10 Quirkiest Traditions to Kick Start New Year in London

When in London for the holiday season, there are surely numerous things to do for a merry time. But when it comes to New Year celebrations, we surely love to do this in a certain fashion. Be it rituals, parties, or ceremonial festivities, we never forget the time-survived traditions at the end of the year. In London, have you heard or participated in the ‘first footing’, where you let a strange man with particularly dark hair enter the house? If you haven’t heard of it, then don’t freak out already. The man carries bread, salt, and coal, signifying food, money, and warmth respectively.

But repeating the same holiday traditions every year? Where is the fun in that?

This is why we have compiled these choicest of traditions from the world over. Now batter-fry your New Year day into an extra crispy memory for life with the following customs:

Philippines:
Manigong Bagong Taon! They like circles and so do we, amongst other shapes. Although London has a lot of squares, why not participate in the famous Philippines New Year custom, even if standing in a square. Any circle shapes are a good luck sign on this day in Philippines. Dress patterns, food, coins, hats, we mean anything counts. How about going out on the road and revolving in circles? Amazing isn’t it? Also make sure the road has no traffic and keep some bandages handy. Just in case!

Denmark:
Godt Nytår! Did you hear a plate break? If not then make this New Year’s Eve interesting by converting a bunch of plates into driverless mini UFOs. All you need here is your friends’ doors and the sober ability to explain the Danish tradition reasonably. Go crash some old plates in front of your pal’s door and show them how much they mean to you.

Spain:
Feliz Año Nuevo! Now these grapes can never be sour. Start your New Year by eating 12 grapes, for every month to come, for good luck. Chew fast otherwise you will end up welcoming the New Year scrubbing your shirt too!

Ireland:
Bhliain Nua Sásta! Talking about New Year, we don’t want to miss telling you about the bread and the hammering. When we first heard of this Irish tradition, the immediate visual popping in our beautiful mind was hammering the bread against the wall. Oh imagine the crumbled smashed crumbs on the floor! Now you can follow this Irish tradition and give a sane explanation for it too – “To chase away the bad luck and welcome good spirits in with the New Year”.

Japan:
Akemashite Omedetou! Even if it is laughter attack or just a plain simple series of forced chuckles, that IS the Japanese New Year tradition. Roll in the New Year with a smile, buckets of hope or skates but there is no clarification for skates that’s all. Also skates were most probably just our idea.

Switzerland:
Glückliches Neues Jahr! This Swiss New Year tradition is strictly not for foodies. We just cannot see their heart break. Beware of the slippery floors as you drop the ice cream on the floor through the night. That’s one of their famous traditions to rope in the merry spirit of the brand new year in Switzerland. It is also one way to initiate massive floor scrubbing drive throughout the place next morning.

Central and South America:
Feliz Ano Novo! In the South and Central American countries, the New Year begins with a reminder of the undergarments. From red under wears, bright prints and yellow lingerie, take your pick from what brings you luck this New Year.

Belgium:
Gelukkig Nieuwjaar! This is one of our personal favourites. This unique New Year tradition of Belgium requires you to come across a cow. It is ideally with reference to Belgium farmers who never forget to wish their livestock, especially cows, on New Year. But when in London, cows or not, the animals also deserve your wishes and joys. Talking to the animals would never be so fun. Wishing cows has an added advantage too. You may get a reply back with a nodding ‘Moo’!

France:
Bonne Année! The French like to begin their New Year with pancakes. No not dropping this time. Eating and sharing the delectable and syrup-y pancakes is one of the traditional French customs of welcoming the New Year in good and sweet spirit. In case you want a party with the pancakes, you may book the famous London venue, Grange City Penthouse near River Thames with Thecitycollection.org.

Belarus:

Z Novym Hodam! We would strongly suggest this New Year tradition for all the single ladies. To find out who will be the next one wearing that shiny engagement ring, here is what to do. Get the ladies to form a line and then arrange a pile of corn in front of them. Acquire a matchmaker rooster (same as the regular rooster) and release the hungry bird in front of the ladies with corn. The pile it goes first to peck on, is the lucky pile or lady who will be buying the wedding magazines soon.

Warning: There is a good chance some of the ladies might run berserk watching the rooster approach. Please keep distance!

With such fun New Year traditions from around the globe, now spice up your new beginning into the year in style, or rather humour.

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8 Things To Know While Choosing The Right Venue

Did you know the success of your event depends not merely on food, decorations, host and guests, but one more thing? And, that would be your party venue. When you organise a party or any other event, remember to think like an event planner. This simple rule will give a boost to your venue search. It is not without a reason that an event planner views venue as the most imperative of all, while organizing an enviable event.

Short-listing a venue, undoubtedly, is a very fragile decision. It leaves even the most seasoned event planners in perplexity. But, you don’t have to worry, just go through our list-to-keep-in-mind-while-choosing-a-venue. To make your wedding a hassle-free activity or your event as scintillating as diamonds, set some rules. Just have a quick read of our list on what you need to do for a perfect venue selection. And, have a wonderful party!

The Starter
Before anything else, take deep breath and calm down if you are nervous. Make a list with your family, friends or fiancé on what you want to include in the event. Preparing a guest-list beforehand will also provide clarity for venue capacity needed.

Personality Reflection
Always remember, the venue should be as per the choice and personality of the star-of the-night. Should it be rustic and natural, elegant & sophisticated? Whether it should be organised in garden or something spiritual yet classy would do?

If you are planning a lavish event, Grange Holborn Hotel with conference halls, bars and restaurants and great space is a stylish choice. It also offers assistance for your event with a special Events Team at your service. Or, if you are planning a budgeted event, 78 Bishopsgate in Liverpool Street with banquet and dinner dance space might allow you to stick with the budget also.

Money and Brain Teaser
And, won’t you agree that money speaks the way you utilise it? Yes? So, as you end up preparing a To-do list, it would be good to plan your budget also. Decide on what you want to spend on the venue, decorations, food, beverages and so on. Also, keep in mind that many venues have in-house caterers and rentals. No doubt, this all will affect your budget but simultaneously will reduce the strain of planning. Engage with the caterers and others to help you come up with something reflecting originality, uniqueness that will have your sense of style.

Fix Some Dates

Choose a couple of dates and time as per preference that you might desire for your event. Will you like to almost be enchanted by a perfect venue and learn that it’s not available on any of your desired dates? No, right? Then have a plan in place.

Record the venue
Always prefer to have a digital or video camera with you when cutting down different venues. This task will help recognise the venue afterwards for approval from others. And, it would be good to have a photographic record that might help you recognise something nice about the sites. Also, record the existing decor of the venues as it might prove beneficial when you plan your own decorations.

Have an Eagle’s Eye

Check the entire venue like a detective, maybe. Okay, maybe not! Just kidding! But, on a serious note, it is imperative to know each and every hook and corner of the venue, even the restrooms, dressing rooms, foyer, lighting and the kitchen. You can also try to convince the representative and set up a visit when any event is commencing there. This will ease off your decoration and other doubts, if any.

Furthermore, if it’s an official event like a conference, make sure the venue representative takes due care of the basic needs. Know about the amenities, the audio-visual, equipment facilities, disabled access and venue should also allow having any promotional activity with banners, directional signs, and so on, if needed.

Don’t Hesitate and Clear Your Doubts
You are the one who is paying money for services and looks forward to a successful party or event. So why hesitate? So, be interrogative, and clear each and every doubt bothering you, like:

  • How many events will you host on the day of our event?
  • What’s the person occupancy of the venue?
  • Is the venue easily accessible and how is the transport facility in the area?
  • Do you have elderly and disabled-friendly facilities?
  • Can I hire vendors from outside? Is there an individual dressing room? (If it’s a wedding or reception)
  • Do you have a recycling policy?
  • Do you have parking facility?
Ask as many questions you have in mind and get a crystal clear perspective of everything important for the party.

Ask for a Proposal
If you have shortlisted a venue, then ask the representative to provide a proposal enlisting pricing and policies, extra tax, service charges and other agreed demands. So you don’t have to bother for any monetary discussion or an argument later on. This will also provide you with a tentative idea of budget.

Whether having a get-together or a big bash after your wedding or promotion in office, a significant venue is essential. Venue is like salt in sumptuous delicacy after all your preparations and hard work put–in. It says a lot about your style, choices and thoughts while accentuating a taste for the guests. So, don’t take the venue decision lightly. Plan, work hard and have a celebration that people relish and cherish for years to come.

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Beware of These Crazy Guests at Your Gorgeous London Wedding!

Your grand day is approaching and you cannot wait for everything to culminate into a grand success? Sounds dreamy but look-out! The people witnessing your big day are always an assorted bunch that you call your family and friends. No matter how intricately you plan out everything about your D-day in the capital, wedding guests here can be as unexpected as London rains. So, we are bringing you list of different types of guests usually spotted at London weddings, in order for you to run things smoothly throughout.
1. ‘Drunk like a Drowned Fish’ Guest: Oh come on! You know who it is the moment you spotted this one here. You have seen the antics and the blabbering earlier at several family occasions. They are uncontrollable, disrupting toasts and spilling things at places and people. But still we know that family is family. This is why, we also suggest you a handful of ways to handle such wedding guests. Have your team of confidante in place and directed towards such guests.

Firstly, keep the bar area separate from your reception hall or dinner tables. Hire a tasteful venue with Thecitycollection.org in London city where you can have a helpful staff and a natty bartender to abide by your plans religiously. Several venues in London like Grange Wine Bar and Medieval Piazza in Tower Hill have efficacious staff to carry out your plans. Also, choose to make it a defined alcohol service or pay as per you drink cash bar, to avoid sloshed people on free booze. Here are few more tips on how to tackle such guests with careful planning.
2. Random Relative/ Photo Bomber: No matter how strategically you invite people, these guests will always find a way to pop in one way or the other. Not that they appear uninvited, but an approving nod from your mother-in-law or constant insistence from your father can do it. These guests prowl quite inquisitively around the party as most of your dear ones are busy having a good time.

From uncomfortable questions to popping their heads in exclusive wedding pictures, these party guests have done it all. You can direct their movement by planning their seating at the back of the venue. Try to have your pictures taken at a private area where you can capture those memorable pretty poses without any disruption. Also, never ever handover any disposable camera responsibilities to them!
3. Memories v/s Paparazzi: Who’d want your wedding day to be a bunch of photographs featuring missed angles, finger faced or just plain simple dump? That’s right. If you have one of these crazed ones in your guest list, stay careful while handing out your cams to these ones. Now this breed of the crazed guests at weddings can be of any age. So avoid such situations by hiring a professional or only send out the cams to those who have some skill with it for sure. Consult your wedding planner for ideas.
4. The Crier: Weddings can be an emotional time for our near and dear ones, even for the bride. But crying-at-the-drop-of-hat kinds can be a real party spoiler. They sob and make a scene out of the situation with running noses and washed down mascaras. Particularly their toasts can go on to make the rest of the party a downer. Keep the tissues handy. Also, engage a helping hand from your bridesmaids or groomsmen to escort them away from the scene to an adjacent space for calming them.

You can hire such venues at Thecitycollection.org like The Skyline Suite and Roof Garden Terrace in City of London. With a view of St. Paul’s Cathedral, it has striking glass interiors with lounge, a bar, and adjacent garden and terrace for hire. Somewhere such noisy but dear guests can find a spot to calm themselves down without thundering down the entire hall with their sobs.
5. ‘My Wedding was Better’ Guest: Now this species of wedding guests can either appear in the form a competitive cousin or a finicky relative. You can rarely avoid them or always find yourself thinking twice even starting a conversation with them. Apparently all that goes to waste when they never drop any opportunity to convey their displeasure with your plans, or anyone’s for that matter. The only way to keep your wedding nerves calm is to ignore and distract them. Put a friend or two at duty who can keep them afar from you at most times. Also, try changing the seating plans to pair them up with people who can handle them with their polite/sarcastic gift of gab.
6. The Not-So Invited Guests: If your guests can bring a plus-one to the wedding, make sure you convey to them to RSVP well in advance. Why would you want to spot an ex, a loathed colleague, or you get our point? It is your big day and meant to be celebrated with only your dearest well-wishers. Check your guest list again and again to make sure no awkward encounters or eccentric strangers get on your nerves during your Big Day.

Warning:
If you think this list is a joke then check out your old photo albums and address book for a proof about such vintage variety of London wedding guests. You’re welcome!

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Themes to Make your Christmas Charming and Celebratory!!

Jingle bells are on route to knock your door of celebrations very soon. Have you tightened your shoe laces for an outstanding party? Christmas, the hotspot festival full of zeal and fortitude truly provides an occasion of celebration. Now c’mon, don’t be laid back or just be a guest in someone’s party. Hop into charismatic side of you, plan a party and spend time with family, friends, even business partners or colleagues.
Christmas party, the best way to add a zing to the celebrations of December, is a terrific idea. Isn’t it? So fold your sleeves up and get to work. And hello! You can’t be a party pooper by planning a plain and simple brunch or dinner at home. Instead, it’s good to make more out of Christmas rather than letting it to be solely a religious festival.
Save time on thinking and try some amazing and innovative themes for party mentioned below which would surely get you venerated.
1940’s Christmas in 21st Century
Experience the 1940’s style of Christmas with an amalgamation of today’s contemporary essence. Charm your guests with 40’s era of simplicity and sophistication. Plan and get the décor done in the shades of white with a speck of red touch. From table cloth to hangings on the wall, submerge your guests with a sense of past. And, don’t forget to tell your guests to come in 1940’s style of dressing in fusion with today’s trend.
As a host, always try to keep your guests indulged happily in merry making. Hey! Why not try showing the best of holiday movies from that decade? Try the very famous Christmas classic; Miracle on 34th Street together with some games. Or, by planning a karaoke session of songs from 40’s, indulge more in era of innovation and introduction.

Icy Wisey White
Ever heard the song, “White Christmas” from the very famous 1942 classic movie - ‘Holiday Inn’? A simple song with hearty lyrics gives a feel of enduring happiness of the times spent with family and friends. In 2014, let’s try and get an aura of this White Christmas via celebrating it with near and dear ones. You don’t have to worry much for party except to get décor done in white.

Try a unique and cool blend of white and silver shades for decorations. Opt for tiny, crystalline lights scattering rays of illumination in each corner complimented with snowy, sparkling embellishments. Also, hanging garlands with glittery, crystal icicles and a Santa Claus will add charm to your party too.Or why not opt for a Christmas party venue with special offers for your party?
Moreover, how can a party be complete without desserts? Undoubtedly, amusing white monochromatic desserts will work greatly for a silver-white theme party. Knock, Knock! Make sure you have a white Christmas tree standing high in the party.

Disney Christmas for Kids
Two things that we have best on earth are children and Disney characters. So, why not plan a surprise Christmas party for your kids with Disney theme? And instead of going to Disney World for that, plan a party in town. To save time and avoid confusion, begin by inviting guests in style with a cartoon card. You can even invite them to beautify your Christmas tree with ornaments and decorations (probably, Disney theme oriented). Bake a Mickey Mouse Christmas Cake and other desserts shaped and styled as different cartoon characters.

Furthermore, as you are the host, dress up as your favourite cartoon character to hype kids’ curiosity and celebratory mood. Kids are always happy to eat and drink in Disney tableware, aren’t they? So, add them in your kid’s party.

P.S: London’s Christmas party venues are famous for these kinds of theme parties while some also cater special offers.
Balloons Magic Theme
Make your Christmas party spectacular and memorable with this unique style. Have a true festive feel and plan an all-balloon decor. A not very common theme though, balloons make a good ambience for adults and kids love them too. Make Santa Claus, snowman and elves with balloons. Prepare the welcome gate with them and much more stuff. This would truly be a surprising element for the guests. No one expects such an affordable commodity to turn a party venue into an innovative pool of decoration. So, surprise them with your artistic side. Also, nowadays, shopping centres are filled with special Christmas balloons such as Santa Claus balloons, polka dots design, and so on. Use these varieties of balloons to enhance the decor. Make your Christmas party bright, beautiful and delve in celebrations.

Everyone desires to throw a themed party bound to be the most memorable party of the year. And, it is surely an awesome way to have your near and dear ones immersed in holiday and celebratory mood. Make your preparations a lot easier and never forget that TheCityCollection.org is always there, just a click away! Try our venues solely and dedicatedly selected for your service and satisfaction with distinct deals and offers.

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4 Critical Reasons Why Companies Fail with Corporate Events


Holding a corporate event not only requires detailed planning, but tons of money. Whether you’re planning a conference, employee appreciation party, or a product launch, it is imperative for a person in charge to know how to organize a successful event. But, there are some common mistakes that companies usually face or do when organizing a corporate event for the first time. So, here are some of the significant reasons for the failure of the corporate events.

Consider it a Task to-do, Instead of Worthwhile Investment

There are plenty of companies that simply don’t encourage their team to have a clear business purpose behind organizing any event. They just randomly assign certain tasks to their employees and expect them to get things done, within the allotted time frame. If your team is unaware of the purpose, it is not viable to make the event a success & worthwhile investment.

So, before you start organizing an event, let your team brainstorm, and comprehensively plan the brief of the event. During the planning phase, some companies come to the conclusion that it’s just not wise to hold an event. It is necessary for a company to encourage team efforts, so that they can work together find the most appropriate solution.

It’s the Company’s Cash – Not Mine

A majority of corporate events are funded by sponsorships or by in-house marketing budgets — or a mishmash of both. However, in the absence of a clear plan, it is difficult to hold a single person responsible for managing expenses. It would help everyone involved, if the management rolls out a budget in the very beginning. The cost of hiring a corporate event venue in London can differ greatly. It can be done on a strict budget or one can indulge lavishly in the same. So, a company should develop a financing plan before start spending for the event.

The best way is to impart some of the responsibility to your team – delegating work and responsibilities to reliable workforce. To encourage your employee’s participation, you can offer an incentive to those who will come up with the significant ideas that mays ignificantl reduce the budget.

Leave the Audience Unhappy

No matter whether you are organizing a small event or a large gathering, you need to make it appealing and pleasant. It is essential that you offer an experience that is relevant to the majority of party guests. Being only concerned about business and networking — without having enough provisions for their enjoyment and entertainment — is a waste of time and money for all.

Having a Corporate Atmosphere, Instead a Sociable One

A successful business event can’t be too formal. The corporate babble-speak communicates their best values and missions in the company’s brochure, but not in the business event. Do not let your events go ashtray, and be very specific as to what you aim to achieve from it. If you have organized a charity event, promote your cause, if you wish to motivate and inspire the workforce, share motivating stuff – or rather get a speaker for the same. Consistency matters! We can talk business on any other day, but today, we suggest, you only concentrate on your reasons for organizing it.
To take full advantage of your business event, make sure you don’t commit these common mistakes. Consider each aspect in the planning process, so that you can organize a spectacular and memorable event.

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