What would be your ideal venue for a party to end all parties?
We have a number of fantastic country manors, stately homes and landed houses but nothing like as grand as this one: Buckingham Palace!
Tonight RADA students will be partying at Buckingham Palace
The Queen is celebrating 60 years of patronage of the Royal Academy for Dramatic Arts. Students past and present will be invited to perform and partake of the world renowned hospitality that Buckingham Palace are capable of providing. Lucky them!
The Queen is actually going to be treated to quite a spectacle (here is a funny link). Fancy having Benedict Cumberbatch, Maxine Peake, and Helen Mirren performing something theatrical on your sitting room carpet! For a full list of possible participants check here.
In fact the word party can mean different things to different people. If you’re 18 it’s one thing, but a party for a significant milestone is quite another. It is a really good idea to consider who you are catering for before even beginning to think where the party venue might be.
Depending on your guest list various considerations are key:
- Special consideration (access, diet etc.)
You can do a quick search on Landed Houses
This will help regarding numbers and location but a well-worded email to a venue will reap significant rewards in terms of information that will help in the planning.
We tend to get carried away
The idea of experiencing the ultimate party gathering is too seductive. It’s all about champagne, shoes and outfits. But like the swan there is much going on beneath the surface to give the sense of grace and lack of effort.
Edmund, who has been organizing parties officially since 2009 but obviously experienced a misspent youth organizing them long before that date, has some tips…
Landed Houses Top 5 Tips for Party Planning
by Expert Edmund Cohen
1. Be honest with the house about the event you plan to hold when making the enquiry. If it’s a stag do, say so, if it’s a 70th birthday, then say that too.
Houses are generally very accommodating, but only if they know what you plan to do. For example, they can usually come up with great ideas for activities for stag dos and welcome ‘civilised’ groups!
If it’s a 70th, then the house might equally know of interesting happenings locally and can help you place those relatives with specific requirements in bedrooms with easier access.
2. Be flexible about location. For an extra hour’s drive (particularly from London) you could easily save yourself £500 or more on a venue for your party. If the group is sharing the cost it’s less of a burden, but for an individual that’s a good few bottles of champagne taken from the budget!
3. You needn’t be exclusively ‘fully catered’ or ‘self catered’ – why not mix and match? In my experience, for larger groups (say 25+ people) who are splitting the cost, you may as well book a chef for the entire event. But for the smaller groups, it can be very cost effective to have your big dinner on Saturday night fully catered and served, and organise yourselves the rest of the time. Brunches are a great way to cut back on ‘cooking and clearing time’. A chef for the weekend will typically be around £200 – £500 per day (depending on skill and whether they’ll need a sous-chef) plus food and accommodation. A catered and served evening meal as a ‘one off’ is usually around £35 per head for two or three courses. I can provide further advice if you wish or call 020 7112 7544.
4. As a host, try to relax. It’s a lot of work and many people underestimate it, but you should always remember that guests are generally pretty capable of looking after themselves. Breakfast, lunch and dinner should not be your sole occupation when you are thinking about organising a party event. Delegate!
5. A final tip do remember that some owners have a more ‘relaxed’ approach and you shouldn’t be surprised if it takes two or three days for your email enquiry or phone call to be returned. Many are efficient, but others are less so. That’s just the way it goes. It doesn’t necessarily mean the house is already booked, more likely a tree has fallen down and they are spending a few days outdoors with the chainsaw!
If you need help, advice or a mixture please contact Edmund right here. He’d love to plan your party!