dictating how people should have fun can be a recipe for a festive flop. Be sure to conjure up a Christmas concept that works for your audience and get the formal versus informal balance right. Are they a ‘slap-up lunch down the pub’, fuss-free sort of crowd, or are they adventurous extroverts who’d shun anything less than a fancy dress theme, a red carpet entrance and cocktail-fuelled antics at a headline-grabbing venue?

Over-engineered itineraries may please some but horrify others, so while budget is a big factor in what’s possible, be careful to always plan your Christmas party with the majority of your target audience front of mind. What would they see as an end-of-year treat that says thank you for their hard work? An opportunity to dress up and attend a glitzy, themed party with other companies at a unique London venue? A corporate away-day featuring interactive team building activities and a sit-down meal? Or maybe a private hire-out of a pub or bar, with self-service buffet, for all staff and their partners?

Creating an event that’s unique and memorable just requires a little imagination and a good knowledge of your audience. Just be sure to consider the after effects of a free-flowing bar and the impact on productivity the next day if you choose a week night!

3) Kill 37 birds with one stone!

Why spend hours trawling Google using every search term under the sun when you could save huge amounts of time with a free venue finding service like The Westminster Collection? If you know you want a central London venue, you know the style of event you’re looking to achieve, you’ve got your proposed dates, and you’re open to recommendations, this free venue finding service can slice through the noise and deliver you up to 37 options of venues, ranging from luxury hotels and private members clubs, to river boats, quirky Grade I and II listed venues, iconic tourist attractions, museums and trendy restaurants.

These venues offer their own unique, off-the-shelf packages such as shared party nights, exclusive hire deals and Christmas lunch or dinner deals, or more bespoke planning services. A service like The Westminster Collection really can make your party planning pain free. Why not come along to our free venue showcase on Friday 18 September for some festive venue inspiration?

4) Don’t skimp on the food or drink

Nothing says ‘we value you’ more than an indulgent spread of festive food. Work with your venue caterer to plan the very best menu your budget will buy, whether it’s a sit-down meal, a drinks reception with canapés, or a self-service buffet. Let your venue help you make clever choices and advise on the most practical types of food for sociable party settings. Avoiding smelly foods will help out people’s networking efforts, as will lighter choices for the folks who’d like to avoid an impending food coma and uncomfortable bloat in their party frocks.

Set menus offering three choices of starter, main and dessert can help your guests pace themselves responsibly, as well as being budget friendly for you, the organiser. Keep the bar well stocked too and ensure people have access to adequate top-ups of alcohol and free-flowing soft drinks to keep them quenched and in the party mood through to the end of the night. There’s nothing worse than a bar running dry to kill the vibe and see the DJ left rocking the dancefloor on his lonesome!


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Get Christmas Licked! Venue Showcase

Brain boosting breakfasts

By Debbie Lynch, Deputy General Manager, QEII Taste by Leith’s at QEII Centre

It’s no secret that breakfast is the most important meal of the day so we see it as our absolute responsibility to make sure the breakfast menus we’re creating are energy boosting, brain powering and sense stimulating for all clients who come to us for events and meetings in the morning. We’ll see to it that you’re set up for the day and keep hunger at bay so you can breeze through your agenda right through till lunch, with maximum productivity.

While we love to offer the classic French and English brekkie favourites like hearty Westminster Sausage Baps and moreish Pains au Chocolate, it’s at our fresh juice stations where you’ll find your morning zing. Choose from a carrot and pear smoothie, or a celery and apple combination. Both smoothies use low sugar fruits – apples and pears – teamed with a flavourful vegetable, to give a slow release of energy throughout the morning, without that dreaded sugar spike. We also offer superfood juices such as beetroot and pumpkin, thought to increase circulation and boost brainpower early in the morning.

Protein is known to keep you fuller for longer, so we’re big fans of eggs at breakfast. Our Egg Skillets are baked eggs with no additional fat, unlike traditional scrambled eggs that can include cream (or milk) and butter. We add ingredients such as mackerel, peppers and mushrooms for extra good carbohydrates, fats and protein, all in one simple dish. Mackerel is also high in Omega 3 Oil which is has multiple benefits to health. Studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation, combat depression and improve mood and memory. For good health, you should aim to get at least one rich source of omega-3 fatty acids in your diet every day. Excellent sources include salmon, tuna, walnuts, flax seeds, leafy greens and hemp seeds.

Ingredients high in Omega 3 Oils, like our Confit Salmon and Rye Sandwiches, are a great alternative to a Smoked Salmon Bagel and avoid the processed white carbohydrates that can have an adverse effect on energy.

We also offer ‘build your own yoghurt’ stations. Here you can team the good fats in yoghurt with superfoods high in protein, such as flax seeds, toasted nuts, goji berries and honey. It’s a delicious and nutritious breakfast option that injects energy into your body, avoiding that slow and lethargic feeling you might get a short while after filling yourself up on coffee, cakes, white breads and pastries.

Need more tips and ideas for creating a breakfast menu that’ll keep your delegates skipping through till lunch? Just give the QEII Centre a call on 020 7798 4183 or email Debbie Lynch.

Six extraordinary dining experiences #InsideTheCommons

The sensational interiors of the House of Commons will go on show to the public later this month as this unique venue releases a limited number of places to six extraordinary dining experiences in its Members’ Dining Room.

Offering a rare opportunity to dine within this iconic building, the House of Commons is delighted to invite bookings for 3-course menu experiences on 31 March, 1 April, 8 April, 9 April, 28 April and 29 April 2015.

Special permission granting rare access to this historic, members-only dining room comes as Members of Parliament ready themselves for the upcoming General Election, taking themselves away from the House of Commons to focus on campaigning.

The Members’ Dining Room menu focuses on fine British cuisine, with a 3-course menu and coffee priced at £35 per person.

Diners can take in the impressive surroundings, adorned with wooden sculptures, beautiful flock wallpaper and historic paintings. Previously intended as a conference room called the ‘Painted Chamber’, the Members’ Dining Room offers the perfect dining space and an ornate Royal coat of Arms sits proudly above the entrance.

Book a table online and begin your exploration of the rooms available for hire for corporate and private events here.

QEII transforms from international law conference to glittering awards lunch

After a whirlwind week that saw the four-day Global Law Summit bring the likes of Boris Johnson, Ed Miliband, The Rt. Hon. Jeremy Wright QC MP, Attorney General of England & Wales, The Rt. Hon, Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury, President of the Supreme Court and film-star-cum-Global-Ambassador for War Child UK, Carey Mulligan, through the door for an international legal conference held to mark 800 years since the sealing of Magna Carta, the QEII Centre was privileged then to welcome the great and the good from the world of professional and trade associations on Friday 27 March, when the Association Excellence Awards came to life in its newly refurbished Churchill Auditorium.

It was an occasion to celebrate the success of individuals and teams in striving towards excellence in how associations operate and serve their members, organised by the Global Conference Network (GCN).

As the headline sponsor, QEII Centre was keen to pull out all the stops to serve a winning awards lunch menu in partnership with its talented catering team QEII Taste by Leith’s. Guests tucked into 24-hour smoked shin of Gloucestershire beef and rare grilled flat iron steak, served with carrot fondant, roasted artichoke, scored red onion and cherry tomato. Dessert was an indulgent Single Estate chocolate mogador, a dark chocolate and raspberry cylinder with raspberry cream and a salted caramel macaroon.

Speaking in a video interview before the awards presentation about the importance of these awards for the 300-strong audience, which included 40 C-level association leaders, host the Rt. Hon. Michael Portillo said, “As for the people represented here today, it’s just the most extraordinarily eclectic collection and I think people are going to be quite surprised because the range of activities almost defies the imagination.”

GCN awards are highly sought after because of the independent and rigorous judging process by industry practitioners and leaders, which means they showcase the very best, as judged by industry peers.

QEII Centre were proud to sponsor a selection of the awards categories, including Best Association Conference in London, won by Association for Project Management (APM) for their APM Project Management Conference, Best Advancement of a Cause, won by British Dental Association for DFT, Best Use of Social Media, won by Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) for #MAATchat, and Best Association Awards, won by Chartered Institute of Public Relations for their CIPR Excellence Awards and sponsored by QEII Taste by Leith’s.