With Christmas just around the corner…

 

There’s only 6 weeks left ‘til Christmas! To help you find what you’re looking for this festive period we’ve put together a list of some seasonal deals and best available dates. Organised by location, our venues and events ‘have bells on’ this Christmas…

 

SCOTLAND

PITTODRIE STADIUM, ABERDEEN

80’s Mania Night

‘Tis the season to be silly! This December Aberdeen FC’s stadium is hosting an ‘80’s Mania Night’ including a 3 course festive meal, a live 80’s tribute act, a disco and retro fancy dress.

Available on: Friday 1st December

Click here to learn more 

Bring Your Party to Our Party

Drinks offer: complimentary drinks token for every guest in “Bring Your Party to Our Party” nights

Christmas is something special at Pittodrie Stadium, and their party nights are not to be missed… Enjoy a delicious meal with all the trimmings, a glass of fizz and entertainment from our resident DJ. Celebrate the festive season in style with Pittodrie Events.

Available on: Saturday 2nd December and Friday 8th December ONLY

Click here to learn more

Aberdeen FC Large image

Pittodrie Stadium in the snow

 

 

HAMILTON PARK RACECOURSE, GLASGOW

Race to Party at Our Party

 Shared party night in our main grandstand which includes an arrival prosecco, three course meal with ½ bottle of wine per person and DJ entertainment – guaranteed to fill you with festive cheer.

Available on:  Saturday 23rd December

 Thank Goodness It’s Nearly February Party Night

 Too busy to celebrate Christmas in December? Then book on to our January Party night. The shared party night includes an arrival prosecco, three course meal with ½ bottle of wine per person and DJ entertainment.

Available on:  Saturday 27th January 2018

Click here to learn more

 

 

HAMPDEN PARK, GLASGOW

Hampden Park has added some fantastic extras for those booking in November, quote the below to take advantage of the offers

The Masquerade Package now includes:

  •  Arrival festive cocktail from 7pm
  • 1 drink per person – 2 now as part of our November offer
  • Delicious 3 course meal
  • Festive novelties
  • DJ and entertainment until 1am
  • £10.00 off per guest!

Click here to learn more 

The Curry Karaoke Nights now include:

  • Delicious 2 course curry buffet
  • 1x drink per person
  • Entertainment until 1am and karaoke until 1am.
  • Bottle of prosecco on the table for bookers who quote “ PROSECCO” when enquiring

Click here to learn more

 

 

EDINBURGH CORN EXCHANGE

Hogmanay Hoot!

 Spend New Year’s Eve at the Hogmanay Hoot! With over 15 years’ experience at organising the best indoor Hogmanay celebration in town, where better to celebrate? Join “Hoot Live” and party in the main Exchange with over 1000 other revellers, enjoying the Ceilidh Band, and DJ Scott and live pipes and drums

Available on: Sunday 31st December

To learn more click here

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Edinburgh Corn Exchange

NORTHERN ENGLAND

ST JAMES’ PARK, NEWCASTLE

NYE Gala Dinner

Have a ‘ball’ this New Year’s Eve at St. James’ Park this year. Join us for our Gala Dinner, including a delicious four-course meal, champagne on arrival, live entertainment, and a traditional piper to bring in the New Year at Midnight.

Available on: Sunday 31st December

To learn more click here

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The epic St James’ Park

LONDON

BATEAUX LONDON

Shared Christmas Lunch at £69 per person. Share your Christmas lunch on the Thames with friends and other guests dining on the river.

Available on:  6th, 7th, 8th, 13th, 14th and 15th December (subject to availability, reserved to groups of 6 or more).

To learn more click here

Shared Christmas Dinner at £110 per person. Share your Christmas dinner on the Thames at night with friends and other guests dining on the river.

Available on: 7th, 8th, 14th and 15th December (subject to availability, reserved to groups of 6 or more).

To learn more click here

Symphony

Bateaux London, The Symphony

 

 

IWM LONDON

Available on: Friday 1st December, Thursday 7th December, Friday 15th December,  Thursday 21st December and Friday 22nd December

The IWM London is offering private and public parties this Christmas – sip Champagne in the shadow of a Spitfire, dance to the swinging sounds of the 40’s in our magnificent Atrium, and much more.

Click here to learn more

 

 

SOUTHERN ENGLAND

BATEAUX WINDSOR

Christmas Eve Lunch and Supper at £55 per person. Spend Christmas Eve enjoying a festive lunch with your nearest and dearest whilst sailing through Windsor.

Click here to learn more 

New Year’s Eve at £165 per person. Bid farewell to 2017 in style with the best seats on the river as Windsor’s stunning sights at night unfold around you.

Click here to learn more 

 

 

THE ATHENAEUM, BURY ST EDMUNDS

A Great Gatsby Christmas

 A Great Gastby Christmas. Join us for an extravaganza of 1920’s fashion, food and festive fun this Christmas. Forget prohibition and indulge in a welcome drink, a 3 course meal, casino games and dancing.

Tables can accommodate minimum of 8 guests up to a maximum of 12. The package cost £38.00 pp

Available on: Thursday 7th December

Click here to learn more

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The Athenaeum

 

THE APEX, BURY ST EDMUNDS

Las Vegas Christmas

 Don’t gamble with waiting to book this one! At The Apex’s seasonal and scandalous Las Vegas Christmas you can enjoy a welcome drink on arrival and a three-course meal for £48.00 per person, followed by a set from the resident DJ amongst casino tables and a rodeo bull.

Tables can accommodate a minimum of 10 guests up to a maximum of 12. The package cost £48.00 per person

Available on:  Friday 8th December

Click here to learn more

Bobby Robson ball 17

Party at The Apex

A Very Seasonal Stadium: Windsor Park

This year at Belfast’s iconic National Football Stadium: Windsor Park expect some glitz, glamour and grandeur.

Windsor Park is named after the district in which it resides, in beautiful Belfast, Northern Ireland. With a rich sporting history, this venue is nothing less than iconic. As well as a functioning stadium, the building houses state of the art conferencing and events spaces and a museum too: The Education and Heritage Centre tells the unique story of Northern Irish football.

This Christmas, the stadium’s event suites will be transformed into ‘Glitz and Glam’ party areas. Hosted on Friday and Saturday nights in December, guests will be welcomed into the arena with a complimentary glass of fizz , with opportunities to take a pitch-side selfie or two and, of course, take in the epic atmosphere of the 18,434 seat stadium.

A delicious, four course Christmas dinner – made with hearty, local produce by our expert chefs – will be served indoors, in suites dressed to impress. Fuelling up for the party games and dancing to come!

A Windsor Park Christmas is not just for football fans, the grandeur of this setting is awe inspiring for all who visit. Plus, with event guests moving away from traditional private Christmas parties, to unique shared experiences and events, Windsor Park’s party nights are just that – offering a one-off occasion in a one-off space…

Brochure

DATES: 1st, 2nd, 8th, 9th, 15th, 16th  December

TIME: 7pm – late

PRICE: £40 pp inc VAT

For more information on Prestige Venues & Events packages call the central enquiry hub on 0845 6055 699, or email Venues&Events.Prestige.UK@Sodexo.com

Want to see more? View Prestige Venues & Events #trulymagicalChristmas brochure here

Raise stein to Headingley’s Oompah Pah Parties!

Inspired by the famous Christmas traditions of Bavaria, Headingley Carnegie Stadium is hosting a series of Oompah pah parties this Christmas! Let us explain…

The much-loved stadium, home to the Leeds Rhinos Rugby League Club and the Yorkshire County Cricket Club, will be transforming into a traditional German market for three nights in December: Saturday 2nd, 9th and 16th. Alpine-style stalls will serve classic Bavarian comfort food: frankfurters, bratwurst, sweet pretzels and hearty soups, home-made by our award winning chef team. And, at the center of feast will be a whole, suckling pig spit roast, served with sage and onion stuffing, salted crackling and apple sauce in a floured bap.

bavarian sausages with bretzel and beer
A Bavarian feast: bratwurst, beer & pretzels

 

Decorated with wreaths and Christmas trees – the ‘Christmas tree’ originating in Germany as a representation of the biblical Tree of Knowledge, whilst the baubles are the forbidden fruit – the atmosphere at Headingley’s Bavarian Party Nights is joyous. Enhanced further by an authentic Oompah band playing thigh-slapping brass music. They’ll certainly get you in the mood for a jig, helped along by along, in true Oktoberfest fashion, by a stein or two.

Building on last year’s success, this is the second Christmas Headlingley will be hosting their Bavarian market party… and this year they’re going the whole hog.

Dates: 2nd, 9th, 16th December 2017

Time: 7pm – late

Price: £28.95 per person, incl. VAT

Further information is available by calling 0113 203 3899, emailing events@headingleyexperience.com or visiting www.prestigevenuesandevents.sodexo.com

Want to see more? View Prestige Venues & Events #trulymagicalChristmas brochure here

Roll up, roll up! At Newcastle United’s St James’ Park

Newcastle United is having all the fun of the fair this festive season, with cupcakes, candyfloss and carnival-style party nights!

Each event will begin with a welcome cocktail and two course meal in the dining hall, before guests make their way to the stadium’s Platinum Club to have their pick of puddings:  from candy floss, toffee apples, cupcakes, mince pies and doughnuts. Aside from sweet treats, the Platinum Club will be decorated to the nines and filled with traditional fairground games and attractions – such as hook a duck, giant jenga and penalty shootouts – all of which have prizes on offer for lucky winners! Oh, and it wouldn’t be a Carnival without some dancing, courtesy of St James’ Park’s resident DJ… and their late bar too.

Hosting carnival themed party nights for the third year in a row, this event is fast becoming a Christmas tradition at St James’ Park due to its unabashed popularity. Also making a welcome return, is the stadium’s festive shopping fayre, which last year attracted hundreds of shoppers keen to snap up last minute Christmas gifts.

Christmas party table

Party table

Just part of a packed programme of festive entertainment at the stadium, which also includes the annual “Golden Oldies” lunch and disco on Wednesday 13 and 20 December and Santa Sunday lunches on 3, 10 and 17, when youngsters can visit Father Christmas in his glittering grotto.

The Carnival Party Nights take place on various dates throughout December. For further information about the party night or the festive programme at Newcastle United visit: https://www.nufc.co.uk/stadium/events-page/latest-events/experiences/a-carnival-christmas

For more information on Prestige Venues & Events Christmas packages see our brochure here.

In conversation with Raymond Blanc: The Michelin-Starred Chef Shares His Catering Secrets

London’s catering and events community gather annually for SquareMeal’s Venues & Events Live – to showcase, share and speak about the best and latest in the industry.

This year there was edible smoke (!) talks from famous chefs and cutting-edge marketeers and, most importantly, there was us. Prestige Venues & Events collaborated with Raymond Blanc OBE and The RHS to present Jardin Blanc – a gorgeous secret garden restaurant for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018.

Launching Jardin Blanc, now in its third year, Raymond Blanc gave a live interview in front of an eager audience. Here, we share Raymond’s passion, his take on the events industry and some insider knowledge on Jardin Blanc 2018.

A MOVE FROM RESTAURANTS TO EVENTS…

Raymond’s work in the events world stems all the way back to his early days at Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, his two Michelin starred restaurant and hotel in leafy Oxfordshire. When a client – be it corporate or private – hosts an event at Le Manoir, Raymond and his team are deeply involved in the details (calling himself a curator, rather than a manager). He takes his guests’ enjoyment very very seriously, and the team love hosting these intimate lunches, dinners, weddings and corporate events throughout the year.

This feeling of intimacy and personalisation is something Raymond Blanc’s team undoubtedly bring to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

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A peek inside Jardin Blanc at RHS Chelsea Flower Show

HIGH QUALITY, UP-SCALED

Raymond suggests that high quality hospitality is about knowing your guests, working with enthusiasm and, of course, an exceedingly capable team.

“At Jardin Blanc, guests are looking for so much more than just good catering, they want an experience. Guests no longer want a corporate environment, they want joy, fun, to feel well – and, alongside this, a better business environment, a social space where networking is a pleasure.

To make an operation like Jardin Blanc flourish you need to have a great team and a great plan. Every detail is critical to ensure the guest feels happy at every level. Your team need to be specialists and this comes from training – invest in your people if you want them to be completely confident, instil faith in the project and faith in themselves.”

Raymond also mentioned his partners – the RHS and Prestige Venues & Events – stating that each party brings something to the table, making the event bolder and better. Each are a great sources of support, with strong, matching values of ‘responsible luxury’.

FOOD TRENDS: TO LEAD OR FOLLOW

Raymond errs on the side of style rather than fashion.  With the ambition of creating modern classics, Raymond does, however, listen to modern guests’ changing wants and needs. Plus, there’s practicality too: for example, finger foods help guests move around whilst eating, creating a more convivial environment, whilst sharing dishes prompt interaction between guests at the table – providing a point of discussion for those who may never have met before.

Raymond wants the food at Jardin Blanc to enrich the experience, to give guests the adventure of tasting something they’ve never tried before.  This sense of childlike wonder extends to the entertainment too: “We have beautiful bars, sculptures, gardens, music, champagne and even garden swings for taking in the afternoon sun. And the dining rooms are tailored to a client who is looking for a beautiful yet relaxing space, forgetting the stress of everyday and bringing small delights throughout.”

“It’s a micro climate,” Raymond says, “a haven in Chelsea.”

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For more infomation on Jardin Blanc and their new packages for 2018, click here: https://www.rhs.org.uk/shows-events/rhs-chelsea-flower-show/Food-drink/Jardin-Blanc

Be heard. A guide to auditoriums.

Get your message across with drama, clarity and focus with our wide range of auditoria. We can provide auditoria in spectacular settings: from gardens, galleries and museums, to sports stadia and innovative new buildings. With the addition of Peyton Events, there are also a number of central London venues boasting lecture theatres in places you wouldn’t expect…

All of our auditoriums are equipped with state-of-the-art technology and facilities that help ensure a high-quality experience for delegates.  However, these facilities should not be limited to presentations, conferences and lectures – auditoria are ideal for awards ceremonies, exhibitions and product launches too.

So here is a quick round up of all things auditoria. And, we’ve even included a few quirky facts about each of our venues too!

The Apex, Bury St Edmunds

The auditoria in The Apex, Bury St Edmunds, is incredibly versatile and boasts an award winning floor design which can be arranged in rising tiers like a lecture theatre (516) or hidden under the floor for a large, flat space which can take 270 for a gala dinner. It also has 3 studios for smaller meetings or break-out sessions and there is a secret door (called the ‘Narnia Door’ by staff) that allows stars such as Brian May and Joan Collins private access to the venue.

 

The Crystal

The Crystal, London, is the capital’s most sustainable events venue, located at London’s Royal Victoria Docks. A striking red sphere at the heart of the building houses the 270 capacity modern auditorium which boasts high ceilings and views of the Thames and Canary Wharf. Guests enter the space through a breath-taking, glass lobby area and by visiting the Crystal Exhibition it adds a totally different dimension to any event being held in the auditoria.

 

Hampden Park, Glasgow

Located within the BT South Stand, the auditorium at Hampden Park, Glasgow, seats a generous 250 guests and is renowned for its excellent acoustics. It’s fully equipped with two large projection screens, variable lighting and air-conditioning as well as a soundproof booth, the latest AV and technicians on site to help with any aspect of an event. Recently, it was transformed into a spectacular designer catwalk for a wedding show! 

 

The Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh

The newly refurbished lecture theatre at the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, can accommodate up to 240 guests. This light and airy room with a stunning octagonal ceiling also has amazing acoustics and highly sophisticated audio-visual and lighting facilities. Combined with use of the auditoria delegates often complete treasure hunts in the garden and enjoy BBQ’s in the summer months.

 

The National Museum of Scotland

The National Museum of Scotland recently celebrated its 150th anniversary and completed a £14m restoration of the Grade A listed building. Its 200 seat auditorium boasts a full suite of audio visual equipment and hire includes exclusive use of the South Hall Gallery and Events Space – offering convenient spaces for breakout sessions, catering and exhibitions.

NatMuseum Auditorium high res

 

Southampton Solent Conference Centre

The mysterious red orb at the centre of Southampton Solent Conference Centre is, in fact, a lecture theatre! One of five lecture rooms, alongside 35 classrooms, The Spark has a combined teaching capacity of 1,500 at any one time and is equipped with all the modern gadgetry needed to create an interactive and compelling presentation, every time.

 

Iconic London Venues, as part of Peyton Events

The IWM London

The IWM, once Royal Bethlem Hospital, boasts a beautiful Grade II listed exterior. It’s now a hugely successful visitor attraction and event venue. With a cinema complete with Dolby digital surround sound and a flat floor – allowing total flexibility for any event – and an adjacent foyer, perfect for refreshments..

The National Gallery

The National Gallery houses one of the greatest collections of Western European painting in the world, spanning a period of 700 years. Designed by architects, Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown, the recently extended Sainsbury Wing offers a modern and sleek entrance and facilities, with four contemporary conference rooms which can be hired individually or combined, as well as a lecture theatre which seats a mighty 328 people. Its mosaic floor on the terrace (also available for receptions and dinners) depicts Greek muses based on celebrities of the day, including Greta Garbo, Virginia Woolf and Sir Winston Churchill.

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The National Gallery, London

The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, located in fashionable Marylebone, houses The Wallace’s lecture theatre and seats 150 for intimate presentations. The AV is state-of- the- art, being updated in 2015 to include surround sound, and it’s fully accessible with step-free access and an induction loop for the hard of hearing. Ornate frames are hung in the lecture theatre and are considered to be works of art in their own right as they used to house masterpieces of the collection, including the iconic Laughing Cavalier.

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For further information about all of our Auditoria visit our Meetings & Conferences page here: https://www.prestigevenuesandevents.sodexo.com/occasions/meetings-conferences

Arabian Nights at Southampton Solent Conference Centre

Southampton Solent pulled out all the stops (there were camels!) on the 7th September to deliver a themed, Arabian Nights event at The Spark, celebrating their fantastic first year as an events venue.

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Arabian Nights at Southampton Solent Conference Centre

The entrance was decorated in a traditional Moroccan style, with majlis, embroidered rugs and staff dressed in exotic and colourful outfits. Many clients and customers, including couples who were married at SSU in the last year, were welcomed back to the venue to celebrate and share their personal experiences. Canapes and drinks were served upon arrival and guests were greeted with goodie bags and raffle tickets once seated

An array of entertainment was available; including a henna stand, a fancy dress booth, a cocktail bar, a Disco DJ and an Arabian dancer. But, making a real star appearance was a friendly faux camel.

Street food was served by a Gordon Ramsey lookalike from decorated stands, offering a selection of curries, salads and khoubz. A variety of rich cakes, flaky pastries and sticky sweets came after.  Upon request, the head chef even sourced some traditional Kunafa (a Middle Eastern dessert made with cheese pastry soaked in sweet, sugar-based syrup) for guests to try.

After dinner, guests were whisked away to a different climate altogether – the Tea Bar at the top of The Spark. Fortunes were told, ornate Moroccan outfits were tried and queues of nostalgic, sweet-toothed individuals formed by the candy-coloured pick ‘n’ mix.

For us, the event highlighted yet another great use for this very modern and versatile space. With Southampton Solent Conference Centre the options are endless, with an on-site team that are efficient, approachable and eager to try new things.

To learn more about this venue visit our website https://www.prestigevenuesandevents.sodexo.com/venues/southampton-solent-university-conference-centre or call the central enquiry hub on 0845 6055 699, or email Venues&Events.Prestige.UK@Sodexo.com

Festive fun (& fundraising) at Newcastle United

Our colleagues at Newcastle United are busy preparing for their second Festive Fayre in support of a local children’s charity.

The event, which is due to take place over the weekend of 11 and 12 November, will build on the success of last year’s event and feature around 100 stalls selling a selection of handcrafted gifts, novelties, outdoor decorations, festive food, live cookery demonstrations and Christmas gift ideas for the whole family.

Santa will be on dropping in to meet young visitors too! Plus there will be live music and entertainment throughout the weekend.

Frankie Angus, general manager at St James Park said: “Our annual festive fayre will give shoppers the chance to pick up gifts, browse some fantastic Christmas decorations and ornaments and, of course, there will be entertainment throughout the weekend to get everyone into the festive spirit.”

Monty Maggie Festive Fayre

Come meet Monty & Maggie Magpie!

The event will support Metro Radio’s Cash for Kids charity, which supports disabled and disadvantaged children aged up to 18 in the North East. Visitors will be encouraged to donate gifts to the charity’s Mission Christmas appeal, which aims to give all children the chance to wake up to a gift on Christmas morning.

Anyone donating a gift on the weekend will have the chance to go pitch-side and have their photo taken with the Cash for Kids’ mascot Courage the Cat along with NUFC’s Monty and Maggie, while the kids can enjoy a free face paint.

Frankie added “We are extremely proud to once again be supporting Metro Radio’s Cash for Kids as they launch the Mission Christmas appeal. Last year we managed to collect 355 gifts, so this time we’d like to surpass that total. We will be encouraging everyone who comes along to bring a gift, so we can do our bit to improve Christmas for those youngsters in our region who really need it.”

The 2017 Festive Fayre will be held at St James’ Park on Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 November from 10am-5pm each day. Admission will be £3 in advance per person and £5 on the door. To buy advance tickets call the events team on 0191 201 8535 or email candb@nufc.co.uk

 

 

 

Who’s behind the mask? A festive Masquerade Ball at Hampden Park

Masquerade balls first took place in the 15th century and were held as part of pageants, processions, marriages and other events of late medieval court life. They were originally held for members of the upper classes but eventually extended into public, costumed carnivals  in Italy during the  Renaissance (16th century).

Three going to Carnivale

Masked revellers at the Venice Carnivale

Over the years and centuries Masquerade balls have turned into highly entertaining events as guests try to guess the identity of the person behind the mask. The theme proves popular today with the mystical disguises becoming even more elaborate. They also feature in lots of high profile romance novels, TV programmes, movies and theatre productions. Who doesn’t know or love The Phantom of the Opera?

This year Hampden Park is embracing the Masquerade Ball and encouraging all guests to join in the fun by wearing their own mask (the more elaborate the better!) to their special party nights. There is of course a bottle of fizz for the best mask on the night. The special themed events take place on various dates throughout December, as well as a special lunch event on the 22nd December. Packages include a festive cocktail reception, three course meal, festive novelties and music until the early hours.

In total contrast the venue will also be hosting Christmas Curry Karaoke Party nights on selected dates throughout the festive season.  A two course, curry themed buffet will be followed by music, dancing and of course Karaoke – which tune will you be singing along to?

To learn more about our #trulymagicalChristmas offers, see our brochure here.

For further information about Christmas experiences at Hampden Park visit our website at www.prestigevenuesandevents.sodexo.com or call the central enquiry hub on 0845 6055 699, or email Venues&Events.Prestige.UK@Sodexo.com

Spice it up: Christmas at Knebworth House

Christmas is all about tradition and, it just so happens that, curry is the traditional, British dish Knebworth House fancy for their dinner.

Curry has been popular in the UK since the days of the British Empire, signifying the imagined glamour of the Raj. Many of the Indian curries we enjoy today are modified versions of an original: made milder for British palates, adjusted in terms of the ingredients available and made with a few odd alternations along the way (that yielded delicious results!). Curry is now a fundamentally British dish, representative of a meeting of cultures, colours and flavours.

Curry and Christmas are meeting in perfect harmony this year in Knebworth House’s Cobbold Barn. Diners are invited to indulge in a two-course Indian curry buffet, followed by traditional celebrations, a DJ and dancing – oh, and a late night bar to accompany the dancing… it’s only right.

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The menu offers a well-curated selection of dishes, giving guests a choice between hot and mild, meat and vegetarian. This includes chicken tikka masala, chickpea, spinach and tomato curry, saffron rice, tarka dhal, naan bread, poppadums and pickles, with a dessert of mouth-watering mango cheesecake.

However, if you fancy a classic Christmas, Knebworth House are offering a scrumptious, old fashioned turkey dinner. Expect a perfected roast from one of the most historic venues in England.

Knebworth Xmas

Hosted in the Cobbold Barn, guests can indulge in three-course meal of aubergine or smoked salmon cannelloni followed by roast turkey with potato fondant, or roasted root vegetables and a red wine jus for veggies, Christmas pudding cheesecake and coffee.

The Cobbold Barn is named after current residents of Knebworth House, the Lytton-Cobbolds, whose family have lived in there for an astounding nineteen generations! Though, the Barn itself has been around for a much shorter length of time, it is a contemporary build, with a beautiful oak structure and opens onto a private garden.

Likewise, a traditional turkey dinner will be served under Knebworth’s spectacular, star-clothed marquee as part of their Christmas in Central Park package. Available for private bookings of 250 persons or more, your party-guests can dine and dance in luxury. The night will feature a three-course meal, table crackers, karaoke and a late bar and disco (running until 1am the next morning).

No matter which tradition you choose to celebrate at Christmas, you are certain to have a unique time at Knebworth House. Also… who doesn’t love tikka and turkey?

For more information on our Christmas packages, see our #trulymagicalChristmas brochure here

Christmas Curry Nights are available on Wednesday 6th, 13th and 20th December 2017.
A Cobbold Christmas is available throughout December for both lunch and dinner.
Christmas in Central Park exclusive hire is available from Sunday to Wednesday in December.
On Sunday 3th, 10th and 17th December Santa Claus will be paying pre-Christmas visits to families enjoying lunch at Knebworth Barns, bringing a gift for every child.

 

A Scottish celebration: the history of Hogmanay

As the year draws to a close all eyes are on Scotland and her festivities, and for good reason. Scotland’s notorious New Year celebrations are better known as Hogmanay: for three days, revellers celebrate with street festivals, parties, and fireworks. Join us in looking at the holiday’s origins, traditions and where they apply to modern-day events and venues.

The celebration of Hogmanay allegedly dates back to the Vikings. However, in the 16th Century it gained further importance due to a religious dispute that resulted in Christmas being banned across Scotland. And it continued to be banned for 400 years! Since Christmas was no longer a national holiday, everyone was expected to work through the season and took time off to celebrate New Year instead. Though the ban was lifted in the 1950s, Hogmanay remains a key cultural festival today.

Hogmanay customs differ between regions, within families and friendship groups – some traditions being passed down from generation to generation. One custom you might have heard of is ‘first-footing’, which refers to the ‘first foot’ in the house after midnight on New Year’s Day. The visitor determines the household’s fortune for the year, and it’s customary to bring gifts for good luck. Other Hogmanay customs include cleaning the house to ward off bad spirits, and – of course – singing Robert Burns’ classic, Auld Lang Syne.

Traditionally, Hogmanay is celebrated from 31st December to 2nd January. Luckily, our Scottish venues cater for the entire Christmas season.

Aberdeen FC Large image

Aberdeen FC in the snow

First up, our Scottish stadiums. You’re promised a party to remember at Aberdeen Football Club. The club is available from November to January for a range of events – from festive gatherings to private dinners to a festive drive-in cinema, showing family friendly rib-ticklers like The Grinch, Elf and The Muppet Christmas Carol. Over in Glasgow, Hampden Park Stadium is hosting masquerade balls and karaoke parties throughout the festive season, including their signature sparkly dance-floor.

It’s undeniably Scottish to share your celebrations with as many loved ones as possible (the more the merrier was never more applicable), and two of our venues have taken this sentiment to heart with their shared parties. In the capital, Edinburgh Corn Exchange invites revellers to join over 850 guests for one of the capital’s biggest parties. This includes a three-course dinner and live entertainment. Hamilton Park Racecourse in South Lanarkshire are also offering shared parties in dates throughout November, December, and even one post-Hogmanay date in January, so you can continue celebrating into 2018. Highlights at the racecourse include their inaugural party quiz, so get your Hogmanay-themed team names ready.

For private events, there’s nothing more magical than a real Scottish castle. Dundas Castle is available for exclusive-use hire throughout December and January. With 17th Century opulence, 5-star service and quintessentially Scottish features, Dundas Castle is perfect for an unforgettable party.

Dundas Winter pano

The beautiful Dundas Castle in the snow

Looking for a traditional Hogmanay celebration on the day itself? Book with Perth Racecourse for their Ultimate Hogmanay Party on 31st December. Highlights include a traditional buffet, ceilidh, and a live piper while the midnight bells ring. Meanwhile in Edinburgh, the Royal Botanic Garden will be holding Hogmanay Dinners on various dates in December. The dinner includes a five-course banquet, after-dinner dancing, and a midnight toast with a view of the fireworks over Edinburgh Castle.

And – if you’re looking to hold a conference before Hogmanay, this year the Assembly Rooms Edinburgh is offering an exclusive day delegate package throughout December, including mulled wine and mince pies, because all work and no play…

However you’re planning to ring in the New Year, Scotland promises the world’s best celebrations, with fun, flair and a few drams of whiskey. We couldn’t possibly be anywhere else.

For more information on our Hogmanay,  Christmas and other seasonal packages, see our brochure here

For more information on Prestige Venues & Events packages call the central enquiry hub on 0845 6055 699, or email Venues&Events.Prestige.UK@Sodexo.com

Top Tips for Planning your Big Day

Today we want to focus on those happy couples in the midst of their planning processes. Whether you’re steadily crossing things off a to-do list, or you haven’t a clue where to start, we’ve taken advantage of our sizeable black book to find out how the best in the business manage the task.

We called on an expert – Jenny Marks, owner of events company, Complete Bliss. Jenny’s wedding planning expertise is highly sought after across the UK. With years of experience planning all manner of events, she’s the safest pair of hands you can imagine.

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Jenny Marks, Complete Bliss

Jenny took a break from her unfathomably busy wedding-season schedule to share five useful tips she always gives her clients.

1.Don’t get bamboozled. With photo-sharing apps at our fingertips 24/7 it’s easy to get overwhelmed with ideas and opinions. Rather than trying to crowbar everything you’ve ever seen on Pinterest into one marquee, Jenny advises couples to take a step back. Focus on the most important things you both want from your day. Once you’ve established your priorities, trust that the wedding vision will fall into place.

2.Be ready for your close-up. Whether you’re camera shy or snap happy, preparation is key when it comes to your wedding photographs. Even if your photographer has shot weddings at your venue previously, it’s a really good idea to meet them at the venue prior to yours. Scope out the best spots together. You’ll be on the same page and save lots of time on the day.

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Knebworth House

3.Don’t be afraid to delegate. Your venue team will be on hand, but your nearest and dearest will be very eager to pitch in too. From helping guests find their seats to picking up flowers at the end of the night, all extra pairs of hands are invaluable. In Jenny’s experience, your wedding party love being given a job to do – it makes them feel important, and they’ll love knowing they’re helping you relax and enjoy the day.

4.Eat breakfast. Even if you’re not hungry. And remember to rehydrate at every opportunity – water, not champagne!

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5.Time flies when you’re the main event. With so many of your loved ones together in one place, it’s easier than you might think to say your vows and then lose track of your new legally-wedded partner until the first dance. When scheduling your day, Jenny recommends couples put aside 15 minutes in the middle of the day just for the two of you – by yourselves – just to bask in the moment together. She promises you’ll be glad you did.

You can find Jenny at Complete Bliss (http://www.completebliss.net/).

To enquire about Prestige Venues & Events portfolio of wedding venues please visit our website at www.prestigevenuesandevents.sodexo.com or call the central enquiry hub on 0845 6055 699, or email Venues&Events.Prestige.UK@Sodexo.com