Rosalind Shelley | Interview with MD at Venue Search London

Rosalind Shelley heads up the team at Venue Search London, an online venue directory of over 1000 venues, that offers a free venue finding service. She’s what we consider a true ‘venue expert’.

Venue Search London – Champagne and Canapés?

Alongside her team, they know about everything about every venue in London. What’s recently opened, what’s about to, what’s hot (and what’s not!). We took the opportunity to ask Rosalind about why she loves the industry, whether it really is all ‘champagne and canapés’ and how she keeps so trim when she eats out ALL the time.

Why do you love the events industry?

The events industry is infectious, constantly changing and evolving. That alone makes it impossible not to be in love with it. In the ten years of working in this industry, I can honestly say that no one day has ever been the same. You constantly meet incredibly talented and creative people and I am continually being inspired by those around me.

You have over 1000 venues listed on your site. I’m sure it’s hard to choose a favourite but if we asked you to narrow down to best in category what would you choose?

That is a very tough decision as really, the beauty of working for a completely unbiased venue finding service is that we just don’t have to choose a favourite and if I’m honest mine changes all the time. Quite literally with each new and exciting venue or hotel opening! However as you are forcing my hand, here are a few of my favourites right now…

Best private dining room

Berry Bros & Rudd– this hidden gem of a venue is steeped in history and can offer both a fantastic dinner and an education in wine all rolled into one. The prices are fairly reasonable too!

Best wow venue

National History Museum – there’s something very special about having an event here when the museum is closed to the public. As you walk up to the National History Museum with the facade uplit, it really is breathtaking.

Best hidden gem

Victorian Bath House – hidden away in the city, it really is the perfect party venue. The décor is intricately done with an ornate bath to chill down your champagne, what more could you ask for?

Best hotel

Royal Lancaster London – this wonderful hotel is currently under going a huge refurbishment which is due to be finished in September this year. The team here are just so friendly and you can always guarantee that your guests will be well looked after. We can’t wait to see the finished product!

Best venue with a view

Rumpus Room on the South Bank. This is a brand new venue situated along the vibrant South Bank with an amazing roof terrace, with great views along the Thames and the London skyline. I’m excited to see this space in action this summer!

Wow, you’ve given us lots of inspiration, we need to get visiting these spaces! We’re sure you must eat out a lot with such a glamorous job. Where is your favourite place for a long lunch?

A tough one to answer as there are just so many fantastic restaurants in this city. Recently I would say my favourite place for a long lunch has been Bronte. Not only is the décor in the restaurant on point but the food is delicious and it is easy to make healthier choices without feeling you are missing out!

Sounds delicious. You clearly love London being a London venue expert but which city in the world would you want to explore next?

Oohh that’s such a good question, there are so many places out there that I’d love to explore. Right now if I’d have to choose I would say Barcelona. It is such a vibrant city and offers the best of both worlds. Hustle and bustle plus incredible venues, bars, restaurants and an amazing beach to soak up all that Spanish sun!

What has been one of the best moments in business so far?

Hosting our seminars at both The London Summer Event Show and The London Christmas Party Show. We have hosted three so far and every time they have been over subscribed. I was incredibly proud of the Venue Search London team. They talked so passionately and knowledgeably about all the exciting new openings in London.  We received fantastic feedback from all the people that attended. And as a result have built even more great client relationships off the back of these seminars.

How do you keep on top of all the new venue openings?

New venues are constantly opening up all the time in our fantastic city. The whole team are constantly out and about visiting new spaces. We hear about these not only through our various contacts within the industry. They are always keen to ensure that we are down to visit before they open, but also by signing up to all the industry news too. I am certain that Pearl & Pear will be a great source for us to use too!

A lot of people think events is all about champagne and canapés, is that true?

There are weeks when I do sometimes think the answer to this question could be yes! We are incredibly lucky to get to experience a lot of amazing venues, caterers and suppliers. It is important for us to see our venues in action. This in turn ensures that we can honestly recommend the best and most suitable venues and suppliers to our clients various briefs that we receive on a daily basis.

It is a part of the job that we take incredibly seriously!

And finally, what keeps you in events after all these years?

I love being in a fast paced industry that is constantly changing. It is impossible to be bored working in this industry. As they say ‘Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.’  I feel I have definitely found that in this wonderful, crazy world of events!

Huge thanks to Rosalind Shelley for sharing her insight into the events industry.

Check out the brilliant Venue Search London here. 

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