Browsing Tag


Wine Tasting Events With Humble Grape

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If you follow me on Facebook and Instagram you may remember the wine tasting event I attended back in February. This event was organised and hosted by Humble Grape, wine and event company based in London. Founded in 2009 by James Dawson it has now an extended portfolio of unique wines imported from local, family owned vineyards from countries including Argentina, Australia, France, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, USA and new regions and wines are constantly being introduced.

I met Humble Grape at the Moulden Marketing Destination Workshop and was invited to experience their wine tasting event. The event I attended was one of their public events, Rhône Valley wine tasting and other upcoming events include Artisan Wine of South Africa, Wine Meets Tech, Burgundy and Italia Gran Turismo. The events take place about 2.5 hours at central London locations including The Haciendas Club and One Canada Square. I spent a very fun, relaxing, entertaining and educational evening and met fellow wine lovers. To accompany the wine Humble Grape served cheese, chorizo, Iberian ham, chorizo, almonds and olives.

© The MICE Blog

© The MICE Blog

© The MICE Blog

© The MICE Blog

© The MICE Blog

On the corporate side, Humble Grape has the capacity to host wine tasting events for groups from 10 to 300+ people. They offer a wide variety of event themes such as team building events with blind tasting, quizzes etc. and other topics such as “business of wine”, giving an inside look at the wine trade, including wine investment, value for money ratio and wine tourism.

Within this short period of time Humble Grape has established its brand name and decided to expand onto the high street wine business. Recently they launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise £250,000 to open a wine bar and retail shop in/ near Shoreditch. When writing this post over 80% of investment has been already funded!

Last week I had the pleasure to attend their crowdfunding party in Level 39 One Canady Square in Canary Wharf. Investors, customers and friends came to congratulate and celebrate with Humble Grape team. The evening started with a talk of Jeff Lynn, CEO and Co-Founder of Seedrs, the crowdfunding platform and followed by a talk from James to tell more about Humble Grape. James shared facts and figures for investors, talked how the four elements Brand, Technology, Price and Product are key differentiators and talked about future expansion plans.

After the speeches everyone could taste three different wines and network. The wines which were picked for the evening were two French, Domaine André Bonhomme Viré-Clessé Vieilles Vignes, 2010, Mâconnais, Burgundy and Domaine Mathias Mâcon-Chaintré 2010 Burgundy and one Portuguese, Quinta de Saes Colheita Tinto, 2010, Dão. Myself and everyone I talked to just loved the Portuguese wine. I am definitely going to order it for my next event.

That was a fantastic evening with Humble Grape and supporters, good choice of venue and of course, good wines.

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© The MICE Blog

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© The MICE Blog

Corporate Away Days at the Old Manor Hotel


Located in Bradford on Avon, just about two hours’ drive from London and about one hour from Bristol, I discovered this gem – The Old Manor Hotel. In June 2013, when the hotel was acquired by a hotel veteran Tudor Hopkins, it also opened its doors to host events, and among others, corporate away days.

Accommodation and facilities

Nothing encourages creativity and increases team building effectiveness as taking the employees somewhere away from the usual environment and the big city hassle. Located on the countryside just outside Bath, the 500 year old house was transformed into a hotel and is a perfect location for such getaways for small to medium size groups.

It has 21 rooms and event space that can accommodate up to 85 delegates in the three different event spaces:

1. Drawing Room: Theatre 15/ Boardroom 14

2. The Milking Parlour: Theatre 65/ Boardroom 25



3. Greenhouse Marquee: Theatre 85/ Boardroom 45



Of course, you can also have an exclusive hire of all the hotel facilities and event space.



Outdoor and indoor activities

There is also a two acre paddock belonging to the hotel which is perfect for outdoor team building activities. You have the convenience of combining outdoor and indoor activities without major logistical challenges (e.g. – lunch break, splitting the groups etc.). The range of outdoors programs include: Archery, Speed Shooting, Air Rifles Target Shooting, Laser Clays, Falconry and Axe Throwing. The hotel cooperates with a local incentive company Teampursuits and can assist you with designing the right corporate teambuilding or leisure events and support you on site.


You can use one of the three event spaces mentioned above for an indoor seminar, wine tasting, training or other team exercises. After a long day when you just want to chill and have a pint of local ale The Old Manor has an on-site bar with a large selection of drinks.



The menu is designed by Matthew Briddon, one of the UK’s top Chefs. After working in renowned restaurants, Matthew Briddon took over The Old Manor’s kitchen and designed the menu based on local and seasonal ingredients from hotel’s own garden. In addition there is an on-site smokery and you will definitely find smoked salmon on the menu. I had the pleasure of tasting the fine dining 5- course degustation menu:

Amuse Bouche


 Pickled beetroots, whipped goat’s cheese, roast nuts, brown bread and a garden herb crumb


Chefs Home cured hay smoked salmon, pea salad, herb crème


Butchers Block


Treacle Tarte


My power breakfast





If you choose to stay longer, there are also other activities to consider, such as visiting the near city of Bath Spa and Stonehenge. I would definitely recommend to hire a coach rather than using a public transport.

At the moment, the hotel develops additional food and beverage related projects, such as its own herb garden and flavored gin. Good reason to visit again!

Getting back to London and the London traffic reminded me how much I needed this getaway!  With all the technology and social media, it’s good to take a break from it all and get closer to nature.

Note: The hotel offers its facilities also for other events, such as weddings (19 weddings are already booked for 2014!), birthdays and other celebrations. You can stay up to date by following The Old Manor on Facebook and Twitter.

A big thank you to The Old Manor Hotel who hosted me and showed me around. All opinions expressed above are mine. For prices, packages and availability please contact the hotel directly.


Event marketing that inspires

It´s Monday, and it´s the first working week of the New Year. So how about some inspiration in form of event marketing?

If you read one of my previous posts “St. Moritz Art Masters – World Class Event at Top Destination”, you may be already familiar with what I´m going to present you.

So what is it about?

Events promote a number of inspirational quotes. When you read them you don´t think about the event, you may not be even aware that such an event exists, until you look on the bottom right or left of the poster and you realise that this relates to the event. I don´t see it very often, this is only the second time I encounter such marketing strategy and I find it very interesting and interactive (and inspiring, of course). I wish to see more events doing it, it´s a sophisticated way to use print media (no need to move completely to digital) and it just proves in what diverse and original ways you can promote your event. Think out of the box.

Have you seen such marketing elsewhere?












Heidelberg Christmas Market

I hope that everyone is enjoying their holiday season! I am spending Christmas in Germany and here we are enjoying quite a warm weather which allows spending lots of time outside and visiting Christmas Markets.

Germany is famous for its Christmas Markets. Almost in every city and village you can find one and try Glühwein (mulled wine), potato fritters, sweet or salty crêpes, buy small souvenirs such as woodcrafts, candles and much more. Personally I can’t resist all the tempting smells of flavoured teas and nicely packed sweets.

This year I had the chance to visit Heidelberg Christmas Market. Located in the old city on a historic ground, it offers a warm, unique and beautiful atmosphere due to all the wooden huts and Christmas decorations. I even tried a Feuerzangenbowle (red wine punch) for the first time, which was very delicious.

Christmas Markets are great occasions for get together team building events. Being officially planned with reserved seating area or spontaneous after work, they are the ultimate small incentive events.

Here are some impressions from the beautiful Heidelberg Christmas Market.






Paris Gems

The amazing thing about Paris is that every time I travel there, I experience the city in a new way and see it in a new light. We were there just for the weekend and were lucky to have a great weather which allowed us to spend lots of time outside. This time, instead of spending time in the underground, we rented a bike and cycles through the city, stopping by the famous attractions such as the Notre-Dame Cathedral, the “Love Lock” bridge and the Louvre. We parked the bikes in one location and picked them up in another.
For a refreshment break we chose to go to the Angelina. Rumour says that that was the favourite place of Coco Chanel. They have an amazing signature drink, the hot chocolate and that was really delicious, I would definitely recommend! In addition we tried the signature dessert which was one of the best desserts I ever had!


That brings me to the next point, the food. I adore the cheeses in France. This time we just enjoyed having cheese and wine evenings and tried as many cheeses we possibly could.

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Did you know that originally the Eiffel Tower was built for an exhibition, the Exposition Universelle? I prefer to climb it instead of taking the elevator, and preferably at night. That way, when you are on the top you have an amazing view over Paris by night (Very romantic as well! I’ve seen two marriage proposals!). Climbing up the tower can be also a great afternoon group activity and you can book a guided tour and even have a dinner there.



I am a big fan of hotel bars, mainly because I was working in hotels before and familiar with high standards of 5 star hotels and the good quality of products. Bar 8 at the Mandarin Oriental hotel is a great place for a small celebrations or an after work events. The bar has a beautiful set-up and exceptional and attentive service.






If you would like to explore Paris by foot, I can recommend you to start from Montmartre, maybe also have a breakfast of coffee there, and from there walk to Moulin Rouge and then to the Opera, finishing with shopping at the Galeries Lafayette.