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.

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.

food-2362678_1920

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

What Makes Christmas Magical? 7 reasons to book your Christmas event early

We are halfway through 2017 (eep!) and the best is still to come… namely, Christmas.

You may think it’s far away but at Prestige Venues & Events we spend all year gearing up for the festive season – you can feel excitement swelling in the office as slowly December approaches! We believe in being well prepared for the busiest (and best) time of the year and want to give you an opportunity to be so too. Here are 7 reasons to get organised, take advantage of advance-booking perks, and book your Christmas party early:

  1. Limited availability on Las Vegas Christmas.

Don’t gamble with booking The Apex this Christmas. Bury St Edmund’s number one music venue is only available to book on 4 evenings this December. At their 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.

  1. Free-ish time.

Make Christmas planning a priority in low season and free yourself up during the busiest time of the working year, allowing you to focus on what the season is truly about: fun, family, food and drink.

Christmas as Southampton Solent

Christmas as Southampton Solent

  1. Booker goes free.

At the recently refurbished Gateway restaurant, located within The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Christmas lunch for parties of 10 guests or more come with a special early-bird perk: the booker goes free! Lunch varies from a 2 course festive menu for £16.95 per person, to a full Hogmany feast for £95 per person.

  1. Don’t forget about winter working.

With all this talk of play, it’s easy to forget about work! The Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh they have beautiful meeting rooms and conference spaces, as well as lunch, devilish min-morning and afternoon snacks, and (the best bit) a post conference drinks reception of mulled wine and mince pies.

  1. Something to look forward to.

As the cold weather sets in, or perhaps just prevails though summer… it’s great to have something to look forward to: for yourself, your team-mates, colleagues, friends or family. Book your Christmas party now and it will act as your metaphorical star of Bethlehem – guiding you through the following months.

  1. Don’t let it get any older.

This year’s theme at The Crystal, London’s most sustainable building, is Victorian! A witty contrast with the ultra-modern space, the Victorian Christmas theme includes a private dining room with holly garlands, ivy and pearls, a succulent feast, a Victorian theme DJ disco and a Magic Mirror Photo Booth, complete with full event management, cloakroom and security.

The Crystal in winter

The Crystal in winter

  1. Discount!

Book your Christmas party at Ascot before 31st August 2017 and get 10% discount. Pay only £68.50 per person (instead of £75). Ascot’s Enchanted Evenings Christmas parties include a cocktail upon arrival, three-course dinner, and half bottle of wine per person, a disco, full event management, complimentary cloakroom and car parking.

Discover more about Prestige Venues & Events Christmas packages and download our brochure here.

For full details of Sodexo Prestige Venues & Events’ Christmas offers, call the central enquiry hub on 0845 6055 699, email Venues&Events.Prestige.UK@Sodexo.com or visit www.prestigevenuesandevents.sodexo.com.

Showtime at the Amex

A galaxy of stars is set to sparkle at Brighton’s Amex Stadium in the run up to Christmas.

Throughout December, the venue – home to Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club – is hosting a packed programme of parties and disco nights.

We’ve also lined up a dazzling array of tribute acts, performing hits from legends such as Freddie Mercury, Dolly Parton, Lady Gaga and even Elvis ‘The King’ Presley.

The Showtime tribute nights take place each Friday and Saturday starting with the Queen frontman and Dolly Parton on 2 and 3 December respectively.

December 9 and 10 are earmarked for Madness fans with Elvis also entering the building on the second night.

On 16 December a Lady Gaga tribute will take to the stage while partygoers the following night will enjoy tributes to both Tina Turner and The Rat Pack – legendary 50s crooners Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jnr and Dean Martin.

Along with live performances, each It’s Showtime event will include arrival drinks, a four course meal created by the stadium’s award-winning team of chefs, Christmas novelties and a DJ and disco.

In addition, the stadium is holding Disco Fever parties – with music from a DJ – on 2, 3, 9 and 16 December, while its function rooms – all with views over either the pitch or the neighbouring South Downs – are available for private party hire for between 20 and 600 guests.

The American Express Community Stadium boast its own, on-site, main line railway station, linking it to the heart of London, along with complimentary on-site parking.

Tickets cost £49 each for the It’s Showtime nights and £39 for the Disco fever evenings. For further information about either experiences or the stadiums facilities visit the website.