New summer menus launched at Bateaux London

Bateaux London is celebrating the very best of British cuisine in its new summer menus for its fine-dining Thames cruises.

The four-course dinner menu available on both its Harmony and Symphony vessels, which take in the sights of some of the capital’s most iconic landmarks, begins with a summer pea velouté and a choice of starters including free range chicken and Pimms jelly pressé, Scottish smoked salmon with yuzu pearls, asparagus and caviar or marinated heritage tomato salad.

Main courses of Cornish hake, South Downs’ lamb or crisp basil gnocchi are followed by sumptuous desserts including dark chocolate and Kentish raspberry delice, poached summer berries and artisan English cheese.

Lunchtime diners will be served roasted feta and pickled summer vegetable salad, roast Suffolk chicken or burrata and summer pea stuffed courgette flower, with strawberry cheesecake for dessert.

While those planning to spend Sunday on the river will enjoy a starter of pickled heritage beetroot, a main course of roast highland beef starter or traditional nut roast and a dessert of rhubarb and vanilla cream.

Or, for an alternative to the four-course menu, guests can enjoy a quintessentially British afternoon tea featuring smoked salmon and cucumber, egg and cress and coronation chicken sandwiches, a variety of cakes and scones, with strawberry preserve and Cornish clotted cream.

Gareth Brown, marketing manager for Bateaux London, said: “This summer we are celebrating the best of British produce with some classic, traditional dishes and where better to enjoy them than on the Thames, with a backdrop of world famous buildings such as Tower Bridge and the Palace of Westminster?”

Bateaux London’s vessels are available for exclusive hire for a range of corporate and leisure events.

For information, or to enquire about booking an event with Bateaux London, call 020 7695 1800 or email reservations@bateauxlondon.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.

Christmas parties unwrapped

Deck the halls, hang your stockings and mull the wine because Christmas 2015 is on its way and no doubt Father Christmas has already set his elves to work. If you are yet to wrap-up your Christmas plans don’t panic, there is still a sleigh-full of options to make your Christmas party sparkle and we have rounded them up into one easy parcel.

If all-out themes and wall-to-wall sparkle is what you are after then 8 Northumberland Avenue, QEII Centre and No.11 Cavendish Square should be at the top of your list.

Less than 60 seconds away from Trafalgar Square and steeped in Victorian History, 8 Northumberland Avenue is going all out for Christmas 2015 with not one but two themes. They are transforming their Ballroom into a Great Gatsby inspired Vintage Affair and their Old Billiard Room and Annex will be covered in Christmas Market loveliness for A Winter’s Avenue. Seated lunches start from £95pp + VAT and dinner packages from £110 + VAT.

QEII Centre presents Christmas at the OscarsNot to be outdone, QEII Centre is offering up the ultimate A list party for Christmas at the Oscars. Feel like a superstar at one of London’s most iconic conference venues and walk the red carpet into your Christmas event. A stand up buffet starts from £43pp + VAT and packages include a photographer to act as your personal paparazzi for the night meaning you will really celebrate Christmas in style.

Christmas at No.11 Cavendish SquareNo.11 Cavendish Square is transforming into an authentic Ski Lodge this Christmas complete with burning log fire, antlers and wooden decorations. Feel like you are right in the heart of the Alps as No.11 Cavendish Square has every aspect covered from gazing at the Northern Lights to enjoying an exquisite dinner in the Glass House. Packages include exclusive room hire, unlimited beer, wine and soft drinks and a DJ and start from £110pp+ VAT for groups of up to 300.

For the more traditional amongst you there are plenty of venues keeping it simple with their Christmas offerings. At One Great George Street their ‘One Great Christmas’ will be filled with all the best of Christmas tradition including crackers and mulled wine as well as canapés and three-course meal packages. Packages are available from 28th November to 22nd December 2015 and start from £44.50pp + VAT.

From festive afternoon teas to champagne receptions and decadent five-course meals, The Athenaeum Hotel, conveniently located just nine minutes’ walk from Buckingham Palace, is serving up everything a traditional Christmas in the city needs. Available from Monday 16th to Thursday 31st December from £45pp their menus include roast turkey with all the trimmings and Christmas pudding with Brandy sauce.

Army & Navy Club Library RoomTradition and military history go hand in hand and at the Army and Navy Club you are guaranteed to enjoy your Christmas party enveloped in British history dating back to 1837. The club, situated in London’s Mayfair, was first opened by Queen Victoria and is now one of the city’s most distinguished private members clubs. Christmas dinner packages start from £75pp and include a welcome drink, three-course meal, coffee and mince pies.

Blueboar Christmas lunchConrad London St James is offering up all the best and most traditional things about Christmas all wrapped up in two neat packages: The Christmas Cracker lunch package and The Jingle Bell Rock dinner package. Lunch events are £70pp and you can enjoy an evening affair for £95pp. Both packages include a three-course meal and room hire and both can be tailored to your individual needs.

If a traditional Christmas doesn’t quite light up your tree then why not try something a little more unique this year?

The centre of the British film industry and home to some iconic pieces of motion picture history, BAFTA 195 Piccadilly guarantees to throw you a star-sprinkled bash complete with red carpet, really giving your event the A-list edge. Booking an event with BAFTA comes complete with your very own alchemist to conjure up a personalised cocktail for the evening and packages start from £120pp + VAT for minimum numbers of 80.

hqs wellingtonAlso offering something a little more unusual is HQS Wellington. Step off dry land onto the iconic River Thames and soak up the stunning views of the South Bank and the London Eye while enjoying a Christmas party to remember. The ship is offering the complete package from welcome drinks of mulled wine to a three-course festive dinner before dancing the night away with music provided by a top DJ.

The festive season is a great time to take advantage of offers and 2015 is no exception. London Film Museum is not only home to 100 exhibit items that include vehicles, models, original production art, props and vintage memorabilia that span over 50 years of James Bond history, they are also offering 20% off venue hire for all Westminster Collection clients. The offer is valid on all parties booked before 20th September 2015 and with the latest in the Bond franchise hitting cinemas in November it is the perfect way to celebrate Christmas in style.

St James Theatre scallopsSt. James Theatre is a unique, award-winning arts complex in central London less than five minutes away from Victoria Station. The theatre prides itself on providing a cultural and theatrical platform for shows and productions with plans to conquer the West End. The venue has a capacity for 120 cabaret style and this Christmas they are offering a free glass of prosecco per person for all group bookings of eight or more confirmed by 30th September, because Christmas isn’t Christmas without a little fizz.

Also offering some seasonal savings is Victory Services Club. Set in the heart of London just five minutes’ walk away from Marble Arch, the club has seven versatile meeting rooms and is accredited with a gold award by the Meetings Industry Association guaranteeing quality of service. Exclusive to The Westminster Collection event bookers, Victory Services Club is offering 10% discount on any Christmas party booking, plus a complimentary glass of prosecco on arrival for all bookings made by 16th October.

So whether it’s all the glitz and glamour you can lay your hands on or a quiet traditional Christmas meal in a historical setting that will make your Christmas events wish come true, Westminster has every taste and preference covered to celebrate in style for 2015. Explore now and if you want to enquire at all 30+ venues from our collection, you can do this with one simple form here.

We’re also hosting a special Christmas themed venue showcase this 18th September at {10-11} Carlton House Terrace. Find your perfect Christmas or New Year party destination, or fuel your planning for conferences, fashions shows, awards dinners and more, with a showcase of Westminster’s finest venues, complete with exclusive offers, arts and crafts, competitions and giveaways. It’s free to register. Simply click here.

Summer venues: rooftops, gardens, terraces

As summer approaches and the capital steps outside and into the sun, rooftops, gardens and courtyards across London come to life. Sitting in the warm summer sun with a cocktail in hand is the perfect way to inject a little sunshine into your event. There is no shortage of exquisite outdoor locations in London but to make it even easier to find your ideal al fresco venue here’s our pick of spot on summer venues:

Nothing says ‘summer’ quite like being on the water and HQS Wellington provides the perfect combination of outdoor and indoor space, allowing your event to flow seamlessly regardless of the unpredictable British weather! Wellington is a unique London venue for any functions which benefit from the backdrop of its wonderful collection of marine antiques, including priceless paintings and model ships. It has four hireable events spaces suitable for meetings and dining, including the open-air ‘Quarter Deck’, ideal for summer cocktail parties, receptions and barbecues. From small meetings in a boardroom to a whole ship event, flexibility is a key attraction of this venue. It is licensed for weddings, with a highly personal, professional and innovative conferencing, event and wedding service provided on board by The Cook & Butler.

A venue that combines a flawless reputation for delivering incredible corporate events with the chance for some sunshine is The QEII Centre. The opportunities within this venue are truly vast and the beautiful and astounding interior ensures a slick and professional atmosphere at all times. When the sun does decide to make an appearance The QEII Centre has some lovely outdoor space where drinks and food can be served. The inside space can accommodate up to 1,300 people in the largest room and there is also a wide range of smaller rooms so you can choose the perfect space for your event.

Ideally located opposite Westminster Abbey is the Grade II listed Central Hall Westminster. Well known as a film location and boasting Europe’s largest domed ceiling, the venue is quite a spectacle. With its 22 room portfolio and dedicated team of professionals Central Hall can accommodate a wide range of events. The lesser known area of the building is the beautiful sun terrace where you can watch the sun go down behind London’s iconic skyline.

House of CommonsPerhaps one of London’s most recognised venues is the House of Commons. Unrivalled in its political history it has been a British institution since the 11th Century and is just as impressive today as it has ever been. The House of Commons offers a choice of seven event rooms, with one of the most popular being The Churchill Room (aptly named as many of his paintings hang on the walls) which can seat up to 100 guests for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Most suitable for the warmer months is the stunning Terrace Pavilion, a purpose built marquee perfect for all conditions, complete with panoramic glass doors allowing guests to take full advantage of the spectacular sunshine.11-Cavendish-Orangery-wedding-1200x900

No.11 Cavendish Square is a beautiful Grade II listed building nestled amongst the townhouses of central London. The venue has been sympathetically enhanced allowing it to cater for all types of events whilst still maintaining its original and charming features. The venue boasts a variety of rooms for both larger and more intimate events but perhaps most notably for the upcoming summer months is The Garden Room. Available for exclusive hire for up to 100 guests for a standing reception, it’s not only a beautifully bright space but it can also be hired with the adjoining courtyard allowing your guests to move freely between the two.

St James' CourtA mere stone’s throw from Buckingham Palace is St James Court hotel, a discreet Victorian masterpiece oozing with warmth and sophistication. St James Court offers 17 meeting and conference suites which all come with wireless internet, state of the art technology and video conferencing making it the perfect place to hold a corporate event. The hotel also offers a unique and secluded garden courtyard, complete with stunning flowers and tranquil water features allowing a place to recharge and recoup at any time of the day.

The summer months enable us to step outside, walk around and see a little more of what London has to offer. We hope that something in our top six summer hotspots has caught your eye and that the sun stays out long enough for you to experience them all!

St. Ermin’s Hotel all a-buzz over ‘Honey Month’

By Tom Walsh, Director of MICE Sales at St Ermin’s Hotel, London

The plight of the British bee is something we feel passionate about addressing at St Ermin’s Hotel and to celebrate the hard work of our 300,000 Buckfast bees, housed in hives on the roof of our hotel, this September we are hosting ‘Honey Month’.

The initiative gives us the chance to give back to the environment. It also provides us with a delicious, signature honey which we use within our catering. Throughout the month, day delegates will be served a selection of delicious honey themed items as part of their breaks, such as lemon polenta and honey cake, honey and butter flapjacks or sultanas and honey granola bars. Alternatively guests can round off their event with a decadent honey-infused cocktail. Caxton Bar will be serving honey-based cocktails that have been carefully designed to showcase the bees’ hard work, such as ‘G&T for my Honey’ – an ambrosial take on the classic.

Head Chef will also be putting honey centre stage at Caxton Grill, as special dishes will feature on the menu throughout September, from honey parsnip soup, to organic lamb in honey and thyme dressing with honey-infused goat’s cheese.

As well as bees on our roof, we now have three beehives and a ‘bee hotel’ happily ensconced on our third floor walkway, surrounded by a small wildflower garden. This year we are able to offer small groups a special urban bee keeping workshop run at the hotel by our beekeeper, Camilla Goddard of Capital Bee.

Workshops can be individually tailored, but principally are for groups of up to 12 (from £15 per head), they last two hours and they involve active learning about colony establishment and regular care, handling of the honeycombs, plus reference materials. All beekeeper suits and equipment will be supplied and the course is followed by a honey cream tea or cocktail for participants. Give me a call on 0207 227 4816 to discuss your requirements or for full details and prices, please click here.

Your London Christmas party venue guide

Fancy dress parties, indulgent feasts, pop-up supper clubs, intimate private dinners, glamorous costume balls, live gigs – festive shindigs come in all shapes and sizes, particularly in London where you’re literally swamped with destinations offering all sorts of weird and wonderful party packages. Here’s our round-up of some of the best places to make your Christmas snap, crackle and pop, whether it’s a work party or a memorable function for your most valued clients. Simply click the links below to read each feature…

Good, old-fashioned nostalgia: 1920s & 1940s

VIP gigs and the edible Sugar Palace

Your own private members club

Lights, camera, exhibition!

A classic Christmas knees-up

Christmas with a conscience

Roasted chestnuts, mulled wine and carols

Intimate, private dining celebrations

Work hard, play hard

Christmas party venues: Good, old-fashioned nostalgia: 1920s & 1940s

Smoking hot jazz and timeless Tom Collins gin cocktails meet authentic props within a rich wood-carved backdrop as 45 Millbank teams up with Seasoned Events and Fisher Productions to present The Walnut Supper Club, a unique party package inspired by booming 1920s America.

All-inclusive packages include exclusive hire of 45 Millbank, props and styling, vintage cocktail on arrival, either a three-course dinner or luncheon, or a bowl food reception, together with a 4.5-hour unlimited drinks package including beer and house wine, event lighting, DJ, music system and dance floor. Rates start at £50pp and are available with or without catering. Call 020 7514 8514 or email 45millbank@chelsea.arts.ac.uk for more information.

Continuing the glitz in roaring 1920s style is Kent House Knightsbridge, a glamorous townhouse bordering Hyde Park. Imagine you’re Downton Abbey’s Lady Rosamund Painswick as you sip exquisite cocktails and nibble on British-themed canapés at the piano bar in the Marble Hall, before you climb the majestic Grand Staircase to the Sanctuary, beautifully lit by the flickering hues of candelabra dressing the long-table banquet.

After supper, let your kiss curls bounce to the sounds of a top class DJ as the party continues in the bar and lounge. Prices start from £125pp, with capacity for 300 standing. To enquire call 020 7591 3838 or email events@kenthouseknightsbridge.org.

Over at the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS), the Downton Abbey theme continues within the surrounds of this leading surgical institution. Dine by candle light with an elegant three-course luncheon or supper featuring traditional Christmas fare.

Locations range from the stunning oak panelled Edward Lumley Dining Hall to the prestigious Council Chamber, where visitors are watched over by magnificent oil canvases, including a portrait by Reynolds of the distinguished surgical anatomist John Hunter. Suitable for groups of 10 to 250, prices start at £65 per person. Contact Christmas events planner Charlotte Edwards on 020 7869 6714 or email cedwards@rcseng.ac.uk.

Jive your way 1940s style into the secret wartime bunker that sheltered Sir Winston Churchill and his government during the Blitz and explore the underground maze of rooms at Churchill War Rooms that once buzzed with round-the-clock planning and plotting, strategies and secrets. Indulge in a sumptuous festive dinner, washed down with Pol Roger Champagne, Churchill’s favourite tipple, before swinging the night away to the nostalgic big band and scat jazz sounds of resident 1940s style four-piece band The Sweethearts.

Book places on a shared party night and enjoy a free round of drinks, or book and pay a deposit on your own exclusive event before 31 August and receive an exclusive Churchill Christmas Hamper. To discuss Christmas at Churchill War Rooms, call 020 3116 4469 or email cwr@sodexo.com.

More Christmas party venue options:

VIP gigs and the edible Sugar Palace

Your own private members club

Lights, camera, exhibition!

A classic Christmas knees-up

Christmas with a conscience

Roasted chestnuts, mulled wine and carols

Intimate, private dining celebrations

Work hard, play hard

Christmas party venues: Intimate, private dining celebrations

The quiet and understated elegance of The Chesterfield Mayfair boutique hotel captures your imagination. Its old-fashioned values of service and courtesy charm guests to create an intimate, home-from-home environment. Executive Chef Ben Kelliher looks forward to designing bespoke Christmas party menus to be enjoyed in the sumptuous surrounds of one of the hotel’s private dining rooms, be it The Royal Suite, seating 100, the light and airy Conservatory, seating 40, with views over the garden and fountain, or The Library, seating 20. Guests can also book tables in Butlers Restaurant, famously the home of ‘the best Dover Sole in London’.

To enquire or to make a reservation, call The Chesterfield’s Christmas coordinators on 020 7514 5604 or email santach@rchmail.com.

Adjacent to the award-winning One Twenty One Two restaurant lie the six private dining suites of One Whitehall Place, a venue which connects with The Royal Horseguards Hotel. Perfect for hosting smaller, festive parties, three-course menus are available from £39.95 per person, or more grand-scale party packages start from £105pp including dinner, half a bottle of house wine, mineral water, DJ and dancefloor.

Book before the end of July and receive 10% off when quoting ‘TWC/LA01’. Call 020 7451 9386 or email onewhitehallplace@guoman.co.uk to enquire.

More London Christmas party venue options:

Good, old-fashioned nostalgia: 1920s & 1940s

VIP gigs and the edible Sugar Palace

Your own private members club

Lights, camera, exhibition!

A classic Christmas knees-up

Christmas with a conscience

Roasted chestnuts, mulled wine and carols

Work hard, play hard

Christmas party venues: Lights, camera, exhibition!

London Film Museum, Covent Garden’s newest events space, welcomes guests to get festive in its cellar rooms and main gallery, where up to 450 guests can mingle amongst the Lights, Camera, London! exhibition. It’s the first exhibition since the Museum of London’s pioneering ‘London on Film’, showing how London has been the setting of films for over a century.

Using extracts and stills, together with rare costumes and props, Lights, Camera, London! captures the capital’s diverse communities and its working life, including the once-famous markets, which can now only be seen on film. London’s leading role in music and fashion during the Sixties is also celebrated, alongside the writers whose careers it made, from Shakespeare to Dickens and Wilde.

Heroic images of London’s survival during World War II contrast with apocalyptic fantasies of the city being destroyed, while ‘Gaslight’ and ‘Underworld’ sections evoke the most popular images of the Victorian city, with its sinister secrets and the long tradition of London criminals and the detectives who pursue them.

This unique package starts from £95pp and includes private venue hire, a Prosecco drinks reception, a three-course dinner package or canapés and bowl food, unlimited beer, wine and soft drinks, plus exclusive access via Covent Garden Piazza and full access to the exhibition. Contact rob@lfmevents.com or call 0207 202 7042 for more details.

More Christmas party venue options:

Good, old-fashioned nostalgia: 1920s & 1940s

VIP gigs and the edible Sugar Palace

Your own private members club

A classic Christmas knees-up

Christmas with a conscience

Roasted chestnuts, mulled wine and carols

Intimate, private dining celebrations

Work hard, play hard

Christmas party venues: Your own private members club

Many people may not know that Mayfair private members club The Lansdowne Club can be hired for private and corporate events. The Grand Ballroom is magnificent with its Art Deco styling, vaulted ceilings and minstrel galleries and this Christmas the club opens its doors to reveal an all-inclusive party package for a very affordable £110 per person. Available for parties of 50-150, this rate includes ballroom hire, arrival drinks, an extravagant three-course meal with wine, plus unlimited drinks from the bar and a superb DJ.

Some key December dates remain available if you’re quick. Call 020 7318 6117 or email lucymannering@lansdowneclub.com and quote ‘XMAS13TWC’ to receive a 10% discount.

If a glamorous and classy black and gold themed sparkling wine reception whets your whistle, the Victory Services Club, near Marble Arch station, is a fabulous option. Dine amongst glittering Christmas trees with three courses, plus mini mince pies, for just £53 per person, before hitting the dance floor to the sounds of the club DJ. For further details, call 020 7616 8354 or email events@vsc.co.uk.

More Christmas party venue options:

Good, old-fashioned nostalgia: 1920s & 1940s

VIP gigs and the edible Sugar Palace

Lights, camera, exhibition!

A classic Christmas knees-up

Christmas with a conscience

Roasted chestnuts, mulled wine and carols

Intimate, private dining celebrations

Work hard, play hard