Sep 24th 2019

Five of the UK’s Spookiest Venues

Five of the UK’s Spookiest Venues

With Halloween on the horizon it’s time to start party planning. And what does every good Halloween party need? A creepy, haunted venue of course. The brave souls at TLC HQ have scoured the country for the most spine-chilling places to host your scary soiree; five of the UK’s spookiest venues. You might even find yourself with a few extra guests (of the supernatural variety).

Five of the UK's Spookiest Venues

Chillingham Castle, Northumberland
https://chillingham-castle.com/

First in our collection that brings together five of the UK’s spookiest venues is chilling by name and nature. This Northumbrian castle is a medieval military stronghold in fabled for battles and bloodshed. It’s inhabited by military spirits, floating orbs and an infamous ‘white pantry ghost’. Yet many guests describe the apparitions as unfrightening, even friendly. The perfect place to throw a Halloween party! From private functions to grand balls, there is scope for parties of all shapes and sizes, with many options for accommodation.

Five of the UK’s Spookiest Venues

Woodchester Mansion, Gloucestershire

www.woodchestermansion.org.uk

An imposing Victorian Gothic building complete with grotesque gargoyles. This venue has an alarming reputation for paranormal activity. Woodchester Mansion is available to hire for private and corporate functions with rooms that can comfortably cater for 180 guests. That’s if they dare to attend! Visitors have reported floating heads and being attacked by ghosts. Some guests have even collapsed in fear. Inside some of the rooms and entire floors are missing or unfinished which only adds to the unnerving atmosphere.

Whitby Abbey, North Yorkshire
www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/whitby-abbey/

We couldn’t put together a list of five of the UK’s spookiest venues without mentioning the real-life inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Whitby Abbey is a seventh century Christian monastery that dominate the skyline of the seaside town in North Yorkshire. Legend has it that if your heart is pure when you look into the Abbey’s well at midnight St Hilda will appear.  If not, the devil will take you. From the Raithwaite Estate to Sanders Yard Bistro there are plenty of venues in Whitby where you can party in the shadows of the ruins.

RELATED TOPIC: Take a look at our Penny Dreadful inspired party

Renvyle House Hotel and Resort, Galway
https://www.renvyle.com/

Don’t let the idyllic scenery fool you. If it’s a relaxing break and a good night’s sleep you’re after, Renvyle House may not be the place for you. Guests have frequently reported thudding footsteps, an eerie presence in their bedrooms, as well as bedsheets being tugged off in the middle of the night. There’s only one answer then. Throw a huge Halloween party in one of the hotel’s gorgeous function rooms and dance the night away instead.

Elvey Farm, Pluckley, Kent
http://elveyfarm.co.uk/

Lastly, five of the UK’s spookiest venues wouldn’t be complete without this venue. The ghostly goings on in the small village of Pluckley in Kent have made it infamous as an epicentre for supernatural activity. In fact, it was even given the accolade of Britain’s Most Haunted Village in the Guinness Book of World Records in 1989. A hanged schoolmaster and a screaming man are just some of the apparitions you may encounter during your stay in the town. Enjoy a haunted hike en-route to the party. Drop into the Black Horse public house where mischievous spectres are said to tease drinkers by moving their belongings around the pub. With a brand-new event space at your disposal, Grade II listed Elvey Farm is the perfect final venue for a Halloween shindig.

Five of the UK's Spookiest Venues

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 Sep 13th 2019

Venues + Events Live – Creating a dedicated destination for the northern events community

Venues + Events Live – Creating a dedicated destination for the northern events community

Following the success of its London exhibition, Venues and Events Live will introduce its inaugural Manchester event on 24th September at Manchester Central Convention Complex.

Over 1500 industry professionals are expected to attend the free-to-register event which is set to host over 120 industry exhibitors including hotels, venues, bars, restaurants and event suppliers.

Ahead of Venues + Events Live Manchester, Kane Thomas, Group Show Manager discusses the reason behind launching the Show.

Venues + Events Live Venues + Events Live Venues + Events Live

Why did you decide to launch Venues + Events Live Manchester?

After speaking to the industry it was evident that there was a need for a show that was dedicated to the northern events community. Over 67% of our visitors to the 2018 London Show, reported they organise events outside London. Therefore when Ocean Media acquired the show last year, we made the decision to bring the Venues + Events Live brand to the North. We’re delighted to be supporting the industry and promoting a destination of the North.

 

What types of suppliers will be exhibiting at Venues + Events Live Manchester?

You’ll find a mix of suppliers at the Show this year, everything from hotels such as The Lowry Hotel, Malmaison, King Street Townhouse and the Titanic Hotel. Venues include Manchester United FC, Yorkshire Event Centre and Emirates Old Trafford. Then there’s bars and restaurants such as Be At One, 20 Stories, Cloud 23 and The Alchemist. Not forgetting our event suppliers Hawthorn, Wow Grass and Thorns. We’ve had a great response from the industry so far and over 100 brands are booked in for the Show. So, if you’re looking to reach an events audience outside of London then please get in touch and join us in September.

 

Who will attend the Show?

In short, anyone who plans events! Venues + Events Live typically attracts a loyal audience of corporate event bookers and other event professionals including managers, directors, agents, partners, consultants, executives, PA’s/EA’s and many others working in the field.

 

What is the Hosted Buyer programme and what are the benefits?

Our hosted buyer programme is for those who organise more than 10 events a year and have a budget of over £100,000. We aim to decrease the weeks they spend on research, online planning and phone calls by providing you with key, innovative information. Hosted buyers will have access to our exclusive networking lounge, a VIP lunch and complimentary accommodation or travel to the Show.

 

Can you tell us a bit more about what visitors can learn at the Show?

Aside from saving the time on sourcing new suppliers, our visitors will leave with new tips and tricks to take back to the office! We fully understand that taking a day out to come to the Show can be tricky, if you’re busy event planner or PA, so we’ve tried to ensure visitors make the most of their time at the show by putting on an educational seminar programme and hands-on masterclasses.

Our sessions give you important face time with key industry experts to get top tips on how to improve efficiency when venue hunting and planning events. We’ve got some great names this year such as Liz Taylor from TLC and Mike Blake-Crawford, Social Chain.

Our masterclasses cover a range of topics, from what cocktails and wine to use at your events, to how to hack stress levels and confidence issues at work.

 

In a snapshot..

Venues + Events Live lets you explore a world filled with unlimited creativity and ideas for planning your next event so if you’re an event planner or organise any kind of event then Venues + Events Live is not to be missed.

Register now for your free ticket to Venues + Events Live, 24 September at Manchester Central: https://ve-manchester-2019.reg.buzz/liz-taylor 

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 Aug 20th 2019

Destination Guide to Liverpool

Destination Guide to Liverpool

Home of the Beatles, arguably the most successful footballing city in the UK (although I am not sure this Manchester girl can agree on that!), a unique maritime heritage and stunning period architecture. Liverpool has a lot to offer. And it seems that every week there is a new bar, restaurant or hotel opening in this vibrant city. Luckily, TLC’s Frankie Lyons has the lowdown on the best places to visit and shares them here in her Destination Guide to Liverpool.

Destination Guide to Liverpool

Having worked as PA to TLC’s founder and managing director Liz Taylor for over fifteen years, I have supported the team on many events and been fortunate enough to travel to some amazing destinations.

There is one northern UK city that I love for its unique energy and scouse humour. In my Destination Guide to Liverpool, I am bringing together some of the places that I love to visit for both business and pleasure – enjoy!”

Best airline: Private Jet

Ryan Air and Easy Jet are the main airlines operating from Liverpool airport, so it’s an easy and affordable place to fly from destinations all over Europe. For those who prefer a little more privacy and luxury, the XLR Executive jet centre at Liverpool is a discreet and efficient service for VIP passengers and private aircraft owners. For that reason, it would definitely be my choice of how to travel in style.

Destination Guide to Liverpool

Best hotel: Titanic

https://www.titanichotelliverpool.com/meetings-events-spaces-liverpool

First of all, although it’s situated a little out of town, the Grade II listed former warehouse that’s now known as the Titanic Hotel is worth a taxi ride. It boasts 153 extremely spacious and distinctive rooms. Many come with impressive vaulted ceilings and all of them have supremely tasteful décor. It’s completed by an amazing subterranean spa. And within the boundaries of this cavernous hotel are two unique and inspiring event spaces. Also ideal for corporate events and weddings alike. The beautifully renovated 1950s Rum Warehouse hosts up to 500 guests, where characterful West Bay, with its steel pillars and stone floors, can hold 180.

Best venue for a corporate event: Royal Liver Building

As Liverpool event venues go, they don’t come more iconic than the Royal Liver Building. Famed for the mythical creatures that roost on its rooftop and with panoramic views of the river Mersey. This venue embodies the spirit of Liverpool. Two contemporary gallery style rooms are available for events, complete with a private Royal Balcony overlooking the waterfront. Each has tasteful, neutral décor that’s a blank canvas for corporate messaging or wedding décor. For that reason – you can let your imagination run wild.

https://royalliverbuildingvenue.co.uk/

Best rooftop bar: Goodness Gracious at Oh Me Oh My

My Destination Guide to Liverpool wouldn’t be complete without this. A beautiful hidden venue in the heart of downtown Liverpool, Oh Me Oh My is described as ‘a casual and creative space’. By day it operates as a café and tea house with a laid-back Parisian vibe. By night, it transforms into a unique event space available for private hire. It also frequently opens its doors to the public for evening ‘secret sessions’. The jewel in the crown of this enigmatic venue is Goodness Gracious. The rooftop terrace with a bird’s eye view of Liverpool’s Three Graces. It’s open whenever the sun shines from March to October.

Best lunch spot to wow a client: Panoramic 34

Breath-taking views and fine dining within easy reach of Liverpool’s central business district. What more could you ask for? As the name suggests you can enjoy 360° views of the city along with menus inspired by the seasons that evolve daily.

Destination Guide to Liverpool

Best restaurant for a business dinner: The Art School

In the unlikely setting of a former home for destitute children (which later became an art school), celebrity Chef Paul Askew’s 50 cover restaurant is certain to impress clients. In fact, it’s Liverpool’s first ‘Michelin star contender’ according to a recent review from Cheshire Life magazine. Therfore, a perfect choice for TLC clients.

https://theartschoolrestaurant.co.uk/

A ‘hidden gem’: Dirty Little Secret

Hidden in every sense of the word. Consequently, you have to be very committed to visit this place. But oh, is it worth it! Dirty Little Secret is an intimate and atmospheric speakeasy bar that’s well concealed from partygoers. It’s located by ‘finding the key on Wood Street’. And once inside it’s renowned for even more surprises. Customers have been treated to random ‘free bar’ nights on more than one occasion.

What interesting fact could you tell a client?

Finally, Liverpool has doubled for Paris, London, Dublin and Moscow in numerous feature films and TV shows. A thriving film industry ensures its continued popularity amongst film crews. With Sherlock Homes, Creed, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Tolkien, Harry Potter – The Deathly Hallows, Captain American and The Fast and The Furious just some of the films that have been shot in the city.

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 Aug 19th 2019

Summer Into Autumn Wedding Flowers

Summer into Autumn Wedding Flowers

In terms of floral wedding décor, the transition from summer to autumn is one of the most noticeable seasonal changes. Out go the peonies, fuchsia and gerbera and in come red roses and luxurious lilies. The bright, high energy colourways and pretty pastels make way for a richer tonal palette too. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have show-stopping flowers at an Autumn wedding. In our trends to watch out for with Summer into Autumn Wedding Flowers, we show how to update some of our most sought after summer wedding looks with an autumnal twist.

#Look 1. Summer Fruits

One of our favourite designs for Summer into Autumn Wedding Flowers is combing tables featuring a long Perspex trough running the full length. In this, we float tea lights and seasonal fruits and blooms. This look can be transformed for autumn with ruby red apples and by weaving in rustic bark and foliage. Use scents of the season as a finishing touch to make your room smell as good as it looks. Muskier scents like sandalwood and aromatic spices often take to the fore at this time of year.

parties for no reason at all taylor lynn corporation the party planner in manchester

#Look 2. Gold Leaf

We’re often asked to replace traditional floral plinths with a summery avenue of trees to line the aisle. In Autumn the colours of the leaves will be even more enchanting as they turn with the change of season. Trees can also be extremely effective in wedding décor, adding both height and drama to table centres. And what better way to dine than under a canopy of crimson and amber foliage. “

#Look 3. Floral Canopy

One of the best flowers to achieve this abundant look is wisteria, which blooms from May – June, so there’s a small window for using the real deal. A way to extend a floral canopy’s life way beyond a couple of months would be to use faux flowers – and there are some brilliant imitations around. Alternatively, focus on greenery for the trailing elements of the canopy, ivy works particularly well, then weave in some seasonal blooms to match your colour palette. Rich, warming orange tones are offset beautifully with coloured table linens.

wedding planners based in Manchester TLC LTD

Related Topic: Creative Ways for Using Flowers

wedding planners based in Manchester TLC LTD

Look 4. Pressed Flowers

Fourth on our tips for Summer into Autumn Wedding Flowers, is a design that sees beautiful cut flowers and leaves pressed between a sheet of Perspex and a glass or Perspex table top. Sitting underneath the table settings, this expertly shows how using seasonal flowers creatively can be affordable and still achieve stunning effects. It would be really easy to replace these pretty pastel blooms with seasonal colours and berries. Perhaps even weaving in some fragrant herbs like rosemary and thyme to bring in all of the senses.

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 Jul 11th 2019

How to put the wow factor into an event – Confex North

How to put the wow factor into an event – Confex North

TLC’s founder and MD, Liz Taylor, was delighted to be asked to host a fabulous cocktail reception and presentation at Confex North.  Transforming the Luxury Pavilion at Victoria Warehouse into a presentation looking at ‘how to put the wow factor into an event’. Followed by drinks – with a little added TLC style!  Here’s a snapshot of Liz’s presentation, and a few secret ingredients to adding those crucial elements that takes your event from average, to stunning.

It’s that million-dollar question. And sometimes quite literally. How to put the wow factor into an event? With the ever-growing necessity to invest in recognition and motivation, with clients accepting the value of why events are the advertising of today it is essential that your event is bespoke – it has the wow factor to stand alone.   Everyone has their own perception of the wow factor …. Today I would like to share mine. It may not be gospel and you may not agree, but it has served TLC well over the last twenty-five years!

How to put the WOIW factor into an event

So, how to put the wow factor into an event. There are three vital ingredients that contribute, and here they are:

Imagination

It is never how much you spend but how you spend it. Its allowing someone to think out of the box and take a concept and create magic. So, when I was asked some years back to create a circus theme for a twenty first birthday, I ditched the predictable red and yellow and designed a revolving vintage carousel. With a skilled design team, I poured over Victorian carousel images, and in a modern touch we built the turntable into the floor of a marquee. Guests slowly circled around the carousel picking up their goldfish in a plastic bag filled with vodka and tonic, and a popcorn cocktail served in a popcorn carton.

How to put the WOIW factor into an event How to put the WOIW factor into an event

event agencies manchester

 

Individuality

Individual interpretation … The clients favourite show was ‘Wicked’, so we were tasked with bringing it to life off the stage. My most inspiring moments are honestly on my treadmill every morning … with my desert island discs on full blast music takes me into a most creative corner where I find the impossible. A 10-foot witch greeted guests – and I mean greeted them. A custom-built animated statue guided them into a Wicked inspired set – and then at the appropriate time, the entire wall dropped and there was the yellow brick road. The detail in the room and on the tables was insane with Perspex tables resting on large red shoes. The entertainment … Diana Ross. Now that’s wow.

The moment least expected

Is the greatest wow factor of the event. A wall drops on a drum roll. Pyrotechnics burst into the room to announce employee of the year. A ceiling drops hundreds of hidden petals when they say I do. The key to this is to choreograph the visual feast accordingly. So, you will know where the guests will be looking, and it’s the perfect time to capture the moment. There’s no point in a surprise where they can’t absorb the magic!

Some moments just happen. They evolve and I’d like to take all the credit, but by having an experienced producer throughout the event last minute decisions can change the entire direction of the night. When a CEO makes an impromptu announcement and you jump on an appropriate piece of music. When Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is escorted into an MUFC Christmas party as the new manager with one moment’s notice, the band strikes up the glories. I often have certain tables at events reinforced, so that artists can jump on the tables and perform during dinner – a lesson learned when I hadn’t had them reinforced and they jumped on them anyway!

Imagination, individuality and least expected …..

Key messages to consider in every event. Whether you are the producer or whether you work with an events team – two heads are always better than one.

All well and good you might say. These sound like unlimited budgets … but my mantra .. It’s never how much you spend but how you spend it.  You have £500 to throw into a reception – don’t invest it in an inexperienced and underrated musical act. Invest it in a ten foot vase filled with an abundance of flower heads that takes the breath away. Or a bar full of cocktails, served in a milk bottle that oozes dry ice and sustainable branded straws!

RELATED TOPIC: Planning the Perfect Awards Event

How do we at TLC deliver the imaginative, individual, least expected moments ……..

The infrastructure at TLC is simple. We are a team of 5 and we are surrounded by a loyal band of suppliers who have supported my journey for thirty years. This enables the team to play on individual strengths. My bag is the wow … my background is creative. From the age of four years I studied music and played the piano to grade 8 and GCSE level at 16. Then after A levels, I pursued a career in fashion retail until the age of 29. It was then that I fell into the industry.  Creating the wow is my strength. I have the most ridiculously bonkers Pisces inspired ideas, that I can make happen. I believe that this sets TLC apart from the competition.

 

If you went to invest in something special, you would look for advice from an expert – someone who could support you in your vision. Whether it be a product or something intangible, perhaps for your home. I have endeavoured over the years to provide that support to a discerning corporate and private client portfolio – pushing the boundaries and delivering the impossible. And that’s what makes it and us wow ……

So, to summarise …. how to put the wow factor into an event.  Imaginative. Individual. The moment least expected … they are the three to remember!

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 Jun 19th 2019

Tips to Beat Summer Allergies at Outdoor Parties

Tips to Beat Summer Allergies at Outdoor Parties

Warmer weather is the season for enjoying TLC’s open-air celebrations and stylish outdoor parties. But when your guests have seasonal allergies such as hayfever, the thought of spending time outside can bring visions of sneezing and wheezing rather than having fun! If you’re hosting an outdoor party this summer, our Tips to Beat Summer Allergies at Outdoor Parties can help to ensure a good time is had by everyone, even those with summer allergies:

Timing is Everything

Pollen counts are highest in the morning (5am-10am), so plan your party for later in the day or evening. Or go a step further and try to hold your celebration on a day that should have a low pollen count. Most summer weather forecasts detail this, but to plan further ahead, check out the Met Office forecast.

Knowledge is Wisdom

Allergy medications are more effective when you take them before you have symptoms, Telling your guests in advance that your party is outdoors gives them the opportunity to take their allergy medication before they arrive. It also serves as a reminder for them to bring any emergency medication with them.

Location, Location

Sea breezes blow pollen inland, so choosing a more coastal location for your party can help hayfever and summer allergy sufferers. Beach front venues, or the beach itself, can provide an inspiration backdrop and enhances the ‘endless summer’ vibe of any outdoor party.

Super Shady

Third on our list of top Tips to Beat Summer Allergies at Outdoor Parties is both practical and stylish. Wearing sunglasses can help reduce, but not totally prevent, pollen from getting into your eyes and making them water and itch. Embrace this with bespoke sunglasses for your event. These can be given as a gift or used as a place marker on tables – a little tag attached does the trick.

Trim and Tidy

Remove weeds and prune borders, where triggers can lurk, well ahead of the party. Mow a day or two before, and not the day of. And use any garden blowers well before the party, as can stir up dust and mouldy leaves. Think about the placement of the event too. Are their surrounding fields with high allergens such as rape seed plants?

Tips to Beat Summer Allergies at Outdoor Parties

Inside Out

Choose a high-quality marquee, Yurts or gazebo structure (preferably air-conditioned) to provide shade from the sun, but also offer an indoor space where guests bothered by pollen can go. Going indoors will be important for anyone who develops an allergy attack despite their, and your, best efforts. Once an attack has begun, an air-conditioned environment is best, as this filters out any pollen; so have an indoor chill-out space at the ready.

Tips to Beat Summer Allergies at Outdoor Parties

Floral Fabulousness

When choosing the floral design for your party, opt for flowers that produce little to no pollen. Daffodils, lilies, pansies, petunias, roses, snapdragons, and tulips for example are all less likely to aggravate allergies. Beware of summer standbys like sunflowers, daisies and chrysanthemums that are in the ragweed family and can trigger pollen allergies.

Private Parties organisers Decor tlc limited

 

Related Topic: Top 5 Summer Cocktails

 

Foodie Fun

People with seasonal allergies can experience a tingling of the mouth or itchy throat from oral allergy syndrome. There is evidence that this happens after eating certain fruits, vegetables, and tree nuts. As a party host, it will be important to know what the guest’s specific allergy is, and ensure a meal is prepared that minimises any reactions. Not forgetting other allergies and intolerances, such as dairy, wheat and gluten. All of which, with TLC’s team of creative chefs, need not be a problem. Modern catering allows for an innovative menu to suit all guests – it just needs careful planning and some theatrical presentation. Allergy UK have some excellent advice on their website.

Private Parties Caterers in Manchester

Last, but not Least

So regardless of your summer allergies, there is no reason for you to miss out on the summer fun. A great host will have soft tissues to hand (branded for a wedding or special party of course), large sun hats and a ‘standby’ box with anti-allergy creams and something to soothe stings. It is also though that a splash of water on the face will dislodge any pollen, so offer facial spritz as a table gift. Ladies may be reluctant at first – make up considered – but we love this Vichy Thermal Mineralising Spa Water…and your guest will too. Always be prepared!

 

I hope our Tips to Beat Summer Allergies at Outdoor Parties has helped with your planning!

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 May 28th 2019

Five unique wedding favour ideas

Five unique wedding favour ideas

Wedding favours provide the perfect opportunity to show your guests how much you appreciate their part in your big day. With our five unique wedding favour ideas you won’t be short of inspiration.

The tradition of giving a gift (bomboniera) to guests on special occasions dates back hundreds of years. Almonds became the gift of choice, because sugar was at that time an expensive luxury.  In the Middle Ages, the European aristocracy and upper classes would give guests five sugared almonds to represent health, wealth, fertility, happiness and longevity. Today, the choice of wedding favours is much more diverse. However the sentiments are the same. And what better way to show your gratitude than with a personalised gift to recognise the contribution each guest has made to your life as a couple and will continue to do in the future.

Here are five unique wedding favours ideas to get you started:

Rustic charm

Place name settings offer the perfect opportunity to integrate personalised unique wedding favours into your day. This will help to streamline your table décor and keeping it clutter free.

Depending on the style and theme of your wedding there are lots of different handmade place-settings to choose from in a variety of materials. For a rural theme we love these hand-sanded wooden coasters from Esty. These can be individually laser-engraved with a guest’s name. Other ideas include a small potted bay tree, wrapped with a hessian bow and individual tag. Individual vintage tin cups with embossed names and filled with treats. Or miniature jars of homemade preserves or local honey.

Warm the heart

If you want your guests to remember your big day with warmth, nothing warms inside and out like a steaming mug of hot chocolate. At the end of the evening, you can either pour out a hot beverage in a personally engraved cuppa. Or else add a sachet of hot chocolate with a small pouch of marshmallows and hand-made cookies for them to enjoy when they get home. There are lots of different types of mugs to choose from. Or, for a truly elegant feel go for a tall hot-chocolate glass engraved with a special, message personalised to present a unique wedding favour to each guest.

For the adults, why not choose their favourite liqueur presented in individual antique medicine bottles. They are popular!  Or offer guests a liqueur from a table side mixologist instead of a favour.  A lovely treat and not many refusals!!

wedding planners based in Manchester TLC LTD

Festive cheer

Third on our list of five unique wedding favour ideas is perfect for Christmas. Winter weddings are magical for many reasons. When it comes to unique wedding favours, use this to your advantage by giving guests gifts they can reuse year after year. For this, any kind of Christmas decoration works well. For personalisation you will need space for engraving, therefore baubles or snow-globes are perfect. These stunning wedding favours will mean that your day is remembered with fondness for years to come.

You could also choose festive spiced gingerbread, iced with names. Or bars of luxury chocolate with a bespoke wedding day wrapper. And for the bigger budgets, individual wrapped gifts that act as place marker and wedding favour.

Five unique wedding favours ideas

Related Topic: If our five unique wedding favours ideas are not enough, here’s some more: More Wedding Favour Ideas

Sweet smell of romance

Don’t forget the importance of fragrance in helping to create atmosphere. Many companies are now offering brides personalised scents for their big day. For a truly luxurious gift, you can capture those memories in a scent and share with guests as scented candles held in beautifully engraved jars.

Jo Malone offers an engraving and monogramming service to allows you to personalise your gifts. For summer the company has some wonderfully evocative fragrances as English Pear & Freesia or Orange Blossom. As well as personalised scents for unique wedding favours.

Five unique wedding favours ideas

Bee-ing kind

While many associate St Valentine with our public day of love, fewer know he is also the patron saint of beekeepers. Personalised wildflower seed-packets help spread the beauty of your love beyond your wedding day. As well as protecting our environment and benefiting future generations. These favours will encourage guests to plant seeds which help bees and other pollinating insects.

Needless to say, ideas are endless when it comes to creating wedding favours. Tie the gift into the design of your big day. Keep it simple and stylish – and you won’t go wrong.

And don’t forget the kids. Colouring packs, personalised rubber ducks, individual boxes of Lego and a jar of coloured smarties.  All make ideal wedding favours.

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 May 14th 2019

Future of Event Design

As we look back to the 10th Anniversary of the CHS Show in Leeds, our MD Liz Taylor wanted to share the highlights of her presentation, The Future of Event Design, delivered to a packed audience in the Leeds First Direct Arena.

Focussing around the Future of Event Design, Liz shared stories, anecdotes and advice to newly appointed event planners, and the more established event professionals who attended the event.

Entertaining. Inspiring. Motivational. The three essential ingredients to any successful event.

 

The transformation of Victoria Warehouse into a wedding overflowing with canopies of floral fabulousness and a sea of candle lit warmth. Credit: www.thelastword.tv

As you can see from the video clip, TLC work at a breakneck pace with a team of trusted suppliers to deliver productions that fulfil these three key elements…… and more. Creating the biggest showcases for a company brand or private individual , the TLC team work tirelessly to design and produce the very best. From large to small, the input of ideas and passion are the same. And the devil is very much in the detail. Let me explain…..

As MD of the Taylor Lynn Corporation I have been planning and producing corporate and private events for over 30 years – during which time the industry has obviously changed significantly! In the next 10 minutes I will give you the whistle stop tour of where I feel we have seen the biggest developments, and what to expect for the future of event design.

The TLC approach to event design is, in a word, holistic. When it comes to design plans, we look at the whole event and how individual aspects can work in synergy together. We see every individual element as an opportunity to reflect our uniquely creative design touch. Every detail, no matter how small, is thoughtfully crafted to reflect the theme and goal of the party. Venue to entertainment. Catering to décor. Each element being an integral part of the guest’s journey into our imagination. This combined with theatrical production and a keen eye for detail. From brand launch, to private celebration, a well curated design can reflect a business or personal message in a unique and, more importantly, eclectic way. Its what we do. And with an 85% repeat business rate and an order book stretching into 2025, I feel we do well.

But this is my time to share some of that experience and knowledge, which I hope you will find helpful in planning your events. For the sake of time today, let’s break this down a little and focus on just three of the key elements in designing an event; theming, entertainment and catering. And look at how this has evolved and what the future holds…….

Raise the Curtain

30 years ago, party décor was more literal. We took our inspiration and made incredible designs completely reflective of the idea. It was more, obvious, in its interpretation perhaps. Now, it’s is subtler and more styled. We focus less on themes and more on creating a stylish ‘journey’ for guests. Immersing them in the experience of the event; whether it be influenced by a corporate brand or lifestyle. And this is set to continue.

Let me Entertain You

From the DJ of the 70s, tribute acts of the 80s, Pop Idol contestants of the 90s to party bands of the 00s, the future certainly holds a more diverse range of entertainment. Artists immersed within the audience. Surprise elements that place the spotlight on talented artists of all kinds. Bespoke bands that blend international artists and musicians; for one night only.

Tempting the Taste Buds

The trend for less formal catering forges ahead. Catering is merging with theatre. Over the next few years, planners will be finding new ways to make food and drink more than just aspect of the design for your event – it delivers a creative message with drama and WOW factor. An example is:

There is one underpinning factor for all these elements, and indeed the future of event design; delivering a feeling of excited anticipation. If you take one thing home from my message today, remember this…. the future of event design will very much be focussed on delivering the unexpected.

Tales of the Unexpected

As an event planner, when you hear those gasps of excitement and mumblings of ‘wow – look at that’…. you know you have achieved something special. This is about generating a sense of engagement with the attendees from the beginning, to curtain call. Creating an eagerness to attend. And an excited anticipation of what is to come. Fulfilling their expectations on the night…. yet, leaving them contently wanting more.

Bespoke invitations that give a hint to the event design is akin to the opening chapter of a book. Room dressing. Lighting, Catering. Drinks. Entertainment. All elements to delivering a unique experience. And at the end of the event, a branded paper bag with carb filled savouries, fish and chips or kebab vans in situ in the car park to soak up the night.

Catering, entertainment and décor will certainly embrace the next 20 years and all it offers, but it is in this sense of anticipation that I can see the biggest development. Planners will be turning the cogs to develop bigger and bolder ideas to whet the appetite of delegates and revellers. As for TLC, well we are already working with the latest technology to look at holographic walls that separate reception and party – ready to explode as the band strikes up – yes, it’s not just in Star Trek!

After 30 years I get up event morning, decide what diet I am on that day, and then embrace the madness. I love it. And if you are in any doubt, the party is most definitely not over

For more TLC event inspiration, take a look at this ‘high octane’ idea!

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 May 7th 2019

Five of the Best English Wines

Five of the Best English Wines

Food to feast on, the best in live entertainment and innovative drinks are at the heart of a successful TLC party. Theatrical, imaginative presentation of your party cocktails and wines is a hallmark of our events. But what is in the glass certainly counts too. For those looking for a more sustainable event drinks idea, a smaller dinner with wine buffs in attendance or to honour the English summer, we have some great wine advice with five of the best English wines.

So, just in time to celebrate English wine week (25 May – 1 June), the TLC team has chosen their favourite five of the best English wines for you to try. Glasses at the ready …..

Winbirri Bacchus

First of all in our selection, and dubbed the Sauvignon Blanc of England, is the Bacchus grape. This has caught the imagination of wine connoisseurs across the globe. The Winbirri Bacchus became a much sought-after still white wine when the family-run vineyard in Norfolk won the Platinum Decanter Award ‘Best in Show: Best White Single-Varietal Wine in the World’ 2017, ahead of more than 17,200 entries.

The longer, drier summers in East Anglia have consequently made for excellent growing conditions for this 34-acre country winery in Surlingham. Made from 100% Bacchus grapes this wine has an elegant nose of grapefruit, passion fruit and floral characters. On the palate the wine gives the subtle flavours of ripe tropical fruits backed with a clean crisp finish.

The 2018 vintage is now available to pre-order. Interest is expected to be high, as it is expected to be among the best English wines.

Cost: £19.50

Five of the Best English Wines

Hattingley Valley’s 2014 Rosé

Hattingley Valley is a family-run business which has been working 60 acres of vineyard to produce premium English sparkling wines in Hampshire for just over a decade. It’s first wines were released in 2013 and have since won numerous awards.

Its 2014 Rosé is clearly among the best English wines having won no fewer than 8 awards. This includes a Gold Medal in 2018 from the Independent English Wine Awards. It is produced from hand-picked Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes,. These were gently pressed before fermentation in white Burgundy barrels. The wine then spent at least 2 years ageing on lees in the bottle, and a further 2 months ageing on cork before release.

And so the result is a subtle and delicate Rosé with an abundance of redcurrant and strawberry aromas. This is supported by fine toasty notes. Winemaker Will Perkins recommends enjoying this Rosé with Cherrystone Clam Chowder served with freshly baked bread.

Cost: £36.00 bottle

Related Topic: Five Gorgeous Cocktails with a Romantic Twist

Late Harvest 2017

Late Harvest 2017 is a rare, sweet wine produced by Astley Vineyard in Worcestershire. The vineyard is one of the oldest in England, established by the Bache family in 1971. Since then its founders have retired. New owners, the Haywood family, have maintained its boutique focus, producing approximately 9,000 bottles of high-quality a year. Alongside the vineyards Old Vine Kerner and Vintage Sparkling Kerner, Astley’s Late Harvest is one of its most celebrated wines.

Late Harvest is a deliciously light, aromatic and refreshing wine. It offers flavours of candied orange, fig, and a touch of Seville orange marmalade. Its relatively light body and medium low acidity, therefore makes it an unusually palatable desert wine, that isn’t overwhelmingly sweet.

At dinner it is an excellent choice to accompany cheeseboards.

Cost: £19.50

Five of the Best English Wines

Balfour Blanc de Blancs 2014

A gold medallist at the International Wine Challenge in 2017, Balfour Blanc de Blanc 2014, produced at the Hush Heath Estate in Kent, is one to savour, with an ageing potential of 8 years plus.

The deep Wealden clay soil which underlies the 50-acre vineyard is unique to this corner of Ken and provides the dense structure for the wines’ vibrant, lively acidity.

The Chardonnay grapes for this Cuvée came entirely from Hush Heath’s Old 8 Acre Vineyard, and were hand-harvested in October 2014, before being fermented in specially designed stainless-steel tanks kept at a cool 16°C to ensure clean, pure characters and complexity. Secondary fermentation in bottle, followed by a minimum 30 months ageing on the lees.

The result is a brilliant white gold colour wine with a vibrant, dry taste, and fine mousse, citrus, and mineral characters. It is an excellent choice to accompany seafood or chicken dishes.

Cost: £45.00 bottle

Sharpham whole berry rosé

Lastly on our list of the five of the best English wines is a true taste of English summer. Look no further than this off-dry, fruity rosé, which bursts with the delicate flavours of strawberries and rhubarb. This 2017 vintage is produced from Pinor Noir/Dornfelder grapes handpicked on the thousand-year-old South Devon farm. The estate, owned by the Sharpham Trust. It is made up of 500 acres of land on sheltered slopes above the River Dart, just two miles downstream of the ancient market town of Totnes.

Sharpham has been producing some of the best English wines for almost 25 years. They combine traditional and modern-day techniques to produce wines offering intense fruit flavours and aromas.

Our choice of whole berry rose has been aged 6 months under controlled conditions in stainless steel. Furthermore, it won the trophy for the best Rose at the South West Vineyards Association 2017. For that reason, the wine is an excellent choice to complement summer salads, cold meats or slightly spicy food.

Cost: £17.50 bottle

Try one of these fabulous wines from our collection of five of the best English wines available, and start the English summer off in style!

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 May 3rd 2019

Five ideas for a football inspired party

Five ideas for a football inspired party

Whether you are heading to Wembley on 18 May or watching on TV, the Emirates FA Cup final is always a good excuse for a party. This year Manchester City and Watford will battle it out to bring home the iconic silverware. To get you in the mood, here are our favourite five ideas for a football inspired party.

1. Play with your hero

For true fans, if you can’t see your team win the FA Cup the next best thing is playing on a pitch side-by-side with your sporting heroes. During May and June many Premiership stadiums offers access to their pitches for people looking for an extra special birthday or corporate football inspired party. Play with a Legend. It offers three-hour party packages that include playing time and socialising with the footballing icon after the match. The birthday party package includes full kit hire, a qualified referee, and a footballing legend to play in your game of 7 or 11 a-side. They will also join you for post-match drinks in the bar to share stories from their career. Footballers available for hire include Ian Rush, Emile Heskey and Teddy Sheringham.

2. Soccer Superstars

For the little football lovers in your life there are lots of indoor and outdoor pitches you can hire by the hour and set up your own mini-tournament. Some sessions are run by professional coaches and can include a wide variety of football inspired party games. Think keepie-up competitions and shoot-outs. For youngsters, a winner’s trophy is a nice touch to have, and medals for every competitor to take away as party favours. After all that activity, the young sportsmen and women and their parents will no doubt have worked-up an appetite. Find a pitch that offers an adjacent party room for hire. Decorate it with a football pitch dancefloor. Tables suspended on giant floral footballs. Linens in the colours of your favourite teams. A cascade of flowers blooming for football boots as creative table displays. Ideas are endless.

Five ideas for a football inspired party Five ideas for a football inspired party Five ideas for a football inspired party

Related Topic: See our Penny Dreadful Inspired Party

3. FIFA champions

Third on our list of five ideas for a football inspired party, set up your own championship experience. Use technology such as X Box FIFA 19 for a football inspired game party. Unlike individual video game play, a party experience heightens the drama as players compete against each other in the same space. You can choose whatever the prize will be – even having knock-out rounds to take home your own party silverware. The best bit is that players can choose their own team, so no matter who you support there is a chance of seeing your colours in the final.

4. Penalty Shoot-Out

Nothing beats the drama of a final penalty shoot-out. And you can recreate the excitement by hiring an inflatable penalty shoot-out for your football inspired party. There are inflatable goals with either Velcro target areas or a series of holes to shoot through with a backdrop to collect the balls. They work well for outdoor parties or in a large indoor space and appeal to both young and old footie fans alike. Simple but fun for a smaller venue….add a Sabbuteo football table and watch grown men battle it out on the pitch! Let the tournament begin!

5. Hear from the best

Last on our collection of five ideas for a football inspired party is for a larger celebration. If you’re planning a more formal football inspired party such as a sportsman’s dinner, as well as football themed décor and entertainment, nothing beats the authenticity of hearing from one of the sport’s well-known greats. Combine with a dinner of match day foods – posh pie and peas, bottled beers chilled to arctic temperatures, piping hot cones of fish and chips and maybe a decadent Mars Bar (the staple of the terraces) inspired dessert. Footballing after dinner speakers for hire include Andy Cole, Ron Atkinson, Michael Owen, Kevin Keegan, John Barnes and Bryan Robson.

Engagement events by the Taylor Lynn Corporation

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