Last weekend we attended a familiarisation trip to the historic cities of Portsmouth and Southampton organised by the Hampshire Conference Bureau.
The weekend started at the Solent Hotel & Spa, a luxurious hotel located in the town of Fareham, between Portsmouth and Southampton.
After checking in, we were off to the D-Day museum for a show round. The D-Day Story tells the story of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy. It holds over 10,000 items – preserving, researching and acquiring objects to share with the public through exhibitions, workshops and other activities. The Overlord Embroidery, echoing the Bayeux Tapestry created 900 years before to commemorate the reverse invasion of England from Normandy, is a narrative embroidery that depicts the story of the D–Day … Since 1984 it has been housed in the D–Day Museum.
In the evening we visited the stunning Portsmouth Guildhall where we enjoyed a buffet in one of their impressive function rooms and then watched Frank Skinner’s live show.
On Saturday morning we started off the day with a show round of the Solent Hotel and Spa events facilities. The venue offers 13 naturally lit and air-conditioned meeting rooms as well as a dedicated business centre with welcome desk and host. Capacities of the rooms vary from 10 boardroom to 240 theatre style in largest space Hambledon.
Second venue visited on Saturday was the Hilton at the Ageas Bowl. This incredible venue boasts 171 stunning bedrooms, each providing picture-perfect views over the iconic cricket ground Ageas Bowl, home of Hampshire Cricket, or sprawling 18 hole golf course.
Hilton at the Ageas Bowl is the perfect setting to conduct any matter of business from a larger conference to a small board meeting. The hotel’s largest suite is one of the Ageas Ballroom at 592m, making it one of the biggest ballrooms on the south coast. Accommodating up to 700 people theatre style or 450 people banquet style, the stunning space is ideal for corporate events, product launches, seminars, conferences, banquets and weddings.
At the Hilton Ageas Bowl, we also had a chance to play golf!
We then headed to Holiday Inn Southampton and had a look at their events facilities. The hotel offers six great events spaces with capacities varying from 15 to 220.
In the afternoon we met See Southampton tour guide for a walking tour of Southampton. The tour guide was incredibly knowledgeable and took us around part of the medieval town, some of the underground vaults and the city’oldest church, St Michael’s. Southampton’s most important historic building, Tudor House reveals over 800 years of history in one fascinating location at the heart of the Old Town.
We also went to the Historic Mercure Dolphin Hotel and the Jurys Inn Southampton for a site visit. The Mercure Southampton Dolphin Hotel is in the Old Town area of
Southampton City Centre where it has stood for over 600 years, serving throughout this period as a welcome place to rest for weary travellers. Today the building is classed as a grade two ‘star’ building. Jane Austen held her 18th Birthday here!
For the evening we visited the beautiful Chilworth Manor Hotel, situated just 4 miles from Southampton, amongst 12 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds. Just a couple of miles from the New Forest National Park, this wonderful retreat offers idyllic surroundings, yet its within easy reach of the city centre and major motorway links.
On Sunday morning, we had a look at the conference facilities of the Doubletree by Hilton in Southampton. The venue offers 14 rooms catering from 2-200 and it is perfect for business meetings, events and celebrations.
Thank you Hampshire Conference Bureau for the great weekend!
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