Archive for July, 2013

After travelling for just over an hour and a half we found ourselves at the entrance to the Mercure Windsor Castle Hotel, what a sight, a beautiful traditional building with balconies and large windows. From the front the hotel looked quite large, but once we walked through the door it was even more grand and spacious than expected, kind of like a tardis, with the added benefit of a well appointed car park. We were welcomed warmly at the reception desk when we checked in. In my opinion first impressions are key, so having a smiling face to welcome guests is very important, which the Mercure Windsor Castle Hotel have down to a tee. When we got to our room we were impressed by the finishing touches and soft furnishings that made the room feel homely and comfortable, rather than cold and sterile.

So after a little rest and a quick change we went back down to the main part of the hotel where we were met by the lovely Jane Clement and David Hayden and other staff from the hotel for a champagne and canapé reception. The champagne went down a little too well and the canapés were delightful. The reception was followed by a show round of the fabulous function rooms that the hotel has to offer. The function space is so varied and versatile that it would be perfect for any type of event, especially private dining for a Masonic Weekend. The Windsor and Georgian Suites are absolutely breathtaking and would be ideal for large functions and big groups. Then we were shown to our private dining suite for the evening, the menu was well selected, and the food was beautifully presented and tasted amazing. The service was impeccable and the staff were so accommodating, there were a few fussy eaters who changed their menu at the last minute, the staff made the changes without any trouble and all of the food arrived at the same time, which is difficult with changes at such short notice especially for a large group. Dietary requirements were noted by the hotel and the menu steered clear of all ingredients that any of the guests were allergic to. We were entertained by a very well thought out quiz during dinner which was both testing and interesting at the same time.

Windsor Castle Hotel

The next morning we got ready for a day of excitement. Breakfast certainly set us up for what was to come, it was varied and delicious. We met outside the hotel to watch the Changing of the Guard Procession; I would highly recommend watching this to anyone who visits Windsor. We then walked down to the river to jump on a riverboat taxi to Windsor Racecourse for a fun fuelled day at the races. Sadly I didn’t win, but watching the races and taking a punt on which horse would win made up for that. The food at the racecourse was amazing and the staff manning the bars were so attentive and friendly. When we arrived back at the hotel from the races we needed a rest, so we sat in the lounge and relaxed before having a more informal buffet dinner in the gorgeous Windsor Suite. Again the food was faultless and wonderfully presented.

Windsor Suite       Windsor Suite 2

After a good night sleep we had another fantastic full breakfast, did a little bit of shopping in the centre of beautiful Windsor, then checked out to begin our journey back to Bournemouth.

Overall it was a fantastic weekend, great food, great company and a very comfortable bed, what more could you ask for?

For more information on planning your Ladies’ Festival please contact Matt Devine or the rest of the team at Square Events and Perfect Weekend by phone on 01202 400855 or by email to matt.devine@squareeventsmanagement.com


Read Full Post »

After a long day in the office my colleague and I from Brief2Event and Square Events arrived at Bartley Lodge Hotel. We were greeted by a long, sweeping driveway that perfectly set up the country manor feel of the building itself our check-in was very fast, we were both delighted with the room we were staying in, very clean, modern but still within keeping with the country manor feel.

Shortly afterwards we met the lovely Nicki Smith for a drinks reception and a show round. The Baronial Hall is an extremely versatile space and would serve perfectly as a function room for private dining, meetings or conferences. The room benefits from wood panelling and has a very traditional feel, one of the best aspects of this room is the large windows overlooking the gardens with access to the patio, which would be ideal for a drinks reception in the summer evenings or as an area to unwind in during conference breaks.

Bartley Lodge Hotel has an ‘old’ part and a ‘new’ part to the hotel. They offer four different categories of bedrooms – Keeper (cosy standard), Agister (standard rooms), Verderer (larger rooms with all amenities) and Crown (executive, some with four poster beds and additional luxuries) The hotel has an indoor swimming pool and sauna for all residents to use.

We dined in the Crystal Restaurant in the hotel conservatory and had the opportunity to sample the new menu for the ‘Spring/Summer’ season. The selections were extensive and the food was delicious. The menu would be great for a private dining experience, such as a Masonic Ladies Festival. The hotel had really pulled out all the stops and this was evident with my dessert I had the chocolate brownie which was presented as a New Forest scene with a side of ‘soil and mushrooms’ they had made mini marshmallows and cookies as the mushrooms and soil was crushed up cookies with fennel for grass. It was a great touch and everyone made comments regarding the dessert. The meal was delicious and we were certainly not left hungry!

We enjoyed a restful night’s sleep in our well-appointed bedroom and breakfast the next day really set us up for a day’s activities in the New Forest.

For more information on organising your Masonic event in the New Forest or the UK please contact Guy Mason, Matt Devine or the rest of the team at Square Events and Perfect Weekend using the details below:

01202 400855


Read Full Post »