What a treat we’ve had this week!! On Monday 25th April, we co-hosted a very special client trip with Windsor Racecourse and the Mgallery Castle Hotel, Windsor....
Our six lovely clients (& their guests) were introduced to John, Chris & Emily from the hotel and Ola from the racecourse during a champagne reception in the Mgallery Lounge before we carried out a site visit of the hotel. Clients were pleasantly surprised at the size of the event space – the Mgallery’s beautifully decorated Windsor & Georgian ballroom can accommodate up to 300 banquet / 400 theatre layout and has its own built in stage. The whole hotel has recently completed a large multi million pound refurbishment, including all 108 bedrooms. The bedrooms are spacious and have the most comfortable mattresses (tried and tested by us!!), they also have plug sockets directly next to the bedside too which is surprisingly uncommon in many hotels – how annoying it is to have to get out of bed in the morning to snooze your alarm!!
We then made our way to the new Marco Pierre Steakhouse & Grill restaurant which is inside the hotel overlooking the High Street and Guildhall for lunch and a glass or two of wine! After lunch we had a leisurely 5 minute walk down to the riverside to board the French Brother's boat for a comfortable cruise down to the racecourse – this is a service the French Brother's run every race day in Windsor, tickets are normally charged at £6.50 return per adult and the journey takes approximately 10 minutes allowing you to relax and enjoy the fantastic scenery along the banks of the Thames including Windsor Castle and the amazing waterside homes! Should you have a large group, the French Brothers also offer private charters and can make the journey longer should you wish to have a drinks reception on board using their licensed bar.
The racecourse is fortunate to have its very own pier so we arrived straight onto the racecourse grounds and walked over to the main entrance, we were shown the extensive facilities here including a large tiered restaurant with great views over the finish line, we particularly liked the ‘Tack room’ bar which can also be hired out privately during race days - it’s like every man’s (and women’s!) dream garden shed – spacious, nicely decorated and has a large fully stocked bar!!!! The racecourse has several marquees onsite too – the Riverbank Pavilion can accommodate 250 for a dinner – we had a client of ours use this space for their summer BBQ & party last year and received brilliant feedback.
We walked over to our private box situated in the Paddock Pavilion which had its own bar and spacious balcony overlooking the racecourse giving us a great view of the finish line and track. We were greeted with more fizz and racecards ready to choose our winners (and in some cases losers!)
We soon got into the swing of picking horses and were placing our bets ready for the first race and prepared to cheer on our selections! Racing is such a great option for hospitality as it's fun and the perfect ice breaker for those who don’t know each other too well. Bell Events were extremely lucky to be the sponsor of the last race so some of us were able to go into the parade ring and select the ‘best turned out horse’ – we chose Marmajuke Bay as the winner as he had a beautifully plaited mane and tail which looked like a lot of work and time had gone into it! After the race, as the sponsor, we presented the winner with their prizes and were treated to a glass of champagne whilst watching the playback of the race in a small private marquee with the owners & trainers. For corporate clients I’d definitely recommend sponsoring a race to have the opportunity to do what we did – it’s something I certainly won’t forget and it’s great to see your company name in the racecard and on the big screen!
Once the races were over we made our way back to the pier to take the boat back to Windsor centre – some of us celebrated whilst others commiserated over their losses!! – Either way a drink back at the hotel was definitely needed!! We were treated to delicious cocktails in the Mgallery’s Marco Pierre’s bar where we chatted and laughed the rest of the night away before retiring to our lovely bedrooms!!
All in all it was a great event and everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves – it was perfect combining the Mgallery, riverboat and racecourse together to see how the day would work for future corporate events, incentives and hospitality.
If you would like further information on the venues please don’t hesitate to ask us or visit the below websites:-
Mgallery Castle hotel - http://www.sofitel.com/gb/hotel-6618-castle-hotel-windsor-mgallery-collection/index.shtml
Windsor Racecourse - http://www.windsor-racecourse.co.uk/
French Brothers - http://www.frenchbrothers.co.uk/public-trips/windsor-races-shuttle