You have probably already seen it but I have only just actually seen the T-Mobile spoof Royal Wedding video on YouTube. If you are one of the last in the world (like me!) it’s a must see, watch it via the link I have included.
I have to say that I was amazed at the uncanny likeness of some of the participants, not mentioning any names, dont want to end up in court! The creators of this video appeared to have had some insight into the clothing choices of some….? It turns out that look-alike Prince William is actually a Civil Engineer and member of our parent organisation, the Institution of Civil Engineers. He is a loyal OGGS visitor and is next coming in for lunch on the 24th of May.
We have always known that our Brasserie One lunchtime restaurant produces food, wine and service fit for a king :-), could you feel that pun coming? When we asked him more about it, Simon commented: “My mentioning that I am in fact a civil engineer has been getting quite a reaction because people just cannot believe that my normal job is so different from the look-alike work!”
If anyone would like to find out more about our lookalike Prince William or book him before he jets off for his Caribbean honeymoon, you can visit his Prince William lookalike website for more details.
That’s it from me for today but keep your eyes peeled as my head is buzzing with ideas for my next blog update about the new round of Westminster ceremonial celebrations coming up.
Well here we are in the new financial year with all the tax changes for us as personal taxpayers and businesses. Many of us will have forgotten about the extra National Insurance that was planned during the last administration but will surely notice it by the time we get paid at the end of the month. This plus the VAT increase to 20% and the looming cuts in tax credits and changes in excise duties on alcohol have left us all feeling poorer. Clients are looking for greater value and better deals whilst suppliers strive to meet those challenges in a marketplace with lots of capacity and less business as the public sector continues to leave a hole in revenues for many businesses and so far that hole not having been sufficiently replaced by the private sector, if it ever will be.
It’s not all doom and gloom though as the nation gets Royal Wedding Fever and gears up to celebrate the marriage of Prince William on 29th when most if us will also benefit from an extra day off. Located in the heart of Westminster
as we are, you can feel the build up to this great event happening all around. The other night as I stood outside the Westminster Arms in Storey’s Gate enjoying the first warm sunny evening of 2011 and wondering by how much a pint had gone up after the budget in what must be already one of London’s most expensive pubs, I noticed that the TV camera platforms had already erected opposite Westminster Abbey as they have in front of Buckingham Palace and other preparation are taking place apace as we get nearer to the big day. Whether you’re a monarchist or not, you’ve got to say thanks for extra days off! We have our own wedding here at One Great George Street
the very next day. This year has proven to be a record for our wedding business, probably encouraged by the royal event.
While we are on the Royal Family, Prince Philip was here for dinner two weeks back. I was amazed at how sprightly and upright he is at almost 90 years old. His Royal Highness is an Honorary Member of the Smeatonian Society which was founded in 1771 by John Smeaton and some of his professional acquaintances and is the oldest engineering society in the world. HRH is also the longest serving Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers, our parent organisation and as such has been a regular visitor to our premises for over half a century.
Enjoy the long holiday weekend!
Being well into the New Year already, I can hardly believe that it is mid February already.
The 3 month competitive tendering process for the letting of the new 5 year Audio Visual contract finally came to a close on the 31st of January 2010. There were 3 good, albeit different bids each with pros and cons and evaluating each bid in great detail led to Eclipse Presentations taking the lead. Eclipse Presentations have been around for 21 years providing audio visual solutions both in the UK and overseas.
Seven years ago they started to set up their venue partnership service both as sole and preferred suppliers and are now on-site at over 18 leading London area venues.
In case you think my hair has grown really long since Christmas, the photo above is clearly not of myself. Let me introduce you to Martin Devenport, Eclipse Technical Services Manager who has been based here at OGGS for 5 years and supported by two other long serving team members, Terry Corrie and Ferenc Nagy.
For the larger productions, Martin and his team are able to call on the services of Eclipse’s outside production team that are able to advise and create tailored solutions and production services based on their already expert knowledge of the building.
There is never a dull moment in my role as Events Manager, with so many events booking at the last minute these days, it helps to know that we can rely on the back up of a large and well established provider such as Eclipse. During the heavy snow period at the back of last year for example, we took an all day meeting booking after midday. It was due to start at 9am the very next day and some delegates were not able to get here due to the flight chaos. Martin immediately contacted Geneva to advise and coordinate the video conferencing requirements at both ends.
Anyway, much as I have enjoyed updating this blog, better get on with the day job and deal with some bookings.
Keep your eyes peeled as I plan to post another blog on Kate and Wills’s decision to ‘tie the knot’ quite literally on our doorstep in the near future. Exciting times for Westminster.
It’s been a really busy time as usual for me and the team in the run up to Christmas. Last friday, three eminent fellows of the Institution of Civil Engineers (OGGS is the headquarters building of the ICE) collected their CBEs from HRH The Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace. This momentous occasion happened to coincide with the 70th birthday of Douglas Oakervee (ICE President 2003).
Douglas’s celebrations culminated in a lavish, 7-course themed, fine dining dinner here at One Great George Street. Doug was very well respected by those of us that were around in the team during the time of his presidency. He is fondly remembered for his approachable nature, ‘down to earth’ manner and close links with OGGS due to his time as a non-executive Director on the board of Thomas Telford Limited (TTL is the commercial arm of the Institution of which OGGS is a part).
Naturally, this was one event that we particularly wanted to go well! Myself, Shelley (Fine dining/themed events specialist) and David Wilkinson (Exec Chef) planned every detail with Mrs Oakervee.
The 19 honoured guests were welcomed into our Council Room, which looked particularly stunning with its wood pannelled walls, fireplace, candles, crystal chandeliers and flowers.
Chef really pushed the boat out with this menu! The star course of the night was the miniature Beef Wellington made with Kobe beef. I must say, the morsel I was priviledged to taste in the kitchen was spectacular. Clearly a cow with a diet of sake, beer and corn with the the odd massage thrown in works wonders for the taste and tenderness, if you can afford it!
Shelley worked with Mrs Oakervee on theming ideas to tie in with Douglas’s long association with Hong Kong. Singapore orchids were specially arranged, oriental fans flown in all the way from Hong Kong featuring Herons (longevity) and dragons (Mr and Mrs Oakervee’s were both born in the year of the dragon) and an oriental gong was used to announce dinner. Chef wheeled in the cake with much ceremony accompanied by Chinese flaming candles while guests merrily sang happy birthday.
All in all, another successful event at OGGS, but certainly one I will remember for some time. Only two more days to go before I break up for Christmas, looking forward to the break.
Very merry Christmas and Happy New year to all!