Sunday, 15 July 2012

Venue Review: Chelsea Physic Garden

Firstly, a little about me to set the scene! I work for a small charity, which is also a membership organisation. As part of the member benefits, we put on a few small (free) events each year, where members can come along and network with their peers.

Last week our members event was held at Chelsea Physic Garden. We invited members along for a free tour of the gardens, followed by tea and cake at the garden cafe.

For those of you that haven't heard of Chelsea Physic Garden, it is London's oldest botanic garden, and boasts an enormous collection of plants that are all used by mankind in some way e.g. for food, or medicinal purposes. As I work for a health based charity this was of particular interest for our members, however even if this doesn't tickle your fancy, the garden is a beautiful oasis with a relaxing atmosphere.


The Garden (image courtesy of

If you are looking for somewhere to take a small(ish) group of people for a day out with a difference, I would highly recommend this venue. For the type of day that we planned, it works out excellent value for money - £9 for entry (per person) and £7.50 pp for tea / coffee and a delcious selection of cakes. Private tour guides are free, but must be booked in advance.

However, what really did catch my attention is the fact that the Gardens are also available for private hire. Whilst we were there, they were setting up for a function in a large marquee, and I think that Chelsea Physic Gardens would be perfect for organisers who are looking for a venue with a difference. The entrance to the Gardens was a small gate, hidden away from the main hustle and bustle of London, and will provide a unique and enchanted entrance to your event (although remember to provide maps as it could be tricky to find!).

I tried to find the event manager whilst I was there, but he was otherwise engaged. However, I found a few details on their website which I will share with you. One thing that I did like, was that they are transparent about their prices on the website. I hate it when you have to endure a long process to get a quote for your event, just to find out whether it is in your price range. Sticking to your budget is more important now than ever!

For exclusive hire of the Garden, prices start at £5775. Weekdays it can only be hired from 5pm to 10pm, however you can hire for the full day (9am - 10pm) on Saturdays. Maximum capacity for the venue is 500 people. On top of this you will also need to budget for marquee hire (safest option for this glorious English weather!), and also catering. They have a few catering supplier options, but if the food served in the cafe is anything to go by, I would say that your guests would be more than impressed with the in-house supplier, Tangerine Dream.

The marquee (image courtesy of
I obviously have not used this venue myself in terms of private hire, so cannot provide a detailed review, however from what I saw during my visit, and the pleasant and helpful staff that I spoke to, I would definitely say that this venue is worth a look.

If anybody reading this has held an event at Chelsea Physic Garden, please do get in contact!

Thank you for reading, Yellow Owl.

Chelsea Physic Garden website:

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

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Emirates Air Line - Cable Car Experience!

So I realise that this isn't technically an 'event' post, but I been talking about the new Emirates Air Line (aka the new London cable car) to everyone and anyone who will listen, so I thought I would share with you all!

First of all some facts:

- Opened on 28th June 2012, taking just under a year to complete

- Travels between Greenwich Peninsula (the o2) and the Royal Docks (Excel Centre)

- 1100 metres long and 90 metres high

- Cabins arriving every 30 seconds, transporting up to 2500 people in one hour (equivalent of 30 bus loads)

To sum up my experience, I would say 'AMAZING'. This was the most stress-free and easy 'tourist attraction' that I have ever been on.

Now I must admit, we were very lucky. We arrived at about 7pm on Saturday evening to find only a few people in the queue in front of us. This meant that we waited no time at all, and had a cabin all to ourselves!

The views were spectacular! I will let the pictures below speak for themselves. The journey lasts around 10 minutes each way (5 mins during certain times for commuters).

View of o2 and Canary Wharf

Decending in to the Royal Docks
Emirates Greenwich Peninsula Station
River Thames

Putting my 'sponsorship' hat on, I think that the branding team at Emirates have done a fantastic job. Everything ties in with the brand: trips are called 'flights', the staff wear airline style uniforms, you are even greeted with a take off style message as you depart the station. Some may find this cheesy, and I can imagine that if you are using this to commute every day the novelty will definitely wear off, but I think that it works nicely!

The TFL website states that Emirates have invested £36m in a 10 year sponsorship deal, and I have no doubt that it will get London using the Emirates name in every day language, just like the brand 'o2' for the old Millennium Dome.

Overall, I would highly recommend that you give the Emirates Air Line a go. One piece of advice would be to top up your Oyster card before you go as there was a queue for the ticket machine. Tickets are around £6.40 return if you have an Oyster card and I definitely was not disappointed with the service or the views!

One last thing is that you can hire a private cabin for £86 for 10 people. I wonder whether they will branch out into corporate hospitality in the future? Watch this space.......

Thank you for reading! Yellow Owl

Monday, 9 July 2012

Hello and Welcome!

Hi everyone and welcome to my blog!

I have been in the events industry for about 3 years now, and have found that at times (especially at the beginning of my career) there has been so much information available, that it can become quite daunting and difficult to find what you are looking for.

I wanted to start a blog to provide honest advice and opinions, as well as sharing the ideas and experiences that I come across in my life as an events manager! I hope to discuss topics such as venue reviews, creative things that I have seen, and also general news from the events industry - all in an easy-to-read, interesting and inspiring way!

I also welcome any comments and advice from you guys - I, like many of you are still learning, and the events world is ever changing and developing! I am hoping to build a platform where we can all discuss ideas and learn together!

Happy reading and I look forward to seeing you again very soon!

Yellow Owl :)