Review: Counter Vauxhall Arches

Counter entrance

Out Of Office reviews Counter an all day bar and brasserie serving French and American inspired dishes

Seconds from Vauxhall Station tucked under the railways arches is Counter, a modern brasserie serving an interesting mix of French and American style plates, from starters such as mac and cheese balls and pâté de campagne, to mains like Parisian gnocchi with oxtail and the Counter burger.

We opted for the mac and cheese balls and the tostada with stone bass fillet and avocado, followed by the halibut and hanger steak; everything was deliciously cooked and well seasoned. The menu proves the chefs are not afraid to use a host of different flavours and ingredients from around the globe.

To finish our meal we shared the cheese board with a full bodied glass of red each, recommended by our waiter.

There are three vegetarian options on the menu, but don’t be afraid to ask the staff to make a change for you – they all seem very happy to help.

Housed in a 200-foot long railway arch, the building is quite… airy – so our only caution would be to bring along a jumper in the winter as it can get rather chilly!

What? An independent restaurant serving  flavoursome food, a wide selections of wine and cocktails. They also have cabaret shows here if you’re looking to treat clients or staff to something a bit different.

Why choose Counter? Those who appreciate architecture and good food will feel at home here. To try a bit of everything (meat eaters) select the sharing menu for four for £120, complete with a bottle of Malbec.

Cost: ££

Arch 50, 7-11 South Lambeth Place, London SW8 1SP
020 3693 9600
www.counterrestaurants.com

 

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Review: Center Parcs Woburn Forest

Sports Plaza Exterior WO June 2014 08

Out Of Office Magazine visits Center Parcs Woburn Forest to review the tailor-made delegate packages on offer 

A holiday village may be somewhere usually resigned to family holidays, and yet the corporate facilities on offer at Center Parcs’ fifth and newest UK destination are truly outstanding.

It’s only an hour away from London and nestled in 365 acres of woodland, which makes it both easy to get to, and a metropolis away from the busy city and surrounding towns.

The village opened in June 2014 to leisure guests, while the conference and event facility entitled The Venue followed closely in October. Since opening its doors, it has welcomed over 6,000 delegates to events, and hosted well-known brands including Virgin Atlantic, The Body Shop and TPRG (Theo Paphitis Retail Group).

As well as tailored events and conferences, the Woburn team are particularly focused on team building, maximising the use of activities available on site.

The event space

The Venue offers theatre-style seating for up to 400 delegates, and comprises of eight individual and adaptable event suites with full vehicle access.

What is really striking about the space is the rooms are totally flexible. Whether you’re looking to hold one big award event or three medium dinners, the Woburn team can cater for your needs.

Even if your total number of attendees is higher than the maximum, they can utilise the other restaurants and spaces on site, such as the Indian Rajinda Pradesh.

No task is too big (or unusual/unique) for the team and they are very enthusiastic when it comes to working with a client to create what they want.

The accommodation

On site there are 675 forest lodges and a 75-bedroom luxury hotel.

We stayed in a lodge which was comfortable, with a good amount of space and decorated in a stylish way with modern fixtures an fittings. Those looking for indoor entertainment can upgrade to lodges with saunas, hot tubs and games rooms too.

Whether it’s a quiet, early night after a long management away day, or a more eventful evening in after a team building getaway, there is an accommodation option for all.

The activities

One of the most brilliant things about Woburn Forest is the long list of activities on offer – from rock climbing and archery, to segways and kayaking.

If you like swimming the Subtropical Swimming Paradise is a large swimming complex, with slides, a wave machine and outdoor rapids. It’s certainly not your average pool for lengths and perhaps typically more popular among the younger folk, or families.

For the less adventurous types the luxury spa Aqua Sana will give you the chance to relax and revitalise. The World of Spa features six spas with sensory rooms and will take you on a journey through fire and ice, botanic blossom, herbal infusions and more. It is regarded as one of the best spas in Europe and has a number of luxury treatments available. For us, the foot spas and the mini infinity pool were particular highlights.

The food

There is a range of food and drink available at Woburn, including well-known chains such as Strada, Café Rouge and Starbucks, plus Center Parcs’ own Huck’s American Bar and Grill, The Sports Café and The Pancake House.

For us, the highlights were the on-site Indian Rajinda Pradesh for dinner and The Shearing House for a casual lunchtime meal with homemade fish finger sandwiches.

The tried and tested comment

Hearing-aid specialist Amplifon held an all employee conference at Woburn in January. The Village was chosen for its ability to host over 350 delegates, and featured a day of presentations, workshops, a gala dinner and a team building programme.

Steve Fleming, CEO UK & Ireland, Amplifon said: “We liked the newness of Woburn Forest from an accommodation and conference facility point of view, especially as it offered more conference space than our previous venue.”

Why choose Woburn?

Whether it’s a gala dinner, an annual award ceremony, a whole company or particular department team building away day or a more formal management meeting, Woburn really can cater for your needs.

For the more formal meetings the facilities on offer mean delegates can let off some steam and go and take part in an activity, or perhaps the day after an award ceremony attendees can enjoy the spa.

For team building, the setting is perfect. It does have that holiday feel to it and will have everyone smiling and having fun.

Cost:

From £55 per person (inc. VAT) for a day delegate

Includes: Meeting room hire for the day, two-course fork buffet lunch, refreshments, access to the Subtropical Swimming Paradise, car parking and wifi.

Contact: Hermione Gingell

Business Development Manager

The Venue

Center Parcs Woburn ForestFordfield Rd, MillbrookBedfordshireMK45 2HZ

01525 842928

07841 912 504

hermione.gingell@centerparcs.co.uk

www.events.centerparcs.co.uk/woburn-forest-overview

Review: The Drift, Bishopsgate

Downstairs bar[2]

Out Of Office Magazine reviews The Drift Bar near Liverpool Street Station.

The Drift is a lively bar and restaurant in the heart of the city, brimming with quirky collectables, hidden alcoves and a slight nautical vibe – in some corners the aquarium next door casts swimming shadows on the walls.

It has an open plan kitchen so you can see the chefs whipping up dishes from simple sharing boards and fries, to burgers and larger plates like roast rump of lamb with mint jus.

For us, the highlights on the menu were the scotch egg with piccalilli and the dessert cocktails.

The Drift is open for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner and late drinks. Innovative cocktails and a good selection of wines sit alongside the varied seasonal menu.

What? A bar serving food throughout the day a stones throw away from Liverpool Street Station.

Why Choose the Drift? A good place if you’re planning client or staff drinks and are looking for a lively and informal place with a touch of class. Mixology and cocktails are a key feature.

Cost: ££

Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY

Vulcan, Red Arrows and Typhoon Confirmed for Eastbourne Air Show

vulcan-r-Eric Coeckelberghs-courtesy of Vulcan to the Sky Trust

Plans for Airbourne, Eastbourne’s international air show have got off to a flying start this year with the Red Arrows, Eurofighter Typhoon and Vulcan cold war bomber all confirmed at the free, four day air show which returns from 13 – 16 August.

Featuring new look Union Jack tailfins, the world renowned RAF Red Arrows display team will wow crowds on the seafront, beaches and the reopened pier with three performances over Eastbourne, in one of the UK’s busiest free flying displays.

Joining the line-up, the RAF Eurofighter Typhoon will provide a fast jet highlight on three days and historic fans can look forward to the return of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, which features the Lancaster, Spitfire, Hurricane and Dakota.

The world’s only flying Vulcan bomber will also make an appearance as it nears retirement.

Eastbourne Borough Council Cabinet Member for Tourism & Leisure, Councillor Carolyn Heaps said: “Eastbourne has a special place in its heart for the Red Arrows so we are delighted to welcome back the world’s best aerial display team… Coupled with the awesome Typhoon and what could possibly be the last chance to see the imposing sight and sound of the Vulcan, we are in for a real treat this year.”

The four day show also features plenty of fun on the ground, including a military exhibition, live music on the beach stage, children’s entertainment areas, helicopter pleasure flights, evening concerts and fireworks on the Saturday night.

Eastbourne’s 23rd Airbourne will also mark roughly one year since the pier fire of 2014, which closed the Victorian landmark just two weeks before the air show.  The pier, which reopened two months later, is a popular viewing platform during the show and includes shops, restaurants, tea rooms, a bar, nightclub and fishing platform.

To beat the crowds, there are exclusive seating areas available at the Bandstand and exclusive hospitality available on the Western Lawns with tickets on sale now.

 For more information visit www.eastbourneairshow.com

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Airbourne returns from 13 – 16 August 2015 and entry is free, with more flying displays to be announced.  All flying is subject to RAF operational commitments, weather and serviceability.

Review: Salvatore’s Bar, Playboy Club, Mayfair

Salvatore's Bar email

Laura Hinton reviews Salvatore’s Bar in The Playboy Club – an iconic venue in the heart of Mayfair

Following the addition of a new head chef, Salvatore’s has updated its bar menu giving it a fresh, modern feel.

The fish and chips main was succulent and light, perfectly complementing the crunchy beer battered hake was chips, mushy peas and tartar sauce. The lobster sliders and fries from the small bites section were also tasty and surprisingly filling.

But while the food is excellent, it’s the world famous cocktails that Salvadore’s prides itself on. The Spicy Fifty cocktail, consisting of Stoli vanilla vodka, elderflower cordial, fresh lime, honey syrup and chilli pepper, has the perfect bitter sharp blend with a kick to finish.

The bar also boasts a collection of rare vintage cognacs – some going back to the 1700s – which is sure to delight connoisseurs. Upstairs, the world-class casino with its iconic bunny croupiers offers luxury sports and gaming around the clock.

What? An award-winning piano and cocktail bar with outstanding service

Why choose Salvatore’s? If you’re looking for something a little bit special. Decadent and flamboyant with a young and wealthy crowd Salvatore’s is sure to impress.

14 Old Park Lane, Mayfair, London, W1K 1ND

020 3411 3824

http://playboyclublondon.com/