Category Archives: Windsor

Say hello to… Lisa Fisher – Lettings Manager

Lisa Fisher

Lisa Fisher

It’s nearly six and a half years ago since I was offered an exciting career change with Accommodation Windsor Limited.  Initially, I had contacted the company for help with short term accommodation whilst I searched for a job locally.  Having spent time visiting friends, I had grown to love Windsor and was keen to relocate.  Whilst I was on the website looking at the gorgeous apartments, I noticed the company was advertising for a Lettings Manager.  A few days after submitting my CV, I was in the office being interviewed and was shown around a couple of fabulous properties that the company managed.  Directors Nigel and Georgia took me out for lunch and over Tapas I was offered the job… I think Nigel had drunk his wine too quickly!  Within the same week I found a great place to rent and all of a sudden my life was heading in a whole new direction.

Over the next few weeks, I had to learn as much as possible about Windsor & Eton and all of the Landlords and their properties so that I was well informed and able to match customers with the right accommodation to suit their needs.  When I first started with the company we had around 25 properties, this has now more than doubled to a portfolio in excess of 60 – ranging from studios to 4-bed houses.  It has been fantastic to be a part of Accommodation Windsor’s growth and see the company develop in every direction; from system development, an ever-expanding team and fabulous property improvements.  Knowing that I have contributed to the growth of the business is also incredibly rewarding.

So what’s next for Accommodation Windsor Limited?  Well, with a refreshing approach to service that brings customers back to stay with us time and time again and with the exciting property improvements currently taking place, I can only envisage the company continuing to grow in an even more corporate, professional and fresh direction.  Within the next year, we will take on new properties, we’ll need bigger offices  and possibly a bigger team too.  I think Accommodation Windsor is a great place to work and the Company is fun and innovative which is why we continue to grow year on year.

 

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.

guards

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Meimo Menu Sampling

Last week was a tough one… newly opened Meimo’s asked Nigel if he would take some food pics for their website.  Always keen to help out local businesses (and to pretend to be a professional photographer)  Nigel headed up Peascod Street with camera in hand.  Then came the perfect drizzly Friday afternoon phone call - ”They’re cooking up the whole menu, do the girls want to come and eat the food after we’ve photographed it…?”

Hello?  Is, like, Arnold Schwarzenegger hard to spell?  “Yes please,” came the deafening response and off we tottered for a fab lunch.  Thank goodness it WAS Friday as we wouldn’t be abe to fit into any clothes (or doorways) again until Monday!

calamari-on-the-menu

From the chargrilled Lamb Brochettes to the Classic Gourmet Burger served with straw fries, we worked our way through most of the menu together with Bob (actual professional photographer) and his lovely wife Jackie.  Even Kelly “I don’t eat vegetables” Vessey, perhaps the least adventurous eater of all time, loved it, although nothing we said could get her to try the Calamari!  (Divine; served with salad and garlic mayonnaise). 

Our recommendations to you:-  Becky’s favourite was the Sea Bream stuffed with rice, Leonie loved the slow cooked Lamb Shank, Nigel and Bob loved the Lamb Tagine and Jackie and I happily finished off the Meditteranean Roast Chicken.  Everyone agreed the pancakes were the nicest they had ever tasted!

Thanks to Abdul and his team for making us feel so welcome and serving us a delicious lunch.  We’ve already booked our Staff Christmas Outing at Meimo’s, and if any other restaurants need some help they are very welcome to give the AWL Team a call… we LOVE food!

meimo-twitter

 

Diamond Jubilee Weekend Celebrations

So much going on in Windsor this weekend… How are YOU celebrating?

Sat 2 June 2012
A 21-gun salute takes place on the Long Walk to mark the start of The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee weekend  at 12 noon
 
Sat 2 June 2012
Diamond Jubilee Windsor Farmers’ Market and St Leonards Road Street Party, 10am to 2pm.  Street stalls, children’s competition, special shopping discounts and much more.
 
Sat 2 to Tues 5 June 2012
Diamond Jubilee carpet planting in The Queen Elizabeth Temperate House in The Savill Garden at Windsor Great Park.
 
Sun 3 June 2012
Big Picnic takes place in Alexandra Gardens from midday with a 1950s theme.
 
Sun 3 June 2012
Eton Street Party (TICKETS SOLD OUT)
 
Sun 3 June 2012
Windsor Emporium Arts and Craft Fair at Windsor Guildhall – 10am-4pm free entry.  Around 30 local craftsmen present their hand-produced work.
 
Sun 3 and Mon 4 June 2012
Windsor Vintage Market at the Windsor Royal Shopping http://lipstickandgearstick.com/article/windsor-royal-jubilee-vintage-market
 
Mon 4 June 2012
Ox Roast takes place in Bachelors Acre from midday until 6pm.  The Ox Roast is a traditional Jubilee celebration.
 
Tues 5 June 2012
FREE Hog Roast and paella tasters in Windsor Royal Shopping including 50s theme village market, vintage cars and live entertainment from lunchtime.

Love is in the Air

Following hot on the heels of Valentine’s Day, this year February 29th offers girls the advantage of being a Leap Year.  Traditionally on this day usual laws were suspended including the rule that only men were allowed to propose.  This meant that just once every four years women got the chance to pop the question.  Custom also dictated that if he turned you down he had to buy you an expensive gift – it’s a win-win situation!  If you’re thinking of taking the plunge this Leap Year here’s our guide to Windsor’s most romantic locations.

    • Snow Hill in front of the Copper Horse – Take a stroll down the Long Walk heading up to the Copper Horse, with breathtaking views across Windsor and the distant Castle.
    • River Boat Cruise – Suggest a delightful trip along the River Thames and soak up the stunning backdrops of Windsor Castle and Eton College.
    •  VIP Champagne Ride on the Royal Windsor Wheel - Enjoy the panoramic views from Alexander Gardens across Berkshire and all the way to London as you get down on one knee.
    • Horse-drawn Carriage in Windsor Great Park - Surprise your loved one with a horse drawn carriage through the park, champagne and roses optional.
    • The Pink Bench at Ascot Racecourse – The tradition of proposing on the Pink Bench dates back to the Regency period and has the added advantage of great odds for an acceptance.

Continuing the wedding theme, this coming Sunday 26th February Windsor is playing host to its first ever Windsor Wedding Fayre.  The event will be jointly hosted by The Macdonald Windsor, Harte and Garter and Mercure Castle Hotels and promises to offer a fabulous showcase of banqueting suites and bridal packages.  There will also be tours of the famous Windsor Guildhall – wedding venue to Royalty and Celebs including Prince Charles & Camilla and Sir Elton John & David Furnish.  To register your interest or book an exclusive viewing email windsorweddingfayre@macdonald-hotels.co.uk

If you would like to visit Windsor whether to make a proposal or to make wedding plans you can book a stay with Accommodation Windsor Limited for short stay apartments in Windsor and Eton.  Likewise, Alma House  Bed and Breakfast has a special offer during February and March if you book 2 nights together over the weekend your stay will be reduced and includes a free bottle of wine and box of chocolates to get you off to the perfect start.

Many thanks to superb Wedding Photographers Plenty to Declare for sharing their lovely photos with us.

A Recipe for Perfect Pancakes

http://www.flickr.com/photos/erincooks/

Pancake Day, otherwise known as Shrove Tuesday, falls on Tuesday 21st February this year.  On this day pancakes are traditionally eaten as it is the day before the start of Lent when people used to fast for 40 days.  The reason people ate pancakes specifically is because they are made of eggs, sugar and milk which were not eaten during the period of Lent.  Nowadays we  eat them just because they taste so good!!  In order to help you celebrate Pancake Day here’s our recipe for the perfect pancakes:

Ingredients:

140g plain flour

200ml whole milk

2 eggs

25g unsalted butter, melted

Method:

  1. Sift the flour with a pinch of salt into a bowl and make a well in the middle.  Mix the milk and 100ml of water together.  Break the eggs into the well and start whisking slowly.  Carefully add the milk and water, whisking constantly and gradually mixing the flour in as you do so.
  2. Whisk until the batter is smooth.  Let the batter sit for 30 minutes, and then whisk the melted butter into the batter.
  3. Heat the pan over a medium heat.  Very lightly grease the pan with melted butter.  Pour roughly 2 tbsp of batter into the pan.  Use just enough batter to make a delicate, lacy pancake.  Cook the pancake for about 45 seconds on one side until golden and then flip the pancake over and cook the other side for about 30 seconds.
  4. Slide the pancake out of the pan and either serve immediately or stack on a plate with baking parchment in between.  Continue until all the batter is used up.

For toppings you can try the traditional lemon and sugar or golden syrup.  Or you could go for melted chocolate and strawberries!

The Windsor and Eton Flippin’ Pancake Challenge 2012 is set to be bigger and better than ever this year with all teams encouraged to don the traditional pancake racing costume of the 15th century housewife.  That means skirt, apron, headscarf and frying pan!  The competition takes place tomorrow along the Royal Windsor Shopping area between 10.00-11.30am.  A blog by Rosie.

The Making of a Christmas Card

The idea began in 2009, with an eye on world events and a dread of signing hundreds of Christmas cards, we decided to donate our budget for printing corporate cards to charity and send out an E-card instead.  Together with the girls in the office, we donned our sparkliest outfits and popped open some bubbly.  Charles Nicholls – friend, Landlord and keen photographer volunteered to come and take the pics for us. 

The following year we asked the Housekeeping Team to join in with the photo, even dressing up Ruby with a big red ribbon.  This year, the team has grown again and some of our Landlords managed to gatecrash the photoshoot too.  We decided to host at our home as a way of saying Thank You to the Team for all their hard efforts throughout the year.

Add in some nibbles and fizzy stuff and the evening took on quite a lively flavour.

As is becoming the trend when we all get together, the Team are keen to share their unique party tricks with their colleagues.  Who knew Rosie (an ex-gymnast and trampolinist) could pick up a Champagne cork from the floor using only her mouth?  Or that several of her colleagues would then be inspired to see if they could too… Or that together, with Nigel leading on the drums, we would so enjoy “performing” (and I use this term loosely) Stevie Wonder tracks in Nigel’s new music studio, despite none of us being able to sing or play any instruments.  (Video footage of this event is currently on lockdown!!)

So the donation we are making this year is to El Rohi Community School in Uganda (the school name comes from the Hebrew for Good Shepherd).  We hope that our small contribution will make a difference to the lives of children much less fortunate than our own.  A friend at our daughter’s school is an airline pilot and she has become involved with the school over in Kampala, dropping off spare clothing and stationery each time she visits.  Food is exhorbitantly expensive in Uganda and  it is a constant dilemma for the Headmistress there to juggle the finances and provide a nutritious meal for the pupils – often the only meal that they will have each day.  We would like to support the school on an ongoing basis so more info to follow in the New Year.

We hope you enjoy our Christmas e-card  and approve of our nominated charity.  We’ve had a lot of fun putting it together and feel proud to have contributed in some small way to help others.

We would like to wish all our Friends, Customers, Landlords and Suppliers the merriest of Christmases and the happiest of New Years!  Visit our Facebook page to see more pics of our photoshoot.