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Monday, November 22, 2010

Allied Arts Guild Open House in Menlo Park

On a recent cool and overcast autumn afternoon I attended an open house hosted at the Allied Arts Guild just down the way from the Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto, CA.

Established in 1929, the property is available for weddings, receptions, seminars, workshops, meetings and luncheons. The range of available spaces, both indoors and outdoors, is quite extensive. The Spanish Colonial architecture of the buildings blends perfectly with the extensive gardens that surround them. Guests can meander through both the gardens and artisan studios and shops tucked away in bungalows around the perimeter of the property amidst trailing vines and lush foliage.

A new addition to the property in 2010 was the conversion of this empty room into a beautifully appointed board room, available to rent by the hour. The conference room features include:
  • 750 square feet of space
  • 106" projection screen with built in projector
  • Blu Ray DVD player is available to screen movies or films
  • Wireless microphone is available
  • In-room copier/fax/scanner for your exclusive use
  • Conference seating for up to 24 with 20 additional upholstered chairs available
  • High speed internet access and full AV services
  • 6 different lighting schemes to perfectly complement your presentations or group activities
  • Outdoor garden court available for team building activities or for breaking sessions
  • Full service catering available onsite
  • Event Director onsite for support during your meeting
You will seriously love this space!

Another plus is that the proceeds to rent the facility for any purpose benefits the Allied Arts Guild Auxiliary, which owns the entire property. Their mission is to raise funds to support uncompensated care at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. The Artisan Shop is staffed entirely by volunteers and all of their profits are also donated to the hospital.

The conference room is easy to access as it is adjacent to the private parking lot on the grounds (there is no charge for parking) which makes it easy to unload and set up any display pieces you may need for your presentation. And the bonus is there are no stairs or elevators!

I really love this space and would recommend it in a heartbeat to anyone in need of a conference or board room to rent on the Peninsula or near the South Bay. CLICK HERE for more details about renting the conference room.

Guests that afternoon were offered both libations, a light lunch and candy buffet. I enjoyed a really tasty pasta salad which I should have taken a picture of but I was so hungry I forgot to!

I took the photo on the left at the Open House and the image on the right, set up for a wedding ceremony, at the Bella Intima wedding showcase held on the property in 2009. It's the same tree though from slightly different angles.

A second outdoor location taken at the open house is (pictured above) and at the same wedding showcase displayed for a wedding the year before (below). This is a larger space without a fountain but it has beautiful tile work that creates an aisle and ceremony area in which the bride, groom and their officiant can stand during the vows.

The main path in the back garden leads to many of the artisan studios and retail gift shops.

The property is so charming! I love the rustic look of some of the studios.

Where to go... There's something around every corner.

There are plenty of signs and this map to point out which way to go.

I counted 4 different fountains on the property but there may be even more.

And these dahlias were undoubtedly some of the last of the lingering blooms for guests to enjoy before the cold winter weather hit.

Looking for fresh persimmons? I'm not sure if 3 for a dollar is a good deal or not but they're available and payment is based on the honor system.

Echinacea Blossoms

Autumnal pumpkins in a beautifully carved wheelbarrow.

If you've never been to the Allied Arts Guild before it's just down the street and around the corner from Stanford Mall. Just head west on El Camino and make a left turn on Cambridge Avenue.

You'll drive through a quaint and quiet residential neighborhood. Where the street ends is where you'll find the entrance to the Allied Arts Guild. If you like to support local artisans you should go take a peek at the gift shops and make an afternoon of it having lunch at Cafe Primavera, a restaurant on the property.

My thanks to Tiana Wong for inviting me to attend the open house. I really enjoyed taking my time perusing the artist's studios and wandering through the gardens that day :)

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