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									London sightseeing Sixties-style
Small Car Big City is a new company offering guided sightseeing tours of London in
classic Mini Coopers. The cars are driven by chauffeurs dressed in period ’60s
clothing and the cars’ sound systems play ’60s music.
  There are six tours on offer. They last from 30 minutes to two hours and cover the
major tourist attractions including Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London, Big
Ben, Westminster Abbey and St Paul’s Cathedral. Prices start at £18 per person.
   The Mini Monopoly tour costs £178 per car, takes two hours and covers the sights
featured on the Monopoly board game from the Angel in Islington, to Mayfair and
Whitehall.
    For the Italian Job tour, Three Mini Coopers race from London’s financial district,
over the Thames, through the West End and down the King’s Road. Guides will wear
all-in-one blue jump-suits and white protective helmets.
   The first Mini, designed by Alec Issigonis, was produced in Britain 50 years ago.
Small Car Big City
Tel: +44 2075 850 399
Website: www.smallcarbigcity.com
Press contact: Oliver Knight
Tel: +44 7900 622 339
Email: oli@smallcarbigcity.com
Wildlife photography of the world
An exhibition of winning entries for the Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer
of the Year 2009 competition will open at the Natural History Museum in London on
23 October.
   This year’s competition attracted a record 43,135 entries from 94 countries.
Competition Manager Gemma Webster says: ‘While the UK and the US remain our
major source of entrants, the greatest growth in entries is happening in China and
Russia. This year we had the first-ever entries from photographers in Bangladesh,
Guatemala, Macedonia, Oman, Qatar, Tunisia and Bahrain, and we’ve had our first
category winners from Estonia, Zambia and the Czech Republic.’
   An interactive installation will show visitors what the judges, scientists and
photographers think about particular images. The competition, owned by the Natural
History Museum and BBC Wildlife Magazine, has been running annually since 1964.
   The Natural History Museum is open daily 10am–5.50pm, admission free. The
Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2009 exhibition runs from
23 October to 11 April. Exhibition tickets cost £9 adults, £4.50 concessions, £24
family ticket (two adults and up to three children). Free for children under four.
Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD
Tel: +44 20 7942 5000
Website: www.nhm.ac.uk/wildphoto
Press contact: Marie Spanou
Tel: + 44 20 7942 5156
Email: wildpress@nhm.ac.uk
Liverpool’s unique Picasso exhibition
Tate Liverpool will hold a major exhibition next summer of over 150 works by
Picasso. Picasso: Peace and Freedom will be the first exhibition to explore in depth the
post-war period of the artist’s life. It will look at Picasso’s work in the Cold War era
and show how the artist transcended the ideological and aesthetic oppositions of East
and West. The exhibition will offer an insight into the artist’s life as a tireless political
activist and campaigner for peace.
   On display will be paintings and drawings related to war and peace created
between 1944 and 1973, alongside a wide range of contextual materials and ephemera.
The centrepiece will be The Charnel House, painted in Paris in 1944–45. It is 50 years
since this powerful work has been seen in the UK.
   Picasso’s Dove of Peace became the emblem for the Peace Movement and
universal symbol of hope during the Cold War. He provided variations on the dove for
the Peace Congresses in Wroclaw, Stockholm, Sheffield, Vienna, Rome and Moscow.
In 1949 Picasso named his daughter Paloma (Spanish for dove). She was born in the
same month as the Peace Congress in Paris.
   The exhibition is organised by Tate Liverpool in collaboration with the Albertina
Museum in Vienna, where it will be shown following its presentation in Liverpool.
Vienna hosted the World Peace Congress in 1952, promoted by a poster featuring
Picasso’s drawing of a dove surrounded by a circle of interlocking hands.
   Tate Liverpool is open 10am–5.50pm Tue–Sun until May, daily Jun–Aug,
admission free. Admission to the Picasso exhibition £10, concessions £8.
Peace and Freedom 21 May–30 August
Tate Liverpool, Albert Dock, Liverpool L3 4BB
Tel: +44 151 702 7400
Website: www.tate.org.uk/liverpool
Press contact: Stacey Arnold
Tel: +44 151 702 7444
Email: stacey.arnold@tate.org.uk
The London Eye in four dimensions
The Merlin Entertainments London Eye has a new 4D cinema experience offering
visitors a multi-sensory perspective of the capital.
   Before taking a flight in the London Eye visitors can now watch a four-minute film
that includes the first ever 3D aerial footage of London, as well as London’s New
Year’s Eve firework display.
   The film has more 4D sensory effects than any other attraction in the UK. Visitors
will feel the wind in their hair, snow falling at their feet, the floor shaking and even
some smells. The soundtrack features the music of British bands Coldplay and
Goldfrapp.
   The 4D film was developed especially for the London Eye at the Pinewood
Shepperton studios. This £5-million development of the attraction follows the recent
launch of a three-year capsule upgrade project.
   At 135 metres (443ft), the London Eye is the world’s tallest cantilevered
observation wheel. An average of 3.5 million customers fly the London Eye every
year – the equivalent of 6,680 fully booked Boeing 747-400 jumbo jets.
   The Merlin Entertainments London Eye is on the South Bank of the river Thames,
opposite the Houses of Parliament. The London Eye 4D Experience is included in the
standard ticket pricing (£15.75 adults, £8.75 children, under-4s free). The London Eye
operates 10am–8pm until April, then later in the summer months.
Tel: +44 870 5000 600 (booking office)
Website: www.londoneye.com
Press contact: Sarah Henriques
Tel: +44 207 7413 3098
Email: sarah.henriques@hillandknowlton.com
Magical modern art comes to Cornwall
The Cornish branch of the Tate gallery, Tate St Ives in the south-west of England, is to
hold a group exhibition called The Dark Monarch: Magic and Modernity in British
Art. The show will explore the influence of folklore, mysticism, mythology and the
occult on the development of art in Britain. Focusing on works from the beginning of
the 20th century to the present day, it will consider the relationship they have to the
landscape and legends of the British Isles.
   The exhibition will include a key work by Damien Hirst, the first time he has been
shown at Tate St Ives. Works by important modernists and surrealists including
Graham Sutherland, Paul Nash, Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore and Ithell
Colquhoun will be on show. There will also be work by Neo-Romantics Cecil Collins,
John Piper, Leslie Hurry and John Craxton, and contemporary artists Cerith Wyn
Evans, Mark Titchner, Eva Rothschild, Simon Periton, Clare Woods, Steven Claydon,
John Stezeker and Derek Jarman.
   The exhibition will examine magic as a counterpoint to modernity’s transparency
and rational progress. It will also draw out the links between modernity and fetishism
and the taboo. The selection and juxtaposition of works on display will suggest that
these products of illusion and delusion in fact belong to modernity.
   There will be a range of associated events suitable for adults and families,
including film screenings and talks.
   Tate St Ives is open Tue–Sun 10am–4.20pm, admission £5.65, concessions £3.20,
free to 18s and under. The Dark Monarch runs from 10 October to 10 January.
Tate St Ives, Porthmeor Beach, St Ives, Cornwall TR26 1TG
Tel: +44 1736 796226
Website: www.tate.org.uk/stives
Press contact: Arwen Fitch
Tel: +44 1736 792185
Email: Arwen.Fitch@tate.org.uk
Weddings in the sky
The Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth on the south coast of England has become the
tallest wedding venue in the UK.
   The 170-metre (560-ft) tower is now licensed to hold civil ceremonies. Since
opening in 2005, the Spinnaker Tower has held wedding receptions and corporate
functions but the new licence enables couples to marry in the tower. Wedding
ceremonies take place 105 metres (144ft) above Portsmouth Harbour on View Deck 2
where the views can stretch up to 37km (23 miles).
   The tower is taller than the London Eye, Blackpool Tower and Big Ben. It stands
on the waterfront and offers 350º panoramic views of the town and harbour, the south
coast and the Isle of Wight. View Deck 1 has Europe’s largest glass floor.
   The Spinnaker Tower is open daily from 10am–6pm (8.30pm in August),
admission £7 adults, £6.20 concessions, £5.50 children. Audio guides that help visitors
identify key landmarks on the horizon and learn more about the history of Portsmouth
and the surrounding areas are available at £3.
  Portsmouth Harbour train station, the Hard Bus Interchange, the Gosport Ferry and
Wightlink foot-passenger terminal are within a five-minute walk from the tower.
Spinnaker Tower, Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth, Hampshire PO1 3TT
Tel: +44 2392 857520
Website: www.spinnakertower.co.uk
Press contact: Keira Relton
Tel: +44 1904 527732
Email: krelton@continuum-group.com
New gallery opens with an old favourite
The new Nottingham Contemporary gallery will open on 14 November with an
exhibition featuring the early work of one of Britain’s most popular living artists.
David Hockney 1960–1968: A Marriage of Styles will contain more than 60 works
from national and international collections, showcasing the artist’s early years in
London and Los Angeles.
    Alex Farquharson, the director of Nottingham Contemporary, says: ‘Hockney in
this period was at the crest of a wave, not only in the artistic avant garde, but in culture
in general. It is a fascinating trajectory, from his first idiosyncratic takes on abstraction
in 1960 to his unforgettable representations of southern California several years on. It
feels absolutely the right time to be revisiting this work now.’
   The exhibition will occupy two of Nottingham Contemporary’s four galleries,
which together make up one of the largest contemporary art spaces in the UK – 750
square metres of exhibition space, lit by 133 skylights.
   Also on show for the opening of Nottingham Contemporary will be an exhibition
of new and recent work by the Los Angeles artist Frances Stark. This is her first solo
exhibition in a British public gallery.
  Nottingham Contemporary is open daily from 14 November, admission free. The
Hockney exhibition runs until 24 January.
Nottingham Contemporary, Weekday Cross, Nottingham NG1 1HN
Tel: +44 115 924 2421
Website: www.nottinghamcontemporary.org
Press contact: Vicky Godfrey
Tel: +44 115 924 2421
Email: Vicky@nottinghamcontemporary.org
Luxury hotel offers style and shopping
The 5-star luxury Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill is offering a new package
that includes the services of personal stylist and image consultant Joanne Black.
   Guests will be able to spend half a day with Black who knows how to style and
provide a makeover for her clients and offers access to the favourite shops of the rich
and famous. She has worked with fashion designers Alexander McQueen, Christian
Dior, Donna Karan and Yves Saint Laurent.
   The package includes a Regency Executive Suite with access to the Regency Club
Lounge, continental breakfast, all-day tea, coffee and light snacks and cocktails and
canapés between 6 and 8pm. Guests will also be offered a luxury fruit basket and a
half bottle of Prestige Cuvée Krug Rosé and a £250 Selfridges Gift Card.
   This package is available until 30 December, subject to availability. Prices start at
£999 per night plus 15% VAT. The Churchill is in London’s West End and near
Selfridges department store.
Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill, 30 Portman Square, London W1H 7BH
Tel: +44 20 7299 2080
Websites: www.london.churchill.hyatt.com
www.joanneblack.co.uk
Press contact: Henny Frazer
Tel: +44 20 7299 2080
Email: henrietta.frazer@hyatt.com
Following the bear in Cambridgeshire
The Whittlesea Straw Bear festival takes place every January in Whittlesey near
Peterborough (‘Whittlesea’ is the old spelling of the Cambridgeshire town).
    During the 19th century, straw bears were a familiar sight on Plough Monday (the
first Monday after Epiphany, or Twelfth Night). The bear costume was made from the
best straw from the previous year’s harvest. The bear danced to encourage crops to
grow in the spring, and performed in front of houses for gifts of money or food or
beer.
   The tradition fell into decline in the early 20th century, but the custom was revived
in 1980 by the Whittlesea Society. Now a straw bear cavorts round the streets of the
town on the Saturday after Plough Monday, leading a procession of up to 250 dancers,
musicians and performers from all over the British Isles. On the next day, the bear
(without the man inside) is burned on a bonfire.
   The Whittlesea straw bear has recently made friends with the German straw bear
from Walldürn near Frankfurt. Walldürn celebrates its own Straw Bear Festival on the
Monday before Shrove Tuesday.
Whittlesea Straw Bear, 15–17 January
Whittlesey, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire
Website: www.strawbear.org.uk
Press contact: Brian Kell
Tel: +44 1733 208 245
Email: info@strawbear.org.uk
A Welsh hotel defies the weather
Lake Vyrnwy Hotel, close to Snowdonia in North Wales, is forecasting rain or snow
for visitors taking an autumn or winter break at the hotel.
   To accommodate the rain, the hotel’s Brolly Breaks feature a limited-edition Lake
Vyrnwy umbrella and a family of bath ducks. (‘Brolly’ is a British slang word for
umbrella.) However, if the weather should stay fine, visitors will receive a bottle of
champagne per couple at the end of their stay.
    Lake Vyrnwy Hotel’s Brolly Breaks are available up to 25 March excluding
Christmas, New Year, Bank Holidays and Valentine’s day. Prices are from £405 per
couple for a garden view room and from £455 for a lake view room. The package
includes three nights’ accommodation with breakfast, five-course dinners in the
hotel’s award-winning restaurant on the first two nights, and cream tea on the first two
afternoons.
    The 4-star Lake Vyrnwy Hotel has a spa, and offers clay pigeon shooting and
fishing. For walkers, there are 93 km (58 miles) of footpaths on the estate. The hotel is
275 metres (900ft) above sea level in the Berwyn Mountains near the border of Wales
and Shropshire in England.
Lake Vyrnwy Hotel & Spa, Llanwddyn, Powys SY10 0LY
Tel: +44 1691 870692
Website: www.lakevyrnwy.com
Press contact: Linda Moore
Tel: +44 1572 748800
Email: linda@beaconpr.co.uk
Films from around the world in Leeds
The 23rd Leeds International Film Festival takes place from 4 to 22 November, a
week longer than usual. There will be more than 350 screenings and special events in
venues across the city of Leeds in the north of England.
    The festival will open with the UK premiere of Bright Star, the new film from Jane
Campion who directed The Piano. Bright Star, which stars Abbie Cornish and Ben
Whishaw, was filmed in the English countryside. It is the story of the romance
between English poet John Keats (1795–1821) and Fanny Brawne, a passionate
relationship that ended with the poet’s early death.
   There will also be an exclusive preview of A Serious Man, the new film by Joel
and Ethan Coen (The Big Lebowski, O Brother Where Art Thou and No Country for
Old Men).
   The Festival includes Fanomenon showing horror, sci-fi and action films. Cinema
Versa will showcase documentary cinema. Short Film City will show international
short films in competition programmes and Thought Bubble will celebrate comics and
graphic novels. A new addition to the programme sections this year is Cherry Kino
looking at the work of experimental filmmakers around the theme of Revolting
Bodies.
   The very first moving images in the world were filmed in Leeds in 1888 by Louis
Aimé Augustin Le Prince, before Thomas Edison made his first motion picture in
1891. Le Prince mysteriously vanished from a train in September 1890.
Leeds International Film Festival
Various venues, 4–22 November
Website: www.leedsfilm.com
Press contact: Darren Potter
Tel: +44 113 247 8389
Email: darren.potter@leeds.gov.uk
Six centuries of pancake racing
In the UK Shrove Tuesday (celebrated as Mardi Gras in many countries) is known as
Pancake Tuesday. The day is often marked with pancake races.
   Competitors have to race while flipping a pancake in a frying pan. Points can be
awarded for speed, for the number and height of flips and the number of times the
pancake turns over. There are penalties for dropping the pancake.
    In Olney, Buckinghamshire there has been an annual pancake race since around
1445. In 2010 the town will celebrate 60 years since the race became an international
event between Olney and Liberal, Kansas, USA.
    The Olney race is a 380-metre dash from the Bull Hotel in the Market Place to the
Parish Church of St Peter & St Paul in Church Lane. The churchwarden starts the race
at 11.55am using a large bronze ‘Pancake Bell’. At the end of the race, the runners and
townsfolk go into the Parish Church for the Shriving Service.
    A similar event takes place in Liberal on the same day, attended by the British
Consul-General in St Louis and the Governor of Kansas. The times of the winners in
the UK and USA are compared and the international winner declared through a web
link.
    Pancake races are thought to have begun in the 15th century when a woman was
busy cooking pancakes and lost track of time. She heard the church bell ringing to call
the faithful to church, raced out of her house and ran to church still holding her frying
pan and wearing her apron.
    Shrove Tuesday is the day before Lent begins, when traditionally people would not
eat eggs, fats or rich foods for 40 days. Shrove Tuesday was the day for feasting and
fun, and eating up the foods banned during Lent – hence the pancakes.
Website: www.sideburn.demon.co.uk/olney/pancake.html
Press contact: Tony Evans
Tel: +44 1234 711 392
Email: olneypark@hotmail.co.uk
High-tech treasure hunting in Wales
The principality of Wales has its own website dedicated to the fast-growing sport of
geocaching, an outdoor game that combines real-life treasure hunting with high-tech
equipment and social networking on the internet. Geocachers use Global Positioning
Satellite (GPS) equipment to find containers called geocaches – usually a waterproof
plastic box containing a log-book and pen for visitors to record their visit, and
possibly other small trinkets or gifts placed there by the creator of the cache.
Geocaches are often hidden in interesting locations and the open countryside.
   A geocacher can place a cache anywhere in the world, pinpoint its location using
GPS technology and then share its existence and location online. This can be a grid
reference that can be programmed directly into a player’s GPS, or a series of cryptic
clues to give the experience a more challenging feel. Anyone with a GPS device can
then try to locate the cache. This high-tech treasure hunt game is worldwide and
registering to be a geocacher is free.
    Wales is 20,761 sq km (8,016 sq miles) in area, with millions of hectares of open-
access land. The scenery includes beaches, mountains, countryside, cities and small
villages. There are now an estimated 4,000 caches hidden in the principality.
Website: www.geocachingwales.com
Tel: +44 1758 760652
Press contact: Peter Hewlett
Tel: +44 1758 760652
Email: enquiries@geocachingwales.co.uk
A new hotel for London’s Left Bank
Rafayel in London, on Battersea’s new Left Bank, is aiming to be one of the world’s
leading ‘green’ hotels. Officially opening in December, the 5-star hotel is part of the
Falcon Wharf Development on the banks of the Thames.
    The hotel is being built with the latest technological advances in LED lighting and
air-conditioning. Rafayel will have 65 guest rooms, 15 apartments, two restaurants
with indoor and outdoor dining, bar, lounge, spa with gym and pool, coffee shop,
brasserie and a florist. There will also be a meeting room and a conference hall to
accommodate 150 delegates.
    The roof terrace will have 360° views of London. Many bedrooms will have views
over the river and the city skyline through floor-to-ceiling windows.
    The hotel’s developer Ike Latif believes ‘there is no need to return to Stone Age
living. Being green should be our overall goal, but without compromising on the
luxury that the modern age offers us.’
    He estimates that the average London guest has a carbon footprint of 70kg per
night but at the Rafayel it will be reduced to 17kg.
   The overall electrical costs of the hotel will be reduced by 80% thanks to LED
technology.
Rafayel on the Left Bank, Falcon Wharf Building,
36 Lombard Street, London SW11 3RF
Website: http://rafayelshotel.blogspot.com
Press contact: Melissa Langlands
Tel: +44 20 8600 3618
Email: melissa@saucecommunications.com
Regency coach house becomes a spa
Cotswold House Hotel in Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire is to open a spa later
this year. It will have seven treatment rooms, a hydrotherapy pool, a hammam room
and a lounge area. The spa is in a converted coach house next to the Regency
townhouse hotel. A covered path will link the hotel to the spa.
  Treatments will include a 90-minute Totally Quenched and Drenched Facial, a Go
Guy Male Executive Facial and a Seated Siesta Indian Head Massage.
   The British-based company Temple Spa will operate the spa, the first branded
Temple Spa in the UK. Temple Spa collaborates with a professor of biochemistry in
Switzerland and a Suffolk-based herbalist with over 50 years experience of studying
botanicals. Treatments will include massages, facials, pedicures, holistic treatments
and aromatherapy
   The Cotswold area of England is known for its pretty towns and villages and its
traditional thatched houses built in golden Cotswold stone.
Cotswold House, The Square, Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire GL55 6AN
Tel: +44 1386 840330
Website: www.cotswoldhouse.com
Press contact: Sophie Perhar
Tel: +44 20 7038 3660
Email: sophie@cookeandbrandpr.co.uk
Restoration of an Edwardian theatre
The first phase of a six-year restoration programme at the King’s Theatre in Glasgow
has been completed. More than 1,000 newly built stalls and grand circle seats with an
authentic period design have been installed.
   The next phase of the restoration will take place next summer and will include the
completion of air-conditioning and re-seating the upper circle and gallery levels.
Future work will include a new stage and lights and will be completed in time for the
2014 Commonwealth Games.
   The theatre was built in 1904 at a cost of £50,000 (about £3.5 million today). It was
designed by architect Frank Matcham and named in honour of Edward VII. Actors
who worked at the King’s Theatre in the 1930s included Donald Wolfit, Gertrude
Lawrence, Douglas Fairbanks Jnr and Rex Harrison. More recently, Katherine
Hepburn, Vivien Leigh, Laurence Olivier, Alec Guinness, Tyrone Power, Sean
Connery, Dolly Parton and Michael Jackson have all performed there.
   Some of the funds for the restoration programme have come from £1 donations
from every ticket sold since 2008 and from a seat dedication scheme.
King’s Theatre, 335 Bath St, Glasgow G2 4JN
Tel: +44 141 240 1111
Website: www.ambassadortickets.com/king’s-theatre
Press contact: Mark Irwin
Tel: +44 141 240 1305
Email: markirwin@theambassadors.com
Luxury in a designer castle
Forter Castle, a 16th-century fortified tower in Perthshire, Scotland, is the holiday
home of designer Katharine Pooley, who has completely redesigned the interior. Now
it is available for hire for holidays and weekends.
   The tower was originally built in 1560 during the lifetime of Mary Queen of Scots.
It was destroyed by the Duke of Argyll in 1640 and has been completely restored
using traditional materials.
   There is now room for 12 guests in rooms spread over five floors, reached by a
stone spiral staircase. There are four-poster beds, free-standing cast-iron bathtubs and
a grand banqueting hall. Each room has been personalised with antiques, paintings and
objets d’art from around the world and traditional techniques have been used where
possible. The castle has its own chapel where couples can get married.
   The castle costs £3,950 to hire for one week (Friday to Friday) and £2,950 for the
weekend (Friday to Monday).
Forter Castle, Glenisla, Nr Blairgowrie
Perthshire, Scotland PH11 8QW
Tel: +44 7736 804426
Website: www.fortercastle.com
Press contact: Helen Edwards
Tel: +44 7966 529056
Email: helen@helen-edwards.com
New ‘green’ cottages in Anglesey
Glan Morfa cottages are new environmentally-friendly holiday homes in Llangaffo on
the Isle of Anglesey in North Wales.
    The cottages are heated solely by solar and wind power and use a reed bed system
to dispose of waste water. They have been built on land that is an official Area of
Outstanding Natural Beauty. The 15 hectares (37 acres) provide a habitat for wildlife
that includes ponies, rabbits, hares, many species of birds, butterflies and wildflowers.
There are two stocked fishing lakes, a bird hide and signposted walks. One of the first
guests to stay at the cottages recorded 43 different species of birds during their
holiday.
    The seven cottages are named after local birds. Kestrel and Raven cottages both
accommodate six people. Kestrel has two sitting rooms, a wood-burning stove and a
terrace. Goldfinch Cottage sleeps four, Swallow Cottage and Robin Cottage sleep
three and Wren Cottage sleeps two. Swan Cottage, which sleeps six, is suitable for
wheelchair users.
   The cottages offer views across the Malltraeth Estuary and down to the Lleyn
Peninsula. Prices start from around £300 per week.
Glan Morfa Cottages, Llangaffo, Anglesey
Tel: +44 1248 717135
Website: www.menaiholidays.co.uk
Press contact: Pip Cockeram
Tel: +44 1248 811195
Email: pip@pipcockeram.co.uk
Georgian style and butler service
The five-star Montcalm Hotel in London’s West End has just re-opened after a radical
multi-million-pound refurbishment programme.
    The Grade II listed hotel has 153 rooms and 17 suites, including the Spa Suites and
Park Lane Suites. The Presidential and Royal Suites can be joined together to create
one Imperial Suite. Butler service will be available in all the suites, with a car service
for the Presidential and Royal Suites.
   The Montcalm will have two restaurants. A restaurant featuring French fine dining
opens in October. The hotel also has a large spa. Rooms cost from £250 per room per
night plus VAT (currently 15%).
   The Montcalm Hotel is in a Georgian crescent, a short distance from Marble Arch
and Oxford Street. It was originally a series of Georgian town houses built in 1787,
and opened as a hotel in 1973. The hotel was named after the Marquis de Montcalm
who commanded the French forces defeated by the English in the struggle for
possession of Canada in the mid-18th century.
The Montcalm Hotel
34–40 Great Cumberland Place, London W1H 7TW
Tel: +44 20 7402 4288
Website: www.montcalm.co.uk
Press contact: Sophie Perhar
Tel: +44 20 7038 3660
Email: sophie@cookeandbrandpr.co.uk
Heather’s vegan café by the sea
Heather Mills has opened a vegan café in Hove on England’s south coast. VBites is
open every day 9.30am–11.30pm and the menu includes ‘meatless meats’ as well as
English, Mexican, Indian, Thai and Italian dishes. Breakfasts, ‘lite bites’, salads, main
meals, children’s meals, deserts and organic wines are also served in the café.
   No meat or animal products are used in the kitchens. The philosophy of VBites is
‘based on the benefits of cutting down on meat and dairy; giving you the best food for
your health, taking the pressure off the planet, and giving our furry and scaled friends
a happier life.’
  Heather Mills is the ex-wife of musician Sir Paul McCartney and a local resident of
Hove. Future plans for VBites include an ice rink in the winter.
VBites, Hove Lagoon, Kingsway, Hove, East Sussex BN3 4LX
Tel: +44 1273 933757
Website: www.vbites.com
Press contact: Hannah Avis
Tel: +44 1273 204200
Email: hannah@murray-media.co.uk
A grand hall re-opens in London
The New Connaught Rooms in London are re-opening in October with a new interior
and a new name, The Grand Connaught Rooms.
   The conference, training and banqueting centre has undergone a £7-million
refurbishment and will have 29 meeting and training rooms as well as the Grand Hall.
   The Grand Hall can accommodate over 550 guests for a gala dinner and 1,400 for a
reception. It has a 13-metre (42-ft) high ceiling. The venue will be one of London’s
largest non-residential conference venues.
    The building has been the headquarters of the Freemasons since the early 18th
century. In 1908 the building was divided and the dining rooms named the Connaught
Rooms after the first Duke of Connaught, Grand Master of the Freemasons at that
time. Over the years, the New Connaught Rooms have hosted and entertained the
world’s leading politicians, royalty, dignitaries and celebrities.
    The Grand Connaught Rooms are a short walk from Holborn tube station and
within easy reach of Euston, Kings Cross and St Pancras International mainline
stations.
The Grand Connaught Rooms
61–65 Great Queen Street, London WC2B 5DA
Tel: +44 20 7405 7811
Website: www.grandconnaughtrooms.com
Press contact: Gail Sinden
Tel: +44 1672 861397
Email: gail@sinden.net
New rooms in Edinburgh’s George
The George Hotel in Edinburgh has completed its latest £5.5-million extension. The
hotel has 50 new deluxe bedrooms plus the Panorama Suite on the top floor.
    The Panorama Suite and adjoining balcony have some of the best views of the city.
The suite will accommodate up to 18 people for a boardroom meeting or 50 guests for
a reception.
   The hotel’s main buildings date back to 1775 when Edinburgh’s new town
development was at its peak. Three Georgian houses were converted and opened as a
hotel in 1881.
   The George now has 250 bedrooms and eight meeting and training rooms. The
largest meeting room will seat up to 300 delegates theatre-style and is equipped with
the latest AV technology.
   This most recent extension takes the investment programme for the hotel to almost
£20 million. The George is a five-minute walk from Edinburgh Waverley Station.
George Hotel, 19–21 George Street, Edinburgh EH2 2PB
Tel: +44 131 225 1251
Website: www.principal-hayley.com
Press contact: Gail Sinden
Tel: +44 1672 861397
Email: gail@sinden.net
Team building at Manchester United
One of the world’s best-known football clubs is offering conference and event
delegates a range of new team building options at their stadium. Manchester United
offers five football-themed activities that can be used for team building, motivation
and entertainment. They have been specially designed for the facilities at Old
Trafford.
   Samba in the Stands, for example, lasts from 90 minutes to two hours. More than
500 delegates are helped to perform as a Samba Band in the stadium. Authentic
Samba instruments have been imported from Brazil and no previous musical ability is
required.
   The Football Fun Fair offers authentic, professionally hosted funfair stalls. They
include Stick-A-Ball, Hoop The Boot, Throw In, Football In Bucket, Penalty Shoot
Out, Beat The Buzzer and The Gold Cup.
  The other three packages are On The Ball, Top of The League and Family Fun
Days. All five packages are tailored to meet the event objectives and budget.
Manchester United, Sir Matt Busby Way,
Old Trafford, Manchester M16 0RA
Tel: +44 161 868 8000
Website: www.manutd.co.uk
Press contact: Gemma Price
Tel: +44 161 868 8285
Email: gemma.price@manutd.co.uk
A conference centre for Dundee
The Landmark Hotel in Dundee, Scotland has just completed a £4-million
refurbishment. The former Swallow Hotel is now a 4-star hotel with a leisure club,
pool and fitness suite, plus a contemporary restaurant and bar. The makeover has
reduced the number of rooms to 95, making some rooms larger.
   Four meeting rooms can seat up to 200 delegates. The largest can seat 100
delegates theatre-style. There is complimentary wi-fi throughout the hotel.
   The separate Mansion House, built in 1897, has two function rooms. A separate
conference centre was also part of the refurbishment.
   The Landmark Dundee is just off the A90 Perth to Aberdeen road, a short drive
from Dundee Airport.
The Landmark, Kingsway West, Dundee, Tayside DD2 5JT
Tel: +44 1382 641122
Website: http://thelandmarkdundee.co.uk
Press contact: Gillian Riddoch
Tel: +44 1382 641122
Email: sales@thelandmarkdundee.co.uk

								
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