Discover Westminster; Showcase Success!

We have long been known for our fantastic Westminster Venue Showcase events and this year was no exception!! The 26th of May 2022 marked the occasion of our Discover Westminster; Around Westminster Venues in 80 minutes, showcase event and how special for us all to be back together and what a fantastic evening it was!

Located at the Royal Society, one of our fabulous member venues, it was great to be back hosting a face-to-face event – You could feel the excitement amongst all. This elegant setting really set the scene and created the perfect backdrop for the occasion.

The showcase was attended by event professionals from London and beyond for the opportunity to celebrate and explore our unique consortium of Westminster’s finest venues. It was amazing to see them all showing off their venues and event packages to new and potential clients. Our venue collection includes a wide variety of venue types and styles, all with their own fascinating backstory and many with historic significance.

Originally home to the United Services Club, Georgian venue 116 Pall Mall was designed by John Nash, and this Grade I listed venue still contains many of the club’s original treasures. Then we move to The Honourable Society of Lincolns Inn. Their Great Hall was opened by Queen Victoria, and not to mention, Edwardian venue One Great George Street, 18th Century RSA House, and the world-famous Houses of Parliament.

The recent Platinum Jubilee celebrations taking place throughout the city have seen these spectacular venues celebrated in all their glory, which has led to more enquiries, but let’s not forget the incredible modern venues within the collection. The QEII Centre got the chance to boast their cutting-edge AV facilities, essential for delivering live and engaging hybrid and studio events. The Westminster London, Curio Collection by Hilton, showcased their stylish conference spaces and luxurious rooms for overnight stays. And if you’re looking for big screen events, Vue West End have got you covered!

We were also joined by key industry suppliers, including Frew & Co rolled ice cream. Their fun and refreshing treats are perfect for outdoor summer events. The talented chefs at the Royal Society also made an appearance to showcase some sweet offerings. Dan and the team plated up a feast for the eyes, demonstrating some impressive techniques, including dry ice!

Thank you to all who attended, and especially to Barbara Wutte and her team at the Royal Society for helping our board and the Paje team to organise the event, it wouldn’t have been a success without all those involved. The drinks were flowing and the delicious canapes went down a treat, and it was fantastic to see members sharing their images across social media.

“We are so excited about the future, we have new members joining our collection, new initiatives planned by the enthusiastic board and Paje Team and our venues are back to business at 2019 levels again!  We look forward to working with you over the coming months and celebrating just how amazing London and our wonderful Westminster Collection are!”  –  Rachel Azzopardi, Chair of Westminster Venue Collection.

Our experienced sales marketing and PR partners, Paje Consultancy, are here to support with enquiries and help you find the best space for your events. If you’re looking to book last minute summer parties, our venues have some stunning, private outdoor spaces available for hire, right in the heart of the Capital. Contact us today and we’ll help you find the perfect fit for your occasion.

Now we’re all back in our offices, some of our members have been brushing up their sales and marketing skills with training and development from our Westminster Venue Collection dedicated learning and development academy in partnership with the team at Paje Consultancy.  If you’d like to do the same, you can find out more about the courses available here.

A spook-tacular Hallo-Westminster showcase!

The ‘Hallo-Westminster’ event at One Great George Street offered over 200 event planners the chance to meet the collection’s eclectic mix of 35 scarily good venues whilst enjoying some ghoulish trick or treat fun.

The entertainment came alive as Viva Live Music’s opera singers performed Phantom of the Opera classics whilst some guests had their faces painted by UK Facepainters & Community Giants and others piled into Effect Event’s spooky photo booth. The event space was transformed into an Autumnal affair with floral arrangements by TBR Floral Designs and equipment from Thorns Furniture & Catering Hire and Eclipse Presentations, setting the perfect Halloween scene.

Big prizes were on offer in the trick or treat prize draw, including; dinner cruise for two with Bateaux London, a tour of the Royal Society with afternoon tea for two and dinner for two in The Lansdowne Club’s Dining Room.

Nouvelle Afriyie-Aidoo from The Chartered Insurance Institute commented on the evening: “Venue is really pretty, the evening has been good, there’s lots of suppliers and all in all it’s been an informative night – I’ve seen venues we didn’t even know existed!”

See you at Square Meal

WVC will be exhibiting at Square Meal Venues and Events Live for the very first time this year.

Taking place at Old Billingsgate, London, on 20 and 21 September, we will be located at stand number G32 and representatives from our member venues will be ready and waiting to help you save time while finding the very best Westminster venue for your next event.

Visitors to our stand will also get their hands on the hottest ticket in town – an invite to our spooktacular Hallo-Westminster showcase on October 24 at One Great George Street.

Entry to the event is free and you can register to attend here. We look forward to seeing you there!

Church House strikes Gold with AIM for the second time

Church House Westminster has once again achieved the highest level of venue accreditation – AIM Gold.

Securing the nationally recognised accreditation for a second time cements the venue’s position in an elite group of venues and it also demonstrates Church House Westminster’s commitment to capability, compliance and competence.

To achieve the Meetings Industry Association’s AIM Gold, the venue underwent a rigorous independent auditing process which saw a panel of independent industry assessors scrutinise the whole customer journey and business processes including resources, creating the customer environment, service delivery and continuous improvement.

Church House Westminster’s general manager Robin Parker said: “We have always taken pride in delivering a consistently high quality of customer service in all areas of our business. To achieve AIM Gold for the second time is an outstanding achievement that the entire team should be proud of as we are assessed on every aspect of our customer’s journey – from the moment they book and event to the time they leave.”

Jane Longhurst, chief executive of mia, said: “AIM Gold is awarded to venues which offer first-class facilities matched by exceptional catering and the highest levels of customer service. The judges were particularly impressed by the enthusiasm of Church House Westminster’s staff who continually identify ways to improve services to exceed customer expectations.”

Church House Westminster is one of London’s most versatile event venues offering 19 flexible event spaces, which can accommodate between 2 and 664 guests, and host a wide variety of events including meetings, conferences, awards ceremonies, gala dinners and receptions.

For more information, call 020 7390 1590 or visit www.churchhouseconf.co.uk.

RIBA launches new hospitality pop-up for the summer

RIBA London’s 66 Portland Place has launched a new hospitality pop-up on its 4th floor terrace.

The pop-up will be a unique outdoor space for clients to entertain their teams on a summer’s evening, either as a standalone event or as a part of a meeting or conference.

Designed by Merrett Houmøller Architects Peter Merrett and Robert Houmøller, the brightly coloured pop-up, was selected from entries to the RIBA Architecture Open 2017, an annual architecture competition run by the institute and open to RIBA members, chartered practices, students and non-members alike.

The summer pop-up is available for exclusive use only, and is able to cater for up to 40 people for an early evening networking event. Food will be provided by event caterer Harbour & Jones and will embrace the theme of social dining featuring dishes from around the world.

Moya Maxwell, head of venues at RIBA, said: “We are delighted to be able to utilise this fantastic installation, which has been designed by the talented Merrett Houmøller Architects. The pop-up is in-situ on our 4th floor terrace until mid-September and we hope to encourage companies to bring their teams together this summer to enjoy each other’s company for a few hours in a relaxed, informal environment that encourages a sense of fun, togetherness and sharing.”

For more information or to book the summer pop-up for an event, please email [email protected] or phone 020 7307 3888.

Westminster Venue Collection appoints Diane Waldron as chair

Westminster Venue Collection is delighted to announce Diane Waldron, director of sales and marketing at the QEII Centre, has been appointed as our new chair.

Under Diane’s expert leadership, which is drawn from a number of years in the sector, she will be implementing in a range of new initiatives designed to make the collection of 34 venues more visible and accessible to event buyers.

Following hot on the heels of our appearance at The Meetings Show last month, we will be exhibiting at Square Meal Venues and Events Live at Old Billingsgate on 20-21 September, which offers another fantastic opportunity for us to meet organisers face-to-face to discuss your current and future requirements.

Diane takes over from Clare Arouche, former head of business development at 10-11 Carlton House Terrace, who has now joined Royal Museums Greenwich as head of sales and events.

If you would like to find out more about us, what we do, and how we can make venue finding faster, easier and more efficient, click here.

Shepherd’s of Westminster announces weekend closures to focus on events

Shepherd’s of Westminster has announced  its bar and restaurant will no longer be opening at weekends or on bank holidays .to concentrate on functions such as milestone birthdays, engagement parties and significant wedding anniversaries.

An application has also been submitted for a licence to perform civil marriages and civil partnerships on the premises which, if granted, would mean ceremonies could take place in the larger private dining room, whilst the main bar and restaurant would be set up for receptions and wedding breakfasts.

Proprietor Lionel Zetter said: “Many Westminster residents spend their weekends outside of London, and Saturdays and Sundays have always been quiet for us. By switching the emphasis to events over the weekend we hope to fill a gap caused by a shortage of elegant but affordable events venues in central London. We very much hope that our neighbours in the Westminster and Pimlico areas will consider using our facilities when celebrating landmark occasions.”

To find out more about booking Shepherd’s of Westminster for your next event, please contact [email protected].

Last chance to register for the launch of The Westminster Collection’s new identity

There is just a few days left for event buyers to register for their place at leading venue consortium, The Westminster Collection’s glamourous launch event to unveil its re-brand including new name, website and identity.

In an innovative and exciting move for the collection, the new branding will be revealed at Central Hall Westminster on 12 December, and will create a more contemporary, engaging and intuitive event booking system that allows event professionals from around the world to access 34 unique Westminster venues at the click of a button.

The full new-look branding will be revealed exclusively to those in attendance at the launch event which will also give guests the chance to meet and network with the collection’s member venues as well as industry peers and key media.

Entertainment will be in abundance on the night with music provided by member venue St Martin-in-the-Field’s resident choir St Martin’s Voices and guests can get snap-happy with a photo booth provided by PhotoBooth Magic, a preferred supplier for the collection.

Following an introduction from The Westminster Collection’s chair Clare Arouche, Rob Chambers, collection board member and events manager at London Film Museum, will deliver an opening speech highlighting the key features of the new website, the thought-process behind the branding and plans for the collection’s future.

Those in attendance on the night will also have the chance to win one of ‘12 treats of Christmas’ as well as the ultimate ‘Westminster Way’ grand prize with everything needed for the perfect Westminster day out including two tickets to the London Transport Museum, lunch for two at One Great George Street, afternoon tea at Conrad London St James and dinner at the Lansdowne Club.

Chair of The Westminster Collection, Clare Arouche said: “We, as a collection, are thrilled to be able to reveal our re-brand and new website that offers event buyers and planners an even more efficient way of accessing a host of premium and diverse Westminster venues all in one place. A lot of work, research and development has taken place to ensure that the new website offers today’s time-poor planners all of the functionality they need to easily access, enquire and book prestigious venues in the heart of London. The news marks a dynamic time of change and development for the well-established collection.”

To pre-register for your place at The Westminster Collection’s exciting re-brand showcase contact Verity Lethbridge on [email protected] before Big Ben strikes midnight on Sunday, 11 December.

Places are strictly limited and The Westminster Collection reserve the right to qualify your event planning credentials in order to confirm your place.

Get in the festive spirit at The Clubhouse

Looking for gift inspiration? Perhaps something for your partner, boss, client or PA? Visit The Clubhouse’s Christmas Market on Wednesday, 7 December between 12pm and 5pm, where a number of their members and other local businesses will be showing off their wares, including Snow Leopard Vodka, Broadbent Gallery, London Road Jewellery and Sweet Reason.

For more information please contact Elizabeth Faichney on [email protected].

8 Northumberland Avenue’s guide to London Christmas markets

To get you all in the spirit for Christmas, the team at 8 Northumberland Avenue have compiled a list of the best festive market locations in London for 2016.

Selfridges Foodhall:

Although not specifically a market, Selfridges Foodhall holds endless delight for foodies. Find gifts to wow everyone from your mother-in-law to your pooch at this treasure trove department store.

Southbank:

The highlight of the Southbank has to be the wonderful scenic views of London’s great landmarks. A short walk over the bridge is Boyds Grill & Wine Bar where you can come in out of the cold for a bottle of wine and a free cured meat plate.

Winter wonderland:

This iconic Christmas market is a great place to go with family during the day, especially if you have little ones. There is so much to do and see including fairground rides, beautiful markets and ice-skating.

To find out more about 8 Northumberland Avenue click here.