The dark side of London

The bustling city of London is a destination for travellers and ghost hunters worldwide, steeped in history and home to countless buildings full of grisly tales and legends from days gone by. London is known for being the most haunted city in the world, and with a history so rich- and at times rather gruesome- it’s easy to see why.

In the name of Halloween, we’re taking a look into some of the eerier areas in our historical city. Read on, if you dare…

Tower of London

A list of the spookiest locations in London would not be complete without mentioning the infamous Bloody Tower. Used as a prison from 1100 to 1952, The Tower of London housed prisoners who had found themselves on the wrong side of the Royal Family, and consequently met a gruesome end by beheading. Many historical figures are said to haunt the site, and apparitions of Henry VI, Guy Fawkes and perhaps most famously Anne Boleyn, have all been witnessed by both visitors and employees.

St. Paul’s Cathedral

Visible from The Brewery, St. Paul’s Cathedral is a spectacular sight, and a constant reminder of the resurrection of London after it was destroyed by the Great Fire in 1966. Despite its beauty, St. Paul’s has been the site of many ghost sightings over the centuries. The most famous ghost in St. Paul’s is that of an elderly clergyman, who is said to haunt St Paul’s with a high-pitched whistle.

Theatre Royal

Just about every town has a haunted theatre, but The Theatre Royal in Drury Lane has a reputation as the most haunted theatre in the world. Numerous actors performing at The Theatre Royal have spoken of voices, apparitions and unnerving sounds throughout the theatre, amongst these being some distinct reoccurring characters. The most legendary ghost is that of an 18th century actor who appears in the dress circle, suited in a wig, tricorn hat and sword. Chillingly, this particular ghost has been associated with a skeleton with a dagger in its ribs that was uncovered by workmen in 1848.

Hampton Court Palace

Hampton Court Palace is one of only two surviving palaces owned by King Henry VIII, and is now open to the public as a major tourist attraction. For hundreds of years, both staff and visitors have reported unexplained sightings and sounds in the grounds of Hampton Court Palace. The Haunted Gallery is home to the site’s most notorious ghost, Henry VIII’s fifth wife Catherine Howard, who is said to haunt the corridor with a blood-curdling scream.

And The Brewery….

Unlike these chilling venues around London, The Brewery isn’t a ghost hotspot- but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its own dark secrets. The Brewery has set the scene for some rather strange deaths in its time. In 1815, the founder’s son, Samuel Whitbread II cut his own throat ‘from ear to ear’ fuelled by anxieties about the decline of the business.

Another chilling tale rooted in The Brewery’s history is that of John Martineau, who had effectively saved Whitbread by combining the brewery with his own in 1812. Martineau was found dead in a yeast trough at Chiswell Street in 1834. The verdict? He apparently ‘Died by the visitation of God.’

The rich and interesting history of The Brewery is what makes the venue so fascinating and unique. Entertaining Londoners since 1750, the rooms in the historic, Grade II listed building are full of character, ranging from elaborate great halls to vaulted rooms. To discover more about The Brewery, take a virtual tour or contact us today.

The Knowledge Guild – Oct 2017 – What’s The Big Idea – Highlights

The latest installment of The Knowledge Guild, organised by The Brewery in tandem with Speakers Corner, saw us asking What’s The Big Idea by focusing on marketing and branding insights.

The evening presented by Jeremy Vine saw keynotes from Jo Malone from Jo Loves and Dan Germain from Innocent.

You can view the highlights here which also features a panel discussion with Holly Tucker from notonthehighstreet.com, Kate Anketill from GDR Creative and Rafe Offer who founded Sofar Sounds.

5 Ideas to help break the ice at your event

Networking is crucial to any business event. Connecting with valuable contacts and like-minded people at a conference or event is often viewed as being equally important as the event itself. When planning an event, it’s important to not leave such opportunities to chance. In today’s digital world, face-to-face interaction can feel a little daunting. While putting your plans in place, it’s a good idea to have this in mind, and make sure that you actively facilitate these valuable networking opportunities for your attendees to make the whole process feel a little less awkward. Here is our guide on how to encourage networking and break the ice at your next event…

1. Get digital

If you want your participants to use your event as a prime networking opportunity, get them talking a few months beforehand. Create an online community to allow your guests to connect virtually – whether that be in a forum, app or LinkedIn group. Not only can your attendees use this as an opportunity to connect and get chatting with the relevant contacts ahead of your event, but you can use this online space as a means of promoting your event, too.

2. Consider your space

A well-considered space is vital when encouraging your guests to mingle. Before booking your event space, ensure that there is enough room for dedicated breakout areas. These areas are incredibly important, designed to spark conversations in a ‘natural’ environment. Try to create areas within the event space which will naturally encourage delegates to gather, and think about the placement of furniture.  Offer plenty of comfortable seating, and create different areas to accommodate different needs. At The Brewery, neither size or layout is an issue. The flexible setup of our conference venue means you can link spaces, or use different rooms as breakout areas around a main space.

3. Simplify your name badges

Though a seemingly obvious pointer, it’s astounding how often name badges become a hindrance when it comes to breaking the ice at an event. Ensure both the name and company name is large and legible, even at a distance, so that introductions are as natural as possible. If you’re using an app for your event, you could even include QR codes on the name badges to save an exchange of business cards.

4. Organise some activities

Despite your best efforts, it’s not unusual to discover your attendees using their spare time in- between talks at business events to check their emails rather than talking amongst themselves. With a bit of pre-planning, this can be easily avoided by arranging a few activities to keep your guests engaged and the conversation flowing. There are plenty of options here depending on how creative you want to get, but any activity that encourages your guests to team up and work together will work well. Competitions, contests and quizzes are great for breaking the ice, but you could also consider a slightly more formal approach, with organised talks by industry leaders, table-top discussion topics, or posters in breakout areas with questions related to the theme of your event. Why not organize an early-morning or lunchtime workshop to get your attendees geared up for the day ahead?

 

5. Provide food and drink

There’s no easier method to encourage people to gather in one area than to lay on some food and drink. Probably one of the most effective ways to facilitate networking, providing food and drink gives your delegates a reason to stay in one area and open up some conversation in a relaxed and informal space.  Here at The Brewery we know that food plays a big part in your event, and have a passionate team of chefs who will design and create a menu to suit both your corporate event and a wide range of palettes- sure to create a talking point for your guests!

If you’re on the lookout for a venue for your business event or conference, The Brewery couldn’t be better suited. Our unique venue is a talking point in itself and offers all you need to accommodate a great event with plenty of opportunities for your guests to network. To find out more about hiring our event space, get in touch.

 

How to make your event memorable

So, you’ve planned an event? That’s great! Organising the basic elements for an event is perhaps the most time-consuming task, and it’s likely that you’ve thought through every detail of your venue, attendees, merchandising and activities. But what about the little touches that will make a lasting impression on your guests? Make sure you leave time and budget to add a few special touches to your event that will set yours aside from the rest.

1. Make the greeting personal

Appealing to your guests on a personal level is a sure-fire way of guaranteeing a memorable experience, which will exceed all expectations. To make a lasting impression, you’ll need to do a small bit of preparation before the day – just a small question on the registration form will do. Use their nickname or favourite hobby on their nametags, or greet your guests with their favourite drink. What better way to thank them for taking the time to come to your event? This tiny detail could make a big impact, and make a real point of difference.

2. Don’t under estimate the power of good food

It’s been said time and time again, but there’s no denying that good food is an essential attribute of any event. Providing food at an event isn’t just a case of feeding them, it’s about hosting them and making them feel welcome. Make sure that you spend time selecting a great menu that will resonate with your guests as a real reflection of your event. Consider your guest list, and be sure to factor in dietary requirements and food allergies. Events are ultimately about hospitality – conversations and connections are often built around sharing great food. There is so much room for creativity when it comes to food, so step outside the box and opt for anything but sandwiches!

The Brewery can design bespoke menus to suit the guests or theme of the event. Our passionate, award-winning chefs work with our local suppliers to provide incredible menus that will satisfy every palette and provide a truly memorable breakfast, lunch or dinner.

3. Create a ‘wow factor’

It’s important to remember that although this event may have occupied your mind and schedule for 6 months, this is one of many business events that your guests will be attending. This means that you’ll need to put in a bit of work to break the mould and set your event apart from the rest. There are endless ways to do this- create photo opportunities, select a memorable and inspiring playlist or make your ‘wow factor’ the venue itself. The Brewery is a truly unique venue with a rich history, which is sure to create a lasting impression on your guests.

4. Don’t forget to follow up

So once the event is over, it’s time to relax, right? Not yet! If you really want to secure a place in the minds of your attendees long after the event has ended, make sure you keep your foot on the pedal. Reach out to your delegates while they’re still reeling from the event and keep them engaged while they’re still feeling inspired by creating an upsell opportunity, or asking for their feedback the day after.

By factoring in a few extra touches when planning your event, your attendees will have the best possible experience, and are more likely to remember your event for all the right reasons!

If you’re looking for an event or conference venue that your guests are sure to remember, get in touch today.