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Venue and event news and views from Prestige Venues and Events

Monday 03 October 2016

Solent Conference Centre relaunches with a spark!

Solent Conference Centre held an action-packed grand relaunch event following its recent move to the brand new £33 million ‘The Spark’ building in the heart of Southampton city centre.

The futuristic venue is now part of Southampton Solent University’s main campus, benefitting from views of the city’s extensive parks, additional car parking, interactive spaces for meetings, events and celebrations and state-of-the-art learning facilities.

The launch event was garden party themed with 200 guests, clients, partners and press in attendance. Guests were greeted with a floral buttonhole and arrival drink, many being fooled by Gordon Ramsay lookalike, Martin Jordan who served up canapés. 

Drapes were then pulled back to reveal the Atrium dressed as a summer garden party, complete with grass, picket fences, trees, live music and summer games. A three course meal from the new menu followed, starting with a picnic platter served on a miniature picnic bench which proved to be the perfect conversation starter. After dinner, treasure map style activity sheets plotted various fun and games located around the building to encourage exploration of the new venue.

One room deep beneath the Atrium was transformed into a hidden speakeasy bar serving whiskey cocktails and playing vintage films. Guests could only enter when they had guessed the password from bouncers dressed in 1920s mobster costumes.

The Silver Birch Suite was transformed into a Christmas party preview with circus themed dressing, giant animal props, a balloon artist and face painter. Outside on the hospitality balcony, a pick n’ mix usherette served up goody bags of sweets from a specialist trike.  

The Pod, a suspended free-form meeting room, was transformed into a giant photo booth with fancy dress costumes and professional photographers. The Bridge, the roof top venue above the Pod, was transformed into a bubble tea bar and coffee house hosted by the venue’s sister outlet, Artisan Café.

The occasion was marked by a cake cutting ceremony overlooking the Atrium. The Whitebeam Suite then became a dancefloor and cocktail bar with live band, 5th Avenue performing out to the Atrium. Finally, guests were treated to goody bags including gifts, sweet treats and selfie sticks.

The venue was supported by local event partners from the southern region including Transform Events, Love Cake Bakery, Canon, Diva Entertainment, Signature Balloons, Boutique de Fleur, Perfect Chairs, Express Yourself Costume, Hire Quality Marquees, Jury’s Inn, Destination Southampton and PBWPIX.

Amber Webster, Conference, Events & Hospitality Manager says: “The launch event was an overwhelming success with amazing support and compliments shown for the new venue.

“Not only are we now one of the biggest venues in the city, we are also a key player in the events and meeting industry on the south coast.”

Posted by Southampton Solent University Conference Centre (South East) View Venue Page

Category: General  

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Monday 03 October 2016

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh unveils new baker to celebrate National Cake Week

The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) is celebrating National Cake Week (3rd-9th October) with the appointment of a new baker to its Terrace Café.

Zara Forbes will join our events catering team and provide customers and business guests with a range of sweet treats.

Already dubbed the ‘Botanics’ Baker’, Zara joined the team following a successful summer supplying cakes to the Edinburgh International Book Festival, which is also catered for by ourselves.

Keen to introduce the Garden’s home-grown produce, Zara’s quirky creations will include chocolate and courgette loaf, chocolate and beetroot loaf as well as classics like lemon drizzle, carrot cake and gingerbread.

Paul Mitchell, Catering Services Director for Sodexo at RBGE, said: “Zara’s range of traditional cakes and sweet treats with a veggie twist went down a storm at the Book Festival and we can’t wait to make her baking a regular feature of the Garden’s offering. As the Botanic’s Baker, she has the perk of being able to access fresh, seasonal ingredients from our market garden, which is just a stone’s throw away from the kitchen. To celebrate National Cake Week, Zara will be creating a different ‘cake of the day’ with the first 10 customers through the door of the Terrace Café, receiving a slice and a hot drink, on the house.”

The free cake and hot drink offer will run at the Terrace Café from Monday 3rd to Sunday 9th October and is limited to the first 10 customers each day.

To find out more about the Terrace Café and all the event spaces at the Royal Botanical Garden Edinburgh visit

Posted by Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (Scotland) View Venue Page

Category: General  

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Monday 03 October 2016

The Botanics launches express lunch menu for business market

A new express menu has been introduced at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh to meet the needs of business customers dining in the venue’s Gateway Restaurant.

Our team of Chefs at the venue have re-designed its menus for the autumn season, introducing a range of new salads and gourmet sandwiches. Each dish has been created so it can be prepared and served as quickly without compromising on taste or the wealth of locally sourced ingredients available to them.

A number of the new, seasonal dishes feature fresh produce grown on-site in the Edible Garden by Ben Dell the market gardener. This role was created by ourselves in order to boost production and increase the quantity of in-house grown ingredients available for use in the attraction’s restaurant and cafés.

Paul Mitchell, Catering Services Director for Sodexo at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, said: “We know our business customers are often pushed for time, but don’t want to compromise on quality. Our new menu offers a range of fresh, good quality dishes which can be prepared and served quickly. From our falafel burger and Scottish smoked salmon gourmet sandwiches, to our Botanics Super Salad and Garden Slaw; we’ve made the most of the crops available in our market garden.”  

The new menu also features a range of produce from local suppliers, including bread from Patisserie Joldo in Edinburgh, pork from Robertson’s of Ayrshire and a range of ice cream flavours from Aberdeenshire based Mackies, including Lavender, which is made exclusively for the restaurant.

The Gateway is The Botanics flagship restaurant and can serve anywhere between 200 and 500 people a day. It’s also the largest event space at the venue with capacity for up to 250 for a seated dinner or 400 for a standing reception or BBQ.  The space is available for evening events with access to a large decked area overlooking the biodiversity garden.  

For further information about Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and The Gateway restaurant visit

Posted by Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (Scotland) View Venue Page

Category: General  

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