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Have fun, meet new people, explore London and learn a bit along the way!
2014 has arrived!!! Yipee!!!! I'm currently adding new events to the calendar every week. In the meantime, here's the 2014 letter I sent to members.
Hopefully this will give you an idea of what the group is like:
This week kicked of the start of the 2014 season. I must say, I feel a bit like a giggly school girl, waiting to see her friends after the summer holidays!
On Tuesday, we attended the Decanter Greek, Bulgaria, and Italy wine tasting at the elegant Chandos House. It was so great to catch up with so many members, especially those that I haven't seen in years!
They reminded me of all the great events we've had. Almost 300 of them over the past 5 years, in fact. It was a happy trip down memory lane. I've been looking through the photos and thinking back about how much the group has grown, and how much I've learned as well.
We had one of the most amazing BBQ's at my members only tennis club near Holland Park. The highlight of this tasting was the 1994 Brunello, and magnum vs standard bottle of Ruinart. Not to mention the food was to die for!!!
And check out those little plates with the glass holders, I love little touches like this :)
A few of you have been asking how the group works:
I sometimes forget that everyone doesn't speak, 'Kelly.'
Basically, I dream up the events, mostly things I would like to do, but there is no where else to find it. Then I post it on the group and keep my fingers crossed that you would like to do it too! We try to avoid the cookie cutter, 'let's meet at the pub type of events' or standard meetups... I like you to take more from your experience and learn why you are there.
The Art of Wine & Hand Painting wine glasses - This was amazing!!!
What is a Tastourian?
There are over 15,000 people (Tastourians) following me on Twitter @tastour, and after a few glasses of wine, late last year I tweeted:
"We eat well, drink well and feel less guilty if culture/scenery is involved = @tastourian"
Exclusive English Wine Tasting in our Cornwall based Executive Suite. After the tasting we went to a 1940's swing dancing Fish and Chip Ball. We visited wineries, walked on the beach and even took a tracker ride through a apple orchard.
If you enjoy experiences like this, than you are a Tastourian!!!!
What is a Bon Vivant?
A Bon Vivant, is someone who loves the finer things in life. So I guess you could say all Tastourians are Bon Vivants. In the context of this group, a Bon Vivant, is someone who pays a monthly or annual fee. These members are looking to get a bit more out of the events. By attending often, they have created their own social group and look forward to seeing these members as the years go by. Although I place a big emphasis on everyone getting involved, as Bon Vivant's attend between 10-20 events per year, they seem to create their own subgroups outside the meetup, even going on holiday together. In short, it's discounted access to a 'social club' - and you get free food and wine. More info on membership here: http://tastour.com/member-registration/
Pre-Ascot: A lesson on the history of Hats & Vintage Champagne tasting at a Hat hire shop I
How often are the events?
We try to host weekly events. The monthly recipe is: 1 walking tour, 1 wine tasting, 1 society event + 1 Bon Vivant exclusive event = Something for everyone!
I've noticed that a lot of the events seem to repeat, are they the same?
No. No two events are ever the same. There are always different products to taste, different people to meet. And I always improve each event. This year the miniTASTING's are going to feature a different flavour of home made popcorn - how cool is that!!!
It seems that there are often more people signed up on meetup than number of tickets available:
Tastour has become a London network, not just a meetup. Not all of the people signed up on the meetup have paid. For that reason, I do not monitor the meetup, as I am able to get the full list of those attending on the main site, www.tastour.com
There are different prices listed:
Because of the commitment to venues and tasting samples, almost all of our events require payment upfront. I try to keep the cost as low as possible, unfortunately, it just seems like the price of everything is going up.
Everyone receives a discount when you book in advance.
Our paid members, Bon Vivant's receive an additional discount. This is to encourage people to attend more, and create a community. Bon Vivant's also receive free tickets to all miniTASTINGs and we distribute the number of free tickets to third party events evenly. Each event has it's own limitations, so do check the T&C before you apply.
To many event reminder emails?
If you rsvp NO, this will remove you from the reminder list. Shortly I will have a bulk of the years events posted, when I do, it's best to RSVP no, all at once, then you won't miss out on the new events. Or you can change your settings in your profile. But you will not receive mails about special offers of spare free tickets.
Having a problem booking or a question about an event:
Please email. I'm always happy to help.
I think that's probably enough for this mail!!! I hope you have a better understanding of how it all works, and that I managed to make you feel that it's an amazing group to be a part of.
I'm so excited for 2014 and hope you are too!
PS- Lot's of great events this year, including our 5th birthday party (and we're bringing back the beer events and introduction speedtastings!!!) Stay tuned!!!
The next big event is The Decanter Spain & Portugal Encounter. I've organised a fantastic discount for all, so book your ticket now, as it will sell out: http://www.meetup.com/Tastour/events/152035122/
Cheese miniTASTING on 13th Feb http://www.meetup.com/Tastour/events/162802642/
White Wine miniTASTING on 28th Feb http://www.meetup.com/Tastour/events/162997102/
20th March miniTASTING - theme to be confirmed.
A note for Bon Vivants:
Please don't forget to login to receive your discount. And when requesting a free ticket, please post on the meetup page. I am also happy for you to text me last minute to let me know you are coming to an event.
CLICK HERE for a shiny HTML email with most of our 2013 spring/summer events listed.
For a taste of Tastour, check out our videos:
This meetup organises award-winning food and drink experiences for Londoners who are interested in sampling high quality gastronomic treats.
Events are priced from £5 and range from food and wine tastings to exclusive dinners, day trips and walking tours as well as monthly mini wine tastings and social networking nights. The events encourage lively debate about scrumptious food and drink sampling, making it easy to join a group of friends to laugh, taste and exchange tips with.
Some events are more stuctured than others - we have hosted over 75 different 'themed events, and I keep coming up with new ones every day. The host of the event is usually an expert in the subject and the evening will begin with a fun presentation.
Read what the Londonist has to say about this group:
“ If you like trying new food/wine but would also like to know a bit about what you are eating/drinking without the teaching being intrusive or snobby. It's a good bet. ”— Angela
"This was my first event and Kelly made me feel very welcome. She is very friendly and the event was very well managed. the people I met were a lovely mixed bunch of ages and interests. I had a fun afternoon laughing and chatting with lots of different people." — annette
About the meetup:
I started the meetup as a hobby 2 years ago, because I love meeting people, and learning about new things. I wanted to mix personal development with socialising. Over 1,000 people have joined us - many new friends have been made (and a few couples too) and lives changed (it's true, I've heard the stories and you'll just have to see for yourself) our unique approach has paid off. In 2010 we were crowned Wine Educator of the Year and shortlisted for Wine Club of the Year by the International Wine Challenge.
I have so many exciting partnerships in the works and new experiences to share with you, I am really looking forward to 2012
There are no fees to join and attend events. Our events are excellent value and I really pride myself on going above and beyond.
A member commented the other day Tastour’s events are like a strawberry daiquiri – you always finish wanting another one!’ So I decided to introduced a Bon Vivant membership, which gives you up to 70% off our events! You can attend our monthly wine tastings for free, as well receive invites to exclusive dinners and events. See the website for more details.
In the meantime, come along for a fiver and enjoy a mini-wine tasting and social drinks night (You even get a free glass of wine to kick start your night!)
Join us, you'll love it!
We have over 20 events planned already in 2014!
I look forward to meeting you : )SEE A LIST OF 2012 EVENTS HERE
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