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Scrounger experiences luxurious conference venue – your chance to win a weekend for two!


Through a partnership with Modern Management, the journal of the Institute for Supervision and Management, we're able to bring you this feature column, complete with a chance to win a luxury weekend for two in London.

London is always tiring, but less so when there is a fee and a dinner to be collected. The piano in the foyer was playing "Everything I do" as Scrounger entered the timelessly elegant foyer of the Berners Hotel for the closing address he had agreed to give to the all day international conference. It became apparent that the Robin Hood tune could well be the theme song for the Berners, which simply oozes style, confidence, and service to its guests, be they theatre goers or delegates to the somewhat esoteric "ASDEM laytime and demurrage training" course also being held that day in the worryingly named Tyburn Room.

Announcing himself at the reception, Scrounger was delighted to discover that the hotels paging system was not a door-chime and public address speaker, but a uniformed porter with a page board who circulated the lounges discreetly. So it was that, still polishing a complementary apple from the bowl at reception, Scrounger was soon seated with his host in the foyer lounge. Tea shortly arrived in a proper, Stoke-on-Trent, English pottery teapot, accompanied by some of the thickest and best chocolate coatings Scrounger had ever encountered on a member of the biscuit family. Then it was time to be introduced to the audience in the Fitzrovia suite for the highlight of their day in London.

The conference having by this point reached the conclusions he had predicted, Scrounger was soon dispensing his pearls of wisdom and experience, before leading the audience skilfully to the key issues that needed to be discussed in the cut and thrust of the final plenary session, expertly chaired by the nice chap from channel four. Fee earned, Scrounger was soon en route to the club style elegance of the “Reflections” restaurant for a light meal. Having been subjected earlier in the day to a lacklustre salad-in-a-box for a gratuitously high price at HRD 2000 in Olympia, Scrounger fell upon the roast beef salad with shaved parmesan starter with some relish, while his neighbour demolished the chargrilled sardines with polenta. Both agreed that the Wild Mushroom tagliatelle with baby spinach was excellent, as was the bottle of Moet. Other diners enjoying their pre-theatre meals seemed similarly pleased by the fixed price £10.50 evening menu, quite something for such an elegant central London location.

His host it seemed was to spend the night at the theatre with a small party of friends, and hold a short matinal meeting next day in the complimentary board room the Berners had made available to him as a valued regular guest to the "club floor" suites. Scrounger alas had a near-dawn appointment in an inaccessible regional town next day, and after coffee made his way on foot to the tube station at Oxford circus to put in some miles before bedtime, reflecting that for a central London meeting venue, the Berners offered the most exceptional value, and more importantly, elegance as only the great English hotels can provide it. Just the place to entertain the American party next month, perhaps?

The Berners Hotel, Berners Street, London, (020 7666 2000, specialises in hosting meetings, conferences, and of course short stays and theatre breaks in central London. A prize of a weekend stay for two with English breakfast daily is offered to the winning entry. Answers on a postcard please to only please, to the Editor, Modern Management, Stowe House , Lichfield WS13 6TJ, by 30 June) giving name and daytime contact number. The editors decision is final.

Question: After dinner, how long did it take for Scrounger to walk to Oxford Circus underground station to begin his journey, to the nearest 10 seconds?


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