January 2013 archive

- 22 Jan 2013

My 2013 Salad Inspiration

The stress of cooking for more than 8,000 journalists at the 2012 London Media Centre has faded into a happy memory and I’ve been wonderfully rejuvenated by the festive break. I’m now full of energy and enthusiasm for the year ahead, even for blogging!

OGGSVenue Salad Menu
Indian potato salad with paneer, cashew nuts and curried yoghurt dressing

January sees the new 2013 catering menu coming into operation. Your old favourites are still there but there are also lots of new dishes to tempt you. If you need guidance on the menu choices for your next event, Perry and his team of event managers will be happy to help.

This year we’ve added a new salad selection to business lunches, the inspiration came from an unlikely source.


The first spark of inspiration happened at a meeting with our representative Rachael on a regular visit. KFF Ltd are one of our OGGSVenue nominated food suppliers.

Rachael told me customers would be asking for ‘Ottolenghi style’ salads within months. I quickly scheduled a visit to their Notting Hill cafe and was suitably impressed with their fresh and innovative food.

Bespoke menu client

The second spark for our inspirational salads came from a client meeting. When I asked if the client had any requests or preferences for her bespoke menu, her first comment was: ‘I would like Ottolenghi style salads. Have you heard of them?’

Thank you Rachael!

2013 Menu creation

Re-writing the menus is one of my biggest jobs of the year. Apart from making the food tempting, we consider sustainability, menu structure, provenance, availability, cost, practicality as well as food fashions and trends.

This year, you have seven new salad selections for the business lunch and finger food menu. If you have a personal favourite for your event, just let us know though.

Our prices have gone up ever so slightly (below inflation minimum) as we want to continue to offer value for money and excellent choice in these difficult times.

A final note on Ottolenghi. I visited their restaurant on Upper Street, Islington with the boss for dinner last week. It is super-trendy with a great buzz and was heaving!

All the dishes are “tasting” size rather than main course, and the combination of flavours is breathtaking. I can’t recommend it enough but make sure you book early if you want to go in the evening.

I hope we have a chance to serve you in our Cafe bar, Brasserie One restaurant or at a function in the coming year.

I’m happy to share any of the newly-featured salad recipes, just send me an email request.

Have a happy and prosperous 2013!

- 14 Jan 2013

World-class Wi-Fi comes to One Great George Street

Happy New Year to all my blog readers and sorry that it’s been a while since my last blog post. I have just returned from a 3.5 week extended festive break having spent the entire duration in southern Spain. The temperatures on the coast were hitting record levels of up to 23 degrees on a daily basis!

Superfast Wi-Fi has been keeping me busy in recent weeks. While everyone’s pondering whether there will be a ‘post-Olympics meetings business crash’ I’ve been up to my ears in fibre, cable, internet capacity and load-bearing capabilities. Gripping stuff!
As part of my remit, overseeing all things audio-visual I’ve been making arrangements for our new super-fast Wi-Fi.

All this, at our busiest time of year, while making sure our clients get the usual welcoming, personal and attentive service they deserve and are accustomed to at OGGS Venue .

It’s been keeping me madly busy and reeling off some heavy-duty blog post about our new superfast Wi-Fi is the last thing I need.

So in the interests of speed and simplicity (a bit like our new Wi-Fi) I’ve decided to offer you a series of answers to questions our Sales and Events team have raised.

So here goes:

Question: What’s new?
Answer: On Monday, December 3rd, 2012, we went ‘live’ with a new Wi-Fi system.

Q: So what’s so great?
A: We have a totally new infrastructure using the most modern equipment with much improved capability and flexibility.

Q: So what does that mean?
A: As well as offering standard Wi-Fi access  as before, albeit at greatly improved speeds we will now be able to offer other specific services such as dedicated bandwidths and static IP addresses at very competitive prices.

Q: So how has it all come about?
A: etherLive were contracted to provide the connectivity for the 8,000 accredited journalists from around the world while we hosted the London Media Centre during the Olympics.
That in itself speaks volumes.
During, before and after the London Media Centre period, we got to know the team from etherLive well and that gave us every confidence that they were best placed for this job. Having installed all the cabling for the London Media Centre and having had to find the cable to do it, we also knew that they knew the building behind the scenes very well.

Q: So is any of this new Wi-Fi helped by our London Media Centre Olympics legacy?
A: Oh yes. As the fibre optic cabling had already been installed in the building, the install overall was already well advanced and we then added to it to increase coverage to the whole of the site rather than just our conference and banqueting rooms. The Fibre also has a load bearing of up to 1GB.
Q: So does this mean everyone who uses OGGS Wi-Fi will have to pay for all this?
A: Absolutely not. Our shared Wi-Fi network remains free of charge to all – don’t worry!  And our on-site Audio-visual team will be on hand to support with any Wi-Fi-related requirements.

Q: Which types of events will benefit most?
A: Absolutely everyone who comes to OGGS.
Whether it’s just one client visiting our Brasserie One lunchtime restaurant or cafe bar on their own, to a big group at a conference, everyone will reap the rewards of our speed and reliability.
It takes our video streaming capability to a whole new level, and naturally large conferences wanting to use Wi-Fi simultaneously (as well as training course providers) will be suitably impressed.
It also helps that we will now be able to divert bandwidth from one room or area to another to cope with any unexpected demand or to concentrate extra bandwidth into an area in advance that we know will require it.
That’s it. Any other questions, you know where to find me .