Whats Hot & Trending April 19

Bringing you the latest on new venues, venues offering something just that little bit different, others which are hitting the refurbishment trail and those that simply have a story to tell!  And don’t worry, if we’re giving you the heads up on venues that aren’t available to review just yet, they soon will be! 


WHO – Illuminate – Science Museum, Kensington, London 

WHAT – Multi-functional event space for up to 450 

WHY – Purpose built, flexible and just that little bit different! 

Responding to the ever-increasing demand for adaptable and dedicated event space, the worldrenowned Science Museum in London has just opened a brand new, multi-functional events and conference venue  It is hoped that Illuminate, which has been four years in the planning, will maintain the Museum’s position as a world-leading cultural organisation. Situated on levels four and five, Illuminate is available for daytime and evening hire for up to 400 people for dinners/conferences and 450 for receptions. Claiming that almost any type of event can be held including product launches, exhibitions and awards dinners, a combination of purposebuilt, flexible space and the popular museum galleries now provide a multitude of option for event organisers. The directional design of the multi-level space reflects the concept behind Illuminate’s brand identity; level five features a panoramic window which offers stunning views whilst level four’s blackout space is ideal for large scale productions. Following a competitive tender White Light have been appointed the exclusive production partner, with Moving Venue confirmed as the Museum’s caterers. 

Thanks to Kris Humphreys Photography  

Illuminate Science Museum - skyline view
Illuminate Science Museum - blank canvas
Illuminate Science Museum - skyline view


WHO – Hilton Bankside, London 

WHAT – A world first! A dedicated ‘Vegan’ hotel suite 

WHY – Different, topical, exclusive, one off, note worthy 

Vegan!  The word on everyone’s lips in early 2019 and showing no sign of slowing down as a lifestyle choice. Following a business trip to the US, Hilton Bankside General Manager James Clarke, returned to the UK and together with Bompas & Parr has created the World’s first truly vegan hotel suite. Working closely with The Vegan Society, the vegan-friendly materials and design elements include everything from the carpets to the pillow options through to even the mini-bar offering.   The result, a luxurious boutique style room for the ethically-conscious traveller. Guests enjoy the vegan experience from the moment they step foot into the hotel and are greeted with a specially designed plant-based check-in desk, with upholstered Piñatex seating and botanical artwork before being given their Piñatex keycard.

The calming suite interior draws inspiration from the simple pineapple, which symbolises luxury and hospitality, having been brought to South London by botanist John Tradescant in the 17th century. Utilising Piñatex – a natural leather made from the fruit’s cellulose fibres that have been extracted from its leaves – the suite’s interior features a range of specially designed features that embrace a plant-based lifestyle. The Vegan Mini-Bar offers a variety of locally-sourced, vegan treats including Graze protein powder, Naked fruit and nut snacks and Deliciously Ella energy balls in different flavours.  The culinary team have also redesigned the in-room menu which now includes various vegan breakfast options (e.g. fruit juices, muesli, hummus and vegetables, potato hash, grilled Portobello mushroom, avocado and scrambled Quorn and quinoa), as well as lunch and dinner (e.g. cucumber salad, cauliflower steak and five-bean dhal). The partnership with Bompas & Parr (experts in multi-sensory design) follows the successful earlier launch of the Agora Sensory Meeting Room featured in the March edition of clubnews 


WHO – Bristol Old Vic  

WHAT – Decadent space for small (10) and large (550) events 

WHY – Unique heritage venue that always brings a sense of occasion 

Bristol Old Vic, the longest continuously running theatre in the UK, has recently completed a 2-year multi-million-pound redevelopment project and is very much open for corporate business. Pride of place goes to the beautifully restored Cooper’s Hall; a former 1744 banqueting hall complete with high ceilings and over arch windows.   Oozing decadent grandeur, this Grade 1 listed room is ideal for a 130-delegate theatre-style conference or 200 standing guests at a lavish reception. If a stage is what you want for a corporate launch or hosted talk, the main auditorium seats 550. Cleverly, the stage can also be used for private dinners for up to 180.  Next door is the intimate Weston Studio theatre space, which suits conferences or presentations for up to 150.  But don’t forget smaller meetings. The Foyle Room seats 12 comfortably around a hand-crafted solid French oak table that stands as a majestic centrepiece.   


WHO – South Lodge, Horsham, Sussex 

WHAT – 5-star country house hotel with great meeting space & brand-new spa which additionally offers spin, urban gym & unique corporate meeting opportunities 

WHY – Sheer quality.  Private and secure retreat or Board getaway.  Spa offers much to corporate buyers through out of the box solutions 

South Lodge perhaps historically seen as the ‘poor relation’ to its renowned sister hotel Pennyhill Park has clearly come into money!  Exclusive Hotels have recently invested in excess of £15m to create a fantastic spa destination experience that genuinely and cleverly mixes business with pleasure.  Well known for hosting “high end” meetings, conference and events due to its proximity to London and Gatwick, the introduction of the South Lodge Spa now offers a new dimension for event organisers.  Whilst guests and delegates can relax and enjoy the multitude of treatments and traditional spa experiences, the introduction of a 19bike spinning studio and urban gym plus bags of internal and external space offers innovative alternatives for those attending a two or three day eventGender neutral in terms of design, look and feel, the Spa is a just a short walk from the main conference room area and provides a real contrast from intensive meeting sessions.  Dining options in addition to the awardwinning Pass and Camellia Restaurants now include the excellent Botanica Restaurant whose Plant Based menu is innovative and surely more than just a passing fad.  Special shout out to Sophie the Sheep a nice touch in what is now an impressive conference and incentive destination overlooking the beautiful South Downs. 

South Lodge - Spin bikes
South Lodge - pool indoors
South Lodge - Arundel Meeting Room
South Lodge - Gym equipment

South Lodge Hotel & Spa

The Spa at South Lodge

And there’s more – check out the following  Links:  

Live the high life at the Gherkin as Searcys launch new series of event packages: 

ello, ‘ello, ello what have we got here?  A new Scotland Yard Hotel: 

“Aye aye skipper.” Old Royal Navy College Greenwich – check out the “Sistene Chapel of the UK”: