Posts Categorized: Blog

A first class event for a first class charity

Blind Veterans UK is the charity for vision-impaired ex-Service men and women. Since 1915, they have provided the free services and lifelong support that veterans need to rediscover life after sight loss.

When Hilary Fox, Member Services Manager for Blind Veterans UK was seeking a venue for a high profile trustees’ away day, she immediately thought of the Admiral’s House at the Old Royal Naval College, with its elegant, light-filled, wood panelled rooms and fine views of the river.

“I had looked at the Admiral’s House several years before when I was shown around the site. It met our meeting criteria of being a special venue with easy transport links,” says Hilary.

For corporate events, good transport from outside and within the London area are vital, so the many and varied transport links to and from Greenwich are a big plus for clients like Hilary and their delegates.

The choice of rooms within the Admiral’s House is another important asset.  On this occasion around 20 delegates enjoyed tasty bacon rolls on arrival in the Upper Lobby, a perfect space for informal mingling. Their meetings took place in the Hawksmoor Room and a working lunch was served in the Wren Room, with a selection of freshly filled focaccia bread sandwiches, tomato, shallot and basil salad, sea salted crisps and seasonal sliced fruit platter, followed by a cheese board with local British cheeses served with celery, grapes, chutney and crackers.

“We needed a good quality menu and I knew I could trust Ampersand to deliver as I have used them before.  It was a great weight off my mind that I could trust the quality of the catering as my event was a high profile meeting and I could not leave anything to chance,” says Hilary.

As part of their package, the Blind Veterans UK trustees also enjoyed two 30-minute tours of the historic World Heritage site and were delighted to hear that a contribution from every corporate event is made towards its upkeep and conservation.

After a successful event, Hilary said:  “I am an event manager delivering over 40 events per year including, in 2015, a Blind Veterans UK Garden Party at Buckingham Palace.  I needed to deliver an important first class event without any concerns about the quality of the venue, catering or staff so I chose the Admiral’s House for the venue and Ampersand for the catering and the whole day could not have gone any better.”

Kevin and Camilla – a very local wedding


Although they are both from Vancouver in Canada, Kevin and Camilla met and fell in love in England.  As Camilla’s grandfather put it: “You travelled an awfully long way to meet the boy next door.”

They now live in Greenwich and particularly wanted to get married in a place where they felt part of the local community.  They chose the Queen Mary Undercroft for their wedding reception, with a drinks reception in the elegant Colonnades and the wedding breakfast in the atmospheric vaulted Undercroft.

As members of the congregation they were also able to hold the wedding ceremony in the Old Royal Naval College Chapel, which feels like their “home church”.

The bride and groom brought some imaginative touches to their celebration, by naming each table after interesting events that had taken place on the date of their wedding throughout history.  These ranged from the opening of Westminster Bridge, the first Eurovision Song Contest, the publication of Mary Had a Little Lamb, and even the wedding of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West!

One of the biggest challenges facing the happy couple was choosing their menu.  “We were so impressed with all menus, we were really spoilt for choice. We opted for a tasty pork main course, with a goat’s cheese tart starter, and English strawberries and meringue dessert.  It was absolutely delicious and our guests thought so too.”

As Canadians living in England, it was particularly important to share their special day with all their friends.  “We are so glad we chose to get married at a wonderful venue like the Old Royal Naval College.  It will always be very special to us and years from now we will always love coming back to visit.  And it makes for great photos too!”

A great location alone cannot guarantee a successful occasion.  Behind the scenes of Kevin and Camilla’s wedding, the wedding co-ordinators had worked tirelessly to create the wedding of their dreams.  “We couldn’t have done it without the great staff at Ampersand. Even when the day took some unexpected turns they were calm, collected, and able to think quickly on their feet to see what could be done. It was a great relief to know that everything was taken care of.”

Old Royal Naval College Wins Coolest for Galas at the 2015 Cool Venue Awards

Set on the banks of the River Thames in Historic Maritime Greenwich, the Old Royal Naval College, we’re extremely lucky to be part of a World Heritage site that has inspired artists, poets and filmmakers for generations, and now, we have official proof that we’re cool!

We’re delighted to announce that the Old Royal Naval College was awarded the ‘Coolest for Galas Award’ at 2015’s Cool Venue Awards.

‘The Old Royal Naval College is delighted to receive the Coolest Gala Venue award for 2015 – a great support to the efforts we have made over the last year with our partners Ampersand to provide high quality service to all our clients.  We‘ve always thought our venue was spectacular and breathtakingly beautiful – now we know it’s officially really cool too!’  – Brendan McCarthy, Chief Executive, The Greenwich Foundation

The Painted Hall is a striking baroque space designed by Sir Christopher Wren and Nicholas Hawksmoor and features spectacular wall and ceiling decoration by Sir James Thornhill. It has a been described as having the ‘Finest Dining Hall in Europe’ and frequently plays host to glittering galas for up to 398 guests.

The service provided by our award-winning caterers, Ampersand, matches lovingly crafted food to this extraordinary space with a true understanding of both the needs of its clients, and the presence and gravitas of the venue. Our Sales and Marketing Manager, Tineke O’Brien, was at the awards event to collect the trophy.

‘On behalf of the entire Old Royal Naval College Events Team we are thrilled to receive the Coolest Gala Venue Award 2015 and wish to extend our thanks to everyone involved in the COOL Venue Awards 2015. This award would not be possible without the tireless efforts of the Greenwich Foundation in ensuring that the Old Royal Naval College is conserved not only for today, but for future generations to come.’  – Tineke O’Brien, Sales and Marketing Manager, The Old Royal Naval College Venues and Events

If you’d like to find out more about using the Old Royal Naval College for your event, we will be hosting a Corporate Reception and Showcase on Tuesday 10th March in the Painted Hall. Tickets are limited, however if you wish to attend please email Alternatively, you can read more on our Corporate Events pages.