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‘MAC’nificent Charity Event – by Natasha Hills

The ‘MAC’nificent charity weekend organisers (Russ and Denise) attended the Square Events familiarisation trip at Hellidon Lakes Golf and Spa Hotel. They loved the venue and thought it would be ideal for the charity weekend that they are organising, to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support from Friday 20th to Sunday 22nd September 2013.

Russ and Craig (brothers in law) take part in the annual Macmillan 4×4 challenge, referred to as the ‘Mac’, partly because they enjoy it so much, but more importantly, because they raise money in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. Everyone has already been very generous with support for the last 2 years, for which they are extremely grateful and thankful. However the 2014 ‘Mac’ hopes to take the total raised since the event started in 2002 past the £1m mark.

They need your help to boost the funds as much as possible, so instead of just asking for sponsorship, a weekend away at a superb hotel in Northamptonshire has been arranged. Everyone is welcome, but demand is high for this indulgent weekend, so reserve your place quickly by contacting Russ Rainger.

The weekend will consist of dinner and light-hearted entertainment on Friday night, overnight accommodation and breakfast at your leisure on Saturday morning, with a day to yourself to enjoy the excellent spa and pool facilities at the hotel, explore the local area or play a round of golf on the challenging course. Saturday night will be a black tie event, with Champagne and canapés, a banquet, music for dancing and the all important Charity Draw, overnight stay and another leisurely breakfast.

Square Events have been involved in the organisation of this charity event, along with Russ and Denise, due to the expertise that they provide. Square Events have shown their versatility in the respect that this is not the usual type of event that they deal with, but have been involved from the off, as they introduced the organisers to the beautiful venue back in November 2012.

Hellidon Lakes Golf and Spa Hotel offers something for everyone, the hotel has experience of Masonic Events, with great banqueting space for your Gala dinner and fabulous facilities including a spa, pool and a golf course for your leisure time. For more information about organising a Masonic Ladies Festival please contact Matt Devine, Tara or myself at  Square Events on 01202 400855.

Russ and Denise are hoping for plenty of support from the Masonic community for this event, please contact Russ directly on 01728 688739 for more information or to book on to this indulgent charity weekend event.

The New Forest, what an experience. By Natasha Hills

The New Forest has so much to offer, a wide variety of hotels, restaurants and cafés. We had an amazing opportunity to experience some of the many different things that can be done in the New Forest, from relaxing in the hotel bar to being on an exhilarating RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat) ride.

The New Forest is an ideal location for a Masonic Ladies’ festival, although there are a few hotels in the area that are unsuitable due to size and/or price, they are all set in beautiful surroundings and tend to be within a stone’s throw of a golf course. Another great thing about the New Forest is that it is very close to main transport links and just off of the M27.

I think that the New Forest is one of the most beautiful places in the UK and with so much to experience it is an ideal location for a leisure break with a combination of relaxation, with a wide variety of spas and treatment facilities and lots of exiting activities.

You can also rent a New Forest Twizy to have a different experience of driving around the forest without being worried about emissions, as they run purely on electric. If you are used to driving a big car on the bumpy forest roads, driving a Twizy may be a slightly scary experience.

Battlefield live, laser clay, archery and Segway are just a few of the activities that we encountered in one day in the New Forest, imagine the possibilities for a longer stay.

Even though I live just 10 minutes away from the New Forest and go there often, there is still much more to experience than the relaxing summer walks looking at the cows, ponies, donkeys and pigs and stopping for an ice-cream and possibly a drink in Burley.

 For more information on Ladies’ Festivals in the New Forest contact Guy Mason, Matt Devine, Tara or myself at Square Events and Perfect Weekend on 01202 400855

A night in the forest at the Elmers Court Hotel, Lymington by Natasha Hills

From walking through the door we were made to feel special, the information given by reception while checking in was concise, we were made aware of the arrangements for dinner, when, where and whom we would be meeting. We were also told exactly how to get to our room, but the events coordinator then arrived to show us the way, which was helpful as we did have to leave the main hotel building to get to the blocks where the hotel bedrooms were situated.

The room was really well decorated, modern and up to date and of a fantastic size. The shower was of a good size. There was also a bath in the room which was good as it allowed for variety and ease of use, great for a stay that is longer than one night.

Then down to dinner, attention to detail was fantastic, it was mentioned in passing during a phone call to the hotel that my partner has a nut allergy, as soon as we were joined by the hotel manager, he removed the nuts from the table. The conversation flowed as well as the wine during the evening, they had a great selection. The menu offered was in no way limited, an option for everyone was offered. The dishes around the table were varied extensively, all presented beautifully. There were no complaints about the food, I would definitely return to the Waterford Restaurant for dinner and recommend it to anyone.

The staff in the restaurant and bar were very friendly, attentive and seemed like they were enjoying themselves, which kept the atmosphere bubbly. We went into the Scottish Grill and Bar after dinner for an extra drink before going to bed, the staff were happy to see us even though it was quite late and we were the only people in there, very welcoming and happy to serve us.

Breakfast was lovely, although it was a little rushed as we had plans for the morning. There was a cold/continental breakfast station and a hot breakfast was made to order, the hot breakfast was really well cooked and tasty, for that time of morning that was plenty for me without the cereal, bread, meats, cheeses and fruit that were on offer.

The main function room is beautifully decorated and has a wonderful feature fire place. Great for a Masonic Lodge, especially considering that it can be fully separated from the rest of the hotels guests, with a private bar in a room right next to the main suite. It also has outside space which can be made private which opens on to the beautiful grounds.

The leisure facilities at Elmers Court were great, they include an indoor and outdoor swimming pool (it was a bit of a shame that the outdoor pool is not open yet, considering that it is May), treatment rooms and a large gym. The grounds are fantastic; they definitely show off the beauty of the location, with the boats in the near distance floating by.

For more information on Masonic Ladies’ Festivals at Elmers Court or other hotels in the New Forest area contact Guy Mason, Matt Devine or the rest of the team at Square Events and Perfect Weekend on the number below.

Tel: 01202 400855

Email: [email protected]

In at the deep end. My first week with Square Events – By Natasha Hills

What a week! My first week working for Square Events and Perfect Weekend, my first Masonic Lodge Ladies Weekend experience, my first site visit to a hotel, well I suppose there is a first time for everything.

 

My name is Natasha, I joined the lovely team at Square Events Management just last week and I was thrown straight in at the deep end, as by Friday I was out on the road to meet Guy Mason (Director of Square Events) for a site visit at The Woodland Grange Hotel, which has lovely conference rooms (ideal for training and corporate events); a smaller oak panelled room which could work for smaller lodges and a number of newly refurbished bedrooms.

 

Then onto Q Hotels Chesford Grange for a Masonic Ladies Weekend showcase event.  The staff at the hotel in Kenilworth, Warwickshire were extremely friendly, helpful and hospitable. The facilities were ideal suiting lodge events from 100 pax and the bedrooms were of a very high standard throughout.

 

We arrived just before the snow started to fall in Warwickshire, the atmosphere was amazing and the snow made the hotel look even more beautiful. They provided a fantastic showcase and a thorough understanding of Masonic Lodge Ladies Weekends, it was a fantastic opportunity for me to get a better understanding of the way in which these types of events are organised and run and just how much planning and preparation goes on.

 

It was great for me to get involved from the off, helping out with decorations in the banquet suite and final touches, where we later had a fantastic four course meal and although later in the evening there was a distinct lack of bodies on the dance floor, all attendees invited by QHotels and Square Events appeared to be having a fantastic time and the last few guests were up into the early hours along with some of the QHotel hosts, Guy Mason and myself from Square Events.

 

Square Events and Perfect Weekend would be happy to help you with any of your upcoming events, so do not hesitate to contact us regarding any of your thoughts, we are always happy to discuss your event and offer any advice where required. Guy, Matt, Tara and myself would be delighted to answer any questions you may have, please call the number below.

 

Call us on 01202 400855

So you’ve just become the President’s Lady?

Some tips for organising the perfect Ladies Weekend/Festival

  • Get involved – After all the event is to thank the Ladies and you are the partner of the Worshipful Master.
  • Where do you want the Ladies Weekend to be?
  • Which hotel do you prefer?
  • What entertainment would you like for the event?
  • Which menu would you rather choose?

Responsibilities ahead of the event:

Choosing a venue – Obviously the most important decision as the success of the event will largely be measured on the numbers attending and people will not go to a hotel that represents poor value, low quality or located in an area of low interest. With thousands of hotels in the UK how can you be sure the hotel you have chosen is the right one? With 15 years’ experience of organising Masonic weekend events in hotels all over the UK we will put together a proposal based on your brief in hotels of the highest quality as well as negotiating the best rates through our historical knowledge, negotiation skills and buying power.

Developing the event – The personal touches that you add to the event is what will define it from the previous years. The entertainment, the Ladies present, the menu cards and the flowers all greatly benefit from input from the Lady President and that additional care is really noticeable come the event.

Over the weekend – The main point of worry for a lot of Lady President’s is the response to the Ladies speech. Many a lady has spoilt the time ahead of the speech with unnecessary stress about standing up in front of everyone. Each Lodge is different, but in recent years, a lot of the focus on speeches has been reduced. Where 15 minute speeches were common place the norm now is for far shorter speeches. For inspiration you can search for ‘Masonic Ladies Night Speech’ on youtube

The main focus of these events is to honour and thank the Ladies for putting up with their husband’s regular absences and late night returns so the importance on making it a night to remember for all the ladies relies heavily on your input.

Please do not be afraid to get in touch and put your thoughts and influences into the event. We are always happy to discuss your event and offer advice where required. We’d be delighted to answer any questions you may have and invite you to get in touch on the number below.

Call us on 01202 400855.