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Diners at new signature restaurant 1906 at luxury Scottish golf resort Turnberry (tel: 01655 331000) can now enjoy a Chef's Table experience, for a minimum of eight and maximum of 10 guests. In the capable hands of executive chef Ralph Porciani, three set menu choices featuring classic French cuisine are offered, followed by post-dinner chats with the chef de cuisine, a tour of the kitchen, a gift and a nightcap.
Here's one for James Bond wannabes: newly formed adventure challenge company Life Survival is offering people a genuine taster of how the secret service operates. Groups of 60 can take part in a Double O Secret Agent weekend at Rushton Hall in Northamptonshire, guided by former members of the Special Forces and Security Services.
The award-winning One Spa at the Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa in Edinburgh has launched six new spa day packages specifically aimed at corporate groups of five or more. The packages include exclusive use of the spa’s new treatment suite with private welcome and relaxation areas and a dedicated spa concierge.
Sandwiched neatly between the M3 and M4 corridors, Wasing Park is Berkshire's latest addition to the corporate events market. Choose between the 18th-century Castle Barn seating up to 150; The Garden Room for smaller meetings in a more contemporary setting with a garden terrace; or the self-contained Stables Lodge with its 11 ensuite bedrooms, meeting room and dining room. Teambuilding opportunities are also plentiful in the estate’s vast 4,000 acreage.
Newly launched at Bluewater, iPilot is a hi-tech flight simulator that offers up to 15 people a jet-flying experience under the guidance of experienced pilot instructors. An exact replica of a Boeing 737, you can fly to many of the world's leading airports. Further UK locations will follow next year.
Three Yorkshire venues have won major regional awards, putting the county even more firmly on event organisers' maps. Well Met Conferencing's flagship venue The Rose Bowl has won the 'Design Excellence Award' at the Yorkshire Property Industry Awards, while at the White Rose Awards 2009, Sheffield City Hall has won 'Business Tourism of the Year' and Swinton Park 'Hotel of the Year'.
It's hard to beat London's two Big Chill venues for a laid-back private party; now the West Country is getting a taste of the action with the opening of Big Chill Bristol (tel: 0117 9304217). There's exclusive hire for 200 or various individual spaces, including a private courtyard, are available throughout the three-story venue.
Elite Hotels is helping everyone weather the recession with a substantial saving on conferences at any of its UK venues. For every four delegates booking a residential or day meeting that takes place before 31 December 2010, the fifth delegate goes free, representing a saving of 20%. There's only one snag - bookings have to be confirmed before 30 November 2009.
Perfect for cold winter nights, Temple Guiting (tel: 020 7706 1309) is newly available for corporate events for up to 20 people. The brains behind the rambling Cotswold stone house is Sophie Conran, who has put together a list of bespoke activities, mainly food orientated. Conference facilities can be organised for more formal meetings in between the fun bits.