Square Events mobile header image

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.

Dinner at Lainston House by Tara Anderson

What a lovely evening that was hosted for Brief2Event and Square Events Management by the 5 Star, Exclusive Hotel Lainston House. Lainston House is a 17th century country house standing in 63 acres of beautiful Hampshire countryside. Perhaps the most spectacular view is from the hotel bar as the lawn stretches pristinely into the distance along a tree lined avenue.

Onsite they have a wonderful kitchen garden where they grow and use all their own fresh ingredients, the different aroma’s you get walking through is just out of this world. The hotel offers you a chance to experience Falconry within the grounds, with team building days – such as making your own pizza’s outside, to watching the falconry show, great for a drinks reception and dinner too.

It just so happened that the meal a colleague chose consisted of lamb from the nearby farm and rhubarb and ginger freshly picked from the kitchen garden. The ingredients certainly didn’t have to travel far to the plate.

With great company and a wonderful show round it was great to see the little extras that come with the 5 star product.

 

The hotel provided excellent service, beautiful grounds, lovely appointed spacious bedrooms and a delicious menu. The traditional style Dawley Barn would be perfect for a Masonic Ladies Festival. You are also very aware that the hotel is trying to be as eco friendly as possible with their ingredients travelling a short distance, giving advice to guests about how they can be more ‘green’ while staying at the hotel, along with the hotel still doing extensive research to continue reducing their impact on the environment.

 

With excellent transport links and four sister hotels of similar quality Exclusive Hotels are an essential ingredient for a perfect event.

 

5 Star properties are sometimes ignored due to the cost, but having met with the Sales Manager it has been said the hotel will be open to work with clients needs and if you have a budget, they will be happy to look into this and will take this into consideration when putting costings together. Please do keep these properties in mind for your next event.