Nov 8th 2018

Holding Your Company Christmas Party in January

Holding Your Company Christmas Party in January

There is a festive dilemma. Increasingly, we receive calls from companies (both large and small) who are wrestling with the pros and cons around one important question – is holding your company Christmas party in January a good idea?

There are indeed huge benefits to this plan. Here are just some of the reasons why it can work; and work well.  Holding your company Christmas party in January doesn’t need to feel like an afterthought.  This is why:

Motivation

What better way to start the New Year than a team event? It’s a fantastic opportunity to motivate your team and look ahead to the targets and challenges of the year ahead. You could also use it as a team-building exercise to help your team bond and work more efficiently together. Just make sure that it retains all the elements of a great party!

Related Content: businesses choose to come late to the Christmas party

Time to Upgrade

Between Christmas and New Year, and the months of January and February are typically quieter in hospitality. That means you can often negotiate a better deal for your party. It could just be a cost saving, although many businesses see it as an opportunity to invest the savings into upgrading their venue, offering a complimentary bar, or hire a incredible party band to entertain all night!

Easier to schedule

Everyone’s busy at Christmas; people and venues. It can be a huge challenge to find an evening in December when all the team can attend an event.  Many weekend nights are booked-up in September! In January, there’s generally less going on and more chance that everyone can make it. Also, venues are much quieter and so you should have your pick of dates, times and places.

January Blues

January is often cited as the most depressing month of the year.  Post festive celebrations, that return to work is a challenge – Blue Monday springs to mind.  The opportunity to break the daily grind with a party is one that appeals.  A chance to brighten up the month – now who wouldn’t enjoy that?

Tinsel Tasteless

Your January party doesn’t have to carry a Christmas style. In fact, it shouldn’t. Pretending it is still Christmas just doesn’t work; tasteless comes to mind. For one client we designed a gorgeous ski lodge backdrop for their event. Apt for the season and with all of the warmth that you expect at Christmas. Just not a bauble or strand of tinsel in sight!

Happy planning!

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 Oct 30th 2018

Four fabulous vegan-friendly party drinks

Four fabulous vegan-friendly party drinks

As veganism becomes an increasingly popular lifestyle choice and we head into November’s National Vegan Month, event organisers need to think about making their choice of food and drink vegan friendly. Yes – for a vegan friendly event you need to think about the drinks you are serving too. It’s not just those including dairy products, such as milk and cream. Importantly, many alcoholic drinks may seem vegan friendly on the face of it, they may not be because of the way in which they are produced. For some alcoholic drinks animal products are used in the filtering process to help remove impurities. At TLC – every guests needs is important. Our selection of four fabulous vegan-friendly party drinks should help to make vegan guests feel included.

As a general rule, clear spirits, such as vodka and white rum, are vegan friendly, but it is always best to check with the manufacturer to be 100% sure. Website Barnivore is a good place to check and some drinks are labelled with the Vegan Society’s Vegan Trademark.

It may take a little more thought and preparation, but there is no excuse for you to leave your vegan guests with a bland second-best beverage. Here are four of our favourites for inspiration.

Winter Bourbon Smash

At its heart, a smash is a mix of ice, spirit and seasonal fruit. This makes it a flexible drink that can be created to fit any season. For a winter warmer Minimalist Baker suggests smashing together raspberry jam, oranges, bourbon, triple sec, orange juice and soda water. When poured into sturdy tumblers the combination has a thick texture and deep-pink colour. When garnished with orange wedges looks and tastes fantastic. It’s also a speedy choice, taking just 10 minutes to prepare and serve. See Minimalist Baker for this and other inspired vegan choices.

RELATED STORY: Vegan Party Ideas

Homemade Vegan Irish Cream

Baileys Irish Cream is a popular liqueur choice at any time of year, and particularly during the cold winter months. A vegan lifestyle may mean you can’t enjoy the taste straight out of a bottle. Angela at Oh She Glows has come up with a homemade vegan-friendly version that combines both creamy texture and whisky kick.
Angela’s recipe uses Jameson Irish Whiskey as a base. Other ingredients include coconut mile, brown sugar, expresso coffee and a pinch of salt. It takes 20 minutes to prepare and cook. See website for details.

Watermelon Bowl

When catering for vegan guests you need to think about your soft drink choices because some may include colouring derived from gelatin or cochineal. Also, in the same way alcoholic drinks can be filtered through animal products, concentrated juices may have gone through the same processes.

This refreshing watermelon-based soft-drink is a wonderful choice that looks incredible when served from the scooped-out, watermelon bowl.

You can also add a dash of Amaretto to create an alcoholic version – and the mix of flavours is delicious. It takes 10 minutes to prepare. See elephantastic vegan for details.

Four fabulous vegan-friendly party drinks

Mango Mojito

This is another refreshing fruity choice that has tasty versions with or without alcohol. Although traditionally thought of as a summer drink, the rich orange colour of the mango, combined with the crisp green of fresh mint give it a festive look among rustic autumn-inspired party décor. The combination of mango, mint, lime and soda water is also a real thirst quencher that is welcome at any time of year.

It takes 15 minutes to prepare and if you fancy it with different fruits it’s easy to switch the mango for another fruit puree. Before your event try out a few different choices and see what works for you. For an alcoholic version add a dash of rum. Visit Vegan Richa for full recipe details.

Four fabulous vegan-friendly party drinks

Now that is four fabulous vegan-friendly party drinks to choose from!

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 Jul 16th 2018

Growth in Corporate Events Inspires Two New Appointments at TLC

Growth in Corporate Events Inspires Two New Appointments at TLC

With steady growth in the private events sector this year, and an upsurge in corporate event enquires for 2018/9, events management company, the Taylor Lynn Corporation (TLC), has strengthened its events team with the recruitment of two new event managers this month.

Growth in Corporate Events

Natalie Eastwood joins TLC from Silverstone Circuits and Lauren Worsley from Hallmark Hotels, both taking up the role of corporate events manager. The duo, both graduates in events management, bring with them over 15 years of events management experience across the international sports, corporate and private sectors.

The appointments bolster TLC’s corporate team and is part of the strategic development plan for 2017-18 that also saw Ellie Barnes promoted to the post of operations director earlier this year.

“Business is growing. Corporate enquiries are already up by 30% for 2019. It’s clear from the increase that companies are keen to invest in quality business events.” said TLC’s managing director Liz Taylor

“In spite of the economic uncertainty surrounding Brexit, I am seeing an increase in confidence by our corporate clients in their own marketing futures. Meetings, conferences and recognition events are firmly back on their agenda! “

Liz added: “Natalie and Lauren have joined us at an exciting time and their roles give us the additional employee support to deliver a series of events lined-up this year, but also a platform upon which to secure further growth in 2019.”

-ends-

Image:

Team2018: L to R: (Standing) Frankie Lyons, Sarah Nunn, Liz Taylor, Jess Randall, Ellie Barnes, (Seated) Natalie Eastwood & Lauren Worsley

The Taylor Lynn Corporation (TLC) has its UK headquarters in Manchester and organises corporate and private events right across Europe. From blue chip businesses to sports personalities and television celebrities, TLC is the first choice for high profile parties, celebrations, conferences and corporate occasions. Find us on social media: Twitter @taylorlynncorp, Facebook @taylorlynncorporation or Instagram @taylorlynncorp
Biography & images of Liz Taylor available at – www.tlc-ltd.co.uk/tlc_ltd_press_room
Hi Res event images and more information is available at www.tlc-ltd.co.uk
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 Jun 10th 2018

Five al fresco party cocktails

Five al fresco party cocktails

Summer is looking to be a warm one, and as we move into June it can only mean one thing – al fresco party time. And what better way to enjoy the great outdoors than with a refreshing cocktail in hand. Here are five al fresco party cocktails that we love:

Five al fresco party cocktails
Vodka-Thyme Lemonade

Good things come to those who wait. And for those of you willing to invest a little time in preparation, this refreshing long-drink, created by world-famous chef, Jean-Georges Vongerichten is well worth it. The time-consuming part is making the lemon-thyme syrup. Mixing the ingredients over a saucepan takes only ten minutes. To bring out the best flavours though, the syrup is best left to stand overnight or at least two hours. Once made, however, it will stay fresh for up to five days. Shake with ice and vodka, before serving in a highball glass, topped with soda. Garnish with a fresh thyme sprig for a sensational, seasonal treat. Visit foodandwine.com for details.

RELATED CONTENT: Top Summer Cocktails

Deep Pleasure

For rum lovers, the rich, deep and luxurious flavour of Dictador is a pleasure to be savoured. Produced in the beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site of Cartagena, Colombia, the rum has a romantic origin.  The company has created a drink book to spark ideas for how to enjoy its luxury brand. Our favourite is Deep Pleasure. A delicious combination of Dictador, Luxardo Maraschino liqueur and fresh pineapple chunks.  It makes a rich and fruity choice for a Spring/Summer evening. You should download this and other recipes from www.dictador.com.

Cucumber –Honeydew Freeze

Third on our list of five al fresco party cocktails, is a cool one. When the temperatures soar (we hope), nothing satisfies like a frozen cocktail. Striking for its lime-green colour, this icy delight combines the cooling flavours of cucumber, melon and lemon and spices it up with a splash of gin. Blended with honey and ice it is sweetly refreshing.  Serve in a wine class, lightly coated with sweet fennel salt and a wedge of lime. See foodandwine.com for the recipe.

White Nun

From frozen delights to comforting warmers, when it comes to British Spring/Summer time we need to be prepared for any weather. Across the Atlantic, bar tender, Isaac Shumway from Tosca Café in San Francisco has come up with the perfect solution to heat up a damp and drizzly evening. His hot version of a White Russian swaps the traditional vodka base for brandy, mixing with coffee liqueur, coffee syrup and cream. Top with frothed milk. Delicious! See Saveur.com for details.

White Nun


Orange and Cranberry Spritz


Often we spend so long crafting our show-stopping mixes that as a result, our alcohol-free guests are left with few interesting choices on the drinks menu. Thankfully celebrity chef, James Martin has stepped in to save the day for all those resigned to an evening of orange juice or water. His orange and cranberry spritz is a long, cooling option that takes only five minutes to prepare. A quick mix of orange juice, cranberry juice and sparkling elderflower, serves up a sophisticated fruity fizz. See BBC Good Food for details.

If you love our five al fresco party cocktails, take a look at this PARTY for ideas and inspiration on how to style your party!

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 Apr 16th 2018

Fun in the sun: taking your event outdoors

Fun in the sun: taking your event outdoors

With the ‘Beast from the East’ banished from whence it came, delegates will be longingly looking out their windows just hoping that their next conference or meeting will take place in a plush meadow, among the birds. So why venture outdoors?

Fun in the Sun
Liz Taylor, MD, Taylor Lynn Corporation says outdoor events open up a whole new set of options. She says: “It enables you to be especially innovative with your event content as you are not as constrained by the design of your venue, and have the luxury of large spaces to be creative with. Meeting outdoors seems to re-energise people. The natural daylight and sense of spring arriving gives delegates an extra boost of productivity.

RELATED TOPIC: Ideas for Keeping Your Meeting Green

“My belief is that you are either outside or inside for your event. There are no half measures, so incorporate the odd downpour into your plans from the beginning. You have to embrace the nature of the British outdoors. With the weather being the main issue, I plan for the worst with fun ideas. At a recent ‘festival’ themed event we used branded cagoules as place markers at the tables. Company branded wellies and umbrellas are a given. And branded thermos cups with a carb-loaded snack was a popular addition to a cold winter’s day.

“My advice with marquee events is choose the best quality with high performance flooring. Ensure paths are clear of ice or snow and gritted. Heat is important. Adapt the menu to suit a chilly day outside. Casual dining works particularly well with fish and chip vans serving Britain’s favourite food. Gourmet pizza ovens, Asian-inspired dishes or simply quality pie and mash served in branded trays are ideal.”

For more of this article and ideas for taking your event outdoors, click CONFERENCE NEWS

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 Mar 26th 2018

Cairo Event Planning with Liz Taylor

Cairo Event Planning with Liz Taylor

Liz Taylor prides herself on developing strong working relationships with first class venues and suppliers across the world. Cairo event planning takes a unique approach though, and Liz has two forthcoming events to organise in this vibrant, exciting destination.  An incentive trip for a leading law firm and a birthday party to remember for a millionaire businessman.

Cairo Event Planning

Having been in the events business for over 30 years, the Taylor Lynn Corporation’s (www.tlc-ltd.co.uk), Liz Taylor has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the very best venues available to her wealth of business and private clients.

Liz and her close-knit team of hand-picked event professionals operate out of the company’s headquarters in Manchester and work on events throughout the UK and further afield. Despite her hectic schedule, Liz still prefers to visit any potential new venue in person, trusting her professional instinct which has seen her develop a thriving business with a reputation that is second to none. Hence a Cairo event planning trip was in order. With two clients (a local wealthy businessman looking to celebrate a landmark birthday in style and a leading UK law firm planning an incentive trip) both keen to hold events in Egypt early next year, Liz heads to Cairo then on to Sharm El Sheikh for a busy few days of site visits and supplier meetings.

Arriving

After a busy day in the office I set off on the short drive to Manchester Airport to board the mid-afternoon BA flight to Heathrow for my three days of Cairo event planning. With a couple of hours to kill before the connecting flight to Cairo, I “work” the business lounge and use the time to talk to my team in Manchester who are putting the finishing touches to a big wedding we are organising this weekend. I also talk to as many fellow “loungers” as I can. I am constantly networking and love it! The bride to be has rung the office with a last-minute request for a firework display as she and her new husband leave their wedding venue for the honeymoon hotel. Such requests are nothing new.  I put in a quick call to a long-standing supplier who I know will be able to ensure the happy couple’s big day ends brilliantly. I just have time to ring the client and share the good news before boarding my 6.15pm flight to Cairo.

The flight arrives in Cairo around midnight but, thank, goodness it’s only a five-minute drive to the lovely Fairmont Heliopolis Hotel in Cairo where I get a good night’s sleep.

Day 1

Up early. I manage to fit in a quick work out in the hotel’s gym before enjoying a quick breakfast of coffee, local pastries and fresh fruit. I leave the hotel at 9am for a full day of Cairo event planning ahead, having arranged for a driver to take me to Egypt’s famous pyramids. With local traffic conditions unpredictable and often heavy, I know from previous visits that this journey can take anything up to two hours, so we set off in plenty of time. As always, I use the car journey to catch up on emails and phone calls.

My client has asked me to help plan his forthcoming 60th birthday celebrations.  Already a big fan of Egypt, he has decided that what he would really like to do is treat family and close friends to an amazing celebration dinner at the pyramids.

The dining tables are set against the backdrop of the Pyramids, brought to life with a spectacular fire and light show which can be exclusively booked for a private dining experience. The recommended caterers are experts in their field and can create a magnificent buffet of Middle Eastern Cuisine. Taking pride in their heritage bespoke entertainment packages are easily accessible to wow the guests.

I arrive back at the Fairmont mid-afternoon in preparation for a planned 4pm conference call with the team in Manchester. We need to confirm all last-minute details for this weekend’s wedding – after all – everything is in the detail.

The evening…

At 6pm I meet up in the hotel’s bar with the first of two local suppliers I am looking to work with. As well as a spectacular birthday dinner, my client is keen to treat his guests to the best that Egypt has to offer during their brief visit and has asked me to organise a desert safari. It is going to be one amazing celebration with a poolside breakfast at the hotel followed by the safari then a luxurious lunch, either on board a privately chartered boat on the Nile or in one of Cairo’s most highly regarded restaurants. After some time to relax, guests will then head off to the pyramids to toast their host at the amazing birthday dinner. The company I am meeting with comes highly recommended and I am impressed as they show me footage and talk me through a choice of desert quad bike or jeep safari tours.

I always try to pack as much into my business schedule as possible when travelling. However, this evening I am enjoying a rare luxury – dinner in the hotel’s restaurant with an old friend who is currently working in Cairo. I truly believe that to be successful in the events business you simply have to love what you do. It’s more of a lifestyle than a job for me. I just love being busy and travelling and seeing new places and meeting new people. But I also think it is really important to snatch some time just for me, when the rare chance arises!

My friend and I enjoy a fun and relaxing dinner, catching up on gossip and family and business news. Naturally I pick her brains to try and garner more local knowledge about potential venues or attractions which might appeal to my clients! As nice as it would be to stay up late and talk into the night, I have a breakfast meeting scheduled with another supplier so say goodnight around 11pm and I head back to my hotel.

Day 2

I’m up at 7am for a quick swim before preparing myself for my day ahead which starts with an 8am breakfast meeting in the hotel with another local adventure company. In addition to quad bike and jeep safaris, this previously unknown company also offers the option of a desert camel trek followed by tea or dinner in a Bedouin tent. Definitely one to suggest to my client! They also create bespoke tours.  After finding out I have a free evening planned at the hotel, they immediately invite me to join them that evening for a night time quad bike safari followed by dinner in a Bedouin tent. How can I resist? It’s a great chance to get a real feel for how this business works.  In addition to my private client, I also think this could be a great option for other business clients considering Cairo as an event destination in future. It is also a chance to get inspiration for future events back in the UK.

Having confirmed that a driver will collect me at 7pm that evening, I hop into a taxi to take me to join a two-hour morning cruise on the River Nile. The boat can be privately chartered for lunch or dinner excursions and I have arranged an onboard meeting with the operator to discuss menus, expectations and standards and to get an overall feel for the experience. Cairo event planning is full of unique experiences.

After a pleasant and productive morning on board, I head off to a favourite Cairo restaurant, Seqoia, which my private client is also considering as a lunch option. This stunning, tented restaurant is well known for its amazing food, service, location and ambience. I meet with the restaurant’s manager at 1pm for a private lunchtime menu tasting.

After a delicious lunch and a very positive meeting I am joined at 3pm by a local design company and production crew who I have previously worked with. I brief them fully on the forthcoming birthday event and schedule a further visit the following month to confirm final details.

The evening….

I’d had a quiet evening with a room service dinner planned but am now unexpectedly heading out into the desert, so I a quick taxi back to my hotel to sign off on some urgent brochure proofs and catch up on any other “can’t-wait emails” before being picked up for my evening of adventure.

Riding a quad bike through the desert by night is not something I have ever done before – nor thought I’d ever try – but I love my Porsche and I love driving so, after lots of sitting in the back of cars checking up on emails, how can I resist this thrill?! It’s a truly exhilarating experience but I do decline the chance to hop on the back of a camel later on. Dinner in the Bedouin tent is relaxed and out of the ordinary and I am thoroughly impressed with the operator’s attention to detail, especially when my fellow diners and I are invited to sit back, relax, sip delicious mint tea and enjoy a wonderful half an hour of guided star gazing while our food goes down.

It’s a late evening and I get back to the hotel after midnight, so I quickly prepare myself for another early start as I am leaving straight after breakfast for a one-and-a-half-hour drive to Sharm El Sheikh. There I will spend the day with my law firm client who checked in earlier today.

Day 3

Day 3 of my Cairo event planning trip. I eat a quick breakfast in my room before leaving at 8am for the drive to Sharm El Sheikh. Again, I use the journey time to catch up on emails and calls, wondering how I ever managed to do this job before the smart phone was invented!

My client and I enjoy a briefing over coffee in the resort’s stunning Four Seasons Hotel which she is keen to use for the planned incentive trip. We then meet with the hotel’s management and event team.  We determine which of the different event rooms is the best option for the firm’s incentive dinner. Lunch is a menu tasting of the hotel’s banquet menus. It is followed by a tour of the private beach area and a further meeting to discuss the option of a beach party after the dinner.

In a perfect world I would be flying home tonight, but instead I have a 7.50am flight booked to Heathrow the following morning. I spend the evening in my room, managing only a very light room service supper while writing up my notes from the last two days. I also liaise with my Operations Director back in the UK to ensure that no last-minute challenges have cropped up for Saturday’s big wedding.

Homeward bound….

With an early start, I have my breakfast on board the flight to Heathrow which lands just before midday. Knowing I would have time to spare I have scheduled a meeting with the food and beverage director of a top London hotel which I will be using for an event in 2019. I grab a cab and we have a short but productive meeting over a sandwich lunch in the hotel’s bar.

It’s another cab ride back to Heathrow for the 4.30pm return flight to Manchester. I head straight back home. Cairo event planning done – tick! As much as I love travelling, there really is no place like home and I think it is essential to find time to unwind. Besides, I am back up at 6am tomorrow morning as I have a fabulous wedding to attend to!

 

If you have enjoyed reading Cairo Event Planning with Liz Taylor, check out this ‘day in the life’ of Liz Taylor!!

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 Jan 8th 2018

Six Wellbeing Event Ideas

Six Wellbeing Event Ideas

January has always been a time for healthy New Year resolutions. Unfortunately, many people won’t see their good intentions last the month. Of course, this isn’t always down to lack of resolve. Work and socialising can play havoc with plans for positive lifestyle change. At one time clients accepted this, but not anymore. In 2018 there are many ways event organisers can support healthy choices. Here are a few to get you moving with our six wellbeing event ideas:

Mix up the menu

First on our six wellbeing event ideas is, that in 2018, clients expect vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free options as standard, as well as catering for guests with food allergies. Providing healthy options means going beyond this basic choice, to include fresh, locally-sourced ingredients; lean protein; high-fibre foods such as whole grains and more fruit and vegetables. It doesn’t mean you can’t have some indulgent treats as well, but it’s all about choice, so be prepared to work with more than one caterer to provide it.

Corporate event Catering by TLC Limited

Guilt-free snacks

Many of us instinctively reach for a sugary biscuit with our mid-morning coffee, because it’s convenient and fills an energy-starved hole. A fruit bowl or whole fruits such as apples, oranges and bananas gives a healthier choice, but it’s not always the most attractive one. To encourage clients to take the healthy option, make your snacks attractive as well as virtuous. Cups of bite-sized fresh fruit, such as grapes, cherries, melon and strawberries provide a refreshing and often welcome snack. Also, make sure there’s plenty to go around and don’t make it an either or – many people will make a healthy choice if they know they can choose the naughty one too.

Private Parties Catering

RELATED TOPIC: 5 Transport Ideas for Your Next Event

Magnificent mocktails

It’s estimated that more than 3 million Brits are taking up the dry January challenge, abstaining from alcohol for a whole month. All events should offer water and juice as an alternative, but when there are so many people opting for the soft drink option there has never been a better time to experiment with smoothie bars and mocktails. Apple, elderflower and mint sparkle, a simple mix of elderflower cordial, apple juice, chopped mint and sparkling water, makes a sophisticated thirst quencher. You can find a recipe on The BBC Foodguide along with enough mocktail ideas to try out a new one every day of the month. 

six event wellbeing tips

Activity breaks

No matter how interesting your event, everyone gets sluggish if sitting at a conference or workshop all day. Getting people to move during ice-breakers is an easy way to incorporate physical activity. Choosing a venue with large grounds or offering guided city walks can be a great incentive to get people active during breaks. The key is to make exercise a choice, and researching your guests’ preferences before they arrive will give you an idea of the type of wellbeing activities they might be most open to. If you are looking for something topical, 2018 is a celebration of 250 years of circus across the UK, so what better time to add something fun like a half-hour juggling workshop?

Sweat-working

We’ve all heard of networking, well sweat-working is simply taking the discussion out on the road. For those who want to up the intensity of their activity, choosing a venue with onsite gym is an attractive option. But to keep the camaraderie up, you might consider organising a group run or post-event work-out.

Have a holistic outlook

When it comes to wellbeing, food and fitness are obvious considerations, but they are not the only ones. Rest and relaxation are just as important. Facilitating downtime can be as simple as providing a quiet, tech-free zone. Other popular options include yoga and meditation break-out rooms; or creating a chill-out zone offering 15-minute neck and shoulder massages, an indulgent treat that carries no worries for the waistline.

 

Time to think creatively. With our six wellbeing event ideas, healthy and holistic approaches can easily be an integral part of your events for 2018!  Get planning!!

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 Nov 13th 2017

Six festive tipples to impress guests this Christmas

The days are getting colder, and shorter.  It’s time to turn attentions from the autumn traditions of Bonfire Night and Halloween, to planning your dinner parties, office parties and family celebrations at Christmas.  And we love it!  If you are looking to change things up this year, make a statement, or simply create something a little special – the easiest way to WOW your guests is with a great selection of festive cocktails.  That’s why we have created our collection of ‘six festive tipples to impress guests this Christmas’.  With something to suit the most discerning of guest, you cant go wrong!

Christmas strudel

All strudel is best served hot with cream and this cocktail is no different. Served with a deep lip of double cream, it’s a warming, fruit mix of Pimm’s Blackberry and Elderflower,  and apple juice, with nutmeg and cloves to give a spicy kick. See House and Garden magazine for the full recipe.

Six festive tipples to impress guests this Christmas

White Christmas mojito

If you’re planning on a White Christmas themed party look no further than this snowy white, masterpiece of a cocktail. The winter look of this rum-based tipple, hides tropical flavours of coconut, lime, pomegranate and mint. Taking a speedy 5 minutes to prepare, it is also a favourite for welcoming surprise festive guests. Full recipe at halfbakedharvest.com

Six festive tipples to impress guests this Christmas

Mulled cider

There is nothing like the aroma of mulled spices to warm the heart with festive cheer, and it is a must for our list of six festive tipples to impress guests this Christmas. For a twist on the usual mulled wine, serve guests a steaming mug of mulled cider. Depending on where you live, you may be able to add a special touch by sourcing the base ingredient from a local cider brewer. Add to the pan a splash of brandy, apples, oranges, allspice berries and cloves. Stir over a low heat for 10-15 minutes for a beverage that appeals to so many senses, no-one can resist. Read Delicious Magazine for the recipe.

RELATED TOPIC: Gorgeous Gin Cocktails

Christmas pudding vodka

To whoever thought of combining the comfort of Christmas pudding with a cheeky splash of vodka – we salute you. At TLC we love this rich combination of clear spirit, fruits and rich spice. Although simple to make, you need to factor in 3-4 days infusion time, to allow the warming flavours to emerge. However, once made you can bottle up and store for up to a year – if you can resist it for that long. See Jamie Magazine for the full recipe.

Bourbon Eggnog

At TLC we like to think of eggnog as traditional rather than old fashioned. There are good reasons why this drink has been served for 400 years. And, as with all traditions, there are plenty of ways to bring this festive favourite bang up to date.

The basic ingredients – eggs, sugar, milk and cream stay the same. Although usually made with a rum or brandy, this version uses a good spicy bourbon and Cognac, along with a range of spices to add a modern eggnog flavour. While there are plenty of shop-ready versions, nothing beats the flavour of a home-made eggnog. And since it takes only 30 minutes in the kitchen to create, there really is no excuse.

Visit thespruce.com for this and other variations on this 17th century favourite.

Rose water, apple and rhubarb mocktail

When choosing what festive drinks to include on our list of ‘six festive tipples to impress guests this Christmas’, we didn’t forget to include something special on the menu for those not drinking alcohol. We love Georgina Fuggle’s rose water, apple and rhubarb mocktail. Even the name is mouth-watering and tells guests you have put thought and care into serving something delicious. Indeed, the preparation of this delicate drink takes attention, with the rose petals needing to be painted with egg white, sprinkled with sugar and left overnight. The emerging floral fragrance mixed with the sweetness of the apple and the slightly sour taste of the rhubarb, combine for a subtle mix of flavours in a gentle pink hue, adding elegance to any party.

Six festive tipples to impress guests this Christmas

The recipe for this delightful drink is available on greatbritishchefs.com

Hope you have enjoyed our list of six festive tipples to impress guests this Christmas – just time to sit back and enjoy them!

 

 

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 Sep 18th 2017

Our Pick of Dubai’s Best Luxury Venues

Dubai’s Best Luxury Venues

Dubai’s central geographical location, where East meets West, makes it an excellent choice for international corporate events.  It is also home to this year’s Planners Xtraordinaire congress, where I am delighted to be a guest speaker in October.  The city is home to some of the world’s most luxury events, and even more luxurious venues.  This is why it’s been so hard to select just five for ‘Our Pick of Dubai’s Best Luxury Venues’!!

This vibrant, modern city has become a popular luxury weekend destination for UK travellers. The three-hour time difference means the adjustment is easy on the body clock.  The short escape into the desert makes it a perfect destination for mixing business and pleasure.

When it comes to choosing a venue for your event, Dubai offers a tempting selection. Boiling it down to our top 5 was a tough choice. On exploring the city you’ll find many exciting venues to choose from. Here are some of our favourites, in our ‘Our Pick of Dubai’s Best Luxury Venues’:

Atlantis The Palm

First of all think the glamour of Las Vegas and the fun of Disney.  Add a Middle Eastern twist, and you’re somewhere to imaging the innovative concept that is Atlantis The Palm. It is billed as Dubai’s first truly integrated entertainment resort. Hotel’s designers have thought of almost everything you could want, and provided it under one roof.  Inside there are 17 restaurants from quick bites to treble Michelin starred venues. In addition, there’s a shopping arcade, massive indoor aquarium with sharks, and a dolphin education and conservation centre.  Add to this, kids and teens clubs, several bars and a nightclub.  Furthermore, for those in search of an adrenaline rush it’s also home to the Aquaventure water park.  This is a dare-devil’s paradise with a 2.3km river ride with tidal waves and pools, water rapids, white water chargers and a heart-stopping 27.5m near-vertical water slide.

Our Pick of Dubai's Best Luxury Venues

Burj Al Arab Jumeirah

The striking architecture of the Burj Al Arab has made it not only an iconic landmark of Dubai, but instantly recognisable around the world. Located on the beach it is designed to resemble a breaking wave – and one you can land your helicopter on the top. If you opt for this hotel, once inside you’ll realise this is just the start of your event menu. The venue’s two-tiered, Al Falak Ballroom, styled like an 18th century Viennese Opera House, offers an opulent and charming location for speakers with the adjacent Tameen Majlis breakout room for networking. Or for a more modern feel book the Burj Arab Terrace, a favourite for product launches with its spectacular sea views, restaurant, pool and beach space for up to 800 guests.

 Our Pick of Dubai's Best Luxury Venues

The Ritz-Carlton Dubai International Financial Centre

The name, Ritz-Carlton has become synonymous with gold standard treatment. Amid the city’s sky-scrapers the 14-storey, Art Deco designed, Ritz-Carlton Dubai may appear small in comparison, but don’t let that fool you. It is still home to seven restaurants and lounges, several outdoor terraces, indoor and outdoor pools, in addition to a sparkling 1400 square meter ballroom, decorated with more than 1000 antique mirrors and a ceiling which twinkles with 10,000 crystals.

Most of all, it’s an elegant choice if you a looking for a stylish, cultural experience, combining top class service with a central location.

 

Related Topic:  Ten UK Cities Most Popular With Event Organisers

 

One and Only Royal Mirage, Dubai

If you’re going to call yourself the One and Only then you’d better have something special to offer. And, in a city that seems to have just about everything, the One and Only has managed to pull off the seemingly impossible task.  It has created something unique. This is largely due to the fabulous location. It is set on a kilometer of private beach and within 65 acres of beautifully, landscaped gardens. This traditional Arabic-styled hotel has been designed with rest and relaxation in mind.  It is such is a perfect venue to take clients for a celebratory event.

Armani Hotel

Last year’s winner of the World’s Most Luxurious Hotel, Dubai’s Armani Hotel is an impressive choice for any event. It’s stunning location, inside the world’s tallest building, the Burj Kalifa is visible for miles around and offers unrivalled views of the city. One of only two hotels designed by fashion designer, Giorgio Armani (the other being in Milan). The décor and design is marked by the understated style and elegance you’d expect. Armani’s Italian influence is striking in the hotel’s contemporary, black marble ballroom. This holds up to 450 guests for a gala dinner or stylish product launch. In addition to looking fabulous, the hotel’s commitment to sustainability and Green Globe certification scores it highly for clients looking for greener events.

Our Pick of Dubai's Best Luxury Venues

If you are booking an event in Dubai, ‘Our Pick of Dubai’s Best Luxury Venues’ should give you a head start on the best venues available!

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 Sep 18th 2017

Five event transport ideas .. to make your journey an unexpected bonus!

Five event transport ideas … to make your journey an unexpected bonus!

As any professional event organiser will tell you, there is a lot more to transport than getting guests from A to B. Ease of travel to and from your event can influence attendance. And the experience of that travel will certainly determine how guests feel when they arrive and how they talk about your event once they get home. Getting to your event should be like a holiday.  It starts from the moment your guests leave their house. Here’s our five event transport ideas to show you how to make it a dream trip:

Location, location, location

There are some methods of transport that you can use to almost any event, but it is worth spending some time to get to know your venue location better to determine if it opens any more unusual options. For example, if your venue is on the banks of a river, could guests arrive by narrow boat, ferry or decorated rowing boat? Or, for a rural location could guests travel on the back of an antique tractor or by horse and carriage?

Fun and photos

If guests are laughing and taking photos before they arrive you’re already half-way to a fantastic night.  A fleet of VW Beetles decorated as Herbie, a line of Delorean’s that look like they’ve come straight out of film, Back to the Future, or a road full of red 1969 Dodge Charger’s like the General Lee from Dukes of Hazzard are bound to turn heads wherever they go. Choosing your transport to fit in with the theme makes for a seamless experience. Or, if there is no specific theme there are a whole range of luxury party buses to get your guests in the mood before they arrive.

five tips for event transoport

Related Topic: Advice for choosing the right venue for your event

Keep it interesting

Third on our list of five event transport ideas is one of the most important at TLC….IT MUST BE INTERESTING! Whether you are bringing guests to a party or a conference, you want to make the ride as interesting as possible. A great way to do this, particularly for longer journeys is to keep your guests entertained during the trip. If you’ve got guests from out of town, you might like to hire a tour guide who can give information and tell interesting anecdotes about the places you are travelling through, or hire a guest speaker, who has expert knowledge to share on the theme of your event.

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The high life

Depending on how far your guests are travelling, for the ultimate rock star experience you might think about hiring a private jet or helicopter. Most larger airports have private jet terminals, which means that your guests can be driven straight through security to the aircraft, with a wait of less than five minutes between arriving at the private jet terminal and boarding. Flying private is exactly what it says – private. It means there are no passengers others than the people you’ve invited and you can choose whatever movies, music, catering you like. And for overnight flights, if there is room you can have beds made up for guests, making sure everyone arrives refreshed and ready to work or play.

Going green

Transport is one of the simplest ways to make your event more environmentally friendly. Depending on distances and numbers you might opt for non-motorised, eco-friendly transport like pedicabs or horse and carriage. But, even if you opt for more traditional transport methods, rather than have everyone travel separately in cars, door to door group transport is both greener and more relaxing because guests don’t need to worry about getting lost, parking or having a one drink too many.

Hope you five event transport ideas have given you something to consider when planning your next event!

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