Category Archives: Meetings

Team Building Activities


Team Building Activities

When planning a team building away day during the autumn and winter months, there are plenty of activities that will get your colleagues in the mood for a challenge. Outdoor activities are often weather dependent, but you can’t beat getting out in the fresh air and participating in a team challenge.

In the Newbury area, you can choose from outdoor sports such as clay pigeon shooting, archery, 4 x 4 off roading and the Italian job adventure to name just a few. All are just a short drive away from The Vineyard hotel in Stockcross making it an ideal five star meeting venue in Berkshire.

A full day’s shooting at nearby Royal Berkshire Shooting School costs from £149 per person plus vat. For this, each person will receive expert tuition catered to your level of experience, you will also receive up to 150 cartridges and clays, gun hire and all the insurances you need. A refreshing lunch is also provided and the School organises a post lunch competition involving the whole team. To finish the day, there is a prize giving with refreshments. If you can’t spare a whole day then a half day costs from just £99 per person plus vat.

The ‘Italian Job Adventure’ otherwise known as the ‘Parmesan Job’ is one of the most fun, light hearted team building activities you’ll find to get all your colleagues motivated. Each team will get their very own mini for the day and will the objective of completing a customised ‘Italian Job’ style adventure by following a trail of clues and completing a range of enthralling challenges along the way. The types of challenges include breaking into a hidden van and cracking the safe whilst keeping under cover. Photographs will be taken along the way, which you’ll get to keep to remember the day by.

Whether you choose to do a full day or half day activity, your team will feel energised helping your meeting that day or the next be as productive as possible. With five great meeting spaces here at The Vineyard, combining team building activities with a meeting is certainly something to consider when planning your next corporate get together.

Wine Tasting – A Perfect Autumn Activity

Glasses in a rowAs we say goodbye to summer (although hopefully we’ll have a few more balmy days) we look forward to autumn with the leaves turning to rich, vibrant colours
and being cosy inside warming ourselves in front of a roaring fire and enjoying a lovely glass of red wine.

Whether its red, white or rosé wine that takes your fancy or maybe all of them depending on your mood, dishes you’re matching wines with or simply the occasion, there’s lots of ways to have fun with wine.

We’ve found that our selection of wine tasting masterclasses go down well with our corporate guests who’ve had a really productive day and simply want to relax and have fun with colleagues, but still learn a little. The blind tasting masterclass is always a good one to choose and gets everyone talking about the wine or wines in question. Or if you’re looking to perhaps focus on a specific country, region or style of wine, we can look to tailor your wine tasting to suit you and you team. Two of our popular wine tastings are Asian Influences and California Dreaming, but it’s really up to you to choose the topic that’s right for you. We are flexible with where we can hold the masterclasses too. They often take place in our California Bar, but can set up our Calistoga or Oakville suites to accommodate larger groups.

If you’re looking for something a little different then our cocktail masterclasses provide aCheese board with wine - 377 x 221 perfect situation for further networking to take place in a fun and informal way. Our Gin Masterclass is a big favourite amongst both our corporate and leisure guests due to the rise in popularity in gin in recent years. Making your own cocktails is really interactive and is a enjoyable way to spend an hour learning new skills and catching up with colleagues. For the beer and cheese lovers among you, you’ll be pleased to hear that we also offer beer tasting and cheese tasting.

If you’re looking to host a meeting during the autumn months, we’d love to hear from you. Feel free to visit our website and see more about our meeting spaces online and please call us on 01635 589407 for more details and a personalised quotation.

Always mix business with pleasure

If being locked in a hotel conference room in the city for 8 hours isn’t your idea of getting a fresh perspective, we’d be delighted to offer something a little different. We offer plenty of “Only at The Vineyard” activities to inspire and motivate.

The wine discovery experiences are always popular:

  • Aromatic Grapes – enjoy tasting wines made from aromatic grapes such as Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Pinot Noir and Shiraz
  • The Art of Wine Tasting – learn how to taste wine from the experts
  • Old World vs New World – which will be your favourite style of wine?
  • Discovery – excite your taste buds with rare and intriguing wines
  • Blind Tasting – an equal number of French and American wines to try. Will you guess correctly?

Other activities that are equally fun to try:

If you’d like to discover more about how we can help to make your meeting memorable, call our events team on 01635 528770 or email Poppy –

Choosing a Venue for Your Conference

Below are my top tips to help you choose the correct venue for your conference.

  • Location – good access to main road routes
  • Parking, on site, free & plenty of space
  • Ensure your venue is flexible – it’s your conference so the venue should work with you not for you
  • Does the venue offer anything different?  Take note of their awards and achievements
  • Visit your venue so you are familiar with the facilities
  • Speak to one of the on site event co-coordinators – they may be able to give you fresh ideas!
  • Think about your delegates.    Nobody enjoys meetings but can your venue ‘wow’ them.
  • Many venues have several event co coordinators – your own dedicated contact throughout the planning stages is key – you don’t want to explain your event every time you contact your venue.
  • Consider delegate packages, they are designed so that all your meeting costs are covered.
  • Are there any hidden costs (VAT etc)

Here at The Vineyard at Stockcross we offer a number of conference rooms and facilities. Whether it is an important meeting or an opportunity to impress your clients, our elegant, self-contained meeting rooms offer the perfect setting.

The Pink Pelican Safari

Pink Bus at The VineyardLast Thursday saw the return of the pink bus to The Vineyard, Donnington Valley Hotel and Spa and to Donnington Valley Golf Club. The Pink Pelican Safari is an annual event held by The Vineyard Group and is our opportunity to present the money raised for charity during the past year through the Pink Pelican Scheme.

The Scheme is designed for event organisers to collect points when confirming bookings at the hotels. Points collected through the Pink Pelican Scheme can then be redeemed from the Pink Pelican store which is full of fantastic items. We make a donation of £2 per delegate to the Pink Pelican charities; it is our way of saying thank you for working with us and also a way to support some extremely worthwhile charities at the same time.

The event was attended by 50 event organisers from within the local area who came along to join in the fun. Commencing at The Vineyard we welcomed them to the safari with pink champagne and mouth watering canapés prepared by Daniel Galmiche and his team. The iconic pink double decker bus complete with a disco and dance floor inside provided the perfect form of transport between venues.

It was then onwards to Donnington Valley Hotel and Spa for a delicious main course of rack of lamb prepared by Kelvin Johnson and his team, served in the newly refurbished Cromwell suite. Guests took part in various activities such as catwalk capers, the Haka, Morris dancing, cake decorating and chocolate making keeping everyone entertained and making a memorable night for all.

The final stop on the safari was Donnington Valley Golf Club. A marvellous display of a hand crafted Pink Pelican sculpture made out of sugar, was the centrepiece at Snelsmore house, one of the many skilled sculptures Abraham Padmanaban has produced along with a selection of sweet and irresistible desserts for everyone to enjoy.

Cheque PresentationIn total this year the Pink Pelican Scheme raised a fantastic £17,175 which, during the course of the night, was presented to representatives of the Little Princess Trust, Pink Pelican Foundation and Breast Cancer Care. On receiving her cheque on behalf of the Pelican Cancer Foundation Sarah Crane said “How wonderful thank you! Thank you to everyone for booking an event, please keep it up.”

The Pink Pelican Scheme continues to run for event bookers, with many more events planned for 2011 and beyond.

For further information and how to sign up to the Pink Pelican Campaign visit our website on