2016: Looking back over the last 12 months!
Well, what a year it has been for U&I Lifestyle! Where do I even start?
From launching U&I Concierge and partnering with over 60 of London's top venues, to partnering with one of the worlds largest hotel groups, raising thousands of pounds for Target Ovarian Cancer, working on the Nancy Ajram concert at Theatre Royal Drury Lane, and expanding our brand on so many different levels... it has certainly been a busy and exciting time for us, and I'd like to share our year with you all.
Let's start from the beginning of the year. In January 2016, we signed our first big corporate deal, whereby we were brought on board by Brompton Cross Construction to plan their 10 year Anniversary Party. This was SUPER exciting for us, as well as it being a dream come true! It was the first large scale corporate event that U&I Events were asked to manage, and we loved every minute of it. Take a little look at the finished product below...
The event took place at the Millennium Gloucester Road Hotel in Kensington.
We organised a variety of entertainment for the night, including a fabulous violinist (Your Event Music London) and two incredible singers and musicians.
The cake... the best part!
We made sure that the new Brompton Cross Construction logo was made very clear with some goody bags and branded chocolates for all of the guests to take away.
We thoroughly enjoyed working with the Brompton Cross Construction team, and hope to work with them again in 2017!
February saw us sharing the love with friends and clients at Kouzu, one of our now U&I Concierge partners (Members of our concierge receive 25% whenever they dine at Kouzu. Please see here for more information). We hosted a Valentines Day brunch at the restaurant, and it went down wonderfully...
We hired a great saxophonist, Richie Garrison, who played the Sax along to our favourite songs whilst we enjoyed our delicious Japanese cuisine.
A great time was had by all!
Branded Red Velvet cupcakes made by the talented "Make It With FiFi" (we highly recommend FiFi - you can find her on Twitter and Instagram @miwfi).
One of our next projects was to raise money for Target Ovarian Cancer. The charity means a lot to the U&I Lifestyle team, and we always do what we can to help raise awareness and funds for this charity. Luckily for us, we have some incredibly talented friends and contacts who perform in London's WestEnd. So, what better way to raise funds for a charity that we love, than to host a WestEnd live night and sell tickets for the event? And that's exactly what we did!
In May, we hosted "U&I Target Ovarian Cancer" at 5th View, Piccadilly. We raised over £8,000 for TOC which was hugely appreciated from their team, and everyone who attended had a lovely time, singing and dancing along to their favourite WestEnd and chart hits! Photos below...
Our silent auction included prizes such as a trip for 2 to Rome, and Eurostar Tickets to Paris.
Plenty of Raffle prizes were won! Thanks to U&I Concierge partners such as Corinthia London who donated Afternoon Tea for 2!
Mouth-watering mini halloumi burgers, hats off to the chef!
The view from 5th View, isn't it great? This hidden gem is on the 5th floor of Waterstones, Piccadilly. Make sure you go and check it out!
We also were extremely honoured to have Noa, an Ovarian Cancer survivor, tell us her story. A true inspiration. Thank you to Anwenn and Susan at Target Ovarian Cancer for organising this for us.
We are already looking forward to our next collaboration with Target Ovarian Cancer in 2017, so watch this space!
Before we knew it, Summer was almost upon us, as was the launch of U&I By Night. We launched the night at Bisoux Lounge in Esher, Surrey (partner of U&I Concierge). We went for an Arabian Nights theme (I'm half Lebanese, incase you didn't know!), and had delicious Lebanese food delivered from Al Sultan (also partners with U&I Concierge - members receive 20% discount when dining there).
What's a launch party without plenty of bubbles?!
Lebanese mezze from Al Sultan.
The three gorgeous dancers from SoEl Dance Academy who performed.
Jager bomb, anyone?
Over the Summer, we were asked to organise a variety of private parties. These ranged from anniversaries, to engagements and birthday parties. One of our favourites was a triple birthday celebration in London in July, which was held at The Director's Lounge in Euston (one of our favourite venues, also partnered with U&I Concierge)...
Enjoying some indoor Shisha.
Thank you to Nikki Brown's Kitchen for this amazing triple teared cake! Each tier personalised for each birthday boy/girl.
Rachel from the Director's Lounge with myself.
Entertainment for the night included MC Snye B and DJ Markie B, along with a live bongo player, too!
Before we knew it, September was upon us. During the Summer, we spent a LOT of time focusing on expanding U&I Concierge and The Card, and by this point, we had gained many new partnerships for our members (including luxury hotels such as The Dorchester, 45 Park Lane, W London, restaurants including Buddha Bar, Tom's Kitchen, Meejana, and a huge variety of other services too).
This meant that there were many new discounts and VIP experiences for our members to enjoy in London and around the world! We also made a deal with the Starwood Hotel Group, meaning that U&I Concierge members could now receive luxury treatment at ALL Starwood Hotels around the world. We were so grateful, and what better way to celebrate that than with a party?
We organised a variety of U&I Concierge members evenings from September onwards, including a night at Kouzu and a night at Gem Bar, Soho...
I also took a trip to Dubai with some of my team, where we mixed business with pleasure. Meetings with various venues in Dubai (all will be revealed in the New Year!), nights out at some of our favourite restaurants and bars, and of course we stayed in a Starwood hotel - The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi, where we were treated beautifully thanks to U&I Concierge and our new partnership!
The journey out there. Pumpkin Soup, Champagne and Friends.
Making the most of the Spa at the hotel (and showing off my tan!).
Watching Les Miserables at the Dubai Opera House.
Catching up with Alberto at Movida.
The Meat Co. at Madinat Jumeirah.
In between networking events and the start of organising Christmas parties, we had to get a little trip to Lebanon in, because in April next year, we will be planning a very exciting Wedding at the Phoenicia Hotel in Beirut. We will save those pictures for the event next year as we don't want to give anything away!
We also had a baby shower, a tea party, and a hen do to get stuck into, too...
Baby Shower cupcakes made by Make It With FiFi.
Favours to give away at the Tea Party.
Hen Party feast, delivered by Meejana.
Now, we've almost reached the end of the year... but not before we tell you about the Nancy Ajram concert that we managed at Theatre Royal Drury Lane. U&I Events teamed up with AM Productions, and it was one of the most exciting projects to be involved with. Almost 2,000 tickets were sold, and the audience couldn't have been more excited to be welcoming Nancy to the stage!
Here's a few of our favourite snaps from the event (and the pre-production!)...
Ali Matar and I before it started.
Nancy Ajram and the audience!
The stunning theatre.
The view from the bar balcony in the theatre.
The concert was fantastic, and we can't wait to announce the many new exciting projects that we have planned for 2017.
Last but not least, we just (on Saturday!) celebrated the U&I Lifestyle Christmas Party, where we had a live concert from David Bradley, the UK's No.1 Michael Bublé tribute act. The evening was a huge success, and everyone was on their feet dancing and singing along to Bublé's greatest hits and Christmas Songs. Holly Jolly Christmas was my fave. Just sayin'. After the event we headed to Libertine (U&I Concierge partner) for the after-party, where we were treated like absolute royalty! Below is a little summary of our night...
As you can see, we all had a great time!!
We've still got a busy week ahead of us, and we are very much looking forward to the weekend, where we can rest and relax with our loved ones and celebrate Christmas.
On behalf of myself and all of the team at U&I Lifestyle, I would like to thank everyone who has supported us since we launched just over a year and a half ago. From those of you who have booked us for events, who have bought The Card and become members of U&I Concierge, who have called us up and asked for venue recommendations, who have supplied your entertainment and talents at our events, and who have come to our functions... THANK YOU ALL!
I can assure you that 2017 is going to be even bigger and better for U&I Lifestyle, and I can't wait to share all of our exciting news with you all in the New Year.
For now, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!