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The rise of the intimate venue


Jan 21, 2011 | Editors

An increasing number of companies are seeking out venues which offer a more intimate experience for their meetings, according to Amrit Dhaliwal, director at Amadora.

Mr Dhaliwal, who set up the new London venue and Italian restaurant towards the end of 2010, said he has seen a "massive" demand for smaller-scale, less corporate spaces.

"Whether it is for business purposes or simply celebrating a personal milestone, most people want to go to a restaurant or venue that conveys individuality and a degree of uniqueness," he suggested.

"We've got a smaller place. It's intimate and we have lots of bookings for that very reason," he said.

The newly-opened restaurant, which is located in Richmond, serves Italian food, cooked by chefs from Sardinia and Abruzzo, varying from pasta dishes to more complex main courses, including its signature boar with onion, carrot, garlic, rosemary, chocolate and polenta dish.

Previously an Italian deli, the new restaurant combines a mixture of traditional and modern touches, including crisp white linen and chandeliers, and includes a first floor area, which can cater for meetings of up to 30 people.

"We've got a whole floor of segregated upstairs seating, so that it can quite easily be used as the meeting room," said Mr Dhaliwal.

He suggested that businesses can enjoy the privacy of a separate room while still enjoying the ambience of the restaurant, when carrying out formal or informal meetings.

"People are able to speak to their friends and colleagues and have a room to themselves, so that it is almost [a] home from home" he said.

The venue can provide most, if not all, of the items required for a working lunch or a meeting, he added, noting that they work to people's requirements.

"We can provide conferencing facilities such as flip charts, projector screen, notepaper, stationary and refreshments, which includes sparkling and bottled water, teas and coffees with biscuits."

The fact that the restaurant is very focused on serving high quality goods is playing a key role in attracting events.

"This is one of the main things that people look for," Mr Dhaliwal said, adding that the Italian chef is very willing to adapt his dishes to specific dietary requirements and insists on using fresh ingredients at all times.

"Our team of experts is able to engage with clients and understand their needs, as well as provide ideas on how best to maximise the experience. The objective is to provide a personalised service given the adaptability of the venue," he stated.

The restaurant's location in Richmond is also helping to draw in new business, he said, adding that many local companies, including Ebay and Gumtree, have already used the venue.

Mr Dhaliwal is feeling optimistic about 2011 and believes the business will need to focus on three areas in order to achieve success.

The first, he noted, is the fine dining offering. "We want to achieve and give people fine dining for decent prices, so they don't have to go into central London and give an arm and a leg for good quality food. We want to provide fresh, authentic Italian food at a reasonable price."

Plans are already in place to for an increased emphasis on the restaurant's outdoor catering section, which provides food for meetings, parties and office get-togethers.

The third aspect is venue hire, he said, noting that the restaurant has also received bookings for a wide range of events, including a wedding reception, business meetings, cocktail party and recently a 90th birthday party.

Mr Dhaliwal concluded: "There are many things that we want to do and get involved in and that's basically three goals for the coming year."
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