England's iconic conference venues

Mar 31 2014, 16:14 IST
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The recreated dining room for servants has an interesting ambience and is often hired for small group meetings. The recreated dining room for servants has an interesting ambience and is often hired for small group meetings.
SummaryThe cities of Bath and Bristol have many iconic MICE venues offering bespoke experiences

most unusual locations for organising a corporate event. The ship that was launched in 1843 and has seen many important events, rests on a dry dock - a sea of glass. For Indian MICE groups, the Gloucestershire County Cricket Club, would undoubtedly be an exciting venue, particularly since on August 25, 2014 the grounds will witness the India-England one dayer. It will be a big day for the county club which hosts only one international match a year, with 16,000 spectators expected to turn up on that day. The conference facilities at the county club can host upto 300 delegates, apart from breakout rooms for 80 people. All meeting rooms overlook the cricket grounds. While on an international match day no conferences are allowed, on the fourth day of a county match conference delegates can get to watch a match after the meeting gets over.

A popular conferencing destination, the many hotels in Bristol, and in the outskirts have a focused strategy for the MICE segment and are looking at expanding their market base. Bristol Marriott Royal Hotel is a heritage building that has an astoundingly beautiful conference hall with stained glass ceiling, statutes and balconies (the venue was earlier Michael Cain's restaurant). The Grand Thistle is a 205-year-old structure in the old part of Bristol, the hotel has been getting some business travellers from India. The Bristol Hotel (a member of upmarket The Doyle Collection) on the waterfront has nine conferencing rooms. The Aztec Hotel and Spa has 22 meeting rooms. This property has also introduced the interesting concept of Conference Cafe that serves throughout the day fresh pizzas, soups, ice cream, smoothies and a tuckshop for sweets. The innovative concept of Pods will be introduced soon, where people can have small meetings. Old Down Manor in the outskirts of Bristol city is an events and wedding venue of distinction, in its own country park, a farm shop, and a cafe that turns into a popular restaurant in the evening. Clay pigeon shooting, archery, and team building exercises are corporate activities organised by many of the properties.

Berwick Lodge was built in late 1890s and has two dedicated conference rooms - from 20 to 80 people. It is popular for both day and residential conferences. Thornbury Castle, the only Tudor castle in England that has been turned into a hotel, and has its own heli-pad. The

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