Venue Showcase


BMA Wonderland

Wonderland

#throwbackthursday

On the 3rd July just under 300 clients, event bookers and PAs gathered at BMA House for our immersive summer showcase extravaganza, BMA Wonderland.

Inspired by Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, the central London venue was transformed, creating a fully immersive experience for all in attendance.

Guests were led through the venue by the events team, posing as characters from the story, from falling down the rabbit hole in the Worcester Room, to enjoying a tea party with the Mad Hatter in the Garden to painting the roses red with the Queen of Hearts in the Courtyard.

In house caterer Ampersand wowed guests with innovative themed dishes and drinks. The afternoon tea station was a hit, with the toad stool cupcakes and pocket watch macaroons being the definite favourites.

Free Love Group helped set the scene throughout the venue using their innovation and high end technology bringing the magic of wonderland to life.

Guests were further entertained by an expert illustrator accompanied by the sounds of in house band Buffalo Tale as they tasted refreshing ice coffees by Bewley’s.

wonderland5

Other suppliers included photography by James Neale, flowers by Larry Walshe and Hybrid Flowers, music from Urban Soul, prizes from The Montague on the Gardens and balloons by Bubblegum Balloons.

Sarah Franczak, Head of Events at BMA House says, “We really went all out for our showcase this year, as it’s a great opportunity to demonstrate the flexibility of our venue as well as the creativity of our events team. Immersive experiences are about engaging all of the senses and I think we really achieved that with our BMA Wonderland, capturing the true magic of the story.

“We received lots of wonderful feedback on the night and it was great seeing everyone get involved with the #BMAWonderland, sharing their pictures and thoughts on social media on the day and throughout the event.”

BMA House is a Grade II listed venue located in Bloomsbury offering a range of 29 spaces for up to 320 guests, for everything from evening dinners to summer garden parties. This includes two magnificent outdoor areas – the Courtyard and the Garden, all within easy walking distance of both Euston and Kings Cross stations.

Written by Samantha Parker

Contact us on 020 7874 7020 or email [email protected]

BMA House, Tavistock Square, London, WC1H 9JP

Where to stay?


The Montague on the Gardens

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Last week, the lovely team at the Montague on the Gardens invited us to enjoy an evening of jazz music and cocktails in their Leopard Bar…

The Montague on the Gardens is our go to recommended hotel in the area; it is made up of Georgian Townhouses which have been knocked through to create a pet friendly boutique hotel located in the heart of Bloomsbury. Part of the Red Carnation Hotel collection, it has 88 individually designed guest rooms and 12 suites which are all designed by their founder and president, Bea Tollman. Each room has its very own personality and when the effort taken to design each one is clearly so apparent, it is great to experience that the service is just as good.

We started the evening in the Leopard Bar,  a gorgeous intimate space furnished with colonial South African pieces and decorated beautifully to match its name. We sampled the signature leopard cocktail, a creamy mix of vodka, Frangelico and amarula liquor and then took to the floors of the hotel to see a few of the beautiful bedrooms before enjoying some jazz music and canapes.

Great for bedrooms as well as smaller events, the Montague on the Gardens is a great place to get to know and the team are amongst the most welcoming we have ever come across. If you haven’t been to their beach bar, then you should definitely check it out this summer!

The hotel is one that we highly recommend and you can book here: https://www.montaguehotel.com/rooms-and-suites

Here are some pictures of a great evening.

 

Written by Hannah Anderson

Contact us on 020 7874 7020 or email [email protected]

BMA House, Tavistock Square, London, WC1H 9JP

 

 

 

Top 5 tips for staying healthy at work


Simple steps to better office health

One must be mindful of office snacks

Birthdays, Fridays, hump days and ‘just because’ days: there always seems to be a constant flow of sugar-laden, low nutrient based snacks in our offices.

Don’t get us wrong, we don’t think there’s anything wrong with treats – but sometimes they can come a little too thick and fast.

So how do you learn to enjoy them in moderation?

Here are some facts that might help you put the biscuit down…

  • Raises your blood sugar levels as most naughty snacks are high in processed carbohydrates
  • This creates further cravings and can lead to overeating
  • Post sugar dip leaves you feeling tired
  • Sugary snacks can cause you to build unnecessary fats and are low in nutrients
  • Dense in calories, so you end up having more energy than you need

Find some guidance on sugar from the NHS here

If you struggle to say no to snacks out of habit, try swaping them. Some good swaps to make are:

  • Whole fruits
  • Hummus and veg sticks/pita bread
  • Nuts with natural yoghurt, blueberries and a grated, high percentage (over 60%) dark chocolate
  • Energy balls

Take the darn stairs

Everywhere! Your commute to and from the office is the best opportunity to get some stairs in – walk up the escalators and take the stairs everywhere you can, the underground is full of them!

In and around your office building- don’t press a button and wait- take the stairs!

We’re big stairs advocates because:

  • It uses a lot more energy than just standing in a lift
  • Steps help tone your glutes, hamstrings and quads
  • Sometimes, you can even beat the lift

Use ones’ lunch break

GET OUTSIDE! Just a 10-minute walk on your lunch break can have many positive benefits.

Or, if you fancy it, you can actually fit your workout into your lunch break!

20-30 minutes for a lunchtime workout is sufficient and if you’re as lucky as we are, based in Bloomsbury we are spoilt with green areas.

Take a jog and see what new places you can find. Or use the green space to do a HIIT training session with an office buddy.

  • Resistance bands are easily transportable for green area work-outs
  • Running/jogging requires little planning and you get to explore the area near your work
  • Improved concentration through the afternoon
  • Increased metabolism
  • Afternoon glow

Eat a well-balanced feast for breakfast  

  • Low in sugar
  • High in protein
  • Wholegrains
  • Whole Fruit
  • Overnight oats
  • Smoothies with at least 70% veg

Healthy breakfast inspiration from the NHS.

Stay hydrated

Glug, glug, glug- keep your water bottle close.

There are some great re-useable ones out there where you can add fresh fruit to lightly flavour the water.

Green Tea is always a winner and the warm water makes you feel fuller.

Let us know how you stay healthy at work!

 

Written by Jenny Darlow

Contact us on 020 7874 7020 or email [email protected]

BMA House, Tavistock Square, London, WC1H 9JP

 

 

 

Sustainable venues London: Eco-friendly events at BMA House


Top tips for hosting modern, eco-friendly parties, receptions and more…

Planning an event can be an exciting prospect – you choose a venue, pick the most tempting food and drink combinations and arrange the logistics.

But on the day, have you ever stopped to wonder where those trays of pastries will go now everyone has left the room for the meeting? Or who will turn off the air conditioning as you leave for the day?

A lot of people don’t consider this.

It’s a consideration like these which we often leave behind when we exit our familiar environments.

BS 8901 is a framework which was developed specifically for the events industry after the London 2012 Olympics.

It’s a standard by which the industry is held to operate in a more sustainable manner.

As a result, BMA House has gained a Silver Tourism Award in our efforts to reduce the amount of energy used during events and become one of the most sustainable venues London has to offer.

However, there is still a long way to go from the venue, organiser and guest’s side to lessen the impact of events on the environment.

Here are my top tips for creating a sustainable yet simultaneously stylish party, reception or dinner, to go some way to readdressing the balance:

LIGHTING

As you gaze out at the London night sky you can be overwhelmed by the lights which litter the skyline; bright white, twinkly blue and stable red which cling to buildings.

Solar panelling has now been adopted by many households and offices as a way of cutting down on the wasteful energy this produces by harbouring a natural resource, sunlight.

There are now some really innovative and interesting solar panelled lights emerging on the market that work perfectly for evening receptions, parties and dinners that utilise any outdoor space.

For example, Homebase has some great solar panelled fairy lights which turn on automatically at dusk and off at dawn, using a handy mini solar panel to collect the sunlight.

They can omit a very strong light and detect light changes, saving you the hassle of remembering to turn them off and on.

A great choice for anyone trying to host more sustainable events!

THEMING:

Pinterest is great for inspiring party ideas and has thousands of eco-friendly pins.

Avoiding single-use or disposable decorations is a must. Anything that was created solely to be part of the background at an event for a few hours, only to be chucked away after, is a red flag in our books!

There are tonnes of really great ideas for reusing things; everything from using crates as trays or jam jars for glasses filled with crushed ice and a variety of fruits.

CATERING

Consider how the food is sourced for the event.

If your venue has in house caterers, ask your planner for information on the caterer’s sustainability credentials.

Or if you are sourcing your own food, look for locally sourced produce. Our central London location means for us, that’s often at the Bloomsbury Farmers Market. Aim to minimise food miles as much as possible.

Trust us – your guests will taste the difference!

Also, consider the number of guests who have confirmed they will attend versus the number who will show up on the day.

Factors including the weather, how regularly the event runs and if it is ticketed all contribute to how inclined guests will be to show up.

I would consider these at the point of planning and account for dropouts accordingly.

GET GUESTS INVOLVED

Make sure your guests know you’re trying to make your event as sustainable and eco-friendly as possible. We’ve been working towards becoming a sustainable London venue to hire for years, which means most people who visit are already well aware of what to expect.

Introduce the premise in the delegate packs, monitor how much energy was saved during your event and feedback to delegates after the event.

We’d also recommend encouraging them to download eco apps.

Build a narrative and take guests on the journey.

REUSE IS BETTER THAN RECYCLING

If any theming is leftover from an event, try to reuse it where you can for future events or give to guests. If this isn’t possible, ensure it is recycled in the appropriate way. At venues, you can ask for their recycling policy.

And remember, better than reusing is not buying anything new at all! Consider what you already have available and how it can be repurposed.

You can read more about BS 8901 events industry framework here: www.actionsustainability.com/news/198/BS-8901-Make-your-event-sustainable/

SUSTAINABLE VENUES LONDON

Written by Maxine Reynolds

Contact us on 020 7874 7020 or email [email protected]

BMA House, Tavistock Square, London, WC1H 9JP

We’re inspired: Healthcare Heroes Event


Event case study…

 

Client: Havas Lynx (healthcare communications group)

Room: The Sir James Paget Room

Month: February 2017

Event: Healthcare Heroes- The Passion Project

 

 Match:

The event was put together to celebrate those at the heart of leading change in the way healthcare is delivered. Being home to the British Medical Association, BMA House provided a natural pairing of celebrating individuals who have contributed and dedicated their time to helping others.

Setting:

The Sir James Paget Room (named after the surgeon of Queen Victoria) was flooded with red uplighters which bought warmth and ‘heart’ to the room. The lights were dimmed for a thoughtful feel that relaxed the mind and allowed guests to enjoy the stories on the wonderful display boards. Over by the fire place, our four images which once hung were now lit by downward lights and featured four posters sharing more amazing inventions, fundraising and determination stories.

Inspired:

Before the guests arrived, I was able to walk around the displays and read the stories  of the usually unsung heroes of healthcare, I felt the passion behind each achievement, innovation and selfless act. Stories such as ex BMX world champion, Tom Lynch who in 1999 set up the Ambulance Cycle Response Unit (C.R.U.) in West London. Teresa Chin who feeling isolated in her job as a nurse, set-up @WeNurses Twitter handle which encourage discussions between nurses in a similar position which now has 60,000 followers and Teresa has been nominated for an MBE in her services to nursing. To read more information on these inspiring stories and many more, please click here https://healthcare-heroes.com/heroes.  

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_qvq0m_xyQ&w=560&h=315]

 

This was one of those events that will always resonate with me and one I wish could have been shared with so many more people. #HealthcareHeroes @havaslynxeu

 

Written by Jenny Darlow

Contact us on 020 7874 7020 or email [email protected]

BMA House, Tavistock Square, London, WC1H 9JP

 

5 top wedding tips from a London wedding venue


Top 5 tips on planning the wedding of your dreams from a wedding venue, London…

Yes folks, it’s that time of the year again, when shops, online retailers and colleagues’ desks are full of everything red! Dreary and depressing for some, but oh so exciting for others who’ve been waiting in anticipation ever since they were left short of a proposal on New Year’s Eve! So if you were you one of the lucky ones to receive a sparkling ring on the 14th February: a huge CONGRATULATIONS to you.

Now is the time to get planning for your big day, but where to begin? We think that as a wedding venue in London, we’re well placed to give advice to first-time planners. So here are my top five tips in the best order to get cracking to ensure this lovely engagement period is smooth and as stress-free as possible.

  1. Choosing your wedding venue

First thing first, you can’t have a wedding without a wedding venue, so put this at the top of your planning list.

Questions you should consider discussing with your fiancé before you call up for a visit are; where is the venue located? If far away, you’ll need to think about accommodation the night prior for yourselves, as well as places for friends and family to stay.

Are you dreaming of your drinks reception and photos outside in luscious greenery, or a modern barn setting where fun garden games and tug of war games take place? If so, look for a venue with plenty of outdoor space, but what is key is choosing a venue as much for its interior as its exterior.

No one’s going to want to be sipping champagne and tottering around in high heels in the mud, so make sure you are prepared for all guests to be indoors and for your wedding photos to have an inside backdrop, unless you’re happy to put on fashionable wellies, grab a big brolley and enjoy the English rain!

As far as wedding venues London goes, BMA House has four gorgeous inside rooms, each licensed for both civil ceremonies and wedding receptions for up to 200 guests, together with two stunning outdoor spaces ideal for live music and your champagne and canape reception.

Speaking of food…this WILL be the talking point for all your guests so ensure your venue offers the variety and cuisine you are hoping for.

If you’re keen on serving your uncle’s best wine or your fiancé’s favourite craft beer, ask if the venue allows you to bring in your own alcohol and if they charge a corkage fee.

And lastly, get as much help as possible, see if the venue offers an in-house wedding planner who can help plan your day, after all you’re likely to have never done this stuff before. BMA House offers a dedicated wedding planner to guide you on all aspects of planning your special day.

  1. Picking your perfect photographer

Good photographers will get booked up surprisingly far in advance, so look around as early as possible so you can secure your photographer.

Once your wedding is over, all you will have left are your memories of the day and photographs, so it’s important you choose the right person to photograph your special day, and in a style you’re comfortable with.

Meet a range of photographers and ask to see some of their work, as well as browsing their online galleries. It’s also worth asking your venue if they have any photographers they’d recommend.

More often than not, they’ll have a few – all of which already know the venue well. This means they’ll know they best places for the most romantic shots, the best angles and the best lighting. Win-win!

Another popular option nowadays is to have an engagement photoshoot, which is a lovely opportunity for you both to meet your photographer and to get used to being behind a lens, bearing in mind this person will be with you all day from bridal preparation through until the first dance, you’re going to want to feel at ease with them.

  1. Bridesmaids

Choose them wisely and don’t take any abuse from friends and family if they feel hard done by if you’ve not chosen them as your bridesmaids.

People can be funny when it comes to this subject, but stick to your guns; you’ve chosen your favourites for a reason.

If you have close friends who you’d like to make part of your day, get them to help out in other ways, for example, doing a reading during your ceremony, helping you make your wedding favours, or assisting setting up your dining tables.

This way you’ve involved everyone.

  1. Finding your ultimate wedding dress

Dress fitting is another daunting task, and usually, the dress you’ve dreamed of since you were a young girl is often not the dress you’ll go for.

Fittings need to be booked in advance, most bridal shops will not let you just turn up and try on a range of dresses, so make sure you book an appointment and take along mum or your chief bridesmaid as a second option is worthwhile.

Be wary when buying from places online and do check out the supplier’s ratings, as some dresses can appear to be one thing, then when they turn up, many a bride I’ve known has been disappointed but the seller has not had a refund policy due to this being a bespoke dress.

My advice is to do your homework and try it on before you buy.

Don’t rush into buying the first dress you see, you’ve got to be 100% happy with the style and fit.

Your dress will be the first thing your guests will glance at when they see you walking down the aisle.

  1. Honeymoon destinations

Another big job, but a very exciting one to plan!

With so many destinations to choose from, the first thing to think about is the time of year you are looking to jet off as this will condense your country search, for example, it’s unadvisable to travel to some parts of the Caribbean during their hurricane season.

I’m seeing more and more couples taking a ‘mini-moon’ immediately after their wedding, then going on a longer break months after.

This is a nice idea as it allows you time to reflect on your wedding, see friends and family again the following day, to unpack and open up your cards and gifts…and still have something to look forward to later on in the year!

This option is also good if you’re ideal honeymoon destination is in its rainy or stormy season around your wedding day, meaning it may not be ideal to fly out then.

Written by Rebecca Hurley

Contact us on 020 7874 7020 or email [email protected]

BMA House, Tavistock Square, London, WC1H 9JP

Dickens Fellowship


The Dickens Fellowship Dinner

On the 7th February 2017, BMA House will be hosting the anniversary dinner for the Dickens Fellowship, to mark 205 years since Dickens’s Birth

 

On the 7th February 1812 a child was born into humble beginnings in Portsmouth, the son of a clerk and the second of eight children  who despite his lack of formal education, went on to become the greatest novelist of the Victorian era. His name was Charles Dickens.

In 1851 Dickens purchased Tavistock House, a plain, spacious brick building located just off Tavistock Square and screened from the public thoroughfare by iron railings. During his time at the residence he began and finished novels which have become classics and are read throughout the world including; Bleak House, Hard Times and Little Dorrit. He lived at this residence for 9 years, eventually leaving it behind in 1860 when he and his family moved to Kent.

Where Tavistock House once stood, now stands BMA House, our workplace and the beautiful events venue which we hire out. The remaining bricks of Dickens’s house can still be seen in our tranquil medicinal garden, standing unassuming and undiscovered to many who walk past the building.

205 years after Charles Dickens’s birth, the Dickens Fellowship has chosen our Prince’s Room as the location for its celebratory anniversary dinner on the 7th February 2017.

The Dickens Fellowship is an international organisation of enthusiasts and scholars who share interests in the life, works and times of Charles Dickens. The Fellowship was founded in London in October 1902 and to this day, brings together people from all over the world, comprising the Central Fellowship and 54 branches.

Set in the stunning space of our Prince’s Room, the interior provides the perfect backdrop for the intimate dinner, with its domed ceiling, centrepiece chandelier and original features.

We will set the room for a three course dinner, with catering provided by Ampersand. On the menu is; a trio of oak smoked salmon for starter, roast rump of lamb for mains and topped off with a dessert of lemon cheesecake with white chocolate and raspberries.

Crisp white linen cloths will be laid over the tables and we will use storm lanterns as the table centres, embedded with candles and pebbles. There will also be a display of images of Dickens’s house and some information on his time spent at the residence.

Further information about the Fellowship and how to become a member can be found on its website at www.dickensfellowship.org

 

Written by Maxine Reynolds

Contact us on 020 7874 7020 or email [email protected]

BMA House, Tavistock Square, London, WC1H 9JP

Post Christmas Motivation


How to feel motivated after the holidays…

After the Christmas break or even a holiday, I am sure we all get the back to work fear – even those (like us) who love their jobs! It might be overwhelming or difficult to feel motivated for that first day back.

Finding some external motivation might just be the thing you need. There are a few tips I keep up my sleeve to help shake off those January blues and I want to share some of my best ones with you.

Exercise!

It might be the last thing you want to do after a relaxing break but you are relaxed now so waking up early should be a little easier. A 20 minute HIIT session before work will wake you up and refresh you. I recommend Joe Wicks Body Coach TV on youtube for a free session. He is also doing 3 weekly workouts live on Facebook in January as well

Make plans!

Feeling a bit down post-Christmas is incredibly normal.

Once Christmas has been and gone you might not have anything major lined up until, well, next Christmas! Fight that feeling and plan something to look forward to in the next 2-4 months.

A holiday somewhere nice and warm? A relaxing spa weekend away with friends? If you’re in London, have a look at Timeout. They have tonnes of recommendations and offers – especially in January.

Be social.

Despite all that December socialising and catching-up, that doesn’t mean January has to be a write-off! Bare in mind that a lot of people might be committing to health kick or attempting dry january so try and find social activity that don’t revolve too much around food or booze. Why not arrange cinema trips, organise a book club or start a regular games night with friends.

Inspire yourself

YouTube is a treasure trove of motivational content and TED Talks are some of the best for finding new ways of thinking and looking at things.

This is one of my favourites:

 

Set goals!

Giving yourself something to work towards or stay accountable to is a fool-proof way of giving yourself direction in January. It can be easy to get complacent without one, so if you only take away one thing from this article – set some personal goals!

Our lovely events team have some great goals this year. Here are some of them:

  • Write more letters
  • Travel somewhere new every month
  • Be able to spin on ice
  • Cook a new recipe every week
  • Climb high peaks & mountains in the UK
  • Worry less and enjoy life more
  • Do one new thing in London every month

We’ll let you know how we get on… Happy 2017!

Written by Kat Winfield

Contact us on 020 7874 7020 or email [email protected]

BMA House, Tavistock Square, London, WC1H 9JP

Wedding Transport


Arriving in style…

Every bride will know the drama of planning a wedding, there are the shoes, the dress, the flowers, the hair, the makeup, the venue (obviously, BMA House!) and amongst a million other things – The wedding transport. See how we now have to refer to it as ‘transport’ not car or even vehicle anymore?! We are so lucky to have a beautiful Courtyard that you can use for a grand entrance and whatever the weather, meet your guests right at the door.

How will you be arriving to your special day? Will it be based on a childhood dream or a current fashion? Here at BMA House we have seen so many different ways of arriving but we are always interested to hear of new and exciting ways.

Need some inspiration? Here are some of our couples arriving in style…

Written by Lucy O’Grady

Contact us on 020 7874 7020 or email [email protected]

BMA House, Tavistock Square, London, WC1H 9JP

Copyright 2020 – BMA House

BMA FEST


Opening our doors…

Festival season… the best time of the year is finally with us, and kicking off this years’ season with an impressive selection of headliners was a new contender – BMA Fest 2016!

 

April the 28th saw the first BMA Fest held at BMA House showcasing the venue, the caterers and a selection of headliners showing off the supplies they can offer for any type of event. Over 200 of you came through the door, welcomed by the team of festival marshals, a festival guide and a showround of our key event spaces before heading off to enjoy the evening. Thank you to our wonderful caterers, BaxterStorey for creating some amazing street food stalls, InWater for our flowers, YaHire and Freelove Group for making our Great Hall shine and Buffalo Tale for keeping you all dancing all night long.

To set BMA Fest up as a proper festival, the sun disappeared just as the gates were about to open but that didn’t stop you heading out in to the Courtyard to play table tennis and take some great photos in our photobooth, provided by Eco Furniture and Megabooth washing down the fun with a cheeky craft beer from Meantime Brewery.

The biggest talking point was the ‘Wheres Welly?’ competition which saw lots of you finding them and snapping pictures of you sporting the bright pink wellies hidden around the venue. After a lot of Instagramming and Tweeting, #BMAfest was trending on Twitter at number 3 and five lucky winners were chosen for prizes including an overnight stay with our lovely friends at Montague on the Gardens Hotel.

Here are a selection of our favourite photos from the evening taken by James Neale (jamesnealephotography.com). If trending on twitter isn’t proof enough that this venue is worth talking about, I don’t know what is! Next time, make sure you don’t miss out…

Written by Hannah Anderson

Contact us on 020 7874 7020 or email [email protected]

BMA House, Tavistock Square, London, WC1H 9JP