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Ragley Hall Invests In The New Season

Ragley West Wing

Ragley Hall prepares for seasonal change by flinging its stately doors open to a heightened visitor experience. Abigail Parkin

The Palladian mansion, designed by Robert Hooke in 1680, is the Warwickshire home of the 9th Marquess and Marchioness of Hertford and the family will be welcoming visitors anew on Saturday 19 March.

Initiatives include the appointment of a house manager and head gardener to lead guided walks in the gardens, linked to veteran landscape designer, Capability Brown. Elsewhere the children’s playground  is sure to continue its popularity and a myriad of events bring Game Fair, Classic Car & Motor Show, Battle Proms Concert and Great British Food Festival to enthusiasts. Brand new is Camper Calling, a family festival held over the August bank holiday.

In addition there will be regular garden open days and tours of the stately home plus sporting events such as the avenger triathlon, open water swimming and extreme cross country running as well as boat hire on the lake during the summer.

This year celebrates the 300th anniversary of Capability Brown and his work in Warwickshire. The gardens will help mark this tercentenary with colourful bloom of tulips and daffodils in the spring and a Rose Garden and Prairie Garden throughout the summer.

Ragley Hall Stairwell

Government higher level stewardship input and a partnership with Natural England means that Ragley has embarked upon a £250,000 scheme to improve the parkland this year. Tree replanting and the restoration of the lake cascade, the Victorian Pump House and original bathing hut plus the Victorian decoy pond, comprise some of the improvement measures.

 The importance of dining at Ragley Hall is highlighted by the appointment of a new head chef so that visitors can enjoy  home-cooked dishes in the Terrace Café. These feature light lunches, afternoon teas, cakes, and ice-cream. Corporate lunches and wedding breakfasts in the Hall add to the events dimension.

Visitor tours take in the Great Hall, Red Saloon, State Dining Room, Prince Regent’s Bedroom, the Mauve Siting Room, Music Room, Breakfast Room and Green Drawing Room as well as the South Staircase Hall and its imposing mural, ‘The Temptation’ by Graham Rust.   

Ragley Hall, Park and Gardens entrance : - Adult day ticket £10.50, Child aged 5-16 £6.50, Child under 5 – Free.

See more at www.ragley.co.uk.

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Wickham House Opens For Business

 

 

Grade II listed Georgian manor Wickham House has just opened for business events for companies who like their meetings discrete and in exclusive surroundings. Sat Bal (13 Oct ‘15)

Set in 52 acres of picturesque countryside in West Berkshire the estate will only be available for exclusive hire and comprises The Barn, The Pavilion and part of the Main House, located amid the acres of greenery. 

Wickham House is owned by the D'Arcy family and the recently added Barn and Pavilion have been built to encompass high-spec business technology and stylish interiors. 

Service is discreet and professional yet personable, and the menus are healthy and sophisticated, built around fresh local produce. 

Privacy is the order of the day at Wickham; guests will have exclusive access to the estate and its extensive grounds, including the Robin Templar-Williams designed walled garden. Wickham is just an hour from London via the M4 and local rail links from Paddington are located five minutes away from the venue. 

The Barn consists of a boardroom style meeting room designed for gatherings of up to 24 guests, while the Pavilion seats 12 and provides an al-fresco alternative in the confines of The Walled Garden. Finally, the main house offers an elegant dining room for formal events for up to 16 guests, with an adjoining drawing room for pre and post meal cocktails. 

Philippa D'Arcy, owner says, “Wickham is a very different proposition to the plethora of hotels and venues that are available for meetings. Our intention is to be the ‘go to’ place for high level business meetings. We are all about discretion and intent on establishing an outpost where The City's influencers can take stock, brainstorm, structure deals and take decisions in privacy and comfort. We look forward to inviting businesses to experience Wickham House in 2016.”

 Wickham House is privately owned by James and Philippa D'Arcy. Philippa (née Rose), rose from City eminence and retired from The Rose Partnership in June 2013.

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New Miami Studio for Viacom

MTV Viacom Miami Studio

Viacom Inc’s global entertainment brands (Nickelodeon, MTV et al) are to gain a class leading production hub with the opening of a two-stage, 88,000 square foot production facility in Miami, Florida. Sat Bal (6 Oct’15) 

 

The new studio is public-private partnership between its builder the Miami Omni Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) and EUE/Screen Gems Studios.

“We are creating more content than ever before across all of our brands at Viacom,” said Robert Bakish, president and CEO of Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN). “The Viacom International Studio in Miami will offer a turnkey facility where we can create even more original, high quality content to meet the increasing demand for long-and-short-form content on all of our global platforms.”

“We have had terrific success with the recent live action productions we have coming from Miami, and we are very excited to be committed to doing more,” said Cyma Zarghami, president, Viacom Kids and Family Group. “We are constantly looking for new creative ideas and content formats that allow us to tell stories in a completely different way, and this facility will certainly forward that effort.” 

From central Miami, the studio location benefits from the area’s highly skilled, multilingual talent, enabling global productions in multiple languages.  The studio’s two sound stages are able to create a variety of content simultaneously, from daily scripted series, music specials and game shows to short form content for mobile, digital and on-air.  

“Viacom has demonstrated again and again that hits come from all over the world,” said Pierluigi Gazzolo, president, VIMN Americas and Executive Vice President, Nickelodeon International.  “With an established track record of multi-lingual hits including Every Witch Way and Talia in the Kitchen being produced in Miami for multiple audiences simultaneously, in global collaboration with the US and local Latin American teams, we’re excited to have the opportunity to further expand our production capabilities in the market.”

“We welcome Viacom as a long-term partner at our new Miami studios," said Chris Cooney, COO, EUE/Screen Gems Studios. “Our company has worked closely with Viacom to develop a facility worthy of a dynamic content producer. Today, we celebrate our relationship with Viacom, and we applaud our partners at the Omni CRA, whose vision and efforts have made this building possible.”

VIMN Americas’ Miami HQ drives Viacom’s businesses across Latin America and Canada and the company reports that VIMN Americas has increased its production output in Miami three-fold within the past five years.

 

 

 

 

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Private Dining at The Brighton Grand

Brighton Grand Low jpg

Exclusivity comes to the The Grand Brighton with the launch of two newly refurbished meeting spaces at this iconic hotel on Brighton’s seafront. Hannah Charlesworth (17 Sep’15)

 

Executive chef, Alan White has introduced four and five course tasting menus for a high-end dining experience. Some 90% of the seafood is being sourced from within an eight- mile radius of the hotel.Private dining menus will feature dishes such as duck consommé followed by Sussex scallops with a pea purée and bacon or squid with a black risotto. For mains, guests can choose from wild seabass with crab ravioli, to a fillet of beef with lobster hollandaise. The desserts include palate of chocolate and the trio of lemon along with local cheeses Brighton Blue, Sussex Tremains cheddar and Sussex camembert with a selection of petit fours including raspberry macaroons and fruit pastilles.

The two refurbished rooms, designed by Hove-based boutique interiors company, Park Grove are part of the independent hotel’s five-year renovation plan which incorporates 13 recently restored meeting spaces with capacity for up to 900 delegates.  The new rooms offer versatility from company dinners, client entertainment and special occasion dining. Décor and furnishings are distinctly British furnishings and bespoke features, such as the striking art mural of Brighton seafront.

Both rooms also benefit from state-of-the-art Crestron Air Media Technology, a sophisticated audio visual gateway, which enables customers to seamlessly, present, play, collaborate and share content wirelessly.

General Manager Andrew Mosley said: “As a business we’re always looking to exceed our guest’s expectation and, due to having the expertise and demand, the new tasting menus are an exciting addition which helps us showcase the talent we have amongst our teams. After maintaining our Meetings Industry Association (mia) AIM Gold accreditation in February, it’s great to be able to further invest in our offering and we look forward to updating our customers on further exciting developments in the near future.” 

Designed and built in 1864, the historic hotel is only a 10-minute walk away from the city’s main rail station, with regular services in to London Victoria and Gatwick Airport.

Contact  conference@grandbrighton.co.uk

 

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A Ritz-Krug August

Krug at Ritz

This month sees The Ritz hotel partner with Krug for the 'Krug Tasting Flight' initiative. Hannah Charlesworth (12 Aug’15)

London’s finest 5-star brings to the table a glass of Krug Grande Cuvee and Krug Rose for £60, and paired with a specially created Native Lobster Salad by Executive Chef John William, MBE, for £85.

The Ritz's special Champagne Terrace sets the scene for this summer unwind.

See www.theritzlondon.com 

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Lounge Access at 02

NY-LON Bar entrance at 02

Anyone who’s sampled the delights of Virgin Atlantic’s Clubhouse at Heathrow will endorse the airline’s lounge know-how. And now it brings its flair to The O2 in London with official partner Delta Air Lines. Sat Bal (24 Jul’15)

The aptly labelled NY-LON lounge bar brings New York and London style cues to London’s O2 to give customers that first-class check-in lounge feel.  The combined ethos of Delta and Virgin brings customers NY-style cured meats and English dishes such as Billingsgate fish pie.

The bar’s head mixologist offers classic cocktails with a creative twist of classics served alongside an innovative range of aviation themed cocktails such as Aviation, Transatlantic, Flying Lady, Maiden Voyager and Atlanta.

Manchester-based design agency, LOVE, received the brief to create a stylish new lounge bar at 02, the first out-of-airport lounge bar of its kind to open in London. NY-LON will be managed for the airlines by leading hospitality brand, Levy Restaurants UK

Reuben Arnold, SVP of marketing & customer experience at Virgin Atlantic, said “We’ve created NY-LON as a celebration of our transatlantic network which provides customers with a seamless, more enjoyable way to fly between the U.K. and U.S. Our lounge bar will offer customers a brand-new experience at the O2 that showcases our airlines’ world-class service.”

Tim Mapes, Delta’s SVP of marketing said: “Opening NY-LON is the next exciting step in our partnership and we look forward to helping travellers enjoy the Delta-Virgin Atlantic brand of hospitality for which we’re famous when they next visit The O2.”

Members of the airlines’ SkyMiles and Flying Club will benefit from a range of special offers and discounts. NY-LON takes up 400 guests and features a large bar and seating area, plus a “secret space” for meetings, private dining or small events.

Open seven days a week, NY-LON is set to open at the end of  this month. 

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House Party

Hedsor House fireworks 1

Hedsor House introduces 11 diligently restored guest rooms, this month, to guests who demand venue versatility. Chris Page (3 July ’15)

Mark Ronson held his birthday party there, Nicole Kidman filmed The Golden Compass and Dustin  Hoffman’s Quartet  extensively used Hedsor House as a film set dispelling any image of the heritage venue as ‘conventional’.

The new guest rooms mean that party revellers can stay overnight at the 1166 house. Its Bridal Suite spans the entire front of the house putting it  among the largest in Europe. Exclusive use of the venue means all manner of private events can be hosted and guests get a taste of living in their own stately home.

Hedsor House Guest room

The restoration has taken three years of planning with architects and designers of CJCT Studios working closely with the owners, the Shephard family.

Exclusive hire of Hedsor House starts at £5,450 +VAT booking the house for an event or party. This includes house hire and overnight accommodation for up to 22 people (sharing double rooms).

 See  www.hedsor.com

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The Hospital Club Launches 15 Bedrooms

The Hospital Club’s reputation as a creative hub is to be enhanced with the opening of 15  bedrooms in January. Sat Bal (15 Dec’14)   Read more

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The Lanesborough to Reopen Spring 2015

The Lanesborough hotel will reopen its doors next year following a complete renovation under. Oetker Collection management. Sat Bal  (24 Nov’14)   

Read more

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Scilly Isles Cottage Investment

International real estate advisor Savills has brought to market Carnwethers Country House on St. Mary’s Island in the Isles of Scilly for a guide price of £1.3 million. Kelly Valla (29 Oct’14) Read more

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