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January saw the first event to take place on newly launched The Royal Deck, aboard The Royal Yacht Britannia in Edinburgh. Once used by the royal family for cocktail parties and receptions, it has breathtaking views over the Firth of Forth, with a fully restored teak deck, awning-style roof and glass walls. It also boosts the Yacht's dining capacity to 176 and receptions up to 380.
Prestige Scotland has won the catering contract for the new John Hope Gateway visitor facility, opening at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh in the summer. A new 120-cover restaurant and 40-capacity VIP room will also be available in the evening for private hire, for weddings and conferences for up to 190 guests; a highlight is a large roof terrace overlooking the wonderful 70-acre gardens.
Leeds Metropolitan University will open a new state-of-the-art conferencing facility, The Rose Bowl (tel: 0113 812 5451), on 1 April. The five-storey facility, taking its name from the Leeds Met Rose, is situated behind the Civic Hall in the heart of the city’s Civic Quarter, and will offer dedicated 10,000sq m of conference and events space.
Launching this week is a sister hotel to the highly successful Fitzwilliam Hotel in Dublin. The boutique five-star The Fitzwilliam Belfast (tel: 02890 311588) has four naturally lit meeting rooms, holding up to 55 theatre style, and an excellent city centre location next to the Grand Opera House.
Cedar Court Leeds/Bradford (tel: 0845 4090418) has relaunched its newly refurbished Cedar Suite after a £500,000 investment that included the installation of six state-of-the-art fibre-optic chandeliers and a ‘starlight’ ceiling. The Cedar Suite is the hotel’s flagship events and conference space, accommodating 850 for events and 650 banquet-style.