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The fourth floor meeting rooms at the London Hilton on Park Lane have reopened following a half-a-million-pound refurbishment. The eight rooms, business centre, breakout reception area and large lobby have been transformed from traditional English boardroom to sleek modern lines with a quirky 60s twist. Holding up to 50, adjustable mood lighting and funky ergonomic chairs add to the effect.
Launched in time for Christmas but available from now and throughout 2010, Metropolitan London has introduced dazzling new 'Platinum' private dining packages. To be enjoyed in any of the hotel's five event spaces, you can also hire the COMO suite, holding up to 50, and get an overnight stay in the swanky suite included. Expect sleek black linen, glass charger plates, candlelit platinum and silver sand-storm lanterns plus contemporary floral displays and Swarovski crystals scattered over the tables.
24 conference rooms in the Twickenham Building have been refurbished at the Teddington-based Lensbury Hotel & Club. All rooms now feature enhanced AV, video conferencing and new soft furnishings, alongside increased capacities to 225 theatre style. Enjoy the new rooms by taking advantage of the venue's 2010 early-bird offer of reduced DDRs in January and February. The venue has also just been chosen as the training camp for the South African 2012 Olympic team.
As if Altitude 360 hasn't been busy enough with the launch of the River Room over the summer, the 29th floor venue is now opening a third space, at the foot of the Millbank Tower. The Millbank Cinema and Media Centre is set to become one of London's top screening and dedicated presentation venues, with a capacity of 350. Adjoining the room is a stylish lounge bar which is already available for Christmas bookings, for 10 to 200 people. The collective capacity of the Altitude 360 venues now exceeds 1,600, with 22,000sq ft of space.
Following a £250,000 investment by Sodexo Prestige, who manage events and catering aboard HMS Belfast, the historic vessel is undergoing an intensive restoration and modernisation programme, ready to relaunch to guests in time for Christmas. The Admiral’s Quarters, once his private dining room and sitting room, are being restored to their former glory, as are The Ward and Ante Room. The Gun Room and The Ship’s Company Dining Room are also being updated and modernised with new carpets, AV equipment and broadband.
Hang out in the former workshop of the Bloomsbury Set at 33 Fitzroy Square, newly available for private hire through Rouge Events in Fitzrovia. A beautifully understated five-story Grade I-listed Georgian townhouse, there's a wide choice of rooms, including a basement private screening room for 20, a roomy kitchen with space for dining and a light-filled gallery for drinks receptions, not to mention a private garden
Mark Sargeant, who has worked for Gordon Ramsay Holdings for the past 13 years and is a close friend of the chef, has just announced his new position as creative director of the Swan Collection (encompassing Swan at the Globe and The Swan in West Malling, Sargeant’s home town in Kent). The already sterling reputation of catering and events in the UnderGlobe and the Balcony Room at the Bankside venue are sure to benefit still further from Sargeant's expertise (one of his most recent roles was running Gordon Ramsay at Claridges).
The Soho House group has been busy busy, what with the launch of Pizza East earlier this month and now the Dean Street Townhouse which opens this week. Events facilities are minimal but a sexy 10-seater private dining room (12 at a push) and adjoining lounge area complete with open (real) fire are great for small parties. Bedroom prices start at an incredibly reasonable £95 (there are 39 bedrooms in total) and a buzzing restaurant with a tasty British menu is sure to be a big hit with Soho media types.
Shoreditch members' club hangout The East Room is opening up a rooftop pop-up Alpine Lodge designed with parties and group bookings in mind. Called 'The Clubhouse', it holds 60-70 people, who can cosy down in squishy sofas and enjoy a roaring open fire, with 'views' of Mont Blanc. Foodwise, classic sharing menus include a bubbling three-cheese fondue, tartiflette or Pot au Feu. Groups can also buy the Grey Goose Glacier, a giant rehoboam of frozen vodka, or organise a ‘Keg Party’ with an 88 pint barrel of beer. The Lodge is open until February.
Following a distrubution deal with three major Hollywood film studios, the Odeon & UCI Cinemas Group (OUCG) is to install digital projectors in all its UK cinemas. With 187 digital screens already within its portfolio, the remainder will cost more than £70m to complete. Venue hire facilities and private screenings are available for groups of up to 1,600 at any of chain's nationwide cinemas.
The trendy Proud stable is branching out from its Camden base into Chelsea (tel: 020 7349 0822), where a new gallery has just opened and is available for private hire for up to 140, and into the City, with the launch of Proud Cabaret (tel: 020 7283 1940). Modelled on a 1920s speakeasy, it offers fine dining and entertainment in glamorous surrounds, with a VIP area holding 50 and available for private hire.