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Delion at Luton Hoo Hotel

In our continuing series of articles showcasing case studies of meetings, incentive days, conferences and events hosted by Elite Hotels, this week we take a look at a themed baroque dinner hosted at the stunning Mansion House at Luton Hoo Hotel, Golf & Spa on the Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire border. FactfileCompany: Various companies...more info

Tylney Hall - Tylney Hall’s gardeners work...

Following a winter of acrimonious storms, Estate Manager, Paul Tattersdill, and his team of four gardening staff at Tylney Hall Hotel, located near Hook in Hampshire, have been working tirelessly over the past couple of months to restore the gardens to their former glory. After the wettest January on record, and being battered by gusts of wind of...more info

ITV at Ashdown Park Hotel & Country Club

At Elite Hotels we are dedicated to providing the highest level of service and outstanding quality when it comes to supporting businesses with their meetings, incentive days, conferences and events.  In a series of upcoming articles, we look at a collection of recent case studies of companies who have hosted an event at each of our hotels....more info

Tylney Hall - Get Crafty this Easter

With only a week left until Easter and the children home for the holidays, I thought it might be nice to put together some Easter craft ideas. Thanks to the lovely Pinterest, I have collated a number of my favourite Easter Crafts that I hope will give you some inspiration this week to keep you & your little ones entertained. There are lots...more info

The Grand - Happy 25th Birthday to the...

Posted 9th April 2014 In 1989 Peter Hawley, the General Manager of the Grand at the time was given £400,000 to establish another restaurant, this was prompted by a warning from the AA that the hotel might lose it’s five-star status if it could not offer guests the choice of two restaurants!.  The task was on to create what we have come to know...more info

Tylney Hall - A night at the West End

We are a nation of musical lovers. I am sure there are many of you reading this that have seen all the classics, bought tickets for your all time favourite musical on more than one occasion and can sing along to the best known numbers. From the moment we purchase the tickets to a musical at the West End, we cannot wait for the night to come...more info

Meetings that changed the world

‘When people come together, they change the world’ … no phrase has been truer than for meetings of important historical significance.  Here we take a look at some of the more memorable meetings of the past and how they really did change the world. June 1948Winston Churchill addresses a crowd of 114,000 at Luton Hoo During the Second World War,...more info

Tylney Hall - Spring Has Sprung at Tylney...

With the lovely warm and sunny days we have been having recently and the start of British summer time last weekend, it has inspired me to begin making some plans for the weekends to come, which I thought would be nice to share with you. Plan a spring breakOn the 1st April we are launching our Spring Breaks at Tylney Hall. Whether you would like to...more info

Tylney Hall - Our Spring Wedding Showcase

Wedding season is just around the corner and at Tylney Hall, we are getting ready for our Spring Wedding Showcase on Sunday 13th April. With this in mind, I thought it might be interesting to share some wedding statistics from the past year, courtesy of a blog posted by www.theukweddingshows.co.uk In 2013 there were 234,464 marriages that took...more info

Tailoring your incentive day

Whether your group is made up of ladies or gentlemen or you are catering for a mixed group, we take a look at the ideal events and incentive days, which everyone will enjoy You may feel that events and incentive days need to be pigeon holed into specific gender groups.  But while it is true that there tends to be standard preferences across gender...more info

Maximising attendance at events

Whether you are organising a key business conference, product launch or glittering fundraising evening, obtaining the highest levels of attendance is key to the overall success of any event.  Here we explore some of the ways in which you can ensure that attendance at your event is maximised. Fine tune your guest listMake sure your potential guest...more info

Ashdown Park - Employee of the Year!

With our renowned reputation for outstanding service continuing to be a top priority, we recently named our 'Employee of the Year' at the annual staff party. Becoming 'Employee of the Year' is no mean feat. Only the crème de la crème of staff are in line for the coveted title. The nominated staff are chosen throughout the year, on a monthly basis...more info

Luton Hoo - We welcome a touch of The Ritz

Please join us in welcoming our new Wernher Restaurant Manager Stefano Litti! Stefano, who previously spent eight years at The Ritz Hotel in London, successfully worked his way up the hospitality industry ladder by being promoted to Assistant Restaurant Manager at the hotel, a role which he kept for five years. Stefano was born in Italy and lived...more info

Tylney Hall - Tylney Hall Employee of the...

With its renowned reputation for outstanding service continuing to be a top priority, Tylney Hall Hotel in Rotherwick, Hampshire recently named their ‘Employee of the Year’. With over 150 staff working at the luxury country house retreat, and the highest standard of service expected at all times, becoming ‘Employee of the Year’ at Tylney Hall...more info

Getting away from it all

Research studies have shown that the relaxing environment of the countryside can boost your mood and reduce stress.  Working long hours, continuously meeting deadlines and dealing with making key business decisions can all take their toll on our ability to focus effectively.  Switching our surroundings to a more measured and calmer pace will allow...more info

Tylney Hall - From London to Paris

A kind-hearted staff member at Tylney Hall Hotel in Hook, will be taking part in the challenging London to Paris Bike Ride in July, in aid of Macmillan Cancer Care. Michael Driscoll, who has worked with Tylney Hall’s restaurant team for 17 months, decided to sign up for the mammoth bike ride back in November last year because he wanted to help...more info

Choosing the right events for small...

There are an estimated 4.9 million businesses in the UK with SMEs accounting for 99.9 per cent of all private sector companies.  From a micro business of 0-9 employees to a small company of 10-49 staff organising appropriate events, which will engage teams and incentivise individuals, can be difficult to navigate but it is a great way to deliver a...more info

The benefits of neutral territory

We’ve all been there - suffering a lack of inspiration, a mental block or even a flurry of fatigue during a key business meeting.  However, such frustrations can often all be ailments of our environment and surroundings and, at times, remedying this with a change of scenery is a good way to take back control and inject a fresh approach in to a...more info

Tylney Hall - Mothering Sunday Celebrations

A day to honour and show gratitude to your much deserving Mothers, Mothering Sunday is celebrated across the globe – usually during early spring. With very few holidays celebrated worldwide, I thought it might be interesting to research the different traditions celebrated on Mothering Sunday. It may also spark a few ideas to help you spoil your...more info

Incentive days: aiding workplace harmony

Your staff are one of your most important business assets.  With staff turnover tipped to return to new highs as the economy improves, retaining good staff is crucial to ensuring consistency within the business structure.  How you treat your staff is pivotal to the rate of retention as well as harmony in the workplace and it makes good business...more info

Ashdown Park - Most Deserving couple head to...

A member of the maintenance team here at Ashdown Park Hotel, Roger Dann, and his wife, Leslie, have been named ‘Most Deserving People in the UK’ following a competition run by Damart UK. The couple have devoted the last 15 years of their lives to helping the destitute street boys of Kenya, and have been responsible for setting up two safe houses...more info

Events with a difference

Events and incentive days should be both interesting and engaging for attendees.  Choosing a theme for your event or incentive day needn’t be a minefield.  With a plethora of themes to choose from, which are both different and thought provoking, a well-planned event with a relevant and appropriate theme will leave a lasting impression on everyone...more info

Luton Hoo - 2013 Employee of the Year

With our renowned reputation for outstanding service continuing to be a top priority, we recently named our ‘Employee of the Year’ at an event hosted in our waterside venue, Warren Weir. With over 235 staff working at our luxury country house retreat, and the highest standard of service expected at all times, becoming ‘Employee of the Year’ here...more info

The meeting of minds

Why face to face decision making works With all the o ngoing advances in technology it is tempting as a business to want to tap into this as much as possible and the MICE sector is no exception.  Utilising technology for meetings, incentives, conferences and events is, of course, a natural progression in an age where gadgets are fast becoming the...more info

MICE & technology: trends in 2014

As the ever changing face of technology continues to evolve, we take a look at the top technological trends to watch out for in the MICE sector in 2014.. There are hundreds of new apps and technological advances being designed in order to assist with meetings, incentives, conferences and events.  From planning to hosting, a technological device...more info

Tylney Hall - Hook Junior School pupils...

Approximately 90 year three children from Hook Junior School attended Tylney Hall Hotel in Rotherwick last month to learn about the hotel’s past and present roles within the community. Estate Manager at Tylney Hall, Paul Tattersdill, led the students on a garden tour around the estate where they learnt about how the various areas, such as the...more info

Summer Parties

With springtime approaching rapidly, January is the ideal time to start thinking about planning a corporate summer party and researching potential events and venues.  Hosting a summer party for your business is a perfect way to add a new dimension to team building exercises, to incentivise staff or launch a product. Here we give our top tips and...more info

Tylney Hall - Saint Valentine’s Day

Is it nearly that time of year again I hear you cry? With less than a month to go until Valentine’s Day, shops are fully stocked with cards and all things romantically related but have you started making those all important plans that your much loved other half will be anticipating? What’s that you say? Valentine’s is just a clever marketing...more info

Ashdown Park - A visitor's perspective

The last time I visited Ashdown Park was on a bright sunny May weekend so I must admit to not knowing what to expect when returning in the deep mid-winter to celebrate my husband's birthday - once again, it did not disappoint. At reception we were greeted by name despite us never having met the receptionist on our prior visit (one can only assume...more info

My application journey...

.....from application to acceptance Whilst studying law at the University of Durham, I knew that a career in law was not for me and that my true passion lay in the hospitality industry, with a dream goal of running my own hotel. As such, towards the end of my final year I started looking for a way to get my foot onto the first rung of my chosen...more info

The Evolution of Events

Trends to look out for in 2014 Elite Hotels has been delivering top quality meetings, incentive days, conferences and events for many, many years.  During that time we have seen many changes in the industry and how the events sector has grown and evolved. Looking forward to 2014, the MICE industry predicts that the sector will be enjoying renewed...more info

The Personal Touch

Getting the most from your meeting, incentive day, conference or event According to a recent analysis of the UK hotel sector, venues can expect “sustained and enhanced prospects” during 2014.  However, with PricewaterhouseCoopers warning that the market place will remain a “challenging environment” well into 2015, MICE venues, more than ever...more info

Tylney Hall - New Year, New You in 2014

I am sure you are all familiar with the ever popular New Year’s resolution “I’m going to do more exercise.” We all start with good intentions at the beginning of the year; join a gym, get up early and go every week but it is no surprise that 78% of people fail in their New Year’s resolutions. Modern day life is a stressful place, what with work,...more info

Tylney Hall - How to choose your wedding...

What Questions should I really be asking my prospective wedding photographer? - Answered by Mark Seymour, a preferred wedding photographer at Tylney Hall Hotel. 1    Take a good recommendation from friends and family who like and have a similar taste to you. A good referral is worth its weight in gold . If you know a friend who loved their...more info

Planning your corporate golf event

A round of golf can add value to your business meetings and training days.   Golf has long been synonymous with business meetings and corporate incentive days and it is easy to see why.  A sport which is accessible for all ages and all abilities are few and far between. This makes golf an ideal choice for business networking, meetings, corporate...more info

Our guide to ‘green’ meetings and events

With many businesses now opting to choose environmentally friendly venues, ‘greening’ and corporate responsibility have now become a dominant trend in the meetings, incentives, conferences and events sector.  But how do you go about ensuring you have a sound philosophy in place for choosing an environmentally sustainable and socially responsible...more info

Tylney Hall - Tylney top 12 things to do...

Christmas is in full swing at Tylney Hall; the decorations are up, our log fires are roaring and our team are working hard to ensure all our guests have a wonderful and special Christmas with us this year. We all have our favourite things we love to do over the Christmas period but I wanted to find out from our members of the Tylney team how...more info

The secret to organising a successful event

What are the secrets to planning a successful meeting, incentive day, conference or event?  Here we reveal some of our tips and ideas for getting it right. While the event itself is evidently important in the planning process, with attention being focused on the event’s content, it is also prudent to spend time considering the more practical...more info

Tylney Hall - Christmas Shopping

How are you getting along with your Christmas shopping? Have you bought all your presents, wrapped them and placed them under your tree? Are you currently battling the crowds and racking your brain to find that perfect gift? Or have you not started and the sense of panic is beginning to set in? I started my shopping a little later this year than I...more info

Luton Hoo - Create your own chocolate yule...

Top cooking tips and techniques were shared last week at Luton Hoo Hotel’s festive Ladies Lunch when Executive Head Chef, Kevin Clark, demonstrated how to create a beautiful chocolate Yule Log. Chef Clark showcased how to prepare, bake, roll and ice the popular festive confection and provided a copy of his recipe to guests (shown below).  The...more info

Ashdown Park - Winter Tales

With Christmas just around the corner and the trees and decorations all up in the hotel, it's bee n a very busy time for the estates team. Our work never finishes and over the coming months we have a number of important projects to complete. One project in progress is the new planting of a range of topiary which has been planted in the recently...more info

Strategic management of your meeting

Managing your meeting, incentive day, conference or event need not be a minefield.  Here we offer some entry level advice for creating your strategic meetings management policy (SMMP). A Busines s Travel Show survey recently revealed a third consecutive rise in the merger of MICE and travel.  58 per cent of senior business travel managers are now...more info

Tylney Hall - Savour some winter warmth

Some flavours and aromas just bring Christmas to mind in an instant – and mulled wine has to be near the top of the list. Its particular blend of spices and alcohol is brimming with the spirit of Christmas, with an added kick. We are ready this festive season with our recipe for mulled wine, to enhance our guests comfort, preferably savoured...more info

Co-ordinating Your Event

Events Co-ordinators: easing the organisation burden for your meeting, conference, incentive day or event Dedicated e vents co-ordinators will prove invaluable when organising your meeting, incentive day, conference, or event.  Here we talk about the different benefits. While many venues are dedicated to providing appropriate space for your...more info

The Grand - Chefs Christmas shopping list!

Posted 3rd December 2013 At a time when we are all putting together our own Christmas food shopping list, we thought it might be fun to ask our Executive Head Chef, Keith Mitchell what his list is like to make sure he has plenty of food to feed the 200 guests booked to stay for the 4 day House Party this year! In addition to the 400kg of...more info

The Grand - Hotel review with a Dr Who twist!

Posted 29th November 2013 We are always delighted to welcome journalists to the Grand and this one was no exception.  Kelly from ParentingSolo came with her 10 year old William to sample the delights of 'England's only 5 Star Seaside Hotel' last weekend.   We thought you might like a read of their experiences.   Here at the Grand we run a staff...more info

The Grand - Eastbourne Youth Radio...

Posted 26th November 2013 Every year Eastbourne Youth Radio (EYR) 87.7FM, a project involving hundreds of young people from across the Eastbourne area broadcast a 3 day spectacular run entirely by the students.  This year was no exception with over 25 schools and colleges taking part.  Each learning centre picked their own topic and got an hour...more info

The Benefit of Professional Speakers

Hiring a professional speaker for a meeting, incentive day, conference, or event can make a world of difference to your business.  We explain how you can find the right one. Professional speakers can have a huge impact on the value of your meeting, conference, training day or event.  Depending upon requirements of the event, benefits range from...more info

The Art of Motivation

Incentive days and team building events are more than a day out of the office.  They are pivotal in providing the motivational inspiration needed to sustain staff morale.  Here we explain why. Retaining quality staff is essential for the continued success and growth of any business.  Maintaining a positive working environment provides the tools...more info

My First Working Christmas in a Kitchen

It was a strange feeling, being woken on Christmas morning by the alarm clock knowing that today would be ‘another day in the office’ for me.  It was the first time I had worked on Christmas Day.  When I arrived in the Luton Hoo kitchen the entire team were there, ready to make the day memorable for our guests.  The atmosphere was great, it was as...more info

Ashdown Park - More News from our Executive...

Our Executive Head Chef, Andrew Wilson, has been inducted into the prestigious Chaîne des Rôtisseurs at a ceremony hosted in London last month. The Chaîne des Rôtisseurs is an international gastronomic society, founded in Paris in 1950, which traces its origins back to 1248. At that time, King Louis IX, wishing to thank the trades which had...more info

Tylney Hall - The History of Afternoon Tea

Our afternoon teas are one of our bestsellers at Tylney Hall and this has recently got me thinking, why is the tradition of afternoon tea so popular and where did it all begin? According to Twinings, “afternoon tea is rumoured to date all the way back to 1662 when Catherine of Braganza, King Charles II of England's Portuguese wife, introduced tea...more info

The Rise of the Corporate ‘staycation’

The benefits of meetings  venues with overnight accommodation Hosting a meeting, incentive day, conference, or event doesn’t need to be complicated.  Here, Elite Hotels explains how companies may benefit from choosing meetings venues with overnight accommodation. Last week The World Travel Market (WTM) reported in their annual Global Trends Report...more info

The Grand - Philip Bedford wedding...

Posted 6th November 2013 Delighted to be offering up another wonderful blog from a talented local photographer... this time it's Philip Bedford who provides the stunning images of David and Lauren's wedding here at the Grand in August.  We are just loving the balloons! Thanks again Philip and hope you all enjoy the read.......   Click here to...more info

The Science of Meetings

How the meeting venue makes all the difference when focusing the mind Choosing the right meeting venue for your conference, incentive day or event is as much about the mind as the meeting.  The meeting of minds; it’s an important part of any business’s process and a core factor when planning for the future.  Making decisions, developing the...more info

Luton Hoo - Luton Hoo Apprentice Chef...

Oliver Miccoli, Luton Hoo Hotel, Golf & Spa’s Apprentice Chef, has graduated with a Distinction in the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts Diploma in Professional Cookery. Each year, Luton Hoo Hotel, Golf & Spa welcomes a student apprentice into their kitchens to study and work towards achieving their Diploma.  Oliver has spent the last three...more info

The Grand - Downton-on-Sea Weddings

Posted 30th October 2013 A big thank you to our friend and preferred supplier, wedding photographer extraordinaire... Peter Prior for his lovely blog and images of a recent wedding at The Grand for Marc and Rebecca. Marc and Rebecca wanted a 'Downton' theme and that is what they managed to achieve... and in such style. Enjoy the read...more info

Half Term Quandary

With a feeling of paternal responsibility and with half term approaching, I decided to take Monday 28th October off work to spend with my young family.   My wife and I had been debating what to do for weeks.  She had convinced me that a day spent in London with the children was overdue.  The Natural History Museum was agreed upon as our...more info

Luton Hoo - A Golf Club Team of Champions!

We are delighted to announce that our Golf Club Team was crowned County Champions in last week’s Mid Handicap League hosted at Bedford & County Golf Club.   Competing alongside 19 other teams from Bedfordshire, Luton Hoo Golf Club came through their initial heats, which were held both home and away, losing only one match on their path to the...more info

Feeding and inspiring minds

How meals make all the difference to delegates at meetings, events and conferences... When booking a venue for a conference, event, business meeting or incentive day consider the importance of meal options and how these affect a delegate’s performanceConcentrating at an important business meeting, attending a day of incentive building activities...more info

The Perfect Corporate Christmas Party

Find the perfect choice of corporate festive packages and stunning venues to make any Christmas party pop and seasonal event a success Planning a corporate Christmas party can seem like a daunting prospect.  Locating the perfect venue, deciding upon a theme, guaranteeing delicious food along with comfortable accommodation, all of which need to...more info

Tylney Hall - Tylney Hall Hotel shortlisted...

 We are delighted to announce that Tylney Hall have been shortlisted for ‘Large Hotel of the Year’ in this year’s prestigious Beautiful South Awards. The awards, which are organised by Tourism South East for businesses in the tourism and hospitality industry, are presented to companies which provide an exceptional level of service within their...more info

Elite’s philosophy on meetings

Whether you are hosting a small business meeting, a dazzling evening event, important conference or staff incentive day, Elite’s philosophy behind your important business occasion remains consistent and concise. At Elite Hotels we have many years’ experience and expertise hosting important business meetings, events, conferences and incentive days...more info

Luton Hoo - The Perfect Setting

Luton Hoo Hotel is the perfect setting for weddings and receptions. The stunning location set within 1,065 acres of English countryside and impressive architecture offers a wealth of inspirational backdrops for photographs on your big day. With award winning service and a dedicated team, including our wedding expert Marje Ednie, we provide a...more info

Tylney Hall - Our Autumn Garden Open Day

The legacy of one of England’s greatest garden designers and architects, Gertrude Jekyll, will be showcased at a charity garden open day at Tylney Hall Hotel, Hampshire on Sunday 6th October. The 66 acres of beautifully manicured gardens will open to the public from 10am to 4pm under the National Gardens Scheme (NGS). Many of Gertrude Jekyll’s...more info

Tylney Hall - Kerstin Florian Sensitive Skin...

As someone who suffers from very sensitive skin, my beauty regime consists of prescription moisturisers and shower gels. Simple everyday luxuries, such as relaxing bath oils and scented body lotions, are out of the question and I have been resigned to having to use fragrance free washing liquids, more designed for baby's skin.So when I had the...more info

Four Hotels, Four Gourmet Delights - 24 hrs...

A few weeks ago, we invited a number of journalists to experience the best of British Cuisine at Elite Hotels. In just over 12 hours our friends would enjoy breakfast at Luton Hoo Hotel Golf & Spa, lunch at Tylney Hall Hotel, afternoon tea at The Grand, Eastbourne and finally dinner at Ashdown Park Hotel & Country Club. Quite a feat I’m...more info

Ashdown Park - The colours of autumn

With the days getting shorter and the summer drawing to a close, it’s time to reflect on the past few months and look forward to the jobs and events planned for the winter months. It has been like a traditional British summer and what a wait we had for it! We have had a bumper crop of top fruit this year with the apples being particularly good. We...more info

The Grand - Spice Evening 3 with Cyrus...

posted 5th September 2013 ‘The Incredible Spiceman’ came......... The excitement had been building for months ahead of last nights Spice Evening 3 with Cyrus Todiwala in the Mirabelle Restaurant here at the Grand. Chef Todiwala is an old pal of our own Executive Chef Gerald Röser, so when it was suggested 6 years ago they get together and cook an...more info

Luton Hoo - In Service – for over 460 years!

Always ready to celebrate our staff’s achievements, Luton Hoo Hotel, Golf and Spa treated members of staff with over five years’ service at a special event recently.And there was extra reason to celebrate as this year also marks five years since the hotel opened its doors to guests. The Long Service Awards is a highly popular annual event and is...more info

Tylney Hall - Certificate of Excellence

Hampshire hotel, Tylney Hall Hotel and its Oak Room Restaurant, have both been awarded Tripadvisor’s Certificate of Excellence. Tripadvisor is the world's largest travel site and offers trusted advice from real travellers with more than 200 million unique monthly visitors, and over 100 million reviews and opinions covering more than 2.5 million...more info

Tylney Hall - Get to know Tylney Hall’s...

We have recently produced a new history and garden information sheet, to help guide you around our estate, which is available from our Concierge team. When you arrive at Tylney Hall, you are immediately greeted by our famous red wood trees, which line the drive. However, these magnificent trees are not original to Tylney. There was once three...more info

Luton Hoo - Discovering Hidden Links

DISCOVERING  HIDDEN  LINKS – LUTON HOO / SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL / WERNHER FAMILY I first met Jack Darrah in November 2008 when he came to lunch in the Wernher Restaurant at Luton Hoo – friends had brought him as a treat on the anniversary of Churchill’s birthday. Jack was very aware of the Churchill connection at Luton Hoo during World War II and I...more info

The Grand - Weddingdays.co.uk Blog

Would like to say a big thank you to our wedding partners www.weddingdays.co.uk for their recent blog.  Our wedding co ordinator Claire loved answering the questions put to her...... hope you enjoy the read  http://blog.weddingdates.co.uk/top-questions-to-ask-your-wedding-venue-b... more info

Service Excellence

In my blog earlier this year, The Next Generation, I introduced the Graduate Trainee Managers Programme.   I am pleased to present the first graduate blog from Marion Amort, an MSc International Hotel Management graduate from the University of Surrey.  In her blog Marion discusses ‘Service Excellence’…. “What I particularly love about the graduate...more info

Ashdown Park - Not One but Two Tripadvisor...

We are delighted to announce that our Hotel and Anderida Restaurant have both been awarded Tripadvisor’s Certificate of Excellence 2013. Tripadvisor is the world's largest travel site and offers trusted advice from real travellers with more than 200 million unique monthly visitors, and over 100 million reviews and opinions covering more than 2.5...more info

Luton Hoo - 4 Awards for Luton Hoo!

We are proud to announce that not only the hotel at Luton Hoo but also the Wernher Restaurant, the Adam's Brasserie and the Afternoon Tea in the lounge, have all been awarded Tripadvisor’s Certificate of Excellence 2013. Tripadvisor is the world's largest travel site and offers trusted advice from real travellers with more than 200 million unique...more info

Tylney Hall - Sustainability at Tylney Hall

At Tylney Hall, we have been striving towards becoming more sustainable for the past 7 or 8 years, by focusing on ways in which we can lesson our impact on the environment. In particular, we have increased the amount of waste we recycle and are working closely with recycling companies in order to further improve this. Tylney Hall has been assessed...more info

The Grand - Lady Taverners Summer Lunch

Posted 24th July 2013 On Wednesday 19th June the Grand played host to the 11th Lady Taverners Kent & East Sussex Summer Luncheon.  This all sounds very sedate doesn't it!.... Not quite so!  180 girls descended on the hotel (with just a hint of a couple of rather brave men) for their annual lunch, entertainment and fund raising. It has become...more info

Luton Hoo - Jenson Button Triathlon at Luton...

Formula 1's 2009 World Champion, returned to the 1,065 acre estate surrounding Luton Hoo Hotel, Golf & Spa to host his second triathlon in aid of The Jenson Button Trust, on Sunday 14th July. The event raised over £29,000 for the Trust, which raises money for a number of charitable causes. The triathlon saw competitors take part in a 300m lake...more info

Tylney Hall - Great British Summer

Living in Britain, we are all fairly used to unpredictable weather. However, this week summer has finally shown its face and I thought it was high time to write about all things summery at Tylney Hall. With all this glorious sun our outdoor facilities have been crying out, in particular our wonderful outdoor swimming pool. A fantastic sun trap,...more info

Taking Travel Advice From TripAdvisor

For the second year running Elite Hotels have claimed a clean sweep at the TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Hotel Awards. Ashdown Park, Luton Hoo, Tylney Hall and The Grand Hotel have all been ranked inside the top 25 Luxury Hotels in the United Kingdom, with the Travellers’ Choice Award being the highest accolade a hotel can receive from the...more info

Luton Hoo - Lady Taverners raise £3,600

Golfers came together at Luton Hoo Hotel, Golf and Spa on Thursday 27th June for the annual charity golf day hosted by the Chiltern Region Lady Taverners. The fundraising event, for ladies and gentlemen, marked the fourth year the Lady Taverners had organised a golf day at Luton Hoo.  Blessed with good weather the Chiltern Region Lady Taverners...more info

Ashdown Park - Paul O'Neill wins the Roux...

We are thrilled to announce that our Senior Sous Chef, Paul O'Neill, has won the prestigious title of 2013 Roux Scholar! 28 year old Paul entered the Roux Scholarship 2013 competition for the second time, and was delighted to get through to cook, after hearing nothing the first time round. His dish of Fillet of Stone Bass with Bouillabaisse Broth...more info

Sussex Chef Wins Roux Scholarship

A Sussex chef is the crème de la crème after winning the 2013 Roux Scholarship, the premier competition for UK chefs. Last night (Friday June 21st) Ashdown Park Hotel & Country Club senior sous chef Paul O’Neill, 28, was crowned the culinary champion in the final episode of a nail-biting two-week TV series that followed the 18 semi-finalists,...more info

Elite on the box

I would never go as far as to describe myself as a ‘telly addict’ but I do enjoy a bit of escapism after a hard days work, once the children are in bed and the household chores are out of the way.   My televisual tastes are many and varied, but I had particular reason to keep an eye on the current series of The Apprentice on BBC1 and The Roux...more info

Tylney Hall - First Class Treatment

Last week I was lucky enough to experience the Kerstin Florian Organic Aromatherapy Massage, here at Tylney Hall. My goodness! I came away feeling as if I had spent an afternoon on a paradise beach! As a busy working mum it is a rare thing indeed to be able to enjoy any sort of ‘me’ time, let alone a luxury pamper, so the opportunity to experience...more info

Tylney Hall - Cosi Fan Tutte Opera – 25th...

August is an exciting time at Tylney Hall as it is when we hold our annual summer Opera evening. Last year we staged Pagliacci and it was the first Opera I had been involved in - from booking the Opera Company to helping guests with their enquiries, reserving accommodation, typing the menus and the table plans, all that was needed was a nice sunny...more info

Tylney Hall - Fathers’ Day Lunch – 16th June

With Fathers’ Day just around the corner why not treat your Dad to a Traditional Sunday Luncheon here at Tylney Hall, in the Oak Room Restaurant. Enjoy a three course lunch for £39.50 per person with favourites such as Deep Fried Fillet of Cod served with Hand Cut Chips, Roast Beef and Traditional Spotted Dick served with Custard on the menu. No...more info

Ashdown Park - Is Summer around the Corner?

When will the spring finish and summer begin? We are now midway through May and still no sign of the warm and sunny weather of summer. All our bedding plants and hanging baskets are made up and ready to go out but we are waiting for more favourable conditions as we are still getting the odd frost. I like this time of year as it is full of promise...more info

Tylney Hall - London Sales Day

Usually I spend my working day as an Event Co-ordinator based at Tylney Hall, but last month I got to spend the day with Hannah Burkeman, Sales Manager for Elite Hotels.  We went to London for the day to meet with three clients and for me to understand the role that Hannah plays at Elite Hotels. Having met at Basingstoke Train Station on a bright...more info

Tylney Hall - De Souza Associates - Site...

Take a look at http://desouzaassociates.wordpress.com/2013/05/03/tylney-hall-site-inspection/ to see De Souza Associates review of their recent site inspection of Tylney Hall. Anna Hughes - Sales, Marketing and PR Co-Oridnaor - 3rd May 2013.   more info

Luton Hoo - Employee of the Year!

Head Waitress Helene Oggero has been named Employee of the Year at Luton Hoo Hotel, Golf & Spa. After a globetrotting career that has included working in Michelin-starred restaurants, on a cruise ship and as assistant sommelier at the famous Old Course Hotel in St Andrews, Scotland, Helene joined us in August 2009. She started work as an...more info

Tylney Hall - Spring/ Summer Lounge, Terrace...

Following the wonderful weather over the last couple of days, I am very hopeful that Spring is now well and truly here to stay. With this in mind our Spring/Summer Lounge, Terrace and Room Service menu is now available and has dishes which reflect the move from Winter to Spring.  Having listened to past feedback, considered regular guests requests...more info

Tylney Hall - Spring Seasonal Menu – A Taste...

Another season has come round and here at Tylney we have been up and running for a week or so with our Spring A La Carte Menu. My personal favourite this year has to be the main course of Slow Roasted Pork Belly served with Black Pudding and Cider Apple Sauce (being from the West Country the cider element was always going to be a hit with me)!...more info

Tylney Hall - Spring has arrived at Tylney...

Spring has finally arrived at Tylney Hall Hotel and the grounds are starting to come into their seasonal best with the Rhododendrons, Azaleas, Wisteria and Cherry Trees all coming into bloom - perfect timing for our Spring Lunch and Tutored Garden Tour. This special event is just around the corner, held on Saturday 18th May and gives you the...more info

Tylney Hall - MIA Award

We are pleased to announce that our Senior Events Co-Ordinator, Louise Searle has been shortlisted for and came within the top 25 in the MIA (Meetings Industry Association) list 2013. Louise was nominated for this award for her dedication, enthusiasm and hard work.  She builds great relationships with her clients and offers outstanding customer...more info

Tylney Hall - Mother-to-be Treatment

As I am now 33 weeks pregnant it was an ideal time to try the Kerstin Florian  mother-to-be treatment that is available in the spa here at Tylney Hall. A lovely little treat before the arrival of baby and a chance to rest and relax and let my mind drift off from all things work, baby and home-related for an hour and a half. As all of the Kerstin...more info

Ashdown Park - Employee of the Year!

We are delighted to announce that Assistant Conference & Banqueting Manager Richard Manktelow, has been named Ashdown Park Hotel Employee of the Year! Richard originally applied for a job at Ashdown Park, as his sister was working here at the time. “I started on a weekend trial basis and I’m still here,” said Richard. “I worked my way up...more info

Tylney Hall - Graduate Management Training...

Looking back on my time at the University of Surrey studying Hotel and Catering Management and with fond memories of my first graduate role with Elite Hotels, I was delighted and honoured to be asked to be part of the working group formed to devise our own Elite Hotels Graduate Management Training Scheme back in 2011. Working with colleagues from...more info

Luton Hoo - New driving force at Luton Hoo

Allow me to introduce our new golf professional - Craig Ferris - the new driving force at Luton Hoo Hotel, Golf & Spa. This appointment marks a return to his hometown for 26-year-old Craig who trained in America and has played in golf tournaments around the UK and overseas. Born and bred in Luton, Craig is now coaching players of all ages and...more info

Tylney Hall - Outdoor Swimming Pool

Despite the ongoing wintery weather we have opened our heated outdoor swimming pool on schedule for Easter and a few brave guests have already taken the plunge – here is my perspective of what goes into getting it ready for use. The first job for our outdoor swimming pool summer opening is to actually empty the pool! The pool is kept half filled...more info

The Grand - Alex Rumble - Employee of the...

posted 11th April 2013 From part-time waiter to Employee of the Year! When Alex Rumble took a part-time job at the hotel he had little idea that it would lead to a long-term career.  However, just over a year since being appointed the hotel's Conference & Banqueting Supervisor he has been named Employee of the Year. Alex, who comes from...more info

The Next Generation

Earlier this year I was invited to attend a workshop with our graduate trainee managers – six recent graduates who were successfully selected to take part in Elite Hotels’ flagship programme in 2012.  The agenda was one that excited me – the role of social media in the recruitment process, specifically in relation to graduates.  As a recent...more info

Tylney Hall - So, what are Lifestyle...

A big hello to all the readers of this blog and an even bigger thanks to Tylney Hall for asking me, Alistair Jones (aka Ideal Imaging Photography), to write a little piece about the Lifestyle Portraits that I have been providing for babies, children and families across the region for the last few years. So let’s address the question - what are...more info

Tylney Hall - Employee of the Year 2012

Many congratulations to Dan Davey our recently promoted Trainee Supervisor who has been named as this year’s Employee of the Year. Dan, 25, has been involved in the hospitality industry since the age of 15 and joined Tylney Hall as a barperson in 2010. The following year he was appointed as the waiter overseeing the bar and lounge area and he took...more info

Tylney Hall - An Easter Break at Tylney Hall

If like me, you have had enough of cold weather and snow, I am certain you will be looking forward to the Easter Weekend, as it usually means spring is well on its way. Easter is my favourite bank holiday of the year as I a am child at heart and there is nothing more fun than painting Easter Eggs and waiting for the Easter Bunny to leave some...more info

Tylney Hall - Spring Wedding Showcase

A visit to our Wedding Showcase on Sunday 3rd March is a must for all those planning their perfect wedding. Whether you’re looking for a traditional wedding or are a modern bride seeking more of a contemporary affair, our Wedding Showcase is the event for you; a unique and glamorous experience with plenty of ideas to help plan your perfect day. We...more info

Tylney Hall - Elite Hotels “GEM” Awards

Last year Graeme Bateman, Managing Director of Elite Hotels, set up a working party consisting of representatives from the four hotels.  Its aim was to create a scheme designed to give recognition to those employees who 'go that extra mile' in their daily work.  After several meetings and many discussions the GEMs Scheme was born - a scheme that...more info

Tylney Hall - Mother’s Day – Sunday 10th...

Mother’s Day is the perfect time to show her your appreciation. So why not treat your Mum to a very special Mother’s Day this year at Tylney Hall. We have a delicious Spring Sunday lunch served in the Oak Room Restaurant with favourites such as Roast Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb served with Mediterranean Vegetable Ratatouille and Rhubarb and Ginger...more info

Tylney Hall - Valentine's at Tylney Hall

If you a real Romantic at heart (like me) – then you will be counting down the days until Valentine's Day.  At Tylney Hall we have two options to celebrate this most romantic time of the year. I am especially excited about Valentine's Day itself (14th February as a reminder!) we have a candlelit five-course dinner served in the wonderfully...more info

Tylney Hall - Winter Tasting Treat

Hospitality is a very unique industry; as a hotel never 'sleeps', the size and the complexity of the operation is enormous.  Like a well oiled machine we have to ensure each individual is working as part of the team to ensure the end product (guests satisfaction) is achieved every time.  It is my responsibility to oversee the Food and Beverage...more info

The Grand - Barberellaaaa Blog

Posted 14th January 2013 We were delighted when we spotted this lovely blog on twitter this morning!  Barberellaaa attended a slightly different style of wedding here at the Grand over the weekend!! The Bride and Groom had a blessing in one of our ceremony rooms followed by a very traditional Afternoon Tea with  Shelley van Loen and the Palm Court...more info

Tylney Hall - Get Fit in 2013 with our...

If like many, you have over indulged a little more than originally planned over Christmas and New Year then your thoughts may well be turning to how to lose the festive excess. The thought of exercise is often unappealing at any time of year but with the good intentions of New Year’s resolutions it is as good a place as any to start – especially...more info

Ashdown Park - Christmas & New Year 2012

It's all over for another year! Here's a collage of images with a glimpse back at the festive frolics at Ashdown Park over Christmas and the New Year. Our guests thoroughly enjoyed their three night Christmas House Party and seeing the New Year in at Ashdown Park was the icing on the cake! Boxing Day activities included traditional country...more info

Luton Hoo - The Gingerbread Mansion

The Gingerbread Mansion I didn’t think a simple gingerbread house would do the wonderful Great Hall any justice throughout the festive season so as per tradition, I built a gingerbread mansion. It takes a lot more planning and thought than one might think although it’s an enjoyable task all the same. I made the decision about how I wanted the...more info

Tylney Hall - The Hot Toddy Cocktail

With the arrival of short days and crisp frosty mornings it means the Winter months are firmly upon us and the festive season is in full swing.  We find ourselves already fed up with the endless stream of Christmas songs that have been playing since September and have finally dragged the decorations out of the attic and put them on the tree. ...more info

Ashdown Park - Ashdown Park on Film

Back in the Autumn Ashdown Park commissioned Oakwood Corporate Videos to capture Ashdown park on film.  The results I'm sure you'll agree, are absolutely stunning.  If you have not had the opportunity to visit Ashdown Park recently, or indeed at all, please take just two minutes and familarise yourself with this award winning property in the heart...more info

Tylney Hall - Preparing for Christmas

As I was walking through the crisp leaves whilst taking Oscar, my Basset hound, for a long walk the other morning, my mind turned to Christmas and the plethora of things that I needed to check were in hand at work, back at the hotel. Walking through our estate, crunching though the leaves on a crisp, sunny morning, one cannot helping wander if...more info

The Grand - Ramblings from a Sussex Mummy

Posted 14th December 2012 Here at the Grand Hotel Spa it is always a delight when guests contact us to say how much they enjoyed their day with us!  This comes in various forms from telephone calls to texts and e-mails!  Our latest one came via twitter with a link to a lovely blog from @SussexMummy who came to visit late November...  we thought...more info

Luton Hoo - Christmas Preparations at Luton...

Christmas preparations are in full swing here at Luton Hoo Hotel, Golf & Spa. Even Mother Nature has given us a festive look by dropping a little snow giving the Luton Hoo estate a beautiful (and thankfully manageable) white blanket. Two of our Assistant Managers - Claire Conway and Gareth James - worked tirelessly for two days to ensure that...more info

The Grand - The Grand Staff 'Claims to Fame'!

'Claim to Fame' moments from around the Grand! Posted 6th December 2012 With Christmas just around the corner, we thought we might have a little festive fun and ask all our staff if they had a 'Claim to Fame' they might like to share!  Obviously working at England's only 5 Star Seaside Hotel, many examples have been during working hours!.......more info

Tylney Hall - Selecting the Perfect...

There are so many methods and traditions that people follow when selecting their Christmas tree, that sometimes it makes the process something of a chore. I always feel that the process of choosing the Christmas tree signals the start of the festive season and it is no different here at Tylney, although we don’t go and personally select all of our...more info

Tylney Hall - Award News Update

I just thought that I would write a quick update to the blog Award News from the end of October to let you know how we got on in our award nominations. In the Beautiful South Awards for Excellence 2012/13 which were held on Wednesday 28thNovember, and attended by myself and General Manager, Mark Ashton, we received the Silver award in the category...more info

Awards Galore

It’s been six weeks since I wrote with details of several industry award nominations for our hotels.  The aforementioned award ceremonies have taken place and we are more than happy with the outcomes!  Monday 5th November - Condé Nast Johansens Annual Awards For ExcellenceIt was quite a night in London for the Condé Nast Johansens Annual Awards...more info

Tylney Hall - Decorating for Christmas

It’s that time of year again..... time to add some festive cheer to Tylney Hall by putting up our Christmas decorations. Trees, tinsel, mistletoe, ball-balls, stockings, wreaths and as many lights as humanly possible! Nothing gets us more excited about Christmas than seeing our halls fully decked. Hopefully you’ll be coming by soon to see them in...more info

Tylney Hall - Christmas at Tylney Hall

Christmas at Tylney Hall is always such a magical time; I love the work that goes into preparing Tylney for the festive season and having the opportunity to plan someone’s Christmas Break when they attend our Christmas House Party. Tylney Hall for me is a perfect setting for a Christmas Break, set away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life...more info

Tylney Hall - Winchester Christmas Market

Every year I organise a familiarisation weekend and invite key clients and agents from the Travel Trade industry for them to experience first hand what Tynley Hall and the surrounding area has to offer. One of the locations I take my guests to is Winchester, which is 25 minutes drive from Tylney Hall. Winchester is magical at any time of year...more info

The Grand - An award winning bear.... that's...

Posted 16th November 2012 As you know, I don't generally like to 'blow my own trumpet' but I must confess to being ever so slightly chuffed when I was told a couple of weeks ago that I had been nominated for my first ever award!  What a great feeling to be nominated for doing something you just love to do....for me that's travelling of course....more info

Ashdown Park - Our Condé Nast Johansens...

We were thrilled to be nominated in the Condé Nast Johansens Awards for Excellence 2013 and were invited to attend the prestigious awards ceremony on Monday 5th November. The evening was held at the May Fair hotel in London and, despite the crisp feel to the London air, the awards were warmly attended by many of the industries 'movers and shakers...more info

Tylney Hall - Christmas Party Nights

As if from nowhere November had arrived and we are on the count down to Christmas.  If, like me, you thought you had plenty of time to make your Christmas arrangements, panic may have begun to set in. Forget about all the stresses that Christmas brings and celebrate the season by joining together with friends, family or work colleagues to enjoy a...more info

The Grand - Claude The Grand's travelling...

A potted history of Claude... the Grand travelling bear! Posted 2nd November 2012 Hi there!  I'm Claude and I think I have the best job in the world.  So what do I do I hear you ask?.... Well I am the Grand Hotel in Eastbourne's travelling bear! Let me explain some more.... About two years ago I was picked from all the 'Grand Bear' hopefuls that...more info

Press Pass at Ashdown Park

On a sunny weekend in September, Ashdown Park Hotel opened its doors to a group of five journalists with their families and friends to spend a weekend at the hotel, enjoying the woods of Ashdown Forset and spending some time in the fresh air. The aim: enjoy a couple of days in the countryside to experience the great outdoors and the country...more info

Ashdown Park - Lifestyle membership...a well...

Guests often ask me what they can do to improve their health and well being. Is it better to exercise 2 or 3 times a week? Which exercise is best? I always give them the same answer...it is all about their whole lifestyle, rather than just a couple of visits each week to the gym. What we put in to our body is what we get out of it basically! A...more info

Tylney Hall - Autumn A La Carte Menu

In many aspects Autumn is my favourite season, I often refer to it as the 'evening' of the year as after the hustle and bustle of summer you get to unwind and relax a little.  The season is all about transition, from the vibrant green of summer we change to the distinguished darker tones of Autumn and as our days get shorter, the nights draw in. ...more info

And the nominations are....

It’s around this time of year that we receive news of numerous industry award ceremonies - When will they be held?  Where will they be held?  And more importantly, who are the front runners?  We are delighted to announce that nominations for Elite Hotels have been as abundant as the autumn leaves on the ground this week.  On Monday 5th November...more info

Tylney Hall - Award News

We are delighted to share with you that the team here at Tylney Hall have been nominated for a number of awards. Primarily, we have been shortlisted for two awards in the Beautiful South Awards for Excellence 2012/13 which is run by Tourism South East. The first award is in the category of Large Hotel of the Year and the second is for the...more info

Ashdown Park - Our Wedding to Remember

We want to say thank you to all the team at Ashdown Park. Planning for our big day was really enjoyable especially visiting the wonderful grounds at Ashdown and sitting with a cup of tea by the fire in the lounge talking through our requirements with Michella, who was always available to help! We also felt so special in our own private dining room...more info

Tylney Hall - Autumn/Winter Lounge Menu

It's quite a common perception that creating a lounge menu is easy, but creating a good one is anything but!  A lounge menu is all about having the right balance, the dishes shouldn't have the same complexity as an A la Carte menu as they are designed to be enjoyed in a relaxed atmosphere, but that doesn't mean they should be created or prepared...more info

Luton Hoo - A glass of wine with Frederic...

It’s no wonder our very own operations manager at Luton Hoo Hotel, Frederic Billet is passionate about food and wine – he comes from a long line of prestigious wine makers in France. His family winery OEdoria covers over 2,000 acres of land above the river Doury in the south of the Burgundy region of France, near Lyon, the French capital of food...more info

Tylney Hall - Photographers Playground

Another glorious weekend, another visit to Tylney Hall to shoot a wedding for a lovely couple, it’s work, but not as you would normally think of it. You see, to me coming up to Tylney Hall is like a visit to the theme park with friends.  Before I’ve even walked through the door I’ve had a friendly nod from the concierge and, on entering, a big...more info

Tylney Hall - Outdoor Wedding Ceremonies

I’m so excited that we are now able now to offer our Wedding guests the chance of getting married in our fabulous gardens. We have recently been granted the permission to use our beautiful stone Gazebos in the Italian Gardens as a civil ceremony venue. These have glorious views of the gardens and boathouse lake, and will make for beautiful photos...more info

Tylney Hall - A Wedding of Two Cultures

With trepidation I approached the brides’ door, knocked and waited. I’ve knocked on this particular door many times during previous weddings but, on this occasion I have never met its current occupant; Hong, who flew in from Hong Kong only a few days earlier and so had booked without us ever having met. This was set to be an unusual marriage, not...more info

Tylney Hall - Cookie Creations at Tylney...

We have been designing and creating wedding cakes for quite a while now and we were over the moon a couple of years ago when Tylney Hall chose us as their preferred cake supplier. Tylney Hall is a stunning landmark venue, set in the most idyllic surroundings. The first views of the house still have that wow factor for us even though we’re there so...more info

Luton Hoo - The Luton Hoo Ladies Midnight...

A few months ago a few of us decided to team up and join the Midnight Walk, a 10 mile sponsored walk in aid of Keech Hospice Care, our local hospice. It’s the 5th time the walk has been held but the 1sttime we’d entered a team. We thought a reasonable sponsorship target would be £700, giving us each a target of £100 to collect in sponsorship. On...more info

Tylney Hall - The Wedding Showcase - 21st...

I was delighted to be invited back to Tylney Hall for their autumn wedding showcase. Apart from the chance to meet a number of prospective couples it’s always a great opportunity to catch up with the staff at Tylney and other suppliers when we aren’t all rushing around making sure a wedding runs smoothly. We all tend to have our places during...more info

Tylney Hall - Moutan Flowers at Tylney Hall

We have been working with Tylney Hall for 6 years, and one of the great things about working closely with a hotel is that you learn where the  best places to decorate the hotel are and how best to utilise your flower budget. Tylney Hall has great spaces for flowers, if you’re having a larger ceremony in the Tylney Suite, we recommend large...more info

Tylney Hall - Weddings - Why Tylney Hall?

It’s no secret, Tylney Hall is my favourite wedding venue, but what makes it such a great place to host your wedding? Firstly, you have the beauty of the grounds, spacious, well-manicured and full of interesting detail and landscaping features, apart from having the wow factor it’s a veritable playground for me as a wedding photographer. Then you...more info

Ashdown Park - What a Showcase!

The doors opened at 10.30am on Sunday 23rd September and once again we welcomed a sea of smiling faces to our bi-annual Wedding Showcase, all eager to see how Ashdown Park and its team could help create the day of their dreams. The weather was not kind to us...in fact it was appalling! Thankfully this didn't put off over 100 people who just...more info

Getting Social

Working in the marketing department at Elite Hotels, I am at the forefront of our ‘social media voice’.  It’s a role has taken up a greater prominence in my list of priorities since we launched our Twitter account in the summer of 2009.  My average day will now consist of, at some stage, Twitter and Facebook updates, checking online ‘mentions’ and...more info

Tylney Hall - Winter Package

I do love the start of autumn with the trees starting to change into the wonderful autumnal shades of reds and oranges, the evenings drawing in and the crisper mornings as a frost starts to appear on the ground. As the season turns into winter the short days and wonderful lazy, cosy evenings and of course the build up to the festive season all...more info

The Grand - Ben and Sarah Jane's wedding

Posted 14th September Big thank you to Ben, Sarah Jane and Andrea Sarlo for allowing us to use the splendid images from their wedding here last weekend.  Congratulations from all at The Grand and some stunning lasting images too.....  Click on the link http://www.andreasarlo.com/blog/2012/09/sarah-jane-ben-their-wedding-at-the-grand-eastbourne/ more info

Tylney Hall - Jane Austen Ladies Lunch

If, like me, you enjoy escaping every once in a while in a good book sometimes there is nothing better than re-visiting an old classic. A favourite of mine is Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen and here at Tylney Hall you can image how life in the late 1700’s would have been and the story can really come to life. At our next ladies lunch we are...more info

The Grand - Clocking up the Years

Posted 23rd August 2012 This Tuesday just gone (21st Aug) we at the Grand celebrated another Long Service lunch.  This is an Elite Hotels tradition and all staff of 5 years or more service are eligible.  Always a popular event, this year was no exception!  I thought you might be interested in some 'facts and figures' surrounding this special event...more info

Tylney Hall - Professional Portraits in our...

If you’re like me, you’ll love capturing special moments in your lives. Therefore, whatever the occasion and time of year, why not consider a lifestyle photo shoot in our spectacular grounds with resident photographer Alistair Jones of Ideal Imaging? Sometimes referred to as ‘environmental portraiture’, a lifestyle ‘photo shoot’ is more of an...more info

Tylney Hall - Afternoon Tea at Tylney Hall

In a modern age where the majority of socialising takes place over the internet there is one tradition that has stood the test of time: the English Afternoon Tea. Originating in England in the 1840's, the traditional Afternoon Tea has evolved into many forms to suit all tastes but will still usually consist of an assortment of delicious savoury...more info

The Grand - News from the Grand Kitchens!

Announcement of Success... Posted 13th August 2012 I am delighted to report the news that Oliver Smith has passed his 3 year Specialised Chef's Apprenticeship with Distinction. This Apprenticeship is run in partnership with Bournemouth and Poole College and the Academy of Culinary Arts. Oli is the first apprentice at the Grand to have achieved a...more info

Ashdown Park - Welcome to our Deputy General...

A gap year in the UK was the launch pad for a career in the hospitality industry for Nick Bossé and he has now returned on a permanent basis as Deputy General Manager here at Ashdown Park Hotel & Country Club. After a career that has seen him working at luxury boutique hotels in his native South Africa, and Guernsey’s first ever five star...more info

Tylney Hall - London 2012 and Tylney Hall

Well, wasn’t the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony an impressive start to ‘the greatest show on earth’? All of the team here certainly enjoyed watching it and our favourite highlights of the evening included Mr Bean, the Queen and James Bond, seeing our home Team GB athletes parade in the Olympic Stadium, along with the amazing spectacle of the...more info

Luton Hoo - Question Time with Kevin Clark

  Kevin Clark (pictured above holding the Olympic Torch) has been Executive Head Chef with Luton Hoo Hotel for over 4 years and has revealed his culinary flair through the combination of adventerous dishes and traditional British classics using the best of British produce. We wanted to find out more about the man under the toque...   Becoming a...more info

Glorious Gardens

With the eventual arrival of summer this week, the hotels have finally been able to fling open their doors on what I genuinely believe are some of the most beautiful gardens and estates in the south of England.  As a long standing member of the National Trust I feel I have a reasonably well honed sense of what makes a truly special garden and...more info

Tylney Hall - Summer Time in the Gardens

With the amount of rain we have had over recent months our gardens have managed to retain their luscious green colour that we often lose during summer. Despite grave concerns over the hosepipe ban imposed earlier this year, this has left our Grounds Team not having to do their usual daily watering duties and leaving them more time to concentrate...more info

Tylney Hall - Summer A la Carte Menu

It finally seems that summer is upon us with good weather forecast for the week ahead, which means our kitchen team have been busy putting together dishes for the summer A la Carte menu. Summer is a month which every one looks forward to and that's no different for us here at Tylney Hall. It would be impossible to name all the fruits and...more info

Tylney Hall - Event planning at Tylney Hall

I find event planning very interesting and rewarding.  Clients contact us for a variety of reasons: conferences, exhibitions, meetings, family fun days, weddings, christenings and celebration meals, making every event a unique experience for us to organise and our clients to enjoy. The events team, made up of 4 full time and 1 part time staff,...more info

Ashdown Park - Summer News from the Estate...

I was going to start by saying summer has finally arrived but, as with the rest of the country, we are still waiting! At every opportunity we are out with the mowers in between the showers trying to keep the grass under control. The grass is so lush and fresh it needs cutting every few days. The hanging baskets are giving a good show even if...more info

Tylney Hall - Olympic Torch

This year has given us an opportunity as a nation to be proud to be British.  From the Jubilee Celebrations, where we came together for street parties to the nail biting penalties of England crashing out of the European Championships, it is now time again to get together to celebrate the Olympics and Paralympics. From when the torch relay was...more info

Tylney Hall - Pagliacci Opera

I always enjoy putting together our annual calendar of events and our Summer Opera has always undoubtedly been the highlight of these each and every year. The house and formal Italian gardens at Tylney in my opinion provide a perfect back drop to such an event and I hope this year will be no different when we stage Leoncavallo’s comic opera...more info

Tylney Hall - Tylney Hall Videos

Here you will be able to see the latest videos from Tylney Hall Hotel. Keep looking at Facebook or Twitter to find out when our next video is live. more info

Ashdown Park - New Faces...back to Familiar...

Ashdown Park has welcomed two new faces recently. Dan Clark has joined us from Radission Hotels as Sales Manager, and Tanya Jones has joined us from the Conference People as Events Office Manager (maternity cover). Both have many years experience in the hotel and conference industry, but more interestingly, both have returned to Ashdown Park after...more info

The Grand - A Mini Break at The Grand

Posted 15th June 2012 Well I picked the right weekend. A couple of weeks ago, the better half and I headed down to the coast for a mini break away from the norm of life in South west London.  We opted for the bus to Clapham Junction and the train from there on to Eastbourne.  I am sorry to say this, but I must admit that I thought Eastbourne had...more info

The Grand - A Beachscape Photographer's...

Eastbourne is rather unique in several ways, one of which is its amazing suitability for Beachscape photography. As many will know, the best conditions for photography are taken in the light, known as the 'golden hour'...just before sunrise and similarly before sunset. Most locations offer scenery that is suitable for one but not the other...more info

The Grand - What is a Grand Wedding like?

Slightly different angle for today's blog. Gail and Gavin had their wedding celebrations with us in December and very kindly agreed to take part in a case study for our latest newsletter... So we thought you might be interested to have a read too. Tables named after rugby players, personalised menu cards, snowflakes and an Elvis impersonator all...more info

The Grand - Triathlon here we come!...

Well, it is that time of year again! And if, like me, you have maybe slightly overeaten, over indulged and have a waist that feels a little like Santa's now is the time to get back on track! The trick is to have a goal to aim for! For me it's a Triathlon. I was training one of my Personal Training clients in the gym here at the Grand and we...more info

The Grand - All I want for Christmas...

I was recently asked by a client what my perfect Christmas presents would be - using the new products and treatments now available in the Grand Spa'.. All I want for Christmas is the amazing Kerstin Florian Neroli Water to hold and seal my make-up in place whilst I rush through the stores looking for Christmas presents for the family; the girls...more info

The Grand - Not a Bridezilla in sight!

Meeting all the couples arriving at the recent Wedding Showcase here at The Grand took me back a decade or so when I was the one getting excited about the prospect of holding my own special day at this wonderful 'wedding cake of an hotel' ! The blushing brides to be, (hand in hand with their fiancees) still fumbling with their engagement rings...more info

The Grand - The Twelve months of Christmas..

With just over seven weeks until Christmas, most preparations are already in hand here at the Grand, I am reminded that thoughts and plans for this special time continue throughout a hotel year. In the first week of January, we aim to rebook successful festive bands for 11 months hence. Also in January we have a debrief meeting with all Managers...more info

The Grand - A Grand Wedding Showcase

Twice a year we host our own Grand Wedding showcase day. We have tried it on various days during the week but feel that a Sunday seems to be the best choice. So we open our doors to all from 10am - 3pm. All our banqueting rooms are specifically set up as if a wedding is about to take place, ensuring everyone visiting sees just how beautiful they...more info

The Grand - The Mirabelle Wedding Experience

Now this is fairly new to the Grand and already we have had a some bookings, so obviously a popular alternative to a 'big do' The Mirabelle as I am sure you know is our fine dining restaurant here at the Grand and the kitchen is awarded with 2 AA Rosettes. But it can also be hired out for what we think is the Ultimate venue for a small wedding!...more info

Tylney Hall - Gardens at Tylney Hall

This weekends Spring Lunch and Garden Tour on Saturday and Garden Open Day on Sunday were wonderful. Weather wise it was perfect and we couldn’t have chosen a better weekend! Thanks to our team of gardeners and the sunshine, the grounds looked absolutely stunning, particularly the Rhododendrons, Azaleas and Wisteria, all in full bloom. Don’t just...more info

Tylney Hall - Summer Lifestyle Membership

As the evenings are lighter and the weather is getting better I am thinking of getting in shape for the summer season of weddings and holidays, all occasions where over indulgence tends to occur. Another highlight of summer for me is lazy days filled with Pimms, BBQ’s and strawberries and cream, again not good for that beach body! The big gym...more info

Luton Hoo - Gardener’s Blog with Keith Hersey

Welcome everyone to the Luton Hoo Hotel Golf and Spa, Gardeners Blog - my first ever Blog, so at last I am into the 21st century; so my son informs me! Here at Luton Hoo we have over 1000 acres of grounds, including 300 acres of Golf Course, 250 acres of mature woodland, two large lakes totalling 60 acres and 70 acres of mature pleasure gardens. ...more info

Country Escape

Recently a ‘friend of Elite’ travelled to Ashdown Park Hotel for some R&R.  I hope you enjoy reading her review as much as I did… My Observations from The Ashdown Suite “Difficult to say exactly the location of ‘Woody Woodpecker’ but somewhere  between the 6th Tee and the Lama Farm he was tapping twenty to the dozen in an attempt to secure an...more info

Tylney Hall - Spring A La Carte Menu

Another season has come round and here at Tylney we have been up and running for a few weeks with our Spring A La Carte Menu. With Spring comes the chance to prepare some lighter dishes as so many great vegetables come into season. Some personal favourites of mine include morel mushrooms and baby leeks, both of which have been incorporated in one...more info

Ashdown Park - Staying Green with our new...

We are thrilled to announce the opening of our brand new, state of the art Gymnasium. We've reason to be more thrilled than most, as we've managed to equip the gym with environmentally-friendly gym equipment. Pulse Fitness Cardio equipment is part of a brand new Fusion range. All products are self-powered (except for the treadmills) which is in...more info

Tylney Hall - Afternoon Tea Fit For The Queen

Afternoons for me are about relaxing, catching up with friends and family and enjoying each others company. So whether you are looking to stay with us during the Jubilee weekend or just looking for those few hours away from reality, I would recommend our special Diamond Jubilee Champagne Afternoon Tea. What better way to relax for an afternoon...more info

Tylney Hall - Making the Most of the Jubilee

We are all very much looking forward to the long bank holiday weekend that is coming up to celebrate 60 years of The Queen's reign.  A four day weekend is the perfect time to spend with your family and friends and the extra bank holiday gives you the perfect excuse! In my mind there is no more wonderful place to celebrate than at Tylney Hall - the...more info

It's a bit like work.....

......but not much! Over the last five months I have visited three of the four Elite Hotels in a slightly more care-free mood than usually accompanies me to work.  Rather than turning up all suited and booted with business plan and notepad at the ready, I have dressed-down with suitcase in hand and family by my side.  First was my visit to...more info

Tylney Hall - A Marathon Effort

Here at Tylney we are very proud of our very own two 2012 athletes – Laura Sharp, Deputy Banqueting Manager and Will Moore, Senior Receptionist, who both completed this year’s London Marathon. Will ran the Marathon to raise money for Naomi House, a charity which provides support to children and young people with life-limiting conditions and their...more info

Tylney Hall - Garden of Dreams

The Tylney Hall Gardens are springing into life right now creating tranquil and uplifting scenery. Whilst it’s not quite warm enough to sit on the terraces or by the outdoor swimming pool to enjoy the gardens due to the glorious unpredictability of the British weather! So here at Tylney Hall, along with Kerstin Florian, we have created an Ultimate...more info

Tylney Hall - Preparing for the London...

This Sunday, the 22nd April, I will be running the London Marathon to raise money for Naomi House. This charity provides support to children and young people with life-limiting conditions and their families. The amazing support that the dedicated nurses and support team provide includes respite care for families, medical care at the hospices, home...more info

Ashdown Park - Spring News from the Estate...

Spring has arrived, although looking out the window whilst writing this there is heavy rain mixed with sleet and a very strong wind battering the blossom on the fruit trees! We still have lots of spring colour and, within the next few weeks, our Bluebell wood will be a blaze of colour and fragrance. Everything is bursting in to life again after...more info

Tylney Hall - Summer Bar, Lounge...

As the summer season has now arrived, we have put together our summer lounge and room service menus to reflect the season and encourage new guests to come and experience our Tylney Hall hospitality, as well as creating something new for our regular guests to try. Having listened to past feedback, considered guests requests and, indeed, seasonal...more info

Tylney Hall - Spring Lunch and Garden Tour

Spring has arrived at Tylney Hall; the grounds are starting to come into their seasonal best and the Rhododendrons, Azaleas, Wisteria and Cherry Trees are in full bloom. Walking around the grounds at this time of year is a perk of my role that I enjoy the most.  I always jump at the chance to co-host events, such as the Spring Lunch and Tutored...more info

Tylney Hall - Easter at Tylney Hall

When it comes to the major festivals of the year, I like to update you all on what we are up to at the hotel. As with Christmas, Easter sees all the departments working together to put on another show of what is great and British at this time of year. With Spring upon us, Easter must be soon to follow and the grounds are coming to life. The...more info

Tylney Hall - A Wonderful Ladies Lunch

I just have to share with you how absolutely wonderful Mondays ladies’ luncheon was.  Our speaker was The 8th Countess of Carnarvon, Lady Carnarvon. Lady Carnarvon, spoke to us on the Real Downton Abbey and the book she has written on her husband’s great grandmother, Lady Almina, the 5th Countess who converted Highclere Castle into a Hospital in...more info

Tylney Hall - Downton Abbey Ladies Lunch

We are very excited about the start of our new-look ladies lunch club starting on Monday 19th March.  Our speaker on this occasion will be The 8th Countess of Carnarvon, Lady Carnarvon.  Lady Carnarvon will be speaking to us on the real Downton Abbey and has written a book on her husband’s great grandmother, Lady Almina, the 5th Countess who...more info

A Fair Price

On Friday 24th February 2012, Oliver Smith, Deputy Digital Travel Editor for the Telegraph, posted an article online with a fairly damning synopsis of hotel prices during this year’s Olympic Games in London.  As a hotel group, we are proud to represent 4 of only 6 hotels to have signed up to the London Visitor Charter to date and thus committing...more info

Ashdown Park - The future generations of...

I have been asked to write a blog on behalf of the Personnel Department at Ashdown Park Hotel. After giving the subject some thought, I decided to focus on how Elite Hotels help the future working generation and the development opportunities offered within Elite Hotels and Ashdown Park Hotel & Country Club. We currently have First year, Second...more info

Tylney Hall - Pancake Day

If you are a fan of pancakes, this Pancake Day we have a treat for you!  It’s not a pancake race, or a competition of how many times our guest can toss a pancake, but gourmet pancakes available at each course on Shrove Tuesday (21st February) in our Oak Room Restaurant.......and not just the traditional favourites of sugar and lemon, chocolate...more info

A Look Back In Time.....

There is currently an excellent BBC documentary running which offers a rare glimpse into the Queen’s sixty years on the throne. Over the years there have been many programmes which have focused on one part of her reign or a particular moment in history, but few have taken such a broad approach. For example it is easy to forget just how many Prime...more info

Tylney Hall - Winter À La Carte Menu

I always enjoy putting together our new seasonal à la carte menus with the kitchen team. Everyone gets involved suggesting personal favourite seasonal dishes, flavours and new ideas that they have come up with. Through tastings and testing over a couple of weeks the team have created our winter à la carte menu.   There is such a variety of...more info

Tylney Hall - Valentine's Celebrations

No matter what your thoughts are on what some call the most romantic day of the year, I think that there is a little bit of a romantic in all of us, especially when we have found ‘the one’. I am a romantic at heart and love nothing more than the fairytale ‘happy ever after’, even more so if I have played a small part as fairy godmother. Being in...more info

Ashdown Park - News from our Estate Team

This time of year is seen by many as a quiet time for work in the garden. As any gardener knows there is always something to do. During the next few weeks it’s a good chance to catch up on all those little jobs that you did not have time to do during the summer. We are currently cleaning up around the garden and grounds and cutting back the...more info

Tylney Hall - Afternoon Tea - GCSE Group...

Today a group of 6 GCSE students from Sherfield School visited the hotel to find out more about traditional afternoon tea and to experience the 'Tylney way'. This was to get real life experience, to help them in their course work of creating and serving their own afternoon tea, which will go towards their GCSE in Hospitality and Catering. The...more info

Reims

I recently enjoyed a flying visit to Reims as guest of Ruinart and Krug.  Taking the Eurostar from Ebbsfleet to Paris was a pleasure despite an early start.  The drive from Ashdown Park to the station took under the hour with a swift ten minute walk from the Gard du Nord to Gard du Est and a 50 minute transfer to Reims, the overall journey time...more info

Picture Perfect

Towards the end of 2011 (happy new year, by the way) I attended a couple of professional photography sessions at our hotels.  Although I am a keen photographer at home, my presence wasn’t required for technical support or photographic expertise - that was left to the professionals.  I tagged along to provide direction (or opinion) on subject...more info

Tylney Hall - Beautiful South Awards 2011

On Thursday 1st December Hannah Burkeman, Sales Manager and I attended the Beautiful South Awards for Excellence 2011, held at Denbies English Vineyard in Surrey, where we were nominated for the Large Hotel of the Year. We were up against some stiff competition from the Aviator, Hampshire, Lingfield Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club, Surrey,...more info

Tylney Hall - Decorating for Christmas

It will soon be Christmas again here at Tylney Hall. It is one of my favourite times of the year as my team get to decorate the whole hotel with a little bit of Christmas sparkle! At the beginning of November we start to wake up our decorations, help them to stretch their arms and legs and give them a good polish with lots of love and care....more info

Tylney Hall - Putting up the Christmas Tree

If you ever wondered how our Gardener's make our Christmas Trees stand up straight here's how.  This one is outside the main entrance and is 18ft!   more info

Tylney Hall - Tylney Hall Mulled Wine

With Christmas fast approaching and the festive menu starting on Thursday we will be serving Mulled Wine throughout December, and after defrosting the car this morning I couldn’t think of a better time to start the preparation. We will be making approximately 500 litres of Mulled Wine (about 2,500 glasses) over the festive season, however below is...more info

Ashdown Park - It's That Time of Year Again

It’s at this time of year, with the cold mist creeping in through the front door and the sound of the fresh frost crunching under foot whilst I walk to work, that it starts to dawn on me that Christmas is just a few weeks away. Whilst my two young daughters have been reminding me for weeks that Santa is getting ready, and my wife has been buying...more info

Tylney Hall - Kerstin Florian and VitaMan...

Last Thursday, 10th November, it was the launch of our new spa product ranges here at Tylney Hall. Over the summer months my team of spa therapists have all been trained on the new product ranges – Kerstin Florian and VitaMan. Kerstin Florian is a European skincare brand which specialises in using natural resources, including thermal mineral salts...more info

Tylney Hall - Replanting the Decidous Azalea...

This week marks the beginning of a 3 -5 year project at Tylney Hall which the whole Estates Team is involved in, the replanting of our decidous azalea garden, which is situated in between the lake and the bottom of the vista. The azalea garden is thought to be one of the last areas of the Tylney Hall Garden to be developed in the mid 1930’s by the...more info

Ashdown Park - A Warm Welcome to Andrew...

Ashdown Park & Country Club welcomes the return of Andrew Wilson. We managed to catch up with Andrew during his busy day to find out more about his life, what he hopes to bring to the hotel and what made him decide to return. “When I left as Senior Sous Chef I always knew that I would return as the Executive Chef some day, the company has...more info

Tylney Hall - Preparing for Christmas

In so many places over the past few days I have been reminded that Christmas is just eight weeks away – in the shops, on social media and of course as our attention at the hotel now turns to bookings and managing this busy period. Christmas is always a very special time and I have fond memories of Christmases both at home with my family and more...more info

An Afternoon On The Forest

Having taken a days leave to look after my young children on Tuesday, I decided to take my son for an autumn stroll across the Ashdown Forest - to banish the mayhem of the earlier school run from our minds.  It worked a treat. Please click here for information and news from the Ashdown Forest, East Sussex (on the doorstep of Ashdown...more info

Familiar Surroundings

When my Dad mentioned that he was looking for a venue to hold my Nana’s 85th birthday next year I had no hesitation in recommending The Grand Hotel, Eastbourne – not because of the passé stereotype of Eastbourne, but because I knew that she (and all my family) would receive excellent service in 5 star surroundings.  Part one of the charm offensive...more info

Tylney Hall - The Downton Abbey Effect

Has anyone else been enjoying the Sunday night treat that is Downton Abbey? It is fantastic, and my favourite character has to be the Dowager Countess of Grantham (Maggie Smith) who has some brilliant lines. It almost makes me look forward to Sunday evenings which is definitely not my favorite time of the weekend! In some ways life at Downton...more info

Luton Hoo - Perfect Pasta Demonstration

Through a chance meeting with one of my suppliers who runs Wobbly Bottom Goat’s Farm just outside Hitchin, I was asked if I would like to do a demonstration at the Hitchin Food and Drink Week 2011 to promote local food business' within the area.  As I live in Hitchin I was more than happy to support local suppliers with their efforts to increase...more info

Up Up And Away

I am sure you will all agree that the exceptional Autumnal sunshine has helped to lift our spirits amongst the economic doom and gloom greeting us in the news of late.  The weather also provided the ‘icing on the cake’ for our Meeting Buyers’ Showcase this weekend, helping to display Ashdown Park at its very best, with a range of activities to...more info

Tylney Hall - Tylney Hall Garden Open Day

Last weekend was the last garden open day for 2011 not only here at Tylney Hall Hotel, but also in the National Garden Scheme (NGS) for the Hampshire area. Although starting off cloudy, the day stayed dry throughout and the afternoon even saw some sunshine which encouraged many people to join us for what turned out to be a very successful day.   ...more info

Tylney Hall - Planning That Special Day

Our wedding showcase which took place on Sunday was a wonderful success! We met so many happy couples on the day and it was such a pleasure to show them round Tylney Hall. Whether it was a small intimate wedding that they were looking for, or a large traditional wedding we have it all here. Aided by our award winning customer service (Silver Award...more info

Luton Hoo - Behind the Scenes at Luton Hoo

Before I started working here a year ago I didn’t realise just how many people, with every imaginable skill, it actually takes to run a 5 star hotel. There are Porters and Receptionists, the Concierge who are the just a mine of information, not only do they know everything about the hotel but all the local attractions too, Housekeeping, Chefs who...more info

Ashdown Park - The important things in life...

It's that time of year when the leaves are beginning to fall, there is that autumnal bite in the air and everyone is trying not to think about the inevitable...Christmas is around the corner. We waited all summer for...well, summer! It came and went in a blink but not all was lost as the recent Indian summer (all 5 days of it) lifted spirits...more info

My Favourite Season

During the 4 ½ years I have worked at Elite Hotels, autumn is fast becoming my favourite season.  We are extremely fortunate to have an office on site at Ashdown Park Hotel, and travelling the 9 miles or so from nearby Crowborough, across the Ashdown Forest into work I get to see the changing seasons played out in 3D!  This time of year the shift...more info

Tylney Hall - Travel Trade Familiarisation...

Last weekend (30th September to 2nd October) saw our first Travel Trade Familiarisation trip, organised by our Sales Executive, Martina O’Loughlin. Nine Travel Trade representatives came along to experience what we at Tylney Hall and the surrounding area has to offer their clients. Friday evening started with a full show round of the hotel...more info

Tylney Hall - Wedding Fair Season

It must be the wedding season for venues here in Hampshire. Every weekend from mid-September onwards there seems to be a wedding fair in our local area. Or it could be as a bride-to-be myself they stand out more to me than they have in previous years. As a wedding venue, we here at Tylney Hall are no different, in fact we are preparing for our...more info

Welcome to the Elite Blog

What a difference a week makes. Last Saturday saw record temperatures across the South East with an amazing 26 degrees celsius. We decided to celebrate this by introducing a 5 day sale offering a 26% discount off our regular tariff. As predicted this proved too tempting for many with a flurry of activity and a welcome number of reservations....more info