5 ways to beat the Crunch

Leanne Bell and Yasmin Arrigo find five special deals in the UK to ease constricted budgets.

Lewtrenchard Manor offers 'The Purple Carrot' package
Lewtrenchard Manor offers 'The Purple Carrot' package

Helping hand

Hand Picked Hotels is offering a new rewards incentive for events bookers. The 'Escape the crunch and take the credit' incentive offers rewards on bookings of at least £3,500. Petrol and supermarket vouchers, car tax stamps, and mobile phone top-ups are among the rewards that qualifying bookers can choose from. Booking values are tiered in six bands with a fixed reward for each. Hand Picked Hotels operations director Douglas Waddell said: "By helping with the weekly shop or providing a significant contribution towards the monthly cost of petrol, we are doing our bit to help bookers ease the credit crunch." The incentive runs until April 2009.
Web
www.handpicked.co.uk/takethecredit

Priceless party

Red Snapper Events has masterminded a tasty solution for firms that can't afford a glitzy off-site Christmas bash or have cancelled their annual party to keep out of the media spotlight. The caterer is offering a 'Starty' - Stay at the office party' - package to corporates. The package delivers festivities directly to the office, and prices start at £35 per head, including canapes, drinks and decor. Red Snapper Events managing director Damian Clarkson said: "We're encouraging clients to celebrate the season but to capitalise on their own facilities rather than hiring an external venue. It's a cost effective way of recognising employee contributions throughout the year, while not being perceived as extravagant."
Web
www.redsnapperevents.com

Yorkshire reductions

Conference Leeds, the Leeds and West Yorkshire convention bureau, has gathered the best deals and specials on offer at hotels and venues in the area and made them available on its website. Clients on a budget can check out a selection of venues offering everything from reduced day delegate rates to cheap food and drink offers on the site. More than 40 deals are available and head of Conference Leeds, Nicola Lockwood, said they were testimonial to the destination's value: "We believe we are the only destination in the UK to offer so many outstanding deals for conference organisers."
Web
www.conference-leeds.com/specialoffers

The perfect carrot

Give your delegates the ultimate incentive carrot by taking them down to Von Essen's Lewtrenchard Manor and booking a private dining experience with a difference. The Purple Carrot package takes place in Lewtrenchard's £200,000, state-of-the-art kitchen, where groups sit in a stylishly appointed private room equipped with plasma screens, leading off from the kitchen itself. Coupled with a dedicated wine cellar next door stocked with Bibendum wines, delegates are treated to a personalised menu, which can be adapted to individual tastes and a client's brand specifications, while enjoying first-hand the team dynamics of chef patron Jason Hornbuckle's kitchen.

Cameras and microphones positioned within the kitchen are linked up to the plasma screens in the private dining room and guests are also able to ask the chef's culinary questions as they go about their business. Prices start at £95 per delegate, including champagne on arrival and canapes. The optimum group size is eight.
Web www.lewtrenchard.co.uk

Seaside rock

Head to Brighton and treat groups to a touch of seaside rock at the newly launched Royal York Hotel. Just steps from the historic seafront, this 51-room four-star bolthole is home to three private karaoke rooms for groups of six to 16, which are already proving popular with local corporates in need of a team-building experience in Fatboy Slim's home city. The hotel boasts a meeting capacity of 155 and all rooms can be hired exclusively for a karaoke showdown. VIPs and winners can be accommodated in the hotel's eight apartments which sleep six, and can also be hired for private dinners.
Web www.royalyork brighton.co.uk

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