Love The Tales and Travels of Taylor Made PA – George, The Ramada Solihull and Me
First Published 3rd November 2019
George and Me – A Lifelong Love Affair
My love affair with George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley started at the age of 7. Classmates from my primary school recall me teaching them the words to Club Tropicana in the school playground.
So, when the Bucks, Berks & Oxon PA Network were offered a place on their trusted partner, Signature Sales Support’s (now called Hello Hospitality) FAM Trip to the Ramada Solihull to attend a George Michael Tribute Dinner, I was in!
Venue Finding Services
Since launching my VA Business, I have been working with an Events Company and have been carrying out a lot of Venue Finding Searches, so the opportunity to visit more hotels and event space is always interesting. Its always great to have a hotel or space in mind when an enquiry comes in.
Making a Weekend of It!
I called upon one of my best friends and former house mates to join me on the night away. And on a Sunny then Rainy Friday afternoon we set off from London, via Milton Keynes, to Solihull.
After a surprisingly easy journey, we arrived at the Ramada Solihull, which is located just off the M42 and a short drive from Birmingham International Airport and the NEC, and on first appearance seemed to be classic 1960s build in style.
We parked up and headed to Reception to check in. We were met at Reception by Jan Denning, one of the Founders and Directors from Signature Sales Support & Representation, who greeted us and gave us details of where to meet later to meet up with Kathryn Clarke, the other Founding Director of Signature Sales Support & Representation and James Collett, the Business Development Manager for the hotel, who was going to show us around the hotel.
After a long walk to our room – so many corridors! – we were pleasantly surprised. We found a large twin room, clearly newly decorated but in a very traditional style, with an easy chair and foot stool, desk and beautiful tiled shower room. James had kindly left us 2 individual bottles of Pink Champagne and a face pack each to start the weekend off in style!
Hotel Site Visit
Having chilled in our room after the drive with our Pink Champagne we headed to meet the Signature Team and other FAM Trip guests in the bar and wow, after the 60’s style that greeted us in the main hotel, the Bar was more traditional with Grade II Listed Tudor Beams and leaded paned glass windows. Beautiful! After a quick G&T – lots of Gin Choices for the connoisseur! James took us to see the Event Spaces the hotel offered including the Courtyard Suite where the Tribute Dinner was being held.
The Courtyard Suite was lovely with its own lit Courtyard and Private Entrance from the Hotel Car Park. The hotel also offers 5 further formal meeting rooms – 2 are fully accessible on the ground floor and the other 3 are only accessible via Stairs – as well as a semi-private dining room, and an authentic Indian Restaurant which is available for Private Hire and the food is offered not only in the Restaurant but the Bar too and it smelt amazing!
George Michael Tribute Dinner
After the tour we headed back to get change ready for the George Michael Tribute Dinner. Having resisted taking my Choose Life T-shirt – I wish I had because Jan hadn’t resisted! – we changed into some sparkle and headed back down to the Courtyard Suite.
Kathryn, Jan and James settled us into our tables with some Halloween inspired Rum Cocktails. James didn’t join us for Dinner, but Kathryn and Jan hosted us magnificently!
For Dinner, we ate Ham Hock Terrine, Chicken Supreme served with Mashed Potatoes and a Chocolate Torte. All served with a lot of Wine! With Coffee being served the main man took to the Stage! Steve Mitchell aka George Michael started off with a Wham! number – oh I did miss having an Andrew! – and then moved into some of George’s biggest hits and fabulous covers.
In the years since George’s tragic passing – it still makes me sad that my childhood hero is no longer here – I have seen a lot of Tribute Artists, some good and some bad. But Steve was fantastic! He, unlike many of his contemporaries embraced George’s Wham! Days, bringing us a bit of Young Guns, Bad Boys and Wham! Rap as well as the classics, Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go and Freedom.
What a fabulous group of ladies! We embraced the music and we danced and sang the night away and the wine continued to flow! What a truly fantastic night with such great company! A really great showcase from Signature and the Ramada Solihull.
At 11.30pm George sadly departed and the DJ continued with a fantastic 80’s disco. We continued to dance the night away until the evening ended at 1am. We headed for bed after arranging to meet for Breakfast.
Jan had promised us the Hotel had new beds and they were really comfortable, and she wasn’t wrong! After a good night sleep – despite all the wine! – we got up to get ready for Breakfast. I do wish hotels would have fresh milk available in hotel rooms though.
Breakfast was a fantastic offer of Cooked and Continental choices served Self Service Buffet Style. The wine dictated we all hit the Cooked Breakfast and it didn’t disappoint!
Such a great evening! The Ramada Solihull and Signature Sales Support were brilliant hosts and I can’t thank them enough for inviting me.
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Until next time…