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The 6 Nations England v France match at Twickenham was a thrilling one and Keith Prowse still has some excellent hospitality packages for the England v Scotland match this Saturday 21 March, the most exclusive of which is the Players' Lounge, with an ex international and current players in attendance post-match.
Last week saw the relaunch of The Royal Horseguards Hotel (tel: 020 7839 3344) following a £16m refurbishment plan. Now under Guoman ownership, all 280 bedrooms have been refurbed to five-star standards, alongside the lobby area, and a historian tour guide has been appointed to conduct tours of the conference and banqueting wing, One Whitehall Place.
Visitor numbers were up 5% at the 26th International Confex last week, with total attendance at 15,030 (subject to ABC audit), up from 14,807 last year. "The conference and events industry will come out of the recession faster than many other sectors," said event director Duncan Reid and there was certainly no sign of recessionary gloom on the Square Meal stand, where we welcomed hundreds of visitors who enjoyed free canapés courtesy of the inaugural Canapé Cup stand and copies of our 2009 Guide.
Gather a group of colleagues together and head down to D&D London's Meza, who is raising the stakes every Tuesday with a new Texas Hold 'Em Poker night, transforming the Soho bar into a casino from 6.30pm onwards. Croupiers are on hand to offer advice and brief players on the rules, so even complete beginners can have a go. 'Proper' games start at 8pm.
The Best of Britain & Ireland, in partnership with BBC Magazines & The Telegraph, is an exciting new show that brings the very best of the countries' heritage, food & drink, countryside, coast, plus active & luxury experiences to ExCeL London on 28 & 29 March. It's a great place to source ideas for corporate off-sites and Square Meal readers can claim a free pair of tickets to this exciting new event - simply click here and enter code SQM09.
A new interactive, permanent exhibition opens today at The O2. The British Music Experience, in The O2 Bubble, takes you on a trip through popular music history, using state-of-the-art technology and iconic memorabilia over the last 60 years. The 3,730sq ft 'Finale Space' is available for private events, suitable for everything from cocktail receptions to award ceremonies to banquets. Capacities are 400 standing or 200 seated and private tours of the exhibition can be arranged. Let's rock!
Just when you thought Clapham was full to the brim of trendy restaurants and bars, Aquum (tel: 020 7627 2726) opens this week, promising to bring 'the excitement and glamour of the West End to SW4.' A 4am licence makes it a good choice for parties - exclusive hire is 400 and there's a pre-requisite VIP area, holding 100.
After one of the most exciting climaxes the US Masters has seen in years, all eyes turn to the next golf major, the British Open, taking place from 16-19 July. Ayrshire’s remodelled Turnberry course welcomes the championship back for its 138th incarnation, promising exciting golf and top-notch hospitality with Sodexo Prestige at the helm. Three hospitality packages are on offer, all with a complimentary bar and excellent food offerings.
Stalwart London club Ministry of Sound is fast approaching its 18th birthday and to celebrate, it has spent the past month refurbishing its first floor cocktail lounge. 'Think industrial, neon, raw and contemporary' say the management: it makes a great drinks reception space, with LED tubes lighting the walls and contemporary concrete seating looking down onto the Main Bar below. Capacities are 150 for a drinks reception, 40 for a sit-down dinner and 60 theatre-style.
Friday saw animator Nick Park open an exciting new exhibition at the Science Museum, featuring some of the UK's first inventions to be awarded patents. ‘Wallace & Gromit Present a World of Cracking Ideas’ takes visitors through the pair’s home, using each room to explore different inventions through interaction, animation and creative activities. The exhibition is open for corporate hire outside of museum opening hours until October 31, with a capacity of 200 for drinks receptions.
The world's first horror movie rollercoaster tie-in has launched at Thorpe Park. Taking its inspiration from the Saw movie series, the £13m rollercoaster SAW – The Ride is equally terrifying, with a 100ft ‘beyond vertical’ drop and three corkscrew inversions. Book an event at Lake View, Thorpe Park’s event space, and you get the opportunity to ride SAW once the park has closed to the public.
Now the multi-million pound restoration project at Grosvenor House, A JW Marriot Hotel has finished, the Park Lane hotel has opened up its self-contained events facility 86 Park Lane to daytime use for the first time. The hotel has also been thinking up imaginative ways to celebrate its 80th birthday, one of which is the creation of its own breed of rose – look out for it at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in May.