Prop Welcome to our blog Wed, 03 Feb 2016 09:56:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Last Night A DJ Saved My Party Thu, 28 Jan 2016 12:38:31 +0000 Admit it or not, everyone loves to let their hair down, lose their inhibitions and dance like no one’s watching every once in a while, and as we well know, these ‘once in a while’ moments normally occur at weddings, work parties or big celebrations.  With this in mind we know how important it is to choose the right DJ for you and your event, which is why we did our research and discovered Unity Talent DJs.  These guys manage to create the perfect atmosphere and keep everyone on the dance floor. We have to tell you about them as getting the wrong DJ can be disastrous.

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Who are Unity Talent DJs?

Established by Paul Budd in 2006 and built upon his passion for music, Unity Talent DJs pride themselves on offering a personal and bespoke service for every event they are involved with.  Based in Brighton & Hove, Unity Talent DJs provide friendly, approachable and experienced DJs for events across London and the south east.  All their DJs play a continuous mix of music to fit perfectly with your event and will work with you to ensure all your musical desires are fulfilled.

We’ve worked with Unity Talent DJs at weddings, office functions, Christmas parties and corporate events and we’ve always been thoroughly impressed with their DJs and received many a glowing testimonial from our clients.  If you need a DJ for your event just let us know, and with the help of Unity Talent, we’ll take care of everything for you.

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We make your event memorable for all the right reasons; from choosing the ideal venue and creating a menu to make your guests salivate, to picking the perfect entertainment and providing a DJ who will have you dancing the night away. Prop make parties your guests will want to emulate.

For more details on Unity Talent DJs check out their website or click on the image and have a read of their glowing review in etc magazine.

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Event Space Available For Hire Wed, 11 Nov 2015 22:30:44 +0000 Great news for all pop-up event lovers in Brighton and Hove…we have the opportunity to create something magical this winter at Avenue!

Avenue, situated in the heart of Hove and known for being the most loved family-friendly restaurant in the city, is now available for pop up events and private hire.


_MG_2213Comprising of three event spaces, including a fully heated and covered terrace and a mezzanine cocktail bar, Avenue is suitable for private functions up to 250 guests, lending itself perfectly to hosting brand events, corporate functions, birthday celebrations and office Christmas parties.

Further information on the space available for private hire can be found here or feel free to contact us for details on bespoke packages we can provide for your party.


Our aim is to create a space that provides something for everyone over the festive period and beyond; we want to be hosting events that keep all entertained whilst offering food and drink to satisfy every guest’s culinary desires.

If you’d like to get involved as a pop up we’d love to hear from you!

We’re on the look out for:

Cake bakers
Cocktail shakers
Coffee baristas
Craft Beer purveyors
…and all hot food Caterers!

Art Exhibitors
Live performers
Pop up retailers
Workshop hosts
…and of course not forgetting Christmas gift wrappers!

For more information please drop us a line at and keep up to date with our  winter venture via our twitter account @prophospitality.

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A Summer of Fun for Prop Tue, 06 Oct 2015 11:54:58 +0000 We regularly work with independent businesses, advising them on how to succeed in the world of digital marketing and always stress the importance of keeping a website up to date and helping businesses create original content for their blog pages.  Advice we seem to fail to follow ourselves!  So now it seems only right that we updated the Prop blog page and shared some of our highlights from this summer for Prop.


The summer season didn’t really start for Prop until July when I finally made my way back to the UK, having thoroughly enjoyed my “extended holiday” and full of knowledge having successfully researched the hospitality culture in Melbourne and Singapore for the past year.  Upon my return, Kerry and I sparked into life, wanting to make the most of the summer for Prop, and make the most of it we did!  

PROP HQ:Prop Garage set up

We Have Space!

The first call of the summer was to find local storage to make our own, the year of hiding stock and equipment around our flats had to come to an end and it did when we secured ourselves a garage.  A space to store all our kit and to be creative, a workshop for all Prop activity, or the Propshop as it is now fondly known.

The Pallet Bar

Last year we had great success with the pallet bar but with no where to store it we had to donate the pallets when we had finished with them, with the Propshop now in operation we were able to source the materials to build the pallet bar once again, but this time we space to store it for future events.


Brighton and Hove Pride Village Party

We were lucky enough to work a couple of gigs over the Brighton and Hove Pride weekend, both based at the Brighton Rocks street party!  We teamed up with Heathwick Ltd to provide a pop up bar, equipment and staff at their craft beer and gin bar as well as working with Unity Talent, organising and managing the sound and light for the Saturday street party with Schtumm and the Disco Deviant party on the Sunday.

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Photo credit Anna B Photography

 Mr & Mrs B’s Wedding

Time to show off the new look pallet bar!  Following a bit of TLC and a lick of paint the pallet bar was wedding ready, add in our ‘English Garden’ theme decor, ambient lighting and a bespoke cocktail menu and suddenly everything fitted perfectly with the happy couples wedding.  A Great evening ensued full of laughter, dancing and general merriment.




Digital Marketing with Avenue Hove

We had great fun working with Ben and his team at Avenue, an independently run, family friendly restaurant in Hove; training the staff and developing Avenue’s online profile.  During the 3 months we were able to increase online activity and reach via a number of tried and tested techniques including amending website copy to increase organic search results, creating original content for the website blog page and increasing social media activity across all social media networks currently in use as well as introducing Google+ to the team.  All this whilst playing guinea pig to any of the new delicious dishes coming from the kitchen and seasonal cocktails being created at the bar.


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Event Management jobs came our way this summer from our friends at Unity Talent.  When called upon we were able to provide support in event planning and staffing at events.  A stand out event being involved in being a beautiful wedding at The Grand, as much as we would have loved to have organised the whole shebang on this one, we were only called upon to manage the sound and light…this time. ;)


Far and away the biggest event on the Prop calendar this year was always going to be Kerry and Andy (finally) getting married!  True to form Kerry planned and managed every detail of the wedding to perfection; from colour schemes to proceedings, flowers to wedding favours, everything ran smoothly and to plan (she even managed to pick the only dry day in a rainy August week).  BIG thank you to the teams at Cote and Brighton Rocks and everyone else involved in helping make it such a wonderful wedding!


We are already working away with Autumn/Winter projects and making plans for events in Spring/Summer, expect lots more from Prop in 2016!!!

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Vintage Pallet Bar Wed, 30 Sep 2015 12:43:32 +0000 Following the success of our temporary pallet bar last year we decided to make something a little more permanent especially with us popping up at the Brighton & Hove Pride Village Party and at a marquee wedding this year.

We had a bit of fun with some reclaimed pallets and a bit of rope at the Propshop.

Prop pallet ropeProp pallet garage

With little more than the pallets, rope, scaffold boards and some zip ties we had ourselves a safe and secure bar for use at the Brighton Rocks street party, part of the Brighton and Hove Pride Village Party, serving craft beers and cocktails alongside the guys from Heathwick Ltd.


After the street party it was back to the Prop shop as we had 5 days to get it wedding ready, just enough time to make a few structural changes and give it a couple of coats of paint.

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It was to long week getting the bar wedding ready but with hard work, a little help from friends and a spot of good weather we were able to have the bar ready for it’s maiden wedding voyage as we set off to Hampshire.


The thought of having four reclaimed pallets posing as a bar may not sound like the most appealing idea to a number of brides but once we had our new look pallet bar in place, added our beloved “English Garden’ theme decor and some ambient lighting the bar looked amazing and was a real hit with the bride and the entire wedding party.

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The inclusion of a bespoke cocktail menu and a couple of highly skilled mixologists may have helped the guests on their way to an amazing night, we definitely had fun planning, preparing and
delivering at this wedding.

Whish & Ian 7th August -228Pallet bar in marquee


If you would like our assistance in wedding and event planning or would simply like us to provide a bar at an upcoming event, please feel free to contact us for a no obligation consultation and find out just how we can make any event perfect for you and your guests.

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Obtaining a Licence for your Event Tue, 07 Jul 2015 12:20:58 +0000 Found a venue for your event but the venue doesn’t have the appropriate licence for your event to take place?

Here’s some information from the council relating to Temporary Event Notices (TENs) so that your event can take place:

Are you holding a small event? Temporary event notices (TENs) enable small-scale, ad-hoc events involving the sale and/or supply of alcohol, regulated entertainment or provision of late night refreshment to take place without the need for a licence.

TENS are subject to certain limitations:

  • events covered by a TEN can last up to 168 hours and must involve no more than 499 people.anyone over 18 can apply for a maximum of five TENs per year. Personal Licence holders can apply for a maximum of 50 TENS per year. both licensed and unlicensed venues can hold up to 12 TENs per year or 21 days, whichever is the greater.

If your temporary event notice is for an event wholly or partly in the open air, please submit a scale plan clearly identifying the area to be used with your notice to the licensing team, police and environmental health. The scale need not be 1:100, but it must clearly show the location and delineate the area intended to be used.

You also need to notify the owner of the premises you are using that you are giving a temporary events notice and obtained any necessary public liability insurance for your event.

Temporary Event Notice restrictions

The legislation restricts several important aspects of temporary event notices these include:

  • No more than 499 people at any one time (including performers, staff etc.) may attend an event authorised by a temporary event notice
  • Each temporary event notice may only last for maximum period of 168 hours
  • No more than 12 temporary event notices may be given in a calendar year for particular premises
  • temporary event notices may only authorise events at particular premises for a maximum of 21 days per calendar year
  • There must be an interval of not less than 24 hours between temporary event notices at particular premises
  • The individual giving the temporary event notice must be over 18
  • An individual may not give more than 5 temporary event notices in one calendar year, of which no more than 2 may be late TEN
  • If an individual holds a personal licence for the sale of alcohol, the limits are 50 temporary event notice of which no more than 10 may be late TEN
  • On receipt of a temporary event notice, if the proposed event is not within the restrictions, a counter notice will be issued and the event will not be authorised.

It is possible to give a temporary event notice for any premises, including those which already have premises licences or club premises certificates. The temporary event notice will need to state the dates and times when licensable activities are to take place.

Resources: (July 2015) (July 2015)

How can Prop help?

Both Kerry and Robbie are Personal Licence holders so will be able to apply for Temporary Event Notices to enable your event to take place.  Simply get in touch with us and we’ll arrange a no obligation consultation with you to make the relevant arrangements.


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Choosing the Ideal Venue for your Event Tue, 07 Jul 2015 11:55:52 +0000 Pallet bar in marquee  12485887_961344363936998_4066849634910087144_o

When hosting an event, whether it be an office party, friend’s birthday, corporate function or even your own wedding, it is essential to choose a suitable venue for your event. Choosing the right venue can mean the difference between hosting a successful, enjoyable and smooth running event or one that you wish you hadn’t been involved with in the first place!

Here are our top 5 tips for choosing the ideal venue for your event.

1. Location

First and foremost decide where your event is going to take place. You’ll have an idea of location but you’ll also have to take into consideration where your guest will be coming from and the accessibility of your venue to ensure that everyone can attend.

Does the venue have parking, good transportation links and nearby accommodation should people need to stay overnight?

When organising an office party you should consider somewhere close to your office so that people can head there straight from work.

2. Suitability

Check that the venue has the potential to host your specific event whether it be a stand up buffet and drinks event, a sit down meal, dinner and dance or an exhibition. When you visit the venue ask questions relevant to your event requirements and for evidence of the venue hosting similar events in the past.

If you plan on booking a DJ, or live a act, find out if the venue has the equipment required or whether you would need to hire it separately.

If you plan to serve food and/or alcohol at your event make sure that venue holds a license for this. If they do not, ask if they would be willing to obtain a Temporary Events Notice for your event.

3. Size

All venues will have a legal capacity set out in their Premises License so ensure that the venue/room capacity matches the size of your event as closely as possible. Booking a venue that is too small will result in overcrowding; a venue too large can lead to a loss of atmosphere and your event feeling empty.

4. Outside Space

An attractive outside space is a must for summer events as your guests will want to congregate with a drink outside if the sun is shining. If you choose to host an indoor event on a sunny day be prepared to usher people into the venue when food is served or the entertainment starts.

Outside spaces can be appropriate for winter events too, just make sure that there is some form of shelter from rain and heaters for the cold. There will always be some daring party attendees that will want to stand outside whatever the weather!

5. Catering

Events can be won and lost based on the food and drink offerings from canapés to sit down meals and drink receptions to bar menus. Make sure you are clear about what is best for your event and what the venue can provide you with.

It might be the case that you have found the ideal location however the venue cannot provide the catering that you require.  This should not be a stumbling block for your event as there are plenty of external catering companies that can provide high quality, bespoke food menus from sit down meals to buffets and barbecues, along with Pop Up bars, to suit your event.

How can Prop help?

I hope that my tips are useful in your search for the ideal venue. Should you need any help please feel free to get in touch with us here at Prop. We have worked with a number of venues in Brighton for many years and offer a no obligation event consultancy that could save you the time and hassle it takes in searching for venues yourself.

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Everyone Loves Tequila* Sat, 09 May 2015 06:44:04 +0000 It seems that’s it’s not only me that loves tequila, now everybody is calling for it at the bar.  The inclusion of multiple tequila drinks on cocktail menu’s is becoming common place in a number of bars, as is the increased offering of variety and quality of tequilas on the back bar shelves.  For us as the consumer this can only be a good thing as drinking shots of cheap tequila at the bar becomes a distant memory, replaced with the thoughts of which type of tequila we prefer in our margarita and which we’d rather drink straight.

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Tequila has gained so much attention in the UK that in 2014 the first ever Tequila Festival was held in London and we are now seeing more venue’s and tequila brand’s endorsing Day of the Dead festival, a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico, paying respect to family and friends that have passed.

Espolon day of the dead label

It’s not just bars and bartenders that are helping to drive the rise in tequila around the world, celebrities seem only too happy to be involved with tequila brands as George Clooney and P. Diddy have both created their own brands of tequila, Casamigos and DeLeón respectively.  Now joining the celebrity tequila game, and in some style with a highly entertaining advertising campaign, Justin Timberlake has teamed up with Sauza 901, a ‘super premium’ tequila.


Screen-shot-2013-07-29-at-8.06.07-AMTequila has also appeared on our screens via product placement in hit TV shows.  Most notably with Tequila Avion, winner of “World’s Best Tasting Tequila” and “World’s Best White Spirit” at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, being brought to our attention by the characters ‘Turtle’ and ‘Vinnie Chase’ in what is possibly one of Prop’s favourite shows, HBO’s Entourage.


For all the naysayers , the increased popularity of tequila is not just an instant fad, MarketWatch reported last year that US tequila revenue has doubled over the course of a decade, we can only hope that it continues to grow.

“Tequila sales in the United States have increased from $962 million in 2003 to $2 billion in 2013, according to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS)”

So what now?  Well now we’re going to keep aiding the rise of tequila, whether it be via sales at future event’s we host, adding interesting tequila cocktails to the menu’s we help write or simply by drinking tequila in the bars that we frequent.

Want to learn more about tequila? Check out Difford’s Guide catalogue of Tequila articles.

Tequila bars in our home cities:

Pull & Pump. 1-3 Clarence Square, Brighton, England
Touche Hombre.  233 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne, Australia.

Dates for your diary:

July 24th: National Tequila Day
August 8th & 9th: Tequila & Mezcal Fest Liverpool.
September 19th & 20th: Tequila & Mezcal Fest London.
November 1st: Day of the Dead Festival

*Claims that ‘Everyone Loves Tequila’ simply refers to all my friends, not everyone in the world.
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Project: Royal Saxon Cocktail Menu Thu, 19 Feb 2015 02:47:30 +0000 Royal Saxon

About a month ago I was asked by the management team at the Royal Saxon to help develop the cocktail menu to make it fit inline with the venue and it’s clientele.

IMG_3055Identifying the customers requirements at the venue was a relatively easy task as I’ve been working behind the bar at the Saxon on a regular basis since arriving in Melbourne.  Theming the menu to match the venue was a simple decision to make, with an Italian kitchen in operation and a back bar full of amari it only seemed right to follow suit with the cocktail menu.  Following a consultation meeting with the venue management team it was decided that the ‘Italian Summer’ would be the basis for the menu (it is still summer time over here in Melbourne).


  • Task: Rewrite the cocktail menu to suit venue and clientele
  • Theme: Italian Summer
  • Drinks: 12 to include 6 over ice, 3 straight up and 3 sharing
  • Layout: This will be left with management to fit with current food & beverage menu’s
  • Notes: Due to limited space on the menu all drinks should be originals or twists on classics, staff can sell classic cocktails to customers verbally without taking up valuable menu space.



Working closely with the cocktail bartenders (and liaising with management on cost and gross profit) over the past few weeks we have been able to come up with a varied list that we feel will entice the Royal Saxon customers into experiencing some Italian liqueurs they may normally shy away from.

The menu is set to launch today, Thursday 19th February.

I’ll be posting the new menu here as soon as possible, for now here’s a link to the old menu, and with the permission of the venue management I’ll hopefully post the cocktail specs too.

Keep up to date with all goings-on a the Royal Saxon via their Facebook page.

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UPCYCLING: MELBOURNE VENUES Thu, 19 Feb 2015 01:55:02 +0000 Whilst enjoying (a lot of) the hospitality scene over here in Melbourne I’ve always kept an eye out for upcycling ideas usable at Pop-Up and festival bars as Prop prepares for this summers’ events.  Some of the creative work and uses of items we would regularly disregard is pretty amazing but somehow I’ve managed to lose the photo’s, and memories, of a lot of these items.  Here is a start to upcycling items I have captured out and about in Melbourne, as for the rest I guess I’ll have to go back out and find them all again…


Situated on Brunswick Street in Fitzroy, the Dining Hall is a great venue; the laid back attitude and casual dining has made it a regular stop for me on a free afternoon whether it be to grab a beer, something to eat or to sample the entire Little Creature range.  Cool upcycling includes hiding the ATM in an old fridge and using old bottles for lamp shades.

Little Creatures Sampling Fridge ATM Little Creatures bottle light


I only managed one fleeting visit to Black Market pop up whilst it was open on Smith Street, Fitzroy, but it was well worth it for an exceptional pint of Bloody Mary and a look around the place.  Alongside old tyre hanging baskets was also tables and stools using stacks of old tyres as the legs (sorry no photo’s of these).




Located behind a restaurant in Carlton North, the Wolf’s Lair rooftop bar is a favourite hideaway of mine on a sunny afternoon.

All the furniture is made from old milk crates whether they are stacked together to make a table or stool or attached to the wall and used to show off the plants.



On a trip down to St. Kilda it was decided that we should stop in at Abbey Road for a drink and bite to eat.  Not knowing anything about the venue apart from it’s name, I expected a music bar of sorts and was greeted with just that…but a music cafe with old instruments for decor!  From the horn section hung amongst the rope lights to the drum kit hanging from the ceiling, they’ve got the lot.  And who says sticking your nan’s old piano to the wall isn’t an upcycling art form?!

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Staff Initiative and the Customer Experience Wed, 18 Feb 2015 23:49:24 +0000 Creating the ideal atmosphere for a customer is one of the challenges faced by staff working in hospitality venues; especially multifunction venues that attract a diverse demographic of customer. The opinion of what makes for a suitable ambience will vary from customer to customer, it is up to the venue manager to determine what best suits their venue and clientele but there is always room for movement when a situation arises that requires a different approach.

We teach ‘standard rules’ to staff to give them the platform in which they can create the ideal surroundings for customers to enjoy their time in your venue. These ‘standard rules’ generally relate to the lighting, heating and music levels but in some venues, namely restaurants and gastro-pubs, also extend to the seating of customers.

Considerations When Seating Customers:

  1. Always place the early customers by the window/front of the building so that passers by see people eating in your venue and (hopefully) come in to eat.
  2.  Seat customers in close proximity to one another to create a more vibrant & social atmosphere in the venue.

These are both valuable considerations in improving the customer experience and for the ambience in the venue but sometimes staff need to use their initiative and stray from standard rules to suit the differing requirements of their customers.

Pleasant Meal Ruined By Surroundings

On a recent trip to a gastro-pub for a late meal with friends, our waitress followed standard procedure of seating us in an area where other diners were sat.  Four raucous businessmen, polar opposites of our trio, filled the table adjacent to us as we sat down hoping for a quiet meal.  Much to our own fault for not asking to move tables, as well as the fault of the waitress for not identifying our requirements, we had an awful experience and what should have been a pleasant meal was ruined by the surroundings we found ourselves in.  As a group we would have much rather sat out in a deserted quite area of the restaurant to enjoy our meal.  Our waitress should have been able to read the situation, consider our requirements and rather than just follow the ‘standard rules’, she could have used her initiative to seat us somewhere we would have enjoyed our evening.

“Common sense is genius dressed in its working clothes”

(Ralph Waldo Emerson, American poet)

Not much in hospitality is black and white, especially when working in multi-functional venues and dealing with customers that are now demanding more from the experience of going out. As important as it is to teach staff the ‘standard rules’ of the venue and work to set procedures, we must also teach our staff to use their common sense, encouraging them to adapt the rules to optimise the customers experience – within reason of course. ;)

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