London family celebration - help needed

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London family celebration - help needed

Postby Ratatouille » February 18th, 2018, 5:59 pm

DD is 50 this year and I am 75. Our family is rather scattered and some are do not have a lot of money or much holiday allowance left. However we all want to get together for a family celebration. We have discussed this to and fro and can't really come up with a sensible solution.

It suddenly struck me that just,perhaps, London might well be the most central point - talking Spain, Jersey, France, Northen Uk etc. we are proposing to pay for the actual party but there are limits.

I am just wondering if any of you can make helpful suggestions - we will probably stay in different places, according to taste/budget but what would you do?

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Re: London family celebration - help needed

Postby Seatallan » February 18th, 2018, 6:08 pm

Approximately how many of you will there be Rats, and what time of year? I was just wondering whether, if the get-together is to be during the summer, a picnic or BBQ might be appropriate (rather than trying to find a restaurant to everyone's taste). It would keep the cost down too. Admittedly, you'd need to be lucky with the weather...
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Re: London family celebration - help needed

Postby mum-at-the-oven » February 18th, 2018, 6:24 pm

Have you signed up with Groupon or some of the similar online discount companies Rats?

They will send you daily deals for all sorts of things but you can specify what you are interested in i.e Restaurants, Accommodation etc. and your preferred area.

Once you have your final numbers and dates sorted then you can pounce on the deals.
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Re: London family celebration - help needed

Postby mum-at-the-oven » February 18th, 2018, 6:37 pm

I suppose another consideration would be how everyone would be arriving in the UK - London region?

If for instance most people would be flying into Stansted then Hertfordshire and Essex venues would probably be a bit cheaper then central London. Would you be looking for a party venue or a restaurant private hire for example - or just a decent meal for a dozen people?
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Re: London family celebration - help needed

Postby StokeySue » February 18th, 2018, 6:47 pm

Yes, numbers and approximate time of year would be helpful
Also some idea - are you looking for a party as such, or some kind of sit down? One possible suggestion might be a gadtropub with a function room, I know a couple and could research a few more through contacts
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Re: London family celebration - help needed

Postby WWordsworth » February 18th, 2018, 7:37 pm

How about researching university accommodation if it's outside term time?
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Re: London family celebration - help needed

Postby TeresaFoodie » February 18th, 2018, 7:39 pm

How about Jamie Oliver's family's place in Essex?

http://thecricketers.co.uk/

A lovely place with a warm welcome if you book up front. I used to live just round the corner. Stansted Mountfitchet is lovely. I'd steer clear of London personally. There is (or was) a really good pub/eatery in Burton End with good food. The Bull? Not sure if it is still there. Bishop's Stortford is a lovely place to visit for good food. Sawbridgeworth also. Much Hadham. Worth investigating Saffron Walden of saffron fame. A wonderful part of the world.

I hope your family enjoy their stay!
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Re: London family celebration - help needed

Postby Ratatouille » February 18th, 2018, 8:23 pm

Thanks for the initial thoughts, There will be 15-20 including 4 or 5 teenagers,The Jersey lot will be coming into London City or gatwick, us into St Pancreas the rest possily train of car. Time- around end May beginning of June.

I'm afraid this is our family. simply can't make decisions and I don't want to be the control freak! I love them all to bits though!
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Re: London family celebration - help needed

Postby Amber » February 18th, 2018, 9:36 pm

How about thinking completely differently, and have some kind of ‘experience’ day, with a more casual meal afterwards? Ideas such as a London Eye pod complete with champagne, an Escape room (or two), the Post Office Tower (not sure if that’s for charity groups only), an exclusive river cruise, a ‘Shard type’ (other buildings are available) meal?

(As an aside, many congratulations.... you don’t look anything like seventy five. :) )
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Re: London family celebration - help needed

Postby StokeySue » February 18th, 2018, 9:42 pm

For that number I definitely think the function room at a gastropub coukd work

The Cookbook Club I go to is at the Draper's Armas in Islington, I really think the function room would suit (admittedly once you get up the stairs) but have to say I've not eaten their food, though Thane Prince says its good

That just the one I know best, there are others, and friends have had family gatherings, significant birthdays etc at these places
Here's a list, there are others not on the list (and you have to filter for London)
https://www.top50gastropubs.com

There are of course private hire rooms in other restaurants, but the pub type is likely to be more relaxed and more flexible about arrangements
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Re: London family celebration - help needed

Postby aero280 » February 18th, 2018, 11:37 pm

Most restaurants will do a private party. If the party is big enough they would close the restaurant to anyone else.

We have had a private family party at our local restaurant. They do a restricted menu for parties if they exceed about 16, so that they can serve everyone at the same time. They have a separate area that can be for a party, or opened up to all if the restaurant is busy. But every place has their own variation on a theme.
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Re: London family celebration - help needed

Postby Pepper Pig » February 19th, 2018, 4:11 am

End of May/beginning of June is very likely to be half term. London will be rammed. Not very helpful I know but do bear it in mind.

We’ve been looking at the same sort of family thing for my mum’s 90th in August. We’ve ended up ruling out Central London as too stressful. :o
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Re: London family celebration - help needed

Postby Zosherooney » February 19th, 2018, 6:24 am

There are lots of outside caterers from hog roasts to the full sit down meal, there are lots of village halls with kitchens too. Just a lot of research to be done. If you get in early enough Travel lodges are not too bad on cost, as you say it is just getting everyone to agree on the venue, the accom. the food. Good Luck Rats ! Some good suggestions above.
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Re: London family celebration - help needed

Postby TeresaFoodie » February 19th, 2018, 7:32 am

It was nice here when we booked a side room and met for food a few years ago wasn't it?

https://www.greeneking-pubs.co.uk/pubs/ ... southwark/

Has anyone been since? Easily accessible by tube. Right near the Thames for anyone wanting to take stroll for views.
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Re: London family celebration - help needed

Postby Busybee » February 19th, 2018, 7:57 am

We met there because Spotted Dicks son was the chef there, I agree the food was very good. However, I have been back since Jason left and whilst still ok it wasn’t anything to write home about.

There again, that’s a couple of years ago now, so could have changed again.

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Re: London family celebration - help needed

Postby suffolk » February 19th, 2018, 8:18 am

What about a Thames Dinner Cruise? they have separate areas for private parties and don't charge more for a group.
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Re: London family celebration - help needed

Postby TeresaFoodie » February 19th, 2018, 8:34 am

Oh yes, It's all coming back to me now why we ate there!
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Re: London family celebration - help needed

Postby Ratatouille » February 19th, 2018, 9:24 am

suffolk wrote:What about a Thames Dinner Cruise? they have separate areas for private parties and don't charge more for a group.


Funnily enough D-I-L made the same suggestion last night. Are these cruises set menu affairs because we have several fussy eaters. one fish and seafood allergy and a vegetarian. We were nearly driven crazy when trying to organise our Golden Wedding dinner working with our chef friend
There is another consideration I should have mentioned, I don't do the tube!
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Re: London family celebration - help needed

Postby Pepper Pig » February 19th, 2018, 9:29 am

The one I did a few months ago has plenty of options Rats.

https://www.bateauxlondon.com/?gclid=EA ... gIeYfD_BwE
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Re: London family celebration - help needed

Postby suffolk » February 19th, 2018, 9:35 am

From what I've read they can cope with special dietary requirements ... have a look here

http://www.thamesdinnercruise.co.uk/group_bookings/

I've no experience of them and I'm sure there are other companies.

(We've only done rural dining cruises in Suffolk a goodly while ago but we had a lovely time)
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Re: London family celebration - help needed

Postby dennispc » February 19th, 2018, 9:40 am

It's a wonderful idea to get all the family together. For how many days?

Here's some thoughts.

Within our extended family there is one group who when they want to meet with everyone present, book a Travelodge and use restaurants nearby.

Another group do a deal with a hotel and meet yearly or used to.

We did something similar at Christmas but hired a large house for twenty, though relied on Tesco delivery for most of the food.

Another thought - Jersey lot could fly to Bristol or Exeter, which would mean another train journey for you but I manage it - five years older.

Depending where in the North they live, driving to Bristol is probably not much different than driving to London. Our Yorkshire family is driving down to Bristol to catch a flight for their summer holiday and Northumberland friends travel down regularly.

Car parking in Bristol is expensive. A large house on the outskirts could be feasible and there are plenty of business type hotels as well.

All the best to you. We are lucky, our kids couldn't stop themselves organising everything. :D
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Re: London family celebration - help needed

Postby PatsyMFagan » February 19th, 2018, 9:47 am

suffolk wrote:What about a Thames Dinner Cruise? they have separate areas for private parties and don't charge more for a group.


I can second the recommendation for a Thames dinner cruise, having experienced this twice now ... once for Christmas day lunch and then for the man's birthday in January. Both times the food was completely satisfactory considering they don't have any actual cooking facilities on board ... :tu:
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Re: London family celebration - help needed

Postby mum-at-the-oven » February 19th, 2018, 9:47 am

If you are arriving at St. Pancras Rats - can we assume you are coming via the Channel Tunnel?
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Re: London family celebration - help needed

Postby dennispc » February 19th, 2018, 9:47 am

Or Jersey to Birmingham.

Train from Euston for you, just along the road from St Pancras - 90 minutes at most.
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Re: London family celebration - help needed

Postby Ratatouille » February 19th, 2018, 10:05 am

Thank again all. It will have to be just the weekend because of wrok/school. The jersey branch are off to the Bahamas at easter and don't have much spare leave. 2 GCs are at school in Dorset but their Mum works in Cumbria.
S-I-L is in Derbyshire but we have met up at St Pancras before
We are planning on taking the direct Eurostar from Avignon to St Pancras, it doesn't go every day, but we are thinking of staying before or afterwards to do some exhibitions/theatres.

The problem with trains in the UK is they are sooo expensive and we can't use our SNCF senior tickets as we can on the Eurostar. To be absolutely honest Dennis Mr R's family all loathe Bristol, A very long and sad story.
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Re: London family celebration - help needed

Postby PurpleLuv » February 19th, 2018, 10:30 am

Liking the river cruise idea maybe you could cruise with drinks then investigate Gillray's, the Marriott Hotel's restaurant in County Hall. Myself & Patsy had a nice meal there late last year & a private party where dining in an area at the top of the hall, they have fixed price menus & Afternoon teas https://www.bookatable.co.uk/gillrays-s ... ank-london
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Re: London family celebration - help needed

Postby Pepper Pig » February 19th, 2018, 11:17 am

If you’re going to be at St Pancras Rats you might consider The Gilbert Scott. It’s very good, one of Marcus Wareing’s, and I see it does Private Dining for up to 18. I’ve been there a few times. Lovely building too. 8-)

https://www.thegilbertscott.com/#private-dining
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Re: London family celebration - help needed

Postby Seatallan » February 19th, 2018, 1:23 pm

I think the river cruise idea is a splendid one. :luv:
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Re: London family celebration - help needed

Postby Ratatouille » February 19th, 2018, 1:24 pm

I know the restaurant PP and have eaten there. In fact we are seriously thinking of staying in the hotel because we can get a deal with Eurostar. It is lovely.
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Re: London family celebration - help needed

Postby dennispc » February 20th, 2018, 8:51 am

Ah, just the weekend, sorry I missed that. My ideas certainly wouldn't work.

We would love to stay in the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel - we're more like Premier Inn folk - people who've stayed and eaten there says it's lovely.


Our railways are expensive even with our Senior Railcards, no doubt because profits go to the Continental State owners so they can run cheap trains for their own citizens. ;)

Hope everything works out for the family.
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Re: London family celebration - help needed

Postby Ratatouille » February 20th, 2018, 1:12 pm

I've told them to get themselves sorted , The idea of a dinner river cruise met with "Borrrringggg" from some. I'm not about to go bungee jumping or clubbing. I don't remember either our children or parents coming to my 50th anyway.

Stomps off!!
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Re: London family celebration - help needed

Postby Seatallan » February 20th, 2018, 1:50 pm

:lol: :lol: :lol:

You tell 'em Rats... :hug: :hug: :wave:
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Re: London family celebration - help needed

Postby Pepper Pig » February 20th, 2018, 2:06 pm

How about one of the restaurants up The Shard? They couldn't possibly think that boring could they?
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Re: London family celebration - help needed

Postby StokeySue » February 20th, 2018, 3:02 pm

Brasserie Zedel egg mayonnaise
Image
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Re: London family celebration - help needed

Postby Pepper Pig » February 20th, 2018, 3:17 pm

Wrong thread I suspect Sue. ;)
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Re: London family celebration - help needed

Postby StokeySue » February 20th, 2018, 3:17 pm

Relocated
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Re: London family celebration - help needed

Postby suffolk » February 20th, 2018, 3:57 pm

Ratatouille wrote:I've told them to get themselves sorted , The idea of a dinner river cruise met with "Borrrringggg" from some. I'm not about to go bungee jumping or clubbing. I don't remember either our children or parents coming to my 50th anyway.

Stomps off!!


Miserable lot :rolleyes:

What about this ... http://www.circus-london.co.uk/

Not cheap ... but boring it won't be 8-)

They accept party bookings.
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Re: London family celebration - help needed

Postby Pepper Pig » February 20th, 2018, 4:24 pm

That epitomises my idea of Hell Suffs. :o :o :o
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Re: London family celebration - help needed

Postby suffolk » February 20th, 2018, 4:34 pm

:lol: It's not somewhere I'd choose for a family gathering, but if they're worried about being bored on a Thames cruise, with everything there is to see there, then they obviously need a high level of stimulation ...
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Re: London family celebration - help needed

Postby miss mouse » February 20th, 2018, 4:49 pm

Goodness, that would be a dinner to remember Suffs. Excellent suggestion.
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Re: London family celebration - help needed

Postby Zosherooney » February 20th, 2018, 5:13 pm

Wow! That would be something very very different. I'd give it a go.....
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Re: London family celebration - help needed

Postby TeresaFoodie » February 20th, 2018, 5:53 pm

Loch Fyne has a very good reputation and their menu has always looked good to me although I haven't got round to going there.

There's one in Covent Garden.

https://www.lochfyneseafoodandgrill.co. ... rden#menus
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Re: London family celebration - help needed

Postby Ratatouille » February 20th, 2018, 7:26 pm

Not for Mr R and i Suffs. and possibly not for the 3 14/15 year olds. Loch Fyne absolutely no with on fish allergic and two veggies!!
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Re: London family celebration - help needed

Postby Amber » February 20th, 2018, 9:19 pm

Dennis pc, we stayed at the St Pancras about fourteen years ago when our youngest was playing in a concert; I don’t remember it being anything special then. Hopefully it’s changed since. We’re another Premier Inn fan. Value for money you can’t beat them. Although sometimes I have to ask for a ‘proper’ coffee, I hate those vacuum flask things at breakfast.
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Re: London family celebration - help needed

Postby earthmaiden » February 20th, 2018, 9:37 pm

It's hard isn't it!

I've no firm ideas (though I too would not like a river cruise dinner unless the water was as still as a mill pond :sprout: ). I don't really have any London ideas but some family groups of varying ages find places like Center Parcs strike a happy medium for a long weekend (preferably near a nice restaurant for a celebratory dinner). My mind is vaguely wandering in the river area of Windsor/Bray/Cookham etc where there are a good few decent restaurants. NT properties, museums and the like can be hired for special occasions too and some of the converted barns done up for weddings and the like can be pretty good - people here may have experienced good ones. Of course, some are costly but it's worth looking.

I like the Shard idea too - what's the OXO Tower like?
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Re: London family celebration - help needed

Postby Pepper Pig » February 20th, 2018, 9:44 pm

How about a Mad Hatter's Tea Party?

https://afternoontea.co.uk/uk/london/ox ... son-hotel/

Groupon do deals and there are other vouchers available.

Any of them soccer fans? The Grove in Watford is where the England football team stay when there's an international. The food is great and the hotel and location lovely. There are Travel Lodges and Premier Inns in the area too AND the Harry Potter Experience is about a mile away. I've yet to find a teenager not entranced by that. (Don't worry, it doesn't have "rides"). You do have to book Harry in advance though as they don't take money on the door.

https://www.thegrove.co.uk/

https://www.wbstudiotour.co.uk/experience

ETA Aero’s favourite restaurant mentioned before isn’t far away either.

https://www.stjamesrestaurant.co.uk
Last edited by Pepper Pig on February 21st, 2018, 8:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: London family celebration - help needed

Postby earthmaiden » February 20th, 2018, 9:52 pm

DIL did the Mad Hatters Tea Party with her ma and sister for a birthday. They loved it. Very gimmicky but fun.
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Re: London family celebration - help needed

Postby suffolk » February 21st, 2018, 9:22 am

What about the Rex Whistler restaurant at Tate Britain ....... it's a very long time since I've eaten there but it is a great venue and they do group bookings/private dining etc.

http://www.tate.org.uk/visit/tate-brita ... restaurant
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Re: London family celebration - help needed

Postby miss mouse » February 21st, 2018, 9:29 am

The Swan by The Globe is very nice

https://www.swanlondon.co.uk
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Re: London family celebration - help needed

Postby Pepper Pig » February 21st, 2018, 9:32 am

Last time I was there Suffs, a rat ran across the carpet in front of me. I told the staff who looked at me in disbelief, I emailed the Tate and got no response. Their customer service is appalling. On the strength of it I cancelled my membership. They emailed to ask why I had cancelled and did not respond when I told them. :o
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