Welcome to London!
Principal Partners with Accor.
When Accor Hotels asked us to partner with them to invite key conference and incentive agents from Germany over to London, we couldn’t say no! Having worked with Accor both internationally, and around the UK, we were delighted to partner with their German team to ensure that we presented some of our favourite sights and event venues in London, alongside a mix of their central London properties.
We were excited to kick off the FAM trip with a sneak preview of our new video, which gave the group an insight into our repertoire of events and the diversity of the UK for incentives and overseas conferences. We coupled that with a quick update on the new venue openings here in London that we’d recently been exploring, like Six Storey’s on Soho. We were pleased to tell them about this brand new Bohemian townhouse venue in central London that we had recently fallen in love with. Not only a restaurant and bar, the space offers something different on every level – including their own decantary where they infuse their own spirits, a lounge with hidden dance floor and a bare loft space ideal for product launches overlooking Soho Square.
Inner City Roof Garden
Our programme was designed to showcase a variety of old and new in the beating heart of the UK. We started our London adventure with a dining experience at Babylon, located on the floor above Kensington Roof Gardens, famous for its sustainable and freshly produced fare. On arrival, we were treated to champagne and a tour of Kensington Roof Gardens, before sitting down for dinner. The Gardens are a tranquil oasis above the city, a perfect spot for an outdoor event in the centre of London, overlooking the sky line and boasting 1.5 acres of land 100 feet above Kensington High Street. After our three courses of contemporary European cuisine and freely flowing wine, the group then returned for some much needed sleep at their first hotel, The Novotel London West.
Coach Tours & Landmark Venues
Guests enjoyed an action packed second day as we set off from the hotel on a coach tour around some of London’s famous central landmarks, such as the iconic London Eye, the Tate Modern sitting upon the Southbank and Buckingham Palace. Our favourite blue badge guide Sophie entertained the group by pointing out famous architecture, and telling intriguing, little known stories punctuated with humour and fun facts. Our first stop took us back in time to The Tower of London and the history that surrounds this famous London icon. We were taken through the site, stopping to learn more about the gruesome fate that beheld those who were held captive here decades ago, and were shown to the various event spaces on site. As guests journeyed through the grounds, we replicated the format of client events previously held here, suggesting the use of the Jewel House for champagne receptions that would lead seamlessly into private viewings of the Crown Jewels. We then showcased the White Tower as the perfect dining spot for an impressive gala dinner, and with a little imagination, and an Ipad loaded with previous events, the guest’s eyes were opened to the magnificent potential of The Tower of London..!
Lunch at The Sofitel St James
With a full schedule on the Saturday we whisked guests to the Sofitel St James where we were treated to a tour of their sumptuous rooms and decadent Rose Lounge, equipped with plush pink sofas, and an intricate harp laying in wait to serenade guests having afternoon tea. The black and white marble floors lead us into the impressive Balcon restaurant, with its stunning namesake balcony a key feature in the French style restaurant, as equally elegant as the rest of this central London hotel. We left the hotel after lunch to find London bathed in Sunshine and were able to stroll to Banqueting House through Trafalgar Square, much to the delight of our guests, as they learnt interesting facts about the four lions in the square (anybody ever think they have a bit of a canine look about them? We know why..!) and other tid bits of London trivia.
A Hidden Gem
Banqueting House’s unassuming exterior gives little away about what lies within, but with two event spaces, the Undercroft & The Main Hall, it is a venue sure to surprise and delight your guests. The Undercroft, originally designed as a drinking den, is the perfect space for initial welcome drinks, with dramatic arches and blank walls and ceilings brought alive by simple but effective uplighting. To truly delight your guests, they need only make their way up the stair case to the main hall for a more intricate and impressive space. The Main Hall took everyone’s breath away, as our group sank into beanbags to look up to the remarkable ceiling, the only remaining in situ ceiling painting by the famous Sir Peter Paul Ruben. Within the hall, the surrounding balconies are the perfect spot to place musicians to serenade diners, and you can make the most of the decorative ceiling with reflective charger plates to bring the artwork down to the dinner table. We bid farewell to our guide Sophie here and once again whisked guests away to their final stop of the day to enjoy a Great British tradition in the clouds…
Afternoon Tea in the Sky
Just a 15 minute coach journey took us to our next stop, with a champagne afternoon tea awaiting us atop of Millbank Tower. We soared up to the 29th floor to see the clean cut, modern Altitude 360, a bright white space ideal for technology clients to brand for their conferences or product launches. We then showcased the softer Skyloft, reminiscent of a trendy New York Loft space with reclaimed wood flooring and exposed brick work. Guests sank into chesterfield sofas to feast on bottles of bubbly, quintessentially British sandwiches and an assortment of cakes to enjoy alongside the setting sun and stunning views over the Thames. The more edgy, rustic Skyloft space and ultra modern Altitude 360 were in sharp contrast to the historic venues that we had seen earlier in the day, and was a shout out to the variety of different spaces available to event planners in London. The day concluded with free time in Covent Garden, and dinner in the Pullman St Pancras watching chefs from the live station in their restaurant which boasts modern European cuisines and wine, and a 200 bottle strong Whisky bar featuring different brands from around the world.
In the blink of an eye, it was Sunday, and the final day of our German FAM trip. Racing against the clock, we were up early to indulge in a tour and breakfast at The Savoy, one of London’s most distinguished hotels, before arriving at The ExCel. This renowned exhibition centre is home to some of the largest shows in the UK such as the London Boat Show – which also happened to be in situ as we showed our guests some of the more versatile event spaces. And suddenly, or so it seemed, it was time for the group to depart to the airport, and for us to wave goodbye! A whirlwind of a weekend showcasing London!
We love our home city, and we love to hunt out the best ways of bringing our clients’ events to life throughout the UK, in cities or countryside, up mountains or by the sea.
Whether you’re organising a conference, meeting or luxurious incentive, call us on +44 (0) 207 485 5500 and let us help you create the perfect event
Looking for something new? Keep an eye on our blog and find us @PrincipalLondonDMC on Instagram for all our adventures!