It feels as though the long-awaited British summer has abandoned us and now businesses are already advertising for Christmas?! We understand the injustice, it might seem unthinkably soon to entertain the thought, so here’s a few reasons why it’s a brilliant idea to get cracking on the planning…

Get bookin’ good lookin’…

“Eat a live frog every morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” – Mark Twain. Thankfully you don’t have to make frog eating part of your morning routine, instead, banish procrastination by doing your least loved task first. Booking a Christmas party venue might be at the top of this list! So… get cracking, tick it off and sit back and enjoy that summer we are all waiting for!

Thoughtful questions…

As you can imagine, there’s a whole heap of aspects to take into consideration when looking at potential venues. What your team needs and what the venue offers should be paramount. Here’s a few questions for consideration to help guide your thought processes:
Getting there… Does the chosen venue offer a variety of transport links to suit all budgets?
Classic or quirky? The style of your chosen venue says a lot about your brand and your team, does your choice tick all the boxes?
– Do you want to be part of a joiner party night or would you like exclusive use of the venue?
– What other events are going on in the venue on the same date, will it impact your party?
– Will the venue offer event security for peace of mind?
– Food for thought… It’s really important to take into consideration the catering of the event. People come in all different shapes and sizes, and so do diets! Allergies, religious or preference… can the venue support all these requirements?
– Check out the bar prices in advance so the drinks are affordable and in line with what your guests would expect as high street prices
– Does the venue have all the appropriate licences; liquor, entertainment, music, etc
– Does your package include merrymaking essentials like DJ and decorations?
Storage… Would you need to store items before or after the party?
– Weigh up if you’d implement a “drink voucher” system so everyone gets their fair share. It comes in handy when you’re budget conscious!
– Is the venue fully accessible and able to welcome all of your guests?
– Will some of the team need accommodation? Is there a good range of options nearby?

Party time…

Let’s be honest, it’s always great to have something to look forward to, and what better than a party pencilled in for December. Remember your end of year festivities are in celebration of all your achievements. You may not be counting down the days just yet but before you’ll know it, it’ll be time to go out with a bang!

The run down…

In a nutshell, there are perks of arranging your Christmas shin dig now: avoid both stress and fully booked venues with something to look forward to. Hopefully we’ve inspired you to take hold of the sleigh reins and start jotting some ideas down.

Everyone needs a safe space from time to time, a place where you can recharge, restore and refill your positive energy. We’ve had the opportunity to offer just that, by welcoming homeless support charity Crisis through our doors this Christmas for the third year running.

Crisis do amazing work in leading those experiencing homelessness into a better life. By offering guidance to poverty sufferers, Crisis provides the support they need to empower themselves to create a positive change through education, support, employment and health. Our doors are open this week as the host venue for Crisis@Christmas, offering health and wellbeing support along with company, warmth, hot drinks and turkey baps with all the trimmings.

If you’re interested in finding out more about Crisis’s work with the community, please click here to visit their website.

Cathedral Christmas lunch…

This Saturday our chefs will be putting in some voluntary overtime to cook off a fantastic feast! In the spirit of Christmas, we’ll be dishing up 300 freshly cooked Christmas dinners for those in need at St.Peters Cathedral … a hot meal, some friendly faces and a place to be safe and warm for those in difficult and challenging circumstances.

Not just for Christmas, an extra slice…

Did you know, in an attempt to crack down on food wastage, thestudiobirmingham has been donating all leftover and excess food to Let’s Feed Brum? An amazing 4000 meals have been provided over the last couple of years. Let’s Feed Brum are a fantastic Birmingham based charity who aim to help alleviate poverty one meal at a time… Serving up delicious hot meals, the opportunity to restock on essentials and a chance to connect with other people.

If you’d like to know more about the charities, we currently work with through out our locations please click here.

We wish you all a wonderful Christmas break full of festive cheer, we look forward to welcoming you in the New Year and sharing with you another exciting studio year in 2019.

We’ve all experienced it. Gone to a disappointing BBQ where there were no welcome drinks, blackened burgers easily mistaken for coal and baps soggier than the British weather…

Thankfully we’re here to make sure, come rain or shine, that your BBQ’s are the best on the block! Be warned, intoxicated passers-by might want an invite!

Rock your grill with our top 5 sure-fire ways to organise and host the best BBQ ever…

1. Imagine being welcomed into a party where there was a fancy drinks station covering options from water to punch and another table filled with mouth-watering dips, crisps, crackers and only the best crudities… sounds dreamy. Having a drinks and nibbles station is the way to go in making a great first impression. Plus, it helps ease the pressure off having to slave away on the barbie straight away.

2. Sleep on it! Create out of this world flavours by marinating your fan favourite meats and veggies then leaving them to soak in the night before = winner.(As long as you don’t burn them of course!). Tease and tantalise your guests taste buds with adventurous spice blends. We’ve got a few in our cookbook, have you had a thumb through yet?

3. Finishing touches… compliment fiery, sweet and smoky barbecue flavours with sensationally seasoned salads and side dishes. These can be prepared in advance and assembled at the last minute to give you the ultimate title of being The Host with the Most!

4. Have the element of surprise by wowing your guests with sweet treats. Ever tried flame grilled pineapple kebabs? Delicious! How about a hot banana Sunday? The possibilities are endless…

5. Mood maker… set the feel of your event and say no to awkward silences by playing fun background music, it’s a brilliant ice breaker. Remember atmosphere is everything!

Bonus tip from our Grill Master Richard Holden:

“Use the lid and master the art of grilling vs. roasting on your barbecue. Closing the lid will surround your food with heat and cook it quicker than on an open grill. Start foods over the heat to achieve those gorgeous caramelisation marks before moving to an area of roasting heat to cook through thoroughly. I always use a digital thermometer to check my food is safely cooked before serving to guests and my golden rule is “75 – Stayin’ Alive!” The core of your food should be 75c in order that it’s safe to eat.”

Now you’re on the road to becoming a barbecue master! Interested in having an expert Richard Holden show you a thing or two? Feel free to ask our team or click here…

Happy hosting from thestudio, you’ll most likely catch us basking on our roof terraces!

When is it Christmas?

Do you feel like there’s a defining moment where a light bulb pings and you come to the realisation that Christmas is here again? Was it the arrival of the jolly German Markets, the iconic Coca Cola commercial announcing ‘holidays are coming!’ or maybe just the cold weather coupled with the long nights? In the run up to the magical 25th December, there’s always that one thing which makes you take a deep breath in and release with the thought Christmas is here!

Thankfully for many of us, the grand entrance of festivities usually stirs up fond memories of warm evenings in spent cradling a cup of hot chocolate, a furry companion cosied up by the fire, being surrounded by family and friends topped off with feeling uncomfortably full. Unfortunately our reality is a dream for some.

Spare a thought…

Homelessness is a huge problem in the UK and regrettably for some, it can mean spending Christmas sleeping rough, without food or company.
Luckily Crisis do amazing work in leading those experiencing homelessness into a better life. By offering guidance to poverty sufferers, Crisis provides the support they need to empower themselves to create a positive change.

A helping hand…

Sometimes all you need is a little pick me up. That’s why here @thestudio we’re happy to welcome back and support Crisis with their Crisis @ Christmas campaign! Joining forces with volunteers, they’ll be holding health checks, mindfulness, creative and hair/beauty sessions. We’ll be hosting

For more information on their work this winter please click here.

Wishing everyone a lovely Christmas and new year from thestudio.

Frost bitten trees, twinkling lights, long nights… Winter brings great change to both our landscape and to our hearts. With Christmas firmly planting its snow boots on our door step, Santa at the ready to sneak down our chimneys, cities and homes all beautifully adorned in quaint decorations, it’s no wonder we’re all completely taken in by this magical season! And of course thestudio will be getting involved!

Cold feet…
Don’t be put off numb fingers and Rudolf red nose sufferers, optimism isn’t the only thing that can fight off the frost. Stave off those winter blues with some festive cheer and brighten up the day with the simplest of pleasures.

Boost your team with these seven super suggestions:

1. Decorate the office! Maybe importing a snow machine would be a little much…
2. Belt out some Christmas classics in the office. Sometimes you just can’t help but sing along
3. Short trip to the Markets? Nothing quite like a comforting hot chocolate to soothe the cold
4. Yule be crowned a winner! Have a friendly competition of who can make the best Yule log
5. Whether it’s dress down Tuesday or casual Fridays, why not dig out “those” jumpers
6. Secret Santa anyone?!

Whatever you choose to do to celebrate there’s nothing quite like immersing the team in the season!

Get your knits out…

This Wednesday we’ll be pulling out all the stops, so join us in wearing our Christmas jumpers! The team are looking forward to wearing their cosy Xmas pullovers whilst gift giving as secret Santa’s.

Entertain yourself by checking out what thestudio teamed asked for when they were young…

Navisha – A bike and hells yeah! I was so happy when I received it 

Chris – I wanted a puppy! I got a guide dog puppy but we had to give it back at the end of the year 

Rachel – I went mad for a furby! Then I bet after a couple of months I got bored of it and it got packed away … oops!

Mandy – I really wanted roller-skates. All the craze in the 80’s. Roller-skates and skateboards. My parents pretended to have bought my brother the skate board he wanted and nothing for me. At which I cried. They had actually bought me them and so I was so happy.
I was always one of those children who didn’t want to get hurt so didn’t really partake in physical activity!
I think I tried riding them just a handful of times before I gave up trying to learn.
What a waste!

Prabjot – I really wanted a furby… never got one though. Also wanted a Tamagotchi, and I got one of those… promptly got bored and then used the batteries for a book!

Whether you’re on Santa’s naughty or nice list, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from thestudio.

Guess why thestudio’s so excited?

Homer Simpson “eat your heart out” introducing National Doughnut week! Go nuts for doughnuts from the 6th May – 13th May. Kicking off on our fabulous Commercial Director: Julian Kettleborough’s birthday, National Doughnut Week isn’t just a time where it’s socially acceptable to have jam on your face. It’s a brilliant opportunity to raise funds for The Children’s Trust!

For every doughnut you decide to devour you’ll have the chance to donate as little or as much as you can for the UK’s leading charity for children with brain injuries. If you fancied spreading the love of sugar dusted rings, find out more here. Good vibes all round 🙂  

Now that’s a doughnut!

Did you know the largest doughnut weighed a whopping 1.7 tons! It was jelly filled and stretched to 16ft wide!

What’s your flavour?

thestudio team are self-confessed foodies, check out our fave flavours and see if you match up with anyone in the team!

Dawn: “Jam donuts, we used to get them as a treat from Firkins when we were little because our Auntie worked in there.”

Jyoti: “Rings iced with sprinkles reminds me of my childhood! I love jam doughnuts dusted with icing sugar and maple syrup ones… YUM!”

Pedro: “1 with sugar sprinkled on top and maybe a jam filling…Because it’s sweet!”

Katie: “Sugar ring 😉 Classic!”

crisis-2Christmas is undoubtedly the ultimate season of giving. It’s a time where even the most cold hearted of characters are sprung to life with a sprinkle of Christmas spirit. The sight of people scattering, frantically buying and wrapping presents comes with the season, but here at thestudio we recognise the most precious gift you can give someone is your time.

Teaming up with CRISIS Birmingham we’ve taken up the opportunity to give something back to this great city. Opening our doors for two days in the run up to Christmas, CRISIS have hosted a free drop in centre offering advice and support as well as medical and rejuvenating treatments, such as haircuts, facials, pedicures and manicures.

All treatments were provided by local volunteers and supported by the CRISIS team.  thestudio dedicated one of our largest rooms and most importantly lunch! Being the massive foodies that we are, it would be sacrilege to not offer up delicious turkey and stuffing baps with an equally appetizing vegetarian option of falafel to all that joined us, along with copious cups of hot drinks to warm the toes and the soul. To top off the festivities was a live band, again from willing volunteers to offer some festive cheer.

At the end of each year we are reminded that it is important to give, that the most valuable things in this life cannot be bought and if Evan Almighty has taught us anything; one random act of kindness can make someone’s day. We can’t change the world, but every little thing does make a difference to someone, please just be kind.

To everyone, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from thestudio.


On the twelfth day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
12 Drummers Drumming
Eleven Pipers Piping
Ten Lords a Leaping
Nine Ladies Dancing
Eight Maids a Milking
Seven Swans a Swimming
Six Geese a Laying
Five Golden Rings
Four Calling Birds
Three French Hens
Two Turtle Doves
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree


Your wish list may not be as long as this but did you know it’s less than 12 days to Christmas! With not long to go, we thought it was the perfect opportunity to wrap up 2016 with our quarterly team meeting.

We value team bonding and the effort everyone makes to attend thestudio forum is phenomenal, Gillian even flew in from Glasgow! Our forums present a space where our tight knit team can freely discuss ways to develop in 2017, pledging to continually support each other across departments all whilst enjoying a cheeky glass of mulled wine and the odd mince pie.

Home Alone…

This year we opted to stay within our venue. Being firm believers that a change of scenery can truly inspire you, we transformed the Atrium into a Lapland wonderland filled with the usual suspects (Christmas tree, fairy lights) but with a few extra surprises!


Celebrating all that is Irish: St. Patrick’s, or more fondly known as St. Paddy’s day is finally here! Every 17th March we are encouraged to wear absolutely anything green. With oversized novelty hats and waving…

If we’ve had the privilege of hosting your event, you’ll have noticed our strong customer orientation from the onset! With this in mind, here at the studio, we believe everyone’s role within our business is important, whether it’s picking up the phone or your first steps through our doors, we appreciate everyone has an impact on our customer’s journey.

thestudio team Assemble!

A gathering made up of our all three of our venues (Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds) thestudio undertook their final quarterly meeting of the year! As t’is the season to be jolly and give gifts, the evening kicked off with the ultimate Christmas convention: Secret Santa. Gathered around the large open space that doubles up as our business lounge, the atrium is everything a sparkle with all things Christmas. Adorned with fairy lights and a jazzily dressed tree, it was the perfect setting for the team to dish out the prezzies!

After the initial festivities it was time to get down to the nitty gritty with thestudio forum meeting. Sounding a lot more daunting than it is, this little get together acted as a roundup of the year just gone and upcoming plans for the near future. With a mulled wine or cider to hand, all departments had their chance to present and discuss next year’s business ambitions then it was off to Stable Pizza for pizza, pies and cider… a promising start to the end of year indulgence!

Christmas is a time where people are naturally drawn to one another and is the perfect season to rebuild bridges once burnt, in the hope of a more unified future… Wishing you all a very merry Christmas from thestudio team!