Luxury For ALL The Family at The Four Seasons Hampshire

Sixteen years ago in a “previous life”, I found myself “living the dream” spending a 3 night business trip at the stunning Four Seasons Hotel on the beautiful island of Nevis in the West Indies.

Nevis

That was my first introduction to the incredible Four Seasons experience and one I’ll never forget.

Fast forward to today and I am now very fortunate to have the Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire as one of my top clients! Not quite the same tropical sandy setting but equally as stunning and possibly even more beautiful, set in spectacular English countryside in a quiet village called Dogmersfield just off the M3 near Fleet.

The hotel is a majestic 300 year old Georgian Manor Estate set in 500 acres that boasts visits by both Henry VI and Henry VIII.  Providing the ultimate in luxury it is, as you would expect, a popular destination for those seeking a special few days away from the rat race.

Four Seasons General

The hotel particularly stands out for me as I have rarely found a venue of this stature that welcomes families with small children so warmly. As a parent who likes to treat myself to the finer things in life every so often, I have become very frustrated over the last 10 years trying to find pubs, restaurants and hotels that offer luxury and opulence whilst still welcoming families with open arms. The Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire has quite simply nailed it!

Allow me to introduce you to “Kids for All Seasons”.

The hotel offers this exclusive “club” for their shorter guests!  On arrival, each child receives a personal invitation to participate in the fun packed Kids For All Seasons activity schedule, the hotel’s meticulously organised children’s programme.

“It’s definitely true that happy children make happy parents, so we aim to please the whole family by keeping the children entertained with a full range of activities to suit even the most discerning little guests!” Sam Kirby, Concierge.

The Kids for All Seasons Cottage is a wonderfully vibrant play zone set in it’s own charming building in the grounds, a short stroll from the main hotel. KFAS Inside

It is complimentary and available to all little guests aged 3 to 10 years. Under 3s are also welcomed when accompanied by a parent/guardian. Over 10s have their own games room upstairs with pool table, table tennis and wii station!

It is an Aladdin’s cave for the little ones. Run by the very lovely Nicole and a team of brilliant helpers (who the children all adore) the facility offers a wealth of toys; never-ending arts and crafts as well as films and video games.

Nicole Arts and Crafts

Even the children’s toilet is totally cool!!!

Taps

We have been providing our professional team of top class face painters to the hotel for 3 years now and love every booking.   As well as enjoying working with Nicole in the cottage we have also joined the wider team for family days, Halloween Parties; Christmas and New Year celebrations and of course their annual Terry Fox Fun Run raising funds for Cancer Research.

“Fascinating Faces is always a hit with our Kids for All Seasons and the school holidays wouldn’t be the same without Claire’s team’s colourful creations”

Sam Kirby, Concierge

Last Spring they also opened a brand new equestrian centre on site that offers “own a pony days” and riding lessons for children as well as a petting zoo during peak periods. The hotel also boasts a magical outdoor playground beside the cottage with a climbing wall, a rope bridge, covered slide and swings.

Outdoor Fun

Also recently opened, is the Highwire Adventure experience – check out this awesome video.

In summary, the Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire is a quintessentially English Utopia for families – there is so much more on offer than what I have managed to cover today – you can read more in this lovely review by a recent guest

http://familyholidays.fourseasons.com/family-holidays-hampshire-uk/

or better still book your family in now!!

http://www.fourseasons.com/hampshire/

(February half term, the Easter break and May Bank Holiday weekends are key dates coming up on the calendar so book soon if you’d like to experience this wonderful hotel and all it has to offer.)

The next dates you can find Fascinating Faces there working our magic with our paint and glitter are Saturday 14th and Saturday 21st February from 1.30pm – 4.30pm.

Fascinating Faces

And it’s not just for little kids either … big kids can have fun too!

Friday Favourites – TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE … OR IS IT?

I have to admit to occasionally being a little cynical of grandiose declarations on websites and marketing material claiming to be  “the best in town”; “can’t be beaten on price”; “market leading provider”; “match any price” etc etc.

What I look for when engaging a supplier of any variety are personal references, referrals and testimonials.

In turn, this is also hugely important to me when promoting my own company.  I take tremendous pride in the service we offer; exceeding our customers’ expectations is our aim and it is so rewarding to receive wonderful feedback.

This week I wanted to share with you some of our most heart-warming comments and what I believe was behind the generous and kind words.

Everyone had a wonderful time, and I must say your contribution to the day was a highlight for most of the children. They all said it was really good because they could choose what they wanted to have done themselves! 

d23242bbd44a84ba6b26522c821f8a61In the words of the children, “you were great!”

Thanks again”

Sandra Wells, Send

This is one of the reasons we choose not to use photo boards when we work; we encourage children to use their imaginations and tell us how they want to be painted and we love the challenge and variety this gives us with our art.

“I just wanted to say what a fantastic job you made of my twins’ faces thank you! They looked amazing! They also loved the photographs and I wondered whether you could possibly email copies to me please as I would like to get them made up into mini canvasses for their bedrooms?”

Alison Tysoe, West Byfleet

Montage

Whenever possible I try to take photos of all the children I paint at parties and then put together a montage  for the birthday child as a memento of their special day!  It’s a lovely way of capturing the freshly painted artwork for the parents before smudges, chocolate and sometimes a few tears wipe it away!

“Just a little note to say a HUGE BIG thank you for making our daughter’s party so special. We all had such a brilliant time and it was down to you getting the adults involved and interacting with kids in such a wonderful way. I never thought a face painting party could be so much fun. I really appreciate the time you gave us and for staying on longer so that my husband could join in the fun.”

Alison, Blackwater

The children LOVE it when the adults muck in with the party shenanigans too.  Whenever time permits, we will always encourage and entice the parents to get involved too even if it’s just a sprinkling of glitter!

“Thank you so much for all your hard work on Friday. Your face painting was truly amazing and I would not hesitate to recommend you or ask you to come and work at another of our functions. I had no idea we were going to be quite that busy. By the end of it we had had the busiest day since we opened 18 months ago – beating even Christmas eve!

John Taylor, The Richard Onslow, Cranleigh

This was some lovely feedback following a booking at the fabulous Richard Onslow pub in the beautiful village of Cranleigh.

With a background in corporate marketing and event management we pride ourselves in helping companies promote their events wherever possible and hope we manage to increase their exposure and footfall.

On this occasion, we were booked for a special Royal Wedding celebration – the sun shone down; the pub was heaving and my queue was endless!  FANTASTIC!

DSC05859

“You are a terrific artist and everyone was asking where I had found you.

Thank you Claire for your patience and understanding with the guests and when I heard you had not worked with special needs before, I found this absolutely amazing and I cannot thank you enough. I know family and friends loved having the painting done as well.

A thousand thanks would never be enough.”

Val, Ron, Claire-Marie, Daniel and Ben, Hindhead

This particular party will always be in my heart.  It was a special lady’s 30th birthday celebrations and was my first booking working with special needs children and adults.  Most of my beautiful models that day were unable to talk but the wonderment in their eyes when they looked in the mirror melted my heart.  I am so grateful to Val and Ron for inviting me to be party of Claire-Marie’s special celebration.

And just one more to finish on …

“Your painting is more awesome than awesome!!!!”

Bella (aged7), East Horsley

Awesome Pic

Thank you Bella for warming my soul and melting my heart with that comment.

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Please remember to take the time to say thank you to people and companies who have delighted you with their service.  So many people are swift to complain at the slightest error but slow to show their appreciation.  It means the world to any customer-facing business and is worth more than any bottom line figure any day.  

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You can read more of our treasured testimonials on our website here.

TOP TIPS FOR BOOKING A PROFESSIONAL FACEPAINTER

Face painting is always a popular activity choice for parties, fetes, corporate events and fund raisers. The face painters’ “tent” frequently has the longest queue and is a fantastic attraction to encourage families to attend.

Budgets are often tight for everyone but this is one area where I would highly recommend that corners are not cut.

An experienced professional facepainter will be comfortable with painting at speed; dealing with children of all ages; placating tired parents and generally managing a busy queue.

There are a number of pointers a client can use to ensure they are booking a professional:

• Ensure they are fully insured with a public liability policy in place. Any individual painting professionally will have this set up as a minimum requirement. Many facepainters also have CRB certificates in place as a result of working in other child related environments, however, whilst this is a nice to have, this should not technically be necessary as a facepainter would always request that children are supervised at all times by their parent/guardian.

• Check their health and safety/hygiene policy. Most professional facepainters will use one sponge per child. Many will have a minimum age for facepainting. We only paint children aged 3 and over as their skin is starting to mature by this age; also many of the paint manufacturers do not recommend use of their products on children under 36 months. Brush water should be changed regularly and all equipment should be thoroughly cleaned between jobs. Children with skin conditions such as eczema, dermatitis, impetigo, chicken pox, cold sores etc should never be painted or those with streaming colds, conjunctivitis etc.

• Ask to see examples of their previous work or view their website gallery. This will give you an idea of the breadth of their portfolio. Look for a variety of detail in designs as this can illustrate the artist’s ability to paint more straightforward designs if needing to work at speed at busier events. http://www.fascinatingfaces.co.uk/galleries

• Take out references from previous clients. Most of our bookings come through word of mouth recommendations but we are always happy to provide references if a new client requests this. http://www.fascinatingfaces.co.uk/testimonials

• Ask what products they use. Popular brands are Snazaroo, Mehron, Diamond FX, Wolfe, Cameleon, Superstar. Acrylic paints or metallic/craft glitter should never be used on the skin.

• If a face painter is a member of FACE (The Face Painting Association) this will give you the assurance that they have been tested against strict criteria and should adhere to a strict code of conduct. This is not to say that non-members don’t (!) it’s just one more pointer to help guide you. http://www.facepaint.co.uk/