Monday, 24 November 2014

Weekend Workshop with Debbie & Jane

Last September Andy and I were invited to a friend's wedding in Bournemouth. We booked a last minute hotel room and headed down to the seaside for what turned out to be a really wonderful wedding reception at a hotel that over looked the sweeping bay. The weather was wonderful and the views out to sea and across the Dorset coast were beautiful. At the end of a wonderful evening we headed back to our room full of the joys of a lovely late summer wedding day.

Caught up in the wedding fever of the previous day we had barely taken the time to look at the hotel we were staying in. We had thought it nice enough, but as we walked down to breakfast on the Sunday morning we noticed just how nice the hotel was. With friendly staff, a contemporary light bar area and a stunning pair of function rooms to the front of the hotel with sea views, we thought what a wonderful venue the hotel would be for a knit and crochet workshop weekend.

When we were checking out of the hotel we asked the duty manager about the function rooms and, even-though he was about to finish his shift, he put his tie back on and showed us around all the Hotel amenities and the various function rooms. We were really excited by what the hotel had to offer and when we got home Andy rang and spoke to the events manager Nicki who told us about the various packages we could book at the hotel. 

By now we were really excited by the prospect of a weekend workshop at the hotel so we spoke to Debbie Abrahams and her husband Steve about our idea and they got excited too!

We booked the hotel for the first weekend in November and launched the workshop via our web site in February to allow plenty of time between then and the workshop date to get the bookings. To our amazement the 26 rooms we had been allocated by the hotel sold out in the space of 3 days and we were able to secure the Bay Suite at the front of the hotel as our workshop room.

When Debbie and I first discussed the idea of the weekend workshop we decided that we wanted to offer participants the chance to have a proper weekend away with a few treats built in and of course some time for walks or a spot of retail therapy. With this in mind Andy and Nicki built a package that included all meals and refreshments, a spa pass and a visit to the Russell Cotes museum and gallery which is situated opposite the hotel.

A few weeks ago, after months of preparation, Debbie, Steve, Andy and myself headed down to Bournemouth for our first weekend workshop. I think we all felt really excited and nervous at the prospect of hosting our very own workshop weekend, but we were soon made to feel calm and collected upon our arrival at the hotel and we set about setting up our workshop room.

Debbie and I had designed a Christmas themed workshop project and we were supported by the new Yarn Stories brand who had made up lovely yarn packs for each of the participants. 

Our workshop participants arrived in time for a bucks fizz reception on Friday evening followed by a lovely evening meal and soon we were relaxed and happy and fully into the swing of what was to turn out to be a very successful weekend.

I really like Bournemouth and the views from the hotel are pretty cool! Despite changeable weather we managed to get some lovely pictures of the beach. If you look closely you can see the surfers in the sea by the pier - I was amazed to see them in the sea in November!

Our weekend went by really quickly and, once the workshop was over, we were sad to be leaving the hotel on the Sunday afternoon. The Hotel staff had been amazingly helpful and friendly and our workshop participants had been a really great group. We had all had a wonderful time meeting fellow guests within the Hotel too - there were 2 large groups of dancers attending events in the hotel at the same time as us, but unfortunately we had to pack our bags and head home!

After the success of our first weekend workshop we are already in the throws of organising another one at the same Hotel next year, so do keep an eye on the web site for more information.