Monthly Archives: July 2014

Cancer biomarkers

When tackling any disease, the first step is to learn what signals its presence and what else these signs can mean. In discussing cancer, these signs are referred to as cancer biomarkers. Some organisations define a biomarker as a molecule that the cancerous tumor has secreted into the body, a direct bi-product of the presence of the disease. But others have a broader definition, using the term biomarker to describe both these molecules and the range of chemical and biological reactions produced by the body as it finds itself under attack from within.

The ability to search out these markers is vital both to the treatment of cancer and to research into the most effective cures. So what role does a marker like this play in cancer research and medicine?

Biomarkers in cancer medicine

There are a range of different uses of biomarkers in the treatment of cancer.

Assessing risk

Biomarkers can come into play before someone even becomes a patient. Certain biological signs, in particular the presence of specific sets of genes, can indicate that a person will be particularly prone to a certain sort of cancer. Testing people with a family history of cancer can give them a warning if they are likely to suffer from the disease, and so take steps to prevent it.

Rather than allow cancer to emerge and flourish unnoticed through the natural course of events, someone who knows that they are genetically at risk can make preventative changes. They can alter parts of their lifestyle likely to trigger the cancer they are predisposed to, and which while safe for others might be potentially dangerous for them. They can also seek regular testing for cancer, catching it early if it arises and so allowing more effective treatment of the cancer.

Diagnosis

Biomarkers can be tested to identify the presence of cancer and to tell doctors more about the way it is developing. This is particularly useful in determining whether a second cancer is the result of circulating tumor cells from the first, or whether it has taken root in the body independently.

Prognosis and treatment predictions

Because they can provide a lot of information about the disease, biomarkers can be used to create a prognosis for the cancer and to predict the likely impact of any given treatment. Certain biomarkers are associated with better survival rates or cancers that respond well to particular treatment. If the doctor treating a patient knows that their cancer shows particular features, and that a drug targets cancers with those features, then the chances of successful treatment dramatically increase. Equally, if they can tell that a patient will have trouble metabolising a drug then they can choose a more suitable alternative.

Monitoring the effectiveness of treatment

A lot of research is currently underway into the use of biomarkers as a sign of how effectively a treatment is working. As the cancer causes particular biomarkers, and the body produces others in response, a rise or fall in their presence can be a sign of progress. Other ways of monitoring treatment are often costly and take up equipment that could be used for other patients, so biomarkers could save hospital resources and thus lives.

Recurrence

Some biomarkers provide indicators of whether cancer is likely to recur. This can help in deciding how closely to monitor a patient after treatment has ended.

Biomarkers in cancer research

Given their importance in cancer treatment, it is hardly surprising that biomarkers play a significant role in cancer research.

Developing drug targets

Biomarkers can be a sign of a particular symptom or cause of cancer. By finding these connections, researchers can work out what causes and risks they need to treat, and develop drugs to tackle them.

Surrogate endpoints

In trials of cancer drugs, as in those for other medicines, it is not always possible to see the disease through to its finish, whether that is a cure or the failure of the drug and so the patient’s death. In the latter case in particular, trials may need to be stopped and new treatment begun.

Cancer testing is particularly challenging, as the long duration of the disease can prevent testing through its whole course, and invasive biopsies are often the only way to directly examine a patient’s cancer.

Given these issues, biomarkers are often used as stand-ins signifying whether or not a treatment is working. If the biomarkers indicate that the treatment is affecting the cancer then researchers can avoid the need for long trials or direct inspection of the tumor.

Analysing the results

Whatever biomarkers you are using, and whatever the purpose, you need a way to reliably analyse the data. With our specialist skills in the analysis of targeted Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) data, Omixon can help both scientists and clinicians to better analyse and understand the markers on display.

 

Patient stratification in clinical trials

When carrying out clinical trials, one of the most important logistical and statistical challenges is ensuring that your data accurately reflects the population you are setting out to study. None of us has the resources to test a drug on the entire human race, but if we want to have confidence in the results then we need to test it on a group that reflects the drug’s potential patients.

Of course a clinical trial of a drug for use on the elderly only needs results that reflect its effects on the elderly, and the same for any treatment with a specific patient pool. But whatever the group of patients you are aiming for, you want to ensure that the results accurately predict what will happen once the drug goes into use. This is where patient stratification comes in.

Patient stratification

Stratification is the division of your potential patient group into subgroups, also referred to as ‘strata’ or ‘blocks’. Each strata represents a particular section of your patient population.

For example, patients could be divided up according to age, gender, ethnicity, social background, medical history, or any other factor that you consider relevant.

Groups of subjects are then included in the clinical trial to match each of these groups within the patient population. So a study into the intersection of genetics & medicine that is immunotherapy might need to include groups from different ethnic backgrounds and genders, to take into account genetic variations.

With the strata established, different approaches can be taken to identify suitable test subjects.

Stratified randomization

Stratified random sampling, or stratified randomization, uses random selection within each strata in an attempt to ensure that no bias, deliberate or accidental, interferes with the representative nature of the patient sample.

Potential test subjects for a strata are identified, and those to be used in the trial are picked at random from that group. Whatever search tool you have used to identify possible test subjects, you can use your data & software to randomise your choices.

Stratified randomization is often the most straightforward way to produce an accurate sample.

Stratified proportionate sampling

Clinical trial services also make use of stratified proportionate sampling to ensure representative tests.

Stratified proportionate sampling, which can be combined with randomized stratification, is a way of ensuring that the test population represents the wider population without the need for further statistical manipulation. The percentage of subjects taken from each strata is proportionate to the percentage of the population in that strata. So if seventy percent of the likely patients are female then seventy percent of the test subjects would be female, and so on for other stratification factors.

Proportionate sampling is not necessary to ensure valid results, as the impact of different strata on the overall picture can be factored in mathematically. But it removes the need for that extra statistical step.

Disproportionate stratification

Disproportionate sampling is an approach to stratification in situations where a particular strata represents a very small proportion of the population, and so testing them proportionately might not provide valid results.

For example, if a test is set up using a thousand subjects, and one percent of the target population is over sixty, then a proportionate sample would include only ten test subjects over sixty. But while the test population as a whole might be large enough to draw reliable conclusions about the impact of the drug, the small sample in that age group would prevent reliable conclusions about its impact on them. Perhaps the researchers might be particularly concerned about the effect of their drug on those reaching retirement, or just want to make sure that each strata is properly tested. In that case they could take a disproportionate sample from the over sixty group – say one hundred subjects – and then manipulate their data so that those subjects’ results only had a one percent impact on the overall conclusions.

Quota vs convenience

However sophisticated the alignment search tool you use on your genetic data, the results may not be useful if you haven’t used the right pool of test subjects from the start. This sort of problem is why patient stratification, and the use of randomization within it, is so vital for researchers.

Taking a test sample based on who is easily available can save on cost and effort, but it fundamentally undermines the results. If you want your research to be accurate, relevant and usable in medicine then you need to apply stratification, and to have the right tools available to analyse the results.

Here to help

Omixon is here to help with that analysis. Our software, some of the fastest and most accurate in the field, will ensure that your data is quickly turned into usable results. So put your effort into getting the sample right, and let us take the effort out of processing it afterwards.

 

Immunotherapy

Cancer has become one of the biggest killers in the western world. High profile campaigns to tackle breast cancer and other common types have ensured that it is also one of the biggest businesses in modern medicine. To fight a high profile killer you need the best of cures.

Immunotherapy is one of the most powerful cancer treatments available in the modern world. Though the first antibody cancer treatment was only approved by the FDA in 1997, since then a dozen have become available, providing a growing range of treatments with which to battle cancer.

The development of cancer immunotherapy relies on the analysis of genetic data, so that researchers can better understand and improve on treatments. Omixon is proud to play a role in this process, through our specialised products for the analysis of targeted Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) data.

Cancer: the body battling itself

There’s a tragic poetry to the workings of cancer. Though it can be triggered by an outside factor, the cancer itself comes from the human body’s normal functions running amok. Systems evolved over millions of years to keep us safe instead turn upon us, cancer cells growing from our own flesh and the genetic coding that orders the body.

There are many types of cancer, but whether it’s lung cancer, ovarian cancer or prostate cancer, the way the disease works is essentially the same. Your body’s regulation of tissue growth falters in the affected region, due to changes in genetic material. This can involve a change to the oncogenes responsible for the reproduction and growth of cells, leading growth to run wild. Alternatively it can come from a failure of the tumour suppressor genes which restrain the lifespan and reproduction of cells to an appropriate level. It just takes one cancer cell to begin a process whose impact includes weight loss, bleeding, organ failure and eventually death for the patient.

Cancer and the immune system

Part of what makes cancer so deadly is that it slips through the body’s normal defence mechanisms. The human immune system has evolved to identify and attack foreign elements that can harm the body. But because cancer cells are made up of the body itself this immune response does not kick into action. Without the support and treatment provided by modern cancer regimens, the body is unlikely to fight back.

That’s where immunotherapy, and the support provided by Omixon, comes in.

How immunotherapy works

Immunotherapy, also referred to as immune enhancement therapy, is a cancer treatment that works by helping and guiding the immune system in battling cancer.

The most successful forms of immunotherapy are antibody therapies. These use antibodies, proteins created by the immune system that can latch onto cells. Externally produced antibodies are introduced to the patient’s system and latch onto the cancer. There they use a number of different methods to destroy the cancer cells and so fight the disease.

Cell-based therapies start with doctors removing immune cells from the patient, usually from the blood or the cancerous area. Cells specifically capable of fighting the cancer are then activated, grown outside of the body, and returned to the patient’s system. This cell transfer directly provides the body with the weapons that it needs to fight that cancer.

Cytokine therapies, like antibody therapies, rely on the production and use of proteins. But whereas antibodies directly attack the cancer, cytokines regulate the immune system. Their introduction can be used to enhance the immune system, encouraging the whole system in its fight against disease.

Where Omixon fits in

All of these therapies are built on understanding the genetic sequence of human bodies, in particular the cells responsible for causing and for fighting cancer. This is a complex process and an extremely data-heavy one. The human genetic code is an amazingly vast repository of information, and every person’s genes are different. Identifying the patterns of code responsible for any given function of cell reproduction or the immune system is a huge task.

Omixon specializes in the analysis of targeted Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) data. Using our Target application suite we help scientists and doctors to analyse the genetic data at the heart of cancer treatments. This isn’t just useful for research and for understanding the broad picture of how cancer works. It is vital to work in identifying early signs of cancer, and in providing personalised treatment suited to the needs of a particular patient and their particular cancer.

Vast pools of complex data require fast, accurate and above all up to date equipment to ensure that they are properly understood. A global company specialising in innovative technologies, our software provides the most accurate analysis and genotyping you can find. Whether running clinical trials, looking at samples to ensure that a patient will respond to immunotherapy, or carrying out cutting edge research to support drug discovery, we have the tools to advance your immunotherapy work.

 

Fire Alarm Installation

At ARC Fire Safety Limited we can’t stress enough the importance of having a suitable, robust fire alarm system installed at your property. Hopefully, of course, you’ll never have need to use the alarm at all but, in those rare instances when a fire does occur, the quality of your system is absolutely vital for protecting both lives and the property itself.

We Provide Full Installation of Fire Alarms and Security Systems

Our team of fire installation experts can survey, design and then fully install a fire alarm system suitable to the layout and needs of your property. Incorporated into this system can also be a robust and highly effective security system to protect against intruders.

Using a combination of sensors and detecting equipment, from glass call point alarm triggers and heat sensors to CCTV monitors and access controls you can protect your building with a reliable, high quality fire alarm as well as an effective burglar alarm during working days and out-of-office hours.

Your Building Requires a Risk Assessment

The first step on the road to installing a fire and security system at your property is the RISK ASSESSMENT.

As a commercial property owner you’re required by law to have a fire risk assessment in order to demonstrate that you are both aware of the potential dangers and that you have taken reasonable precautions to protect against these dangers.

At ARC we can work with you and on your behalf to ensure that your risk assessments is up to date, accurate and keeping you in compliance with all laws and regulations.

Fully Comprehensive Installation of Fire & Security Alarm Systems

Based upon the findings from the risk assessment we can then carry out a fully comprehensive fire alarm installation including any security or crime prevention measures – all tailored to meet your exact specifications and to ensure that your building will be fully compliant with building and fire regulations.

We understand how important the installation of your fire and security system is to your business and the potentially devastating consequences that either event can have upon your organisation.

This is why we undertake such a thorough approach to your installation, ensuring that the equipment is of the highest quality and completely suitable to your needs and the spec of the design.

We will fit and install, according to your needs, all the appropriate fire and security equipment from:

• Break Glass Call Point Alarms
• Smoke Alarms appropriate to the environment
• Heat Sensors
• CCTV
• Automated Fire and Smoke Detectors
• Access Controls
• Fire Extinguishers appropriate to the building and the materials on site
• Emergency Lightings / Security Lights

Our installations are carried out with efficiency and, above all, care. We ensure, through rigorous checking, that each component is installed correctly and in working order to give you peace of mind that your system is robust and up to the task of providing protection to your property in the event of fire or intrusion.

The key criteria for any installation, and for the continuing use of the system, is to give as much protection to both the lives of those within the building and indeed the building itself. For this reason when you allow ARC Fire Safety to install your security and fire alarms you can be sure that you are not only receiving expertise of the highest order, but also the reassurance of working with someone who can provide ongoing servicing and maintenance to your system so that it is in the very best working order at all times.

All of our installations will be supported by a repair, servicing and on-going preventative maintenance programme that be tailored specifically to the requirements of your business and flexible enough to allow for any changes to your circumstances that the future may hold.

Fire Alarm Design

Fire alarm design is perhaps the most important part of the entire installation process.

Ensuring that an alarm system is correctly designed in accordance to the layout and the demands of the environment in which it will be installed provides a dramatically increased level of early warning protection against the dangers of fire and smoke; giving added protection for your property and helping to save lives.

At ARC Fire Safety, we take the design of your fire alarm seriously, using all of our expertise and experience to ensure that the system is designed, manufactured and installed bespoke to your building to ensure the highest degree of safety and protection.

Our designers, all correctly qualified to comply with all safety standards and levels of expertise, will carry out a thorough survey of the site in order to put together a comprehensive fire alarm system which will provide full coverage of all areas of the property, with no ‘blind spots’ and with the correct equipment and procedures in place for the highest level of detection and alarm possible.

Key Aspects of Your Fire Alarm Design

Correct Number and Locations for Call Points

Call Points are a crucial part of any fire alarm system with their siting, positioning and numbers paramount to any design.

  • Break Glass Call Points – These are the devices that can be used to raise the alarm to a fire on the premises. The operator will simply break the glass which will activate the system and raise the alarm
  • The call points need to be located at all exit routes as well as floor landings, staircases and at all exits out of the building
  • Nobody should be required to travel more than 45m within an area of the building in order to reach a break glass call point
  • All Call points should be free from any obstruction and located in conspicuous areas and within easy reach for all people.

Ensuring that the site is correctly zoned

When designing a fire detection system at any location it’s usually appropriate to divide the premises into zones with correct zoning forming an important part of the level of protection offered to both the lives of those within the building and the property itself.

  • Smaller (perhaps single storey) buildings with a floor area less than 300 sq. m can be treated as single zone properties
  • If floor area exceeds 300 sq.m then zones should typically be split between storeys
  • Stairwells and lift shafts should be treated as separate zones
  • Nobody should be required to travel more than 60m within a zone to locate a fire.

Automatic Fire Detection Systems

Whilst all fire alarm systems will be designed on the understanding that personal vigilance is required as part of the overall protection, the use of automatic detection systems can offer a vital component as part of an early warning indicator of fire within a property.

  • Automatic monitors and sensors can be installed to detect the early onset of a fire at a premises
  • Sensors can be managed from a central control point set according to each zone on the property
  • Automatic raising of alarms can be triggered to alert those in the building to the danger as well as offering quick response to the relevant emergency services.

Smoke Detection

At ARC Fire Safety we will ensure that correct types of smoke detection equipment are incorporated into the design of your fire alarm system as well as, of course, all being correctly located within the premises.
Our surveyors will assess the property concerned to ensure that smoke detection is correctly situated and then recommend the various types of equipment that should be in place. These could range from:

  • Infra-red or beam detectors
  • Ionisation Detectors
  • Heat Sensing Detectors

Each detector is suitable for varying types of location so, to avoid false alarms and give maximum protection it’s crucial that the correct type is installed in the correct location.

Staying in credit

By: Images Money

A bad credit rating can affect your ability to get a mortgage, and with the clampdown on mortgage approvals as the banks tighten up on standards, even if you are not considering a mortgage at present, it is still worth getting your finances in order so obtaining a mortgage will be easier in the future.

What do banks look at?

Remember, banks will now look at all aspects of your finances. While we all know that lenders will not look favourably at people with County Court Judgements, defaulted payments or bankruptcy orders, it is also the case that a missed credit card payment or a default on an energy bill can also cause problems. Such is the pressure on the banks not to lend to potential bad debtors, the mortgage review process will even take into account spending habits and lifestyle so if you have an online gambling account it might be worth closing it or limiting your gambling activity to improve the number of times it appears on your statement. A bad credit history or some banking activity that suggest you might be a risk in the future, will limit who you can borrow from.

Here are some guidelines to getting your finances in top-top condition.

1. Check your own credit history through credit history companies Experian, Equifax or CallCredit. Ensure your debts are all registered to your current address and everything is up to date and correct.

2. Show lenders you are a responsible borrower by taking out a credit card and paying everything back each month. Having a credit card is important as it shows you have a credit history – there have been cases of people who have never had a credit card struggling to get a mortgage because they have no credit history to demonstrate!

3. Don’t make too many credit applications all at once, lenders will see this as desperation. Space applications out, even mobile phone contracts. Things that lenders like include: a fixed landline rather than a mobile phone; long-term employment history; a long-term record with the same bank; and a long time at one address.

4. Make sure you are on the electoral role. If you have a bad credit history, don’t despair. There are steps you can take to improve matters. Start to build a good credit history by paying store cards and credit cards as soon as you get the bill. Get a friend or family member with a good credit history to co-sign a loan or credit card. this will establish good credit in your name.

5. Don’t keep applying for credit if you have been turned down, this will show on your credit history. Wait a while until you are in a position to demonstrate a good credit history.

6. If you have had no credit cards and therefore no credit history, take out a credit card or a small loan and pay it off quickly. This will establish you as a trustworthy and responsible borrower.

Clean-up your credit act

Re-establishing a good credit history will take a little time, but by cleaning up your credit history, you will stand a better chance of making a successful application. So it really is worth taking a good look at your finances and making some tweaks to ensure that a potential lender will like what he sees. In a nutshell, this is someone who likes to use credit – be it in the shape of store cards loans or credit cards, but is willing and able to pay these debts back on time.

Five top tips to help you save money

By: Blatant World

Just making your wages last until the end of the month can be difficult these days. With food prices and the cost of living generally very high, people are struggling to make their money stretch. While pay rises and a drop in the cost of living would make an immediate and sizeable difference to many families, there are little things that each of us can do to reduce our cost of living.

Here are some ideas:

1. Make a shopping list before you do the weekly groceries.

If you take a few minutes to sit down and plan your meals for the week, you will find that you throw far less food away. Statistics suggest that we chuck out nearly £500 of food each year, so by planning what we need – and avoid the supermarket’s advertising ploys – we can reduce the amount we waste.

2. Sell your clutter on E-Bay.

Do a simple test: open a cupboard door and see what you can discover that you haven’t used/worn/touched in three years. Anything that you are keeping ‘for the sake of it’ can go towards your eBay or car boot sale.

3. Swap talents.

Within your circle of friends/family/acquaintances you probably know an electrician, a plumber, a carpenter and a decorator. You might not think you have a talent that they want, but think outside the box. Can you offer music lessons to their children in return for a room being decorated? Are you an IT whizz-kid who can build them a website or design them some business cards? Could you re-design their garden while they fit those down lights you have been wanting for years? By swapping skills you will save hundreds of pounds and enjoy socialising at the same time.

4. Get to the front of the queue.

Even when you are on a savings spree, you still want to go out and see your favourite bands or go to a West-End show. Today, we tend to mainly get our tickets through ticket touts, who charge a premium. But this is not always the case, sometimes you can get cheaper tickets by being first in line or going to the venue. For concerts and gigs, the tickets go on sale to the public at the same time as they are sold to the promoters. You just need to know when they go on sale and then buy them straight from the main agents before they hand the tickets over to the promoters. Sign up to a free alert service from the main ticket agents and get in before the touts get them. Also sign up to your favourite bands websites so you have insider knowledge of when they are touring. For West End shows, if you are able to be in the city, you can go directly to the venue and buy return tickets on the day – these will be a third of the price you would pay be booking through an agent.

5. Cancel your gym membership.

In these times when we spend large proportions of our day sitting down and we are constantly being warned about the dangers of inactivity and obesity, it may seem counter-intuitive to suggest cancelling a gym membership. However, there are two points to consider: a vast majority of the people who have gym memberships that they pay monthly, rarely go to the gym. A £50/month gym membership is very expensive if you only go once or twice a month. If you don’t go at all, then it is money thrown away. Consider joining a pay-as-you-go gym. That way you know you are getting value for money. Alternatively, look for an exercise regime that is free to use. Running, walking, cycling, doing a home circuit, meeting friends for a kick around in the park – these are all free and fun ways to get fit. These are just five ideas for saving money, it really is just case of making some adjustments in your life that will leave you feeling wealthier, and in some cases, healthier.

Courtyard Cafe – Weddings

A wedding is a very special occasion in anyone’s life, and one that should be celebrated to the fullest. The Courtyard Cafe is a beautiful venue for your reception located in the heart of a quaint village, and guaranteed to steal your heart. In the heart of the picturesque village of Hartley Wintney, roll up in a horse drawn carriage as the newly-wed couple, sashay through a beautiful antique shop and step into your wedding reception venue – a stunning space exclusively reserved for you to enjoy your day.

Take advantage of the fabulous views to capture your wedding day moments – the Courtyard Cafe gives you the opportunity to enjoy every second of your day without worrying about a single thing. The staff at the Courtyard Cafe are on hand throughout the day to take care of everything, from seating guests and serving food to manning the bar and service canapés to your evening guests.

Wedding Reception Food

Our team of dedicated and highly talented chefs have worked tirelessly to craft a selection of menus guaranteed to tantalize your taste buds and set your imagination wondering to your honeymoon. We cater for any taste or dietary requirement, and are always open to your own personal suggestions and preferences. Our menus include a huge variety of foods, from classic British cuisine to exciting and tantalizing fusion dishes, there is sure to be something that suits your tastes, and your budget. We urge you to take a look at our sample menus for some ideas, or request a tasting before you book – we guarantee you will fall in love with our beautiful venue and our beautiful food.

The Garden Room

This intimate room is the perfect place for a champagne reception with the bridal party before the main reception begins. A cosy space that can be decorated and catered in any space you like, it can house up to 20 people at a time. This room is also a fantastic location for a personalised photo booth – a way to amuse and entertain your guests while the day goes on and capture some wonderful candid shots.

The Main Cafe

The main cafe is the perfect place to host your wedding reception on your special day. The larger of our two function rooms, its perfect place for an intimate wedding reception. We provide you with the space and service for a sit down meal for 40, letting you enjoy the company of your nearest and dearest for a fantastic meal. Once your meal is finished, we transform from day to night with a fully serviced bar and canapés for up to 60 people. The room comes with exclusive use of the outside terrace, giving you a perfect photo spot, designated smoking area or games section to keep your reception flowing.

For the evening, bring in a band for your entertainment and we will sweep the tables and chairs away for the evening, giving you a dance floor to strut your stuff on and dance the night away.

Courtyard Cafe – Baby Showers

While the idea of a baby shower is traditionally an American concept – it is fast taking root in the UK. it’s a time where friends and family of the new mum-to-be gather around and celebrate the gift of this news life- usually by bringing gifts for the new baby and mum. The Courtyard Cafe welcomes baby shower parties with open arms – and provides a range of services to help support friends of the mum-to-be in their planning.

Whether it’s an intimate family affair or a full blown party to celebrate the arrival of a new life, the Courtyard Cafe can help you pull it off in style. Our resident chefs will provide you with fantastic food and our choice of rooms for hire means you can completely personalise your day – any new mum-to-be will love the day you put on for them!

Baby Shower Food

Traditionally a baby shower is held as a lunch or brunch affair – and we have designed a set of menus that will suit any taste or budget for your celebration. catering for every taste from traditional classic sit down means, exciting fusion dishes, finger buffets and even delicious afternoon teas, you will not be disappointed in the delicious range we can offer.

We encourage you to take a look at our sample menus or come in to take a look at some of our fabulous food – we guarantee you will leave with your mouth watering and your mind buzzing with new ideas. You bring the cake – we provide the rest!

The Garden Room

The whole idea of a baby shower is to adapt to what the new mum wants in her celebration. If the new mother wants a low key event, then we are happy to accommodate that with the hire of our beautiful garden room. This private function room is a small and intimate space perfect for those small private affairs. It can seat 14 for a sit down brunch or afternoon tea, or you can invite up to 20 for more of an informal buffet style celebration. We help you decorate the room with a baby theme – anything from the traditional bunting to a more modern novelty balloons and banners, and provide a fantastic range of food for you and your guests.

The Main Cafe

The main cafe is our stunning feature room that is perfect for bigger celebrations. It can comfortably sit up to 40 people for a formal meal, or 60 for an informal buffet style event. This room is perfect for baby shower games and larger celebrations – including the use of the outside terrace – which gives you fantastic photographic opportunities and the chance to include some outdoor games too. For those with a large group of friends and family struggling to find a place to celebrate a baby shower in style – look no further. Decorate the room in a baby theme, enjoy some fabulous food and pamper the mum-to-be in this gorgeous room, exclusively yours for the day.

Courtyard Cafe – Hen Parties

When you think of a hen party, you think of a wild night, partying, drinking and playing risqué and rude games to embarrass the bride on her ‘last night of freedom.’ They are notorious for getting a bit out of hand, but generally being a fantastic night for all involved, despite the hangovers the next day! But what about the more sophisticated bride, who wants a more civilised approach? At the Courtyard Cafe we are regular hosts to some quite spectacular hen parties of all shapes and sizes.

The Courtyard Cafe is the perfect place for a champagne brunch in a beautiful location. Enjoy the view of the quaint and rustic Hartley Wintney with a glass of champagne on the balcony and some delicious canapés, toasting the bride to be and the start of her new life. Then move inside for a sit down brunch with your closest girl friends and enjoy one of our fantastic meals prepared fresh for you. Both of our function rooms are spacious and versatile – so you can customise and theme your room around your bride. We have often had the bridesmaids prepare a selection of games at the various tables, embarrassing the bride and enjoying the day within the privacy of the function room. No matter what your style or how you want to celebrate your hen night, the Courtyard cafe are at your every beck and call to help make it a reality.

Hen Party Meals

At the Courtyard Cafe our highly trained chefs have worked tirelessly to prepare a selection of fantastic menus that will cater to every taste and every budget. We sever the classic and traditional dishes in their simplistic perfection, right up to exciting fusion dishes from around the world. Not only that, but we will offer you a choice from our selection of quality wines and champagnes, to help your special day go off with a fizz as well as a bang. Take a look at some of our sample menus to get a taste for our food and wine, and we guarantee that it will leave your mouth watering!

The Garden Room

The garden room is perfect for those small intimate hen parties – helping bring friends and family closer together. It’s a beautiful private room that can sit up to 14 for a private dining experience or up to 20 for an informal buffet style event. You ate free to decorate the room as your please – letting you really get into the swing of the day. We even equip the room with a state of the art sound system and a plasma screen – so you can display a slideshow of the brides embarrassing moments while you celebrate.

The Main Cafe

The main cafe is a large and vibrant room right in the heart of the cafe. A large room with infinite possibilities, perfect for a larger group of ladies to get together and celebrate an impending marriage in style. Seating up for 40 for a traditional meal or 60 for an informal buffet, enjoy some time mingling with champagne and canapés in this stunning feature room The main cafe includes use of the outside terrace area, giving you a fantastic opportunity for photos and a breath of fresh air.