How the weeks fly by, it was already time for our next face-to-face Team Meeting and, on this occasion, also Afternoon Tea, celebrating Kate’s birthday! Once again we’re trying to meet face-to-face and get comfortable with doing hotel site inspections again.
Claire from Alexander Hotels hosted us once again, this time at the lovely Great Fosters Hotel, a Tudor estate in Egham, Surrey. I must confess, the biggest surprise for me was the extensive gardens and grounds – 50 acres in total with listed topiary mazes, a fountain, Saxon moat, Japanese bridge and even a sundial gifted to the Estate by Sir Francis Drake himself!
Another surprise was the heated outdoor pool, open during the summer months, April-October, which we got a glimpse of, with several people enjoying a lovely warm, summer afternoon. It also has 1930s listed bathing huts and three treatment rooms.
After our meeting Claire met with us and gave us a guided tour around the Hotel.
The hotel has 43 individually designed bedroom and suites, including the famed Historic Named Suites. More bedrooms are being built and we got to see much of the ‘work-in-progress’ and the hotel will then have 56 bedrooms in total once the work is complete. All bedrooms are individually decorated.
Rooms in the Main House are filled with tapestries & antiques, while the bedrooms in The Cloisters & Coach House are more contemporary. All bedrooms have been beautifully designed and some of the bathrooms are huge.
Great Fosters has two restaurants, Tony Parkin at The Tudor Room, the proud bearer of a Michelin-star (& recent Chef on the Great British Menu) and The Estate Grill, a 2-AA rosette restaurant for everyday dining with a simple seasonal menu, many dishes using produce grown on the estate.
All along the southern aspect of Great Fosters there are lovely terraces and patios where diners can enjoy breakfast, lunch, tea and supper al fresco. We were lucky enough to have a very lovely Afternoon Tea here at the end of our Team Meeting! Thank you so much Claire.
We had our meeting in the Victoria Suite which has double doors leading out to a lovely walled garden.
This room is in the Coach House, which is self-contained and therefore offers complete privacy. It can hold 16 boardroom, has a 50″ plasma screen, Blu-ray and ‘standard’ DVDs can be viewed, full surround sound facilities, MP3 SoundDock, 2PC points at the meeting table, with cabled internet access and all AV, lighting and blinds are operated via a touch screen panel. Having said that, we struggled a bit in getting the temperature right and had to call for assistance!
There are two further rooms in the Coach House, Clarence (22 boardroom) and the Concord (10 boardroom). There is also a conference lounge where refreshments are served throughout the day. Delegates also enjoy access to a PC work area, offering useful facilities including laptops and a printer.
As well as the three rooms in the Coach House, there are additional meeting rooms across the property. The Mowbray and Mandeville work very well together; the Mowbray is light and airy and can hold 20 boardroom.
The 14th century Tithe Barn is a lovely, exclusive and obviously unusual space which can cater for 180 for private dining or 42 cabaret style. Tea and coffee breaks can be held in the adjacent Painted Hall.
The Orangery has high ceilings, air conditioning and plenty of natural daylight and the adjoining Conservatory can be used for lunch & refreshment breaks, although in warmer weather these can be served on the Magnolia lawn. It can hold up to 80 for private dining or 48 for a cabaret meeting.
Please note that all the capacities quoted do not take into account social distancing, however if you require this information, please ask and we can provide it for you.
Great Fosters is part of the Alexander Hotel group. There are 5 Hotels in the group which includes Barnett Hill also in Surrey, Langshott Manor and Alexander House in Sussex and last but not least Rowhill Grange in Kent.