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Team Away Day: The Grand, York

When you spend your days organising people engagement events it can be quite a daunting task taking on the challenge of engaging your OWN team...

There’s something about needing to exceed the expectations and create the ‘wow’ factor that will inherently be something we strive to achieve as a team, when adding that need to planning an event for a bunch of event planners, well the pressure is really on!

The Grand, York though…somehow made the whole experience…effortless! With a special mention to Janet Scally who from the moment we outlined our brief made the entire 24 hours a whirlwind of York-based inspiration. The brief; half day workshop with excellent meeting room tech, people engagement activity x 2 (learning based and interactive), wind down and reflection time, an overnight stay and some excellent food and drink. Luckily we chose a hotel that for most of that brief it’s second nature! From the moment we stepped into the lobby (actually the platform at Newcastle *tip of the cap* to the customer service levels on London North Eastern Railway) at the hotel the staff couldn’t be more accommodating. Whisked into our meeting room ‘The Gibb’ for the morning to enjoy coffee on demand and some freshly baked pastries, whilst bathing in the natural daylight from the original double-glazing floor to ceiling windows. If anything, it was a little difficult to focus on ‘business at hand’ and not peek out at the sights and sounds of historical York, but the huge 90″ screen helped keep our attention. After a morning of business strategy, culture review and team awards, ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง John Paul Addison ๐Ÿ”ด๐Ÿ”ต๐ŸŸก/๐ŸŸข joined us for part two of our Insights Personality Assessment, we learned more about working as an effective team and how we all like to be communicated with – announcing our lead colours with personalised treat boxes.

Time for lunch, again no challenge for The Grand, York to serve an energy boosting, pescatarian lunch for a bunch of hungry event managers. Then we donned our new ten year anniversary t-shirts (shout out to Clothes2Order for the apparel and our own Alice Adams for the design) and headed to York Dungeon, our horrific* host Mark Mattinson (*on theme!) took us through the options for private hire, themed tours and seasonal changes to the visitor attraction before the whole team got locked up and ‘edutained’ (our take on education / entertainment) for the next 90 minutes.

Back into the sunshine before checking in to the 5 star luxury of our suites at The Grand, York cases already in our rooms, welcome chocolates, personalised note, branded stationery and obviously a fine selection of fine Yorkshire brews, could arguably make it a little difficult to drag ourselves out of the fluffy robes if we didn’t have the piรจce de resistance still to come…

The Cookery School The Grand, York if you haven’t yet been is a treat for all the senses. One chilled glass of wine down, Luke, our chef and host for the evening took us through the intricacies of making our own vegan curry paste to set the scene for the main show, an express cookery class for cauliflower sweet potato and spinach curry with garlic and herb naan and lentil dahl. Cue the competitive ‘ready, steady, cook’ nature of your team and you’re in for an evening of fine dining, fantastic banter and an all round memory-making experience. We came away with a branded apron, lots of leftovers and the threat of returning on numerous occasions to complete one of the many upcoming classes they offer including dim sum making, french brasserie and Weber LLC essentials!

Back for a spot of shut eye before sampling York’s finest French toast for breakfast at ‘The Rise’ after an early morning steam, sauna and swim. All in all, The Grand, York set a bar of hospitality that we recognise and appreciate whole heartedly as we proudly proffer to offer ourselves. If you’re looking for somewhere to host a senior leadership team workshop, second-level private dining, a speaker dinner, a pre-event party with a little razzle-dazzle, or a people engagement event for a medium-sized team, stop the search… you can thank us later. If you need an introduction or a means of personalising the experience to suit your particular needs we’ll be happy to relive the memories with a detailed slideshow.