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Portsmouth Road, Kingston Upon Thames, Surrey, KT6 4HN (KT6 4HH for Sat Nav’s)
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Category Archives: Corporate

Crafty ways to propose this Valentine’s Day

With Valentine’s day just around the corner we know a few of you will be taking this opportunity to pop the question! We’ve come up with 5 crafty ways to make your proposal a little different.

1. Hidden in a cake
We’ve all seen the classic ‘Friends’ episode where Phoebe discovers the ring inside of a cake. A timeless way to pop the question, plus a sweet treat. Just be sure your partner doesn’t bite down too hard!

2. Home cooked dinner
Light some candles, pour a large glass of wine (to steady the nerves of course) and get down on one knee! A home cooked dinner isn’t too suspicious and will still leave the element of surprise.

3. Scavenger hunt
Being stuck indoors still, this is a fun way to do something a little different and get a bit crafty. Hide the ring around your home and create clues for your partner leading up to it.

4. Family / Friends catch up zoom call
Zoom calls have become the biggest trend over the last year. You can pretend it’s just a standard catch up and have each friend / family member hold up a sign with the relevant words. This is a great way to get your loved ones involved as well as being unexpected!

5. Message in a bottle
Daily walks are sometimes the best part of the lockdown day, take a small bottle and write a message on a piece of paper inside. You can hide this on your normal walking route and have your partner find it. A lovely memory and a keepsake you’ll look back fondly upon in years to come.

Let us know if you try any of these, we would love to hear all your proposal stories. Good luck and get proposing!

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Back to work breakfast Seminar!

Back to work coffee mornings can be a great way for you and your team to reconnect with each other as well as motivating and getting everyone comfortable with being back into the office.

Here at Ravens Ait we offer a variety of coffee mornings complete with buffet breakfasts that will be a great way to kick start getting back to normal.

Make use of our Thames Suite by hosting a back to work positivity seminar. With large natural light overlooking the river, what better way to regroup as a team.

We offer a variety of coffee morning packages that can be tailored around you and your team. For example, why not check out our most popular option, the day delegate?

With english tea, coffee and pastries upon arrival, midmorning coffee and biscuits followed by our chefs choice of sandwiches, fresh salads, sausage rolls, spinach and feta rolls. And lastly, homemade biscuits mid-afternoon english tea & coffee with our chef’s choice of homemade cakes.

Looking for a summer day? We also offer a BBQ buffet which is fantastic to be enjoyed with our beautiful views overlooking the Thames and the Hampton court grounds.

If you’re interested in booking ahead to get back to office life, drop us an email to enquire further.

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How to plan your corporate party in 2021

You may be brainstorming ideas for your business’s corporate event ready for 2021. Here are a few great ideas for you to keep in mind as well as keeping it COVID safe. Here at Ravens Ait we’ve got plenty of team building exercise ideas for you to think about trying!

1. Egg and spoon race: Our lawn is the perfect space for the good old fashioned egg and spoon race! Bringing that bit of fun and childhood nostalgia to your event will create a lighthearted vibe and be sure to entertain everyone. Our lawn also makes the perfect space to keep a safe distance as well as have room for a sanitizing station

2. Quiz! : Our Britannia Suite is perfect to get your guests into teams and put on a quiz. Maybe even give a prize to the best team name. Our tables are large enough to create space between teams and to ensure no cheating takes place!

3. Inspiring speakers: Corporate events don’t have to be boring. By hiring an inspirational speaker on your topic of choice you’re creating your very own Ted Talks seminar. This keeps your colleagues engaged and they’ll take away something valuable from the day. Depending on party size, our Thames Suite or Britannia would be perfect for this.

4. Grab a Mocktail stall!: As much as we would all like a drink or 2, sadly this just isn’t possible at a corporate event. Glam the day up by hiring your own Mocktail stand complete with barman and servers. No one can say no to a virgin mojito! This can be set up on our lawn whilst lunch is being prepped!

5. Outdoor Cinema: If you’re planning on your event being carried on until the evening, Our lawn and marquee have the perfect setup for an outdoor cinema event. With popcorn being served and a film of your choice up on the big screen, this is a great way to wind down at the event of the activity filled day. Perhaps the quiz winners get to choose the film?

Let us know if you try any or any ideas of your own!

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Wedding Décor – How to fill your venue

One of the things we’ve noticed whilst planning a wedding is we often get asked for ideas and advice on decorating and how to fill a large space.
With wedding limits still at 15, you may be worrying on how to fill out your venue. But not to worry!
There are lots of great innovative ways to get creative with your ideas and to help fill your venue.

Flower walls – Not only are these great for photo opportunities, they’re a beautiful way to fill up a corner of your venue. Varying from small to large and available in a huge range of colours and styles, these are perfectly suited to any theme.

Hanging frames – Ornate gold frames creates a very rustic and authentic vibe for your décor. These can also be teamed up with the flower wall for the perfect shot.

Mirrors – Guests love a selfie! Not only do these look fantastic especially with ornate frames but these are also a fabulous room filler that your guests will love. Add some floral foliage to the sides for a personal touch!

Fairy light backdrops – Once the sun sets for the evening a fairy light backdrop creates the most perfect romantic setting. Opt for the classic white light or a gold for more of a warm feel.

Neon signs – This has become such a popular craze over the last few years. Whether you create a personalised sign or opt for a ‘Happily Ever After’. Not only do these make fantastic backdrops but they’ll be sure to impress your guests.

Chalk Board – Another one for the rustic vibes. A chalk board is a lovely way for your guests to write down their memories of the happy couple or even simply sign their name and add a little note about the day! There are many sprays and paints you can cover the board afterwards to solidify and make sure nothing gets faded away.

Got any other ideas? We would love to hear them! Let us know what you think.

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DIY Wedding Décor!

As we’re all stuck inside for the next month or so, this can be the perfect time to get your DIY on and have a go at crafting your own wedding decorations!

We’ve come up with 10 crafty DIY wedding décor ideas to keep you busy and to keep the buzz of your wedding excitement alive.

Pallets

These can be used in such a variety of ways from creating a Polaroid wall to storing cupcakes and party favours. Keep it simple for the classic rustic effect or maybe give it a splash of paint to fit with your colour scheme

Invites

DIY invites can be a really nice way of making it more of an intimate invitation. We all love receiving a homemade card as we know it’s made with love and care in mind.

Welcome sign

This is the first thing your guests will see as they arrive to your reception; why not give it an extra personal touch by making it yourself? Grab some paints and a sheet of wood and practice until you’re happy! Add some flowers and foliage to the corners for an extra rustic vibe.

Party favours

Everyone loves a reminder of such a special day, from making CD copies of your wedding playlist to packaging up mini bottles of your favourite spirits, these are intimate ways for your guests to hold onto and remember the day. Craft your own labels for a personal touch.

Name Placemats

Create a sleek and stylish table placement by decorating a tile in the style of your choice! Using a tile in your colour scheme these are a great way to add that little extra something and are also a great takeaway gift for your guests.

Eco Friendly Confetti

From hole punching autumn leaves to small pouches of dried petals, not only is eco friendly confetti unique but it’s also as biodegradable as you can get! Experiment with different styles and textures before finding the one perfectly suited for your day.

Bottle lights

Create a personal touch by using your favourite spirit bottles filled with fairy lights. These are great for table decorations and adding that extra ‘something’ to the decor. What’s even better is that you’ll get to enjoy your favourite drink in the process!

Customisable Masks

The COVID times unfortunately aren’t over but this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t celebrate your wedding in style! Customise not only your bridal mask but also personalise ones for your bridesmaids and groomsmen. Using fabric washable masks means your guests will also be able to take this home, wash them and then keep them as a memory of the day.

Rope Vases

Keep your flower arrangements looking perfect in your own rope vases. Simply entwine a rope of your desired thickness around the vase for a beautiful rustic feel. Again, these can be easily fitted around your colour scheme! Not looking for a rustic vibe? Why not experiment with different coloured ribbons?

Mini soap party favours

Party favours are a great way for your friends and family to look back on the day, mini soaps are an adorable way of saying Thank You to your loved ones but also not bombarding them with something they’re never going to use and will just sit in the cupboard! Considering rose petal eco – friendly confetti? Why not continue the theme with a rose flavoured smelling soap!

If you’ve tried any of these we would love to see!

For more crafty wedding ideas visit our Pintrest page and let us know what you think.

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/RavensAit/crafty-wedding-decor/

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Planning your 15 person wedding

As we know for the next six months, wedding ceremonies and receptions are limited to 15 guests. As 2020 has seen a lot of postponements with a few celebrations, everyone has come to realise this restriction will likely continue into 2021, and the reality is people want to get married! Here are some ways in which you can make your wedding day special despite the small guest count.

Think about your options.

Every couple is different, some of you will not want to comprise and for other’s, they feel like their life is on hold. Here are some things you can consider that might suit you.

  1. Have the intimate celebration
    1. For those of you who can’t wait to start celebrating the love between yourselves, having and the intimate style ceremony will allow your lives to start together sooner rather than later.
  2. Split the day
    1. For those who are torn between wanting to celebrate with all your friends and family but want to get married as soon as possible, splitting the day to a ceremony and a reception at a later date means you can do all of the above. 
  3. Post-pone
    1. If you don’t want to compromise, and then don’t! Maybe end of 2021 or event 2022 is a safer bet for your larger number weddings and this way you can have the wedding you want.

Either way this is still a difficult decision to make and it something you should do as a couple. 

How to cut the guest list?

First, sit down as a couple and divide the numbers into two.  You both count in those numbers so you have 13 guests to put on your list. One of you will have a bigger family to the remainder number can be given to that person. 

Who?

Immediate family, parents, siblings and grandparents. If your immediate family is smaller than 6 then what friends are like family to you?

As you will be limited on your bridesmaids and groomsmen, perhaps just have one maid of honour and one best man, if you can squeeze them in of course.

The good news is that as of (07/10/20) government guidelines state that venue staff and additional suppliers like band & photographers are excluded from your guest numbers.

This may seem like the most daunting of all decisions. Just remember your guests are expecting the un-invitation! Try and do this face-to-face or over a call. It will seem more personal this way. They will be okay with it and there are other things you can do to make them feel more involved. 

How to keep those un-invited involved?

For the extended family that didn’t make the cut, perhaps include them in the process. Things like shopping for dresses, venue, suits and cake, take them with you to make them feel apart of it. 

Get them to help out with decorations or any DIY projects you are incorporating into your wedding day. Keep reading to find ideas.

Send party favours. With the limited amount of guests you should be well under your budget for the wedding, you can use this to send things to the guests who couldn’t be there. 

Lastly, stream the day! Have on your guest’s stream the service and allow for your at-home guests get dressed up and excited for the day. 

How to make the day as special as possible

There are some benefits to having a smaller wedding. These include having a more personal celebration, more time with guests and more of your budget to spend.

With having a bigger wedding you are inviting extended family, their friends, friends of friends etc. It could be possibly a more special day spending it with those you see all the time and have known for years or even your whole life!

It would also allow you and your partner more time to enjoy the day yourselves. We all have heard wedding day’s flash before your eyes, both trying to speak to everyone, take pictures, with no time to have a drink and actually take it all in.

Finally, having a smaller celebration is much more cost-effective, you can either save the money or use it to make your day even more magical. Maybe upgrade on the food or extra flowers and decorations to fill the space. Try to embrace the restrictions and personalise it to make it your day.

Things to consider about your venue

Much like many venues, here at Ravens’ Ait we are following guidelines to make a COVID secure environment. Make sure to speak to your co-ordinator or planner about how the day will work, what signage and one-way systems will be in place. This way you can work towards the personalisation of your special day.

For example:

  • When should you wear PPE?
      • According to recent guidance, (07/10/20), everyone attending the event including the couple, should be wearing a mask when roaming the venue. You do not have to wear one when seated at a table, saying vows at the ceremony and for a small portion to take photos.
      • There are some really great bridal masks that can be purchased or even for your guests, make personalised masks with their names, date and the couple’s names. (This can be given as a favour and also designed by a creative at-home guest).
  • How will the one-way systems affect the flow of the day?
      • Depending on your venue this may seem confusing however your ushers and co-ordinators will be there to walk your guests throughout the day and with the couple in advance.
  • What extra precautions are in place?
      • Things to consider are signage and hand sanitising stations that may disturb the aesthetic of the day. You can design signage with your own theme and even the hand sanitizer bottles can be personalised and scented. 
  • How will service work?
      • Buffets and approaching the bar are not longer allowed; it will likely be table service for food and drink.
  • How will tables be set out?
      • Tables will be based on households and bubbles including the ‘meter plus’ rule. At Ravens’ Ait we can have a maximum of four guests from different households at one table. Talk to your co-ordinator or planner to discuss this ahead of time.
  • Who is in charge of track and trace?
      • Either you or your venue will be in charge of track and trace. There are two ways to do this: getting the information a head of time maybe a hassle but you can do this when gathering information from your guests to do the table plan. Alternatively, you can have your guests sign a form on the day, which might add time to the event.
  • When do we have to leave?
    • Across all hospitality venues the current restriction is guests out by 10pm, which means last drinks at around 9:30pm.

Summary of new rules enforced:

  • 15 guests until March including couple,
  • Evening reception and live music not advised unless part of a bubble, or all from the same household,
  • Guest numbers do not include suppliers,
  • Close at 10pm,
  • Only table service for food and drinks,
  • ‘1 meter plus’ rule,
  • Masks can be removed when: someone has an exemption, when sitting at tables, small portion of ceremony, taking some photos and or outside,
  • No raising voices at any point especially during ceremony,
  • Low level music is allowed but no singers,
  • No buffets or casual style dining,
  • And avoid face-to-face seating.

Remember to keep up to date with the government guidelines (www.gov.uk) and ask your wedding venue or planner for more information. It is possible to make your smaller wedding just as special, so embrace to restrictions and make it your own

 

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Virtual Events – A yearning to get back to ‘The Norm’

As the world was struck with COVID 19, a tidal wave of online events, quizzes and streams of live music was introduced to us all. From the comfort of our front rooms we were suddenly able to watch our favourite bands perform, join a never ending stream of Zoom meetings, partake in enough quizzes to last you a lifetime and the ‘House Party’ app became the equivalent to going to the pub. For some these substitutes were a necessary replacement to keeping sane, but for most it just widened the gaping hole of missing human and social interaction even more.

 

For the most part these were a great way to stay in touch with the outside world as we locked down the shutters to our social lives but these virtual experiences have proven that nothing can quite match up to the real thing. As amazing as it is to see technology advanced enough for us to see virtual shows it still doesn’t beat standing in a crowd, the atmosphere of a busy pub quiz or even just a face to face meeting with your colleagues and peers. The spontaneity of a night out and what it holds has never felt so abundant until now.

 

With the COVID 19 ever changing rules and government guidelines there’s no telling when this dystopian life will get back to the way it was ‘before’ however, this won’t stop us planning and scheming for when it does. Companies are already stripping back their virtual presence, ready for the go ahead of real life things to happen. As we carry on, the excitement and yearning building up to be able to watch your friends get married, see your favourite performer in the flesh or even just take a road trip is brimming over the edge.

 

Here at Ravens Ait we strive to engage with our customers and clients as regularly as possible to give our input into the community and to create a base for interaction for everyone to partake in. From our facebook page, Instagram or even this blog post – we love to reach out to everyone so feel free to give us a follow to keep up to date with what’s going on on the island.

 

We’re still busy planning to be ready for 2021/2022 so don’t hesitate to enquire about our new party packages now with even lower prices. We’re just an email away from your dream event, whenever it may be!


Drop us an email at Events@Ravensait.co.uk and we can help you get ahead of the game.

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Team building inside or out!

We all know a key part of business is having a team that works well together; it is basically like having a well-oiled machine. Whether it is now or later in the year, here are some great ideas that can strengthen your team and boost that all-important morale!

Working from home? Try these.

  1. Morning coffee sessions

Try Skype or Zoom, you can do this every morning or every week on a Monday. Discuss your tips and tricks for staying healthy in-doors. Talk about your weekend, show each other your homes and get the family involved. Even the dog! Gaining insights into each other’s lives significantly improves team engagement. Being able to laugh together and empathise with each other’s situations brings you closer together.

  1. Movie night

Netflix has a party mode where you invite others to watch your favourite shows and synchronises everyone’s stream, there is event a group chat facility. Try watching something like The Office. Having a laugh drawing comparisons between characters on the screen to team members and events in your own office! Grab a drink, some snacks and feel that bond grow stronger.

  1. Games

There are plenty of games you can play whether on your Whatsapp group or through video call. Try the deserted island game, come together and pick seven items i.e. buckets, sheets, lighters… But each person can only pick three; you must explain why and be as calculated as possible. Then they can join teams with others and share resources. This creates wholesome competition and enthusiasm within the workforce.

Planning ahead? At Ravens’ Ait we’ve hosted many different and exciting team-building events. Try these:

  1. Dragon boats racing

With our venue being an island, we are naturally surrounded by water. So why not use it! Work as part of a team to secure first place, get fit and have fun. It’s exciting, different and a sure-fire way to build healthy competition while creating a memorable experience.  To get involved visit: https://gable-events.co.uk

Gable Events at Ravensait for their team-building

Team Building event at Ravensait

  1. Sports day

Every one of us remembers how fun sports day was. Why not revisit it! Our Marquee & Lawn space can hold up to 400 standing guests and there is something in it for everyone. Whether you ace the egg and spoon race or are the strongest in the tug of war, you will laugh, shout and most importantly have fun!

  1. Bake-off

All of us know, and most of us love the Great British Bake-Off. Why not have it in our Marquee! Try something simple like decorate the cake! Set a subject and have people map out their ideas. Give everyone pre-made bases, icing, and decorative materials and let them get creative. Score at the end and reveal star baker! You can do as many rounds and ideas as you like.

We hope this blog has inspired you to keep oiling that team-machine. Whether working from home or after your return to the workplace. Maybe you have your own ideas, why not share them with us? Drop us an email or visit our website and we can discuss your next team building day!

E-mail: events@ravensait.co.uk

Website: www.ravensait.co.uk

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