- Function Rooms: 12
- Max Meeting: 0
- Max Dinner: 0
- Max Reception: 0
- Outdoor Capacity: 95
- Day delegate rate: From £80 ex VAT
- 24 hour delegate rate: From £220 ex VAT
- Bedrooms: 112
Regional Venue Focus Magazine Feature, Autumn 2006 - 'Sunday Drivers'
Square Meal readers enjoy the off-road experience at Tylney Hall
H aving previously held successful overnight reader events at Elite Hotels’ properties in Ashdown Park and Eastbourne, it was with great expectancy that the Square Meal team pitched up at the group’s magnificent Hampshire hotel, Tylney Hall on a balmy Sunday in August. More than 30 readers and guests had been invited and, this time around, we’d added an extra element to the usual itinerary.
Following leisurely lunchtime arrivals, which allowed guests time to explore the grounds, enjoy a complimentary spa treatment or simply lounge by the pool, the pace picked up considerably in the afternoon. As a special treat to help lure top event organisers to the event, we’d asked The Ian Wright Organisation to arrange a series of off-road driving sessions – and, boy, did our plan work.
Not only was the uptake on invitations both fast and enthusiastic, but guests showed just how keen they were by turning out in force for the first session, whether they’d booked themselves in for it, or not. Indeed, a number of them had to be cajoled into relaxing for a while longer before joining the second group. Bearing in mind that these were all event organisers (and certainly no strangers to quality entertainment), just imagine how well this kind of activity could go down at your company’s next off-site event.
The afternoon saw guests take part in two different driving games. First up, everyone had great fun attempting to control the cerebrally challenging ‘Reverse-Steer Land Rover’, a task that some mastered more successfully than others. One reader, who shall remain nameless, managed to knock over every single cone on the course (her achievement was naturally recognised with an award).
The one that really grabbed everyone’s attention was the speedy ‘Apache Off-Road Rally Challenge’. Designed and built specifically for the corporate market by Ian Wright himself, Apaches are fiercely fast little vehicles – max speed 120mph – that never fail to put a smile on participants’ faces. When put through their paces on a multi-corner circuit, they cause much hilarity as drivers grow over-confident and spin off the course.
Tiffany Fortney of Lehman Brothers summed up most people’s thoughts in her thank-you note, in which she wrote: ‘The grounds of Tylney Hall were absolutely beautiful. However, I would have to say that the highlight of the day was driving around like mad in Ian Wright’s Apaches.’ The driving – ‘spins and all’ – was also the highlight for Briony Thompson, the event manager at Incisive Media, who told us it was great to have a thorough look at the venue’s facilities and meet some really interesting industry people.
There was plenty of opportunity for reconnaissance and socialising during the evening, which kicked off with Pimm’s and canapes on the lawn, before a showround that took in some of the 12 function rooms and 112 bedrooms. Afterwards, both the conversation and the good wine flowed freely during a well-executed dinner of lobster and crab terrine, stuffed chicken breast and a wonderful berry cheesecake, before the group settled in for a nightcap or three on the terrace.
Square Meal throws a varied programme of reader events throughout the year. If you would like to be considered for future invitations, please send your name, job title and contact details to [email protected]
Click through for Tylney Hall’s venue review.