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.

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.

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.

Best London venues for cocktails and canapes

Summer 2015 has undoubtedly arrived (whether or not it is here to stay is another matter) and glorious sunshine, lighter evenings and rising temperatures creates the perfect atmosphere to indulge in tantalising cocktails and delectable canapés. Whether you are an undercover 00 agent and like to keep it simple with a martini (shaken not stirred of course) or you are looking for something brimming with colour and paper adornments, we have rounded up 7 of the top places to enjoy cocktails and canapés in London this summer.

For the more politically astute amongst you, you may already be aware that {10-11} Carlton House Terrace is the former home of Prime Minister William Gladstone. The venue has much more to offer too. Set the summer scene by sipping on a mojito jug while absorbing the rich, historical tapestry of the building itself. Cocktails start from £7.50 and {10-11} Carlton House Terrace can accommodate up to 600 for an evening reception, all just a 10 minute walk from Charing Cross Station.

Continuing the political theme, five minutes away from Hyde Park and Victoria is a venue steeped in Scottish heritage, The Caledonian Club, which was originally built for Hugh Morrison. Sensitively restored, the venue combines rich historical architecture with the latest in corporate technology. Perfect for ambient summer dining, The Caledonian Club offers a wide range of hot and cold canapés and refreshing cocktails which can all be enjoyed on the venue’s terrace which has a capacity of 50, reception style.

Moored on the Thames by the Embankment, the HQS Wellington offers a memorable backdrop for summer parties. Her prime Thames location affords sweeping views of the South Bank from the Shard to the London Eye, with added interest from the ever-changing scene of river traffic. Soak up the sun on Quarterdeck with up to 220 guests, as The Cook & The Butler’s dedicated hospitality service team provides a fine dining experience including cocktails and a mouth-watering barbecue.

Those searching for a more cinematic experience might prefer to enjoy their cocktail (unfortunately not made by Tom Cruise) at BAFTA 195 Piccadilly. The venue marries a prime location with a wide range of cocktails and their culinary team were behind the cocktails and canapés served at the 2015 BAFTAs. The venue is available for exclusive hire at certain times and has a capacity of 150 for a standing reception.

Set in the heart of Westminster is the six-story Edwardian Broadway House. Having achieved AIM accreditation and a Conference Centre of Excellence, the venue has everything needed to create a memorable and successful event. The venue can cater for up to 80 with a canapé reception designed by their team of skilled chefs, and with 12 rooms to choice from you really are spoilt for choice.

Experience the ever-changing and diverse London skyline at Central Hall Westminster, with an unrivalled location opposite Westminster Abbey and adjacent to The Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, the views are guaranteed to wow your guests. The terrace can accommodate 60 guests for a standing reception, ideal to enjoy the extensive canapés on offer.

Open seven days a week is the Ribbon Bar and Terrace at the Army and Navy Club set right on the edge of St James’s Park. The venue offers incredible views of the surrounding areas as well as classic cocktails including Dry Martini and Paul’s Bloody Mary made with Dry Sherry. Families are welcome at The Army and Navy Club until 5.30pm and they can accommodate up to 200 for a drinks reception.

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.

St Martin’s announces new events menus

Adam Ismael, head chef at St Martin-in-Fields is pleased to present a series of delicious new menus for events at this Trafalgar Square venue. Appointed in 2013, Ismael’s career background encompasses West End restaurants and prestigious events, including state banquets at Buckingham Palace.

Since becoming head chef, Ismael has opened Café in the Courtyard, revitalised the daily menus in the Café in the Crypt and this season he will introduce a new series of menus for events and meetings at St Martin’s. From canapés and fork buffets to sit down dinners, the new St Martin’s menus are sure to delight every client.

For more details of St Martin’s menus and for information on room hire and availability email events@smitf.org.

Menu relaunch for The Rag

Private members’ club The Rag has relaunched its menus for events, bringing a new level of culinary expertise to the offering at this exclusive venue on London’s Pall Mall.

Executive chef Paul Elliott’s career spans numerous prestigious establishments, including a three-year role as personal chef to the Aspinall family at Howletts Mansion in Kent, well known for its work with endangered wild animals.

The new private dining and banqueting menus feature the best British produce, promoting the use of rare breeds from British farms that practice the highest standards of animal husbandry. Only the finest meats make it into classics such as Tournedo Rossini and roasted loin of ‘Denham Estate’ venison wellington.

Using the new ‘menu selector’, event organisers can create their own event menus, choosing from an array of both classic and modern dishes.

Request a copy of The Rag’s new event menus by contacting Emily Moss, events manager via email at Banqueting@TheRag.co.uk or by phone 020 7930 9721.

Win incredible London experiences at Destination Westminster 2013

To celebrate 10 years of The Westminster Collection (TWC), visitors to Destination Westminster 2013, the London venue showcase, will have the chance to win an incredible, high-value selection of memorable experiences in an exclusive competition taking place at the event – on Friday 13th September, 8:30 – 11:30am, at 8 Northumberland Avenue, London.

Visitors to Destination Westminster 2013 can compete to win these prizes, which showcase the creativity of Westminster as a business and lifestyle destination, by completing a competition card at the event. Prizes will be allocated at random and the winners will be notified by email following the event.

Prizes include:

1 Wimpole Street – Win an exclusive overnight stay for 2 at an Edwardian London townhouse

Win an exclusive overnight stay for two at 1 Wimpole Street’s Grade II listed sister venue and boutique hotel, Chandos House. Spend an evening in the period surrounds of one of Chandos House’s six luxurious bedrooms, before enjoying a delicious continental breakfast the next morning.

St. Ermin’s Hotel – Win a luxury one-night London stay for 2, with breakfast

St. Ermin’s Hotel in St. James’s Park invites one lucky winner and their guest to enjoy an overnight stay in the newly refurbished surrounds of its hotel. Relax and unwind in the building’s historic interiors or take advantage of the hotel’s proximity to some of London’s most iconic attractions.

Round off this luxury break with a sumptuous breakfast. This prize is valid for any date up to 29th August 2014, subject to availability. Blackout dates apply.

8 Northumberland Avenue – Win a 3-course meal at Boyd’s Brasserie

Enjoy a delicious three-course meal combining the best of British cuisine with a modern twist in Boyd’s Brasserie at 8 Northumberland Avenue. Here, you and your guest will enjoy innovative dishes such as lobster bisque with lobster dumplings, and chocolate mousse and popcorn ice cream with a salted caramel milkshake.

The Chesterfield Mayfair – Win an award-winning Afternoon Tea for 2

The prestigious Chesterfield Mayfair is gifting a traditional, award-winning British afternoon tea for two, especially for one lucky winner and guest. Enjoy a selection of delicious treats, including a delightfully playful selection of Willy Wonka themed pastries and cakes including Oompa Loompa cupcakes, fizzy lifting cakes and chocolate Wonka bars.

The Cinnamon Club – Win a cocktail masterclass

Win an exclusive cocktail masterclass at The Cinnamon Club’s cool and contemporary bar, where master mixologists will guide the winner and their guest through mixing and matching premium spirits with deliciously spiced ingredients. Learn a few tricks of the trade on the way.

St Martin-in-the-Fields – Win a wine & jazz night experience for 4 at Café in the Crypt

Put a swing in your step by scooping an exclusive evening of wine and jazz for you and four of your friends at Jazz Night in the Café in the Crypt at St Martin-in-the-Fields, on Wednesday 3rd October 2013.

Central Hall Westminster – Win 2 tickets to Neil Gaiman’s exclusive book signing

Win two tickets to an exclusive book signing session with best-selling children’s author Neil Gaiman, at 6pm on Tuesday 15th October 2013. See Neil read and talk about his silliest adventure yet as he takes you on a time-travelling, space-exploring adventure filled with lots of laughs. This is a sold-out family event and one not to miss. The winner will also receive a signed copy of Fortunately, the Milk.

Banqueting House – Win a tour of Banqueting house for 2, plus guidebook

Experience the majestic interiors and beautiful ceilings painted by legendary Flemish artist Peter Paul Reuben as you and your guests steep yourselves in the unique history of The Banqueting House, part of Historic Royal Palaces.

You and your guest will also receive a beautifully produced guidebook giving unrivalled information on one of London’s most historically significant buildings.

41 Portland Place – Win a Brazilian ‘Brigadeiro’ chocolate bootcamp for 4

As well as being famous for his amazing brownies, 41 Portland Place’s head chef Will Carvalho’s is also a master of creating delicious Brazilian Brigadeiro – a South American twist on chocolate truffles.

Chef Carvalho has offered to share his family Brigadeiro recipe with one lucky visitor to Destination Westminster 2013 and three of your friends in a chocolate masterclass at 41 Portland Place. Learn how to create your own Brigadeiros and as an extra treat, you will be treated to a bottle of their finest Champagne while you cook.

Victory Services Club – Win Sparkling Champagne Tea for 2

Win a sumptuous, sparkling afternoon tea in VSC’s stylish Lounge Bar, where you can enjoy all the trappings of a traditional English afternoon tea, accompanied by a refreshing glass of chilled Champagne.

The Rag – Army & Navy Club – Win Champagne Afternoon Tea for 5

Take a delicious Champagne Afternoon Tea in the sophisticated surroundings of The Rag’s Ladies’ Lounge for you and up to four of your friends. Afternoon tea is served Mondays to Fridays from 2.30pm – 5.30pm and this prize is valid until the end of January 2014. Tea must be pre-booked with the venue.

etc.venues Victoria – Win a garden BBQ party for 10

The sizzle of late summer comes to etc.venues Victoria as you and nine of your chosen guests enjoy a delicious, two-course BBQ in the contemporary courtyard garden.

The Lansdowne Club – Win a Champagne dinner for 2

The prestigious Lansdowne Club is putting sparkle into Destination Westminster 2013, offering a luxurious Champagne dinner for two in the surrounds of its exquisite Art Moderne Dining Room. Tuck into British classics including bone-fresh Cornish sole, filling spring chicken pie and a tasty trio of beef, all accompanied with chilled glasses of Champagne.

The Athenaeum Hotel – Win a 5-star meeting for 12 with luxury accommodation

The 5-star Athenaeum Hotel is offering one lucky person the chance to win a meeting for up to 12 people and an overnight stay in its luxurious hotel rooms. The winner and their delegates will have the opportunity to experience the Athenaeum’s sophisticated facilities and its unrivalled access to lovely natural daylight and stunning views, the ideal backdrop for discussion, debate and putting the world right.

Bistro 51 at 51 Buckingham Gate – Dinner for two and a Bottle of House Wine at ‘Bistro 51’

To register for FREE, and for more information about the timings and full programme for the showcase and panel discussion, click here.

76 Portland Place brings scientific wonder to event menus

76 Portland Place, home of the Institute of Physics, is renowned for pushing the boundaries of innovation to deliver show-stopping, sustainable event menus and now, after months of experimentation in its kitchens, the team is pleased to announce the launch of its ‘Molecular Tasting Menu’. It is available now for anyone looking for something different and unique at their next fine dining function.

Combining a number of complex and intricate techniques, Leo Rodley, executive chef at 76 Portland Place, and his team have used sophisticated methods and the latest equipment available to create menus which appeal to the senses and play mischievously on the palate to create a memorable dining experience.

The tasting menu features seven courses, with high quality ingredients which can be manipulated to take on different textures and enhance natural flavours. Highlights include table smoked salmon mi-cuit, prepared sous vide and served under a glass cloche, enrobed in the delicate, heady aroma of apple wood smoke, or a 72-hour-roasted beef rib and Dexter beef fillet with broccoli three ways, dehydrated nettle leaves and a rich port jus.

Some of the dishes can be prepared table-side, to dramatic effect, like the nitro-poached green tea mousse – a refreshing palate cleanser.

The molecular tasting menu is bespoke and available to anyone booking a fine dining event at 76 Portland Place throughout 2013. Prices are available on request for between 4 – 20 guests.

For more information, contact Jenny Hullock at jenny.hullock@76portlandplace.com or on tel: 0207 470 4871.