Author Archives: Nigel Holder

The Summer Intern

Internships in WindsorAs a student on summer break from university, it can be hard to find employment that is rewarding, has a strong focus on training and development and is flexible enough to allow time with friends and family. The Internship at Accommodation Windsor gave me all these benefits and more. The office is based just off Windsor High Street and the properties are all based in Windsor & Eton. It is this focus on the local area that allows the company to really specialize and help to train me with a hands-on approach. With the majority of properties a short walk away from the office this is a huge benefit to me as I’m not yet driving.

Coming into this internship I had hoped to gain skills in dealing with administrative functions and getting some practical experience in an office, as well as get first-hand insight into how property companies operate. I haven’t had to make one cup of tea yet and instead have been given jobs to assign keys, help manage arrivals and perform a variety of daily tasks that require me to use a range of skills. The jobs are challenging without being impossible, structured without being monotonous and most of all I genuinely feel a part of the team after just my first few shifts.

I’ve been able to visit a few properties that the company manages as well as Alma House Guest House that the company also owns and understand the set-up of a small business. The company believes in all staff understanding the whole process and for this reason I travelled with the Housekeeping team to clean a property in Eton which took me back to my days at primary school where we used to visit the college and its facilities. These nostalgic thoughts did help me tremendously in passing the time between cleaning the toilet bowl and hoovering the floor. Don’t tell my mum though, or she might make me start cleaning more regularly at home!
I have also been tasked with researching products for use in all of Accommodation Windsor’s 60 properties – from coffee machines to clock radio alarms. I have presented my finding to the team and I’m actively involved in giving feedback on usage (especially the coffee machine!) The company is also looking at ways to be more environmentally friendly and I’m currently working on finding UK suppliers who provide eco-friendly products. My university skills are invaluable in finding, sorting through and presenting information to the Management team who have so far been really impressed with my input.

Internships can simply be a gateway to future employment, but here I have enjoyed the internship in its own right. The team are good fun but I am also learning when it is the right time to stop joking and get my head down with any work that comes my way – an invaluable skill for business.

Overall I would highly recommend the internship programme here at Accommodation Windsor Limited. An enjoyable and very useful internship in its own right, with a set up that is very organised, it has been an excellent peek behind the curtain into the post-university world for me and what the world of office work would be like.
The only problem I have now is trying to remember not to answer my mobile “Good afternoon, Accommodation Windsor. How can I help?”

Eric & Little Ern and Bel & The Dragon

Early March sees the Theatre Royal Windsor welcome two household legends to the stage, in a theatre production of ‘Eric and Little Ern’ – a homage to the one of Britain’s favourite comedy double acts. The show affectionately re-enacts some of Morecambe and Wise’s most famous skits, as well as showcasing some archived material and featuring some new sketches written by the performers. The show includes Eric’s take on Shakespeare as well as the original Grieg Piano Concerto sketch, bringing the joy and hilarity of a bygone era to the modern stage.

The show, which has already received rave reviews from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2013 as well as being featured on the BBC News at Ten, will be on stage from March 13th – 15th. Performance times are Thurs – Sat 8pm, Thurs 2:30pm, Sat 4:45pm.

The show is performed by Ian Ashpitel and Jonty Stephens, who have been described as having ‘the duo’s mannerisms down pat’ by the Daily Telegraph, and ‘like Morecambe and Wise themselves’ by The Herald.

Bel and The Dragon Windsor

Before a night at the theatre, why not visit the Bel & The Dragon – one of Windsor’s most historic restaurants. The restaurant and tea room has been serving the Windsor community since the 11th century, and offers the best local produce used in traditional British cuisine. The interior showcases a number of original features, and the outside terrace boasts a stunning view of the castle. The restaurant is open Mon – Thurs 10am – 12am, Fri – Sat 10am – 1am, Sun 10am – 11pm.

Changing the Guard and The Fat Duck

Windsor is best known as one of Her Majesty’s official residences, with Windsor Castle inspiring the town and local residents. There is no better way to truly capture the resplendence and spectacle of royal life than to witness the Changing of the Guard, as they march up Windsor High Street and into the Castle – a duty that has been carried out since 1660. The stately ceremony begins outside the Guardroom, situated in the Lower Ward of the Castle, and takes only 10 minutes. Usually the guards are joined by an official band, to increase the grandeur, but this is dependent on weather conditions.

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If you want to witness the ceremony, you must be positioned on the High Street at 10:50am to avoid disappointment. The Guard March is a year-round occurrence, taking place on alternate days between August and March, and daily (excluding Sundays) between April and July.

You can also witness the Changing of the Guard inside the castle; this ceremony usually takes around 30 minutes. The old guards then return to the barracks at approximately 11:25am.

fatduckAfter a morning of witnessing this regal procedure, why not dine in style at one of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead’s finest eateries – Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck. Situated in Bray, Berkshire, The Fat Duck is only a stone’s throw away from Windsor town centre. Run by one of the UK’s most famous chefs, The Fat Duck offers a tantalising menu full of sensory experimentation. At £195 a head, it is a pricey dinner, however the 3.5 hour menu of 14 courses is an experience to remember.

The Fat Duck is open Tuesday – Saturday, with lunch served from 12 noon – last orders at 2pm, and dinner served from 7pm – last orders at 9pm.

Café Orchestras and Coriolanus

CoriolanusThis weekend in Windsor is set to excite as both Shakespeare and Eastern Europe collide. The Budapest Café Orchestra and Shakespeare’s Coriolanus will be gracing the doorstep of Norden Farm Centre for the Arts on 30th Jan and 1st – 2nd February respectively.
Traditional folk and gypsy music from Budapest, Hungary, will be performed by Chris Garrick’s lively and eclectic orchestra. As a professional jazz violinist, Garrick has performed with Dame Cleo Laine, Nigel Kennedy and John Dankworth. He will be joined by accordion player Eddie Henson, who has accompanied Luciano Pavarotti and Placido Domingo, and is also supreme accordion champion of Great Britain. Adrian Zolotuhin from Russia and Kelly Cantlon complete the group; together they recreate the magic of gypsy campfire music and the atmosphere of a traditional Budapest café. They will perform for one night only at Norden Farm on Thursday 30th January, 8pm. Tickets are £15 (£13 conc).
In addition to this Eastern European show comes the home-grown talent of Shakespeare. The West End production of Coriolanus, starring Tom Hiddleston as Coriolanus and Mark Gatiss as Memenius, will be broadcast live from the Donmar Warehouse in Covent Garden. As one of Shakespeare’s lesser-performed works, this is an exclusive opportunity to enjoy the blood-soaked tragedy, set in Rome against a backdrop of political manipulation and revenge. Interesting parallels are drawn between this ancient society and the public figures of today, comparing public and private identities. National Theatre Live offers a unique chance to enjoy the best London theatre at home. Coriolanus will be broadcast on Saturday 1st February, 8pm, and Sunday 2nd February, 2pm. Tickets are £15.

Fallen Angels and Voodoo Fire

The end of January sees a wide variety of cultural performances come to Windsor and Maidenhead, from West End comedies to guitar heavy gigs.

Fallen AngelsFrom the 21st – 25th January, visitors to the Royal Borough of Windsor can revel in the highly-acclaimed comedy, Fallen Angels. The Noël Coward play, which enjoyed a fruitful autumn tour in 2013, will continue touring this spring – visiting Maidenhead along the way. Best friends Julia and Jane are played by Jenny Seagrove and Sara Crowe, who enjoy a little too much champagne as their detached husbands leave to play golf, and the promise of a visit from an ex-lover of them both materialises. As the drink flows, truths and jealousies are revealed and the evening descends into chaos. The intense finale peaks as their husbands unexpectedly return.

The play will is being performed at the Theatre Royal Windsor, Tue – Sat 8pm, Thurs 2.30pm, Sat 4.45pm. Contact number: 01753 853888. Ticket prices vary.

Voodoo Fire, a Jimi Hendrix tribute band, will also be visiting Windsor and Maidenhead on January 25th at the Norden Farm Centre for the Arts, for an evening of live rock n’ roll. The band will perform a set-list of Hendrix’s greatest hits, including Voodoo Child, All Along the Watchtower and Purple Haze, among many more. The band consists of Johnny Cranmer on guitar and vocals, Phil Tidy on bass and vocals, and Terry G on the drums. The trio have been praised for their accuracy and loyalty to Hendrix himself by none other than Brian May, legendary guitarist in Queen.

The evening starts at 8pm on January 25th. Tickets are £16. This is a standing event with limited allocated seating.

Norden Farm to host Mozart Birthday Concert

Norden Farm will play host to a celebratory concert honouring Mozart’s contribution to classical music and composition. The concert will be performed by the St John’s Chamber Orchestra and will feature a number of special guests, including Jay Wilkinson on the flute, Elizabeth McNulty on the harp, Simon Watterton on piano, and baritone operatic star Ross Ramgobin.
Norden Farm EventsThese high-calibre guest performers are guaranteed to bring an expert flair to the performances, with McNulty having previously performed at the Fabulously French concert, also at Norden Farm, and Ramgobin’s career being backed by the Royal Opera House.
The orchestra and special guests will be conducted by Nigel Wilkinson as they perform three very different pieces from Mozart’s portfolio, conveying a number of different emotions. Ramgobin expertly highlights the contrasting seduction techniques of Mozart’s womanisers in the two Aria’s from Don Giovanni and The Marriage of Figaro. As well as these exciting pieces, the pleasant and warm feel to the Flute and Harp Concerto will leave the audience feeling relaxed and happy. Finally, the intense Piano Concerto K.450 expertly evokes an intense reaction from spectators, with its strong finale creating the atmosphere of a hunt.
The concert will take place on Sunday 26th January, starting at 11:45am. Tickets range in price, from £15 per adult, £13 concession and £5 for under 16’s. There is free parking on site. This is an indoor event with the Café Bar offering food and drink for guests, including a full Sunday roast.
Norden Farm can be found on Altwood Road, Maidenhead, SL6 4PF.

Last Minute Deals on Accommodation in Windsor

Today we have a couple of great last minute deals on Accommodation in Windsor handed to us by our lovely landlords: First of all a two bedroom top floor flat in Lawrence Court that has two bedrooms, a light spacious bathroom with bath-tub and shower over and a lovely new kitchen with granite worktops. Set in a private development behind electric gates this second floor apartment is perfect for walking to Windsor town centre and the two train stations.  With a king size bed in the master and a single bed with pull-out bed underneath in the second bedroom this is ideal for one to four people – whether families or business people working in the area – this has been reduced to £495 per week or £80 per night for bookings in January.  This offer may be withdrawn at any time so please act quickly or pass to someone looking for short term accommodation.  Webpage here:

http://www.accommodation-windsor.co.uk/accommodation-offers-windsor.htm

 The other great offer is on a 2 bedroom second floor apartment in The Courtyard Apartments just off Windsor High Street. With two bedrooms – both with double beds and one bathroom, private allocated parking and free unlimited wifi this apartment is a steal at just £575 per week or £85 per night during January.  For those searching for corporate accommodation for a business colleague this is a great find.  Book today on 01753 833747.

The Courtyard Apartments Windsor

The Vinyl Frontier ft. The Clash

Vinyl records_accommodation Windsor

The Vinyl Frontier, hosted at Norden Farm, is due to return on Friday 17th January at 8pm. Tickets for the innovative music night, which plays classic albums in full and on vinyl, are £7.

Not only is this event a chance to appreciate classic albums in their entirety, but guests will also be able to enjoy facts, trivia and discussions about the music with vinyl enthusiast Jeff Lloyd.

Originally released in 1979 and listed in Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, this year’s album of choice is London Calling by The Clash. The band’s third album was influenced by a number of different musical genres, including ska, pop, funk, jazz and soul among many others. The album touches upon a number of different themes as well, such as unemployment, societal segregation and displacement, and the struggles of adulthood. The album has sold over five million copies worldwide.

The Clash will begin a whole new season for The Vinyl Frontier, which will include an evening devoted to other acts such as The Beatles and Bob Marley.

The Norden Farm Centre for the Arts is situated along Altwood Road in Maidenhead, Berkshire, SL6 4PF.