Our Event Manager’s perspective on Hospitality at Henley Royal Regatta

Well  the fabulous Henley Royal Regatta is over for another year and what a superb time was had by all attendees.  We have had great feedback from some of our clients about both facilities that were used (see below)

Bird Place at Henley Regatta

The stunning setting of Bird Place has a definite wow factor when guests arrive and survey the beautifully tended gardens, luxurious marquee facility and the two large boats moored at the end of the garden off a private pier.  The floral displays were extremely well done and the exotic scent filled the reception area and marquee.  Having the sun shining on what was the hottest day of the year also helped immensely to set off everyone in a very good mood!

The fact that this beautiful private residence opens its gardens for Henley Regatta is a testament to its owner who is the founder of the famous Leander Rowing Club.  Located just through the bridge means that access is easy from the station and the main Henley road and parking is available although this must be pre-booked in advance to ensure a space is held for you.  Coaches and minibuses can park at the cricket club just across the road where there is no turning restriction.

Upon arrival at 10:30 guests are offered an array of pastries and fresh fruit until the bar opens at 11:00.  This is located on the boat so that you can on a sunny day, go onto the roof and watch the river life go by whilst enjoying a glass of champagne or pimms. 

There are two 1 hour river cruises where you get to see rowing at close quarters before and after lunch.  I must say that this year’s menu was mouth-watering with a Bloody Mary gazpacho shot amuse bouche, Seafood Salad or Sweet Pea Mousse for starters and half a Canadian Lobster or Chicken with a red wine jus as your main. If you haven’t had sufficient with your four course lunch then fear not, as a sumptuous afternoon tea follows your afternoon cruise!

I do feel as an agent that the river cruises offer a really good highlight to the client experience and as they both have a covered inside area, are perfect in case of inclement weather so that 

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The River Lounge at Henley Regatta

One of our most popular facilities as The River Lounge is located within sight of the Start Line and at the thinnest part of the river it ensures you get an uninterrupted view of the racing – those rippling muscles certainly deserve your full attention!

This year’s design was again a triumph in design with purple and yellow being the feature colours and bay trees and sage/herb plants complimenting the overall look.  Again, we had the fabulous singer and guitarist creating the background ambience and for those avid Wimbledon fans, the chill out area was available with flat screen.

We offer a 1 hour river cruise for all guests and the stroll along the river bank to the mooring gives guests a chance to people watch and enjoy the Regatta atmosphere.  The 12 seater boats can have a champagne or wine hamper placed on board at an additional charge.

From the moment guests arrive at 10:30 they are served endless delicious refreshments from breakfast pastries, delicious four course lunch, traditional English afternoon tea and finally tiny ice creams.  Top this off in liquid form with a complimentary bar of wine, beer, pimms and soft drinks one generally waddles to their transport home!

Of course for both facilities, the Regatta does not end at 18:00 as there are several bars along the towpath and both Chinawhite and Mahiki have facilities near to Henley Bridge which go on until late at night.

It is always lovely to hear from clients and a few of the comments we have received so far regarding both facilities are:

“10 out of 10 would be doing the facility a dis-service”

“I have been besieged with comments from my guests that it was the best day out ever!”

“We now have one problem, all our guests are clamouring for us to the same again next year!”

“The boat was the highlight of the day”

“Your staff are constantly on hand without being intrusive which is an art in itself.  Well done!”

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