Holiday Party Package

West Belmont Place Event Center at The National Conference Center creates a unique holiday party package to celebrate the upcoming holidays. According to Tony Roberts, the author of “Learn the 7 Forces of Business Mastery,” holiday parties are still popular. According to one study, about 90% of companies throw a holiday party for their employees. It’s yet another way many companies show their appreciation for — and retain — their employees. With so much competition for “star players” and the ever-rising threat of a rival company poaching top talent, these sorts of perks help provide the glue that make a person want to stick with a company.

A great holiday party contains three important characteristics: atmosphere, decor and refreshments (food, beverage) — without trying to cut corners. No matter how large or how small your holiday party is, if it is done in the spirit of giving, it is bound to be a great night that your employees will appreciate.

This year West Belmont Place offers 6 Holiday Party Ideas complete with giveaways and incentives for those who book by September 1, 2018, including:

  • A private 4-course Chef’s Table for four guests that can be a giveaway for meeting guests or a special event for staff, board of directors or VIPs.
  • Complimentary ice sculpture with your company logo.
  • Complimentary Champagne toast at reception or dinner.
  • Two complimentary hors d’oeuvres.

If the contract is $5,000, one incentive can be added; $10,000 contract, two incentives can be added and $15,000 contract, three incentives can be added.

The fine print: New bookings only. Does not apply to previously booked meetings. Can not be combined with other discounts or promotions. Contract must be signed before September1, 2018. Does not include sales tax.

West Belmont Place offers the largest ballroom (16,552 sq. ft.) in Northern Virginia that can be used for a large office party; and also intimate spaces like The National Secret, Black Olive Bar & Grill, The Living Room and The Dining Room. The catering staff can create exhilarating and innovative special events that may include corporate giving, teambuilding, wine and food pairings, scavenger hunts or contests, and themed events.

For more information about the “Christmas in July”, call 703-724-6250 for more details.  Christmas in July continues through September 1st.

$99 Day Meeting Package

The National Conference Center’s West Belmont Place has just created the “Just in Time” $99 Day Meeting Package (DMP), which is an all-inclusive per person, per day-priced meeting package. The “Just in Time” $99 Day Meeting Package includes:Meeting Space in Leesburg

  • Meeting room
  • Unlimited healthy refreshment breaks to create a “food for thought” mood
  • Farm-to-Table lunch with food stations in the Dining Room
  • House technology package
  • Complimentary WiFi throughout the campus
  • Ample, covered complimentary parking with security
  • Dedicated meeting Ambassador to customize your meeting
  • Productive learning environment, distraction-free campus setting
  • A variety of outdoor space for socializing and networking after the meeting

And new this year, The National’s West Belmont Place offers four complimentary incentives or giveaways for those who book a day meeting anytime during 2018. Contract must be signed by August 31, 2018.

  • A private 4-course Chef’s Table for four guests that can be a giveaway for meeting guests or a special event for staff, board of directors or VIPs.Ice Carving incentive
  • Complimentary ice sculpture with your company logo.
  • Complimentary Champagne toast at reception or dinner.
  • Two complimentary in the $20-25/person range.

If the contract is $5,000, one incentive can be added; $10,000 contract, two incentives can be added and $15,000 contract, three incentives can be added.

The fine print:  New bookings only. Does not apply to previously booked meetings. Can not be combined with other discounts or promotions. Contract must be signed before August 31, 2018. Does not include sales tax.

Adventure and Teambuilding
Some of the highlights of The National, in addition to its 265,000 sq. ft. of meeting and event space, is the newly designed Challenge Course and many teambuilding options that can be added to any meeting. This professionally designed, 14-element Challenge Course addresses the physical and emotional needs of all individuals. Our programs go beyond the Challenge Course with culinary competitions, off-site adventure trips, sport and game tournaments, wellness, fitness and mindfulness programs

Small and Intimate Spots
When new management took over The National four years ago, one of the goals was to create small, intimate meeting spaces. Common areas through the facility provide space for socializing, discussions and networking. A modern Living Room space off the lobby, a game room and a “speakeasy” room aptly named The National Secret round out the indoor space. Todd Goldian West Belmont PlaceThe National Secret is behind the active Black Olive Bar & Grill provides a quiet meeting space.

Hyper-Local Culinary Program
The National’s food and beverage program continues to grow and evolve under the direction of Food and Beverage Director Todd Goldian and Executive Chef Frank Estremera. They have focused on growing relationships with local farmers, incorporating over 60 local products to the daily menus that serve as many as 1,200 guests per day. We have created a healthy Breakfast for Champions menu that includes healthy shakes, steal oats oatmeal served with local honey, cage-free eggs and fresh produce from CEA Farms. See our blog post with more details.

For more information about the “Just in Time” $99 Day MeetingPackage, Click here to submit your meeting requirements. This offer continues through August 31st.

Black Olive Block Party – Enter to Win

Black Olive Block Party – Enter to Win a Private Party in The National Secret!

Become a member of the Black Olive Club to win a private party in The National Secret for you and 11 friends! Our Chef Frank Estremera will create a menu to accompany the evening complete with a champagne toast!

The Black Olive at The National is located in the heart of Leesburg, right off Rt. 7. This neighborhood meeting spot has a club atmosphere with 200-seat sports and action bar, impressive columns and several outdoor patios with fire pits. The Black Olive Club membership, created especially for the local community, offers discounts on food, wine, and events. There is no fee to become a member and no monthly spending requirements. To find out more, click here or call 703-724-5147.

ENTER TO WIN TODAY to reserve your spot. No entry fee. $2 Tasting Tickets will be sold and $6 Food Portion Tickets will be sold.

Black Olive Block Party

Friday, June 15, starting at 5pm we invite all of Lansdowne and Loudoun neighbors to join us for live music with local favorite Jumpin’ Jupiter. Enjoy food and beverages as the summer kicks off at The Black Olive Bar & Grill’s Block Party. Bring your friends and enjoy music, wine, cigars and food from local restaurants, all on a shady patio. Not sure where the Black Olive is located? We’re off Rt. 7 behind Riverside High on 65-acres of beautiful countryside at The National Conference Center.

This is sure to be a fun night and the first of Black Olive’s monthly summer entertainment series. We so enjoy working with our community partners that we’ve invitPatio at Black Oliveed them to partake and share the night.  This is a free event for the local community and businesses to come together and relax.

  • Black Olive Bar & Grill, a mammoth 200-seat sports bar at The National Conference Center, will be roasting a pig for the Block Party, along with side dishes and a full bar will be open to purchase a variety of local wine, beer and beverages.
  • Live music with Jumpin’ Jupiter, a 4-piece group known as Virginia’s premiere rockin’ and rollin’ rockabilly outfit. Dance up a storm as this band unleashes some of the most powerful and energetic music ever seen in Loudoun County.
  • Wine and chocolate pairings with Chief Wine Officer, Mary Watson-Delauder. Have you ever seen Mary in action? If not, you’re missing out on entertainment at its best. With over 30 years in the wine business and the spokesperson for Virginia Wine Tourism in 2007 and 2008, Mary has her very own following. Learn how to taste the differences in wine when paired with chocolate. Six to eight wines will be available for tasting with homemade chocolates by Chef Santosh Tiptur from The Conche Restaurant, who lives by indulging in chocolates! Mary Watson
  • Brewmasters from Solace Brewery, one of the newest in Loudoun County, will be doing tastings of their latest brews and showcasing summer ales. Let’s hope they bring Beach Bod and Sun’s Out Hops Out to taste.
  • Premium Moonshine from Belle Isle. This is not moonshine like we’ve come to know it; this is premium moonshine, made using the same techniques passed down by our American ancestors, distilled from 100% organic corn, and made with only the best ingredients. Taste and see for yourself and pair it with fabulous food from our local restaurants.
  • Mt. Defiance, located in historic Middleburg, creates handcrafted, small batch hard ciders and spirits. This Distillery focuses on the revival of classic spirits, and explores the world of “lost spirits,” those that had fallen out of favor either due to post-Prohibition mass production methods, out-of-date laws, or both. They honor Middleburg, the colonial-era town, with one of the most popular spirits of that time, rum. Taste, learn and experience.

Back Olive Bar & Grill’s pub menu, Ford’s Fish Shack, with its variety of fresh fish from up and down the East Coast and The Conche Restaurant’s chocolate and desserts will be serving $6 portion size dishes. Local farmers from Spring House Farm and Silcott Farm will be showing fresh fruits and vegetables and discussing their upcoming growing season.

MEET US in the Courtyard at The Black Olive Bar & Grill – 18980 West Belmont Place, Leesburg, VA (located at The National Conference Center to the right of the Front Desk). Free covered parking.

RSVP Today to reserve your Spot. No entry fee. $2 Tasting Tickets will be sold and $6 Food Portion Tickets will be sold.

Summer Camp Is Here

Reinvigorate your team’s creativity and productivity with an exciting retreat to The National. With our beautiful, 65-acre campus by the Potomac River, The National offers out-of-the-box solutions for indoor and outdoor venues that celebrate summertime. Take your program into the great outdoors, or completely reimagine what it means to be indoors with innovative set-ups and themed décor ideas from our creative planning experts. Top it all off with innovative teambuilding and networking programs that will leave your team reminiscing like school kids after summer camp. Our team can provide you with such memorable experiences as:

  • Themed Refreshment Breaks: Menu planning, props and activities during scheduled breaks
  • Outdoor Socials: Food, wine and more by the Pergola, Terrace, Courtyard or expansive West Lawn
  • Ice Breakers: Engaging sessions designed to break down barriers and get teams comfortable with one another
  • Team Building: Challenge Course, Black Olive Bar, and custom programs from wine tastings to offsite brewery tours
  • Food & Wine Pairings: Pairings in the Park with Executive Chef Frank Estremera and Chief Wine Officer Mary Watson DeLauder

Enjoy savings of up to 18% when you schedule your program during the weeks of July 8, August 9 or September 16. Special savings are available for two-, three-, and four-day programs.

Call us today for more information: 703.724.5111.

Put A Little Weekend In Your Meeting

Let The National team put the “weekend” in your weekend meeting or event. With 1.2 million square feet of space on a lush, 65-acre campus, The National has everything you want readily available – from 900 guest rooms to our award-winning Challenge Course to an expansive ballroom that seats 1,500. Choose from our Day or Complete Meeting Packages and our expert team of planners will work with you to select engaging teambuilding programs and craft your ideal learning environment, providing your group with an unforgettable experience that’s worthy of their weekend.

Day Meeting Package:

• Fully equipped conference room, break-out room and meeting setups
• Standard audiovisual package (some audio visual aids may be subject to additional fee)
• Lunch in the Dining Room
• Continuous refreshment breaks (coffee, soft drinks, snacks)
• Dedicated conference planner
• Use of fitness center
• Complimentary parking
• GSA Package priced per person, per day

Complete Meeting Package:

• Overnight accommodations
• Professional conference planning manager
• Fully equipped conference rooms, large meeting spaces and break-out room
• Standard audiovisual package
• Three meals daily in our 800-seat Dining Room
• Continuous refreshments and snacks
• Complimentary Wi-Fi in the meeting rooms and guest rooms
• Use of fitness center and jogging trails
• Complimentary parking
• GSA Package priced per person, per day

Enjoy savings of up to 35% when you schedule your program on select weekends.
Call us today for more information: 703.724.5111.

The National is Surrounded by Summer FUN

1. Fridays in Leesburg

Historic downtown/King Street
The first Friday of every month is a celebration. Art galleries and shops stay open later and feature wine and food tastings, and live music. On other Fridays, enjoy the historic setting and many options for dining and nightlife.

2. One Loudoun

The One Loudoun complex
Dubbed Loudoun County’s new Downtown, this complex of restaurants, bars, shops, and entertainment can fill an hour – or an evening. Go for free outdoor summer concerts, dinner under the stars, or the farmer’s market on Saturdays.

3. Solace Brewery

2615 Trade West Dr. Suite 100, Dulles, VA
Find your Solace at this local production brewery. The large tasting room is open all week. Look for Solace in the Black Olive Bar too!

4. Topgolf

20356 Commonwealth Center Dr, Ashburn, VA
Topgolf Dulles features 102 bays over 3 floors with a golf game concept that anyone can play and enjoy – from pros to zeros. It’s competitive, fun, and always better with a big group. Lively bars, a rooftop terrace, and food and drink options available.

5. Catoctin Creek Distillery

120 W Main St, Purcellville, VA
Learn how this award-winning whiskey is made during a tour, then sample a flight of spirits, whiskey, brandy, or cocktails. Reservations recommended.

6. The Appalachian Trail

18393 Blue Ridge Mountain Rd, Bluemont, VA
You don’t need expedition gear to enjoy a little piece of the famed trail. Catch a sunset across the Shenandoah Valley at Bear’s Den, just half-a-mile from a nearby parking lot or stroll the trail for an afternoon.

7. MacDowell Brew Kitchen

202 B. Harrison St. SE, Leesburg
This brewpub’s beachy backyard, complete with a sandy underfoot, is the perfect way to kick back after a long day. Ask about daily drink specials.

Hot from the Kitchen: Dinner for 1,350!

The granddaddy of them all – and the largest event hosted in the West Belmont Ballroom in 2017 – was the Marine Corps University Ball. Combining equal parts formal ceremony and birthday bash, planning for this event was months in the making. Our Executive Chef, then Todd Goldian, and members of the staff served 1,350 meals simultaneously. Here’s how the magic happened:

August: Our War Plan for the Marine Corps Ball

On a giant white board wall, the National’s event team mapped out a plan for the evening. We knew the event would be big but we needed to see just how many plates, how much cutlery, how many servers we would need. The War Plan became a giant chart with numbers and quantities so I could start thinking about hot boxes to transport food from the kitchen, suppliers for the food and additional specialized training for the front-line servers for that evening.

October: Order’s In

We hosted a tasting for 30 of the Marines planning this event and they approved the final menu and my presentation, so I’ve now placed food orders with select vendors. It’s a process to make sure we have consistent, top-quality filets and chicken for a thousand people. We also have ordered food for special dietary needs and allergies.

Week of the event: Consuming details

The food has arrived and we’ve prepped some of the ingredients. In the ballroom, the tables are set and we’ve detailed a system with the servers to silence the room. One person will stand on a step ladder, visible from every corner of the room. When she holds up a green flag, we can move and serve discretely. When she holds up a red flag, all noise and movement stop, to allow for the ceremonial parts of the evening to go on without distraction.

Day of the Ball: It’s go time

We start cooking a few hours before the ball. Serving a thousand perfectly cooked medium filets is all about precision timing. I have eight cooks, 15 stewards and 165 servers ready to go. We run through each element of the meal to make sure we’re fully ready. Then I make the first plate while two lines of cooks look on. At that point, that place erupts into a frenzy of action. We use that first plate to compare all others.

The cooking and plating process takes more than two hours but each dinner is artfully arranged, covered and loaded into a labeled hotbox for serving.

The journey from the kitchen to the ballroom is 1,000 steps, so it takes an army to move the Marines’ food. The dinner is served and as I greet those sitting at the head table, I receive compliments on the food and even a few challenge coins, a sign of service well rendered!

The pinnacle of the evening for me was the cake ceremony, where a huge layered cake is carried out by a Marine formation and cut with their sabers. It’s spectacular and historic and our cake, the piece de résistance, looks awesome!

Once the dinner service is complete and the party and dancing started, I returned to the kitchen, grabbed one last plate of the dinner and savored my meal alone, in my office. Our largest event of the year had gone off without a hitch.

Go Big: West Belmont events max the space

Loudoun County thinks big. Big businesses. Big communities. Big dreams. The National, with our own 65-acre campus on the banks of the Potomac River, lives large too. We’ve hosted some of the area’s biggest events in our ballroom, the largest in Northern Virginia at more than 16,552 square feet!

We fill our ballrooms, meeting spaces, gardens and terraces time and again with some of the year’s most exciting (and elaborate) events. Take a look at the big picture:

  • Our ballroom has room to serve 1,500 for dinner – 1,350 if we add a dance floor and stage
  • The adjoining, additional space tops out at more than 55,000 square feet in ballrooms and other reception spaces
  • Outside, we can host 1,000 people on the West Lawn, 500 on the Ballroom Terrace, and 800 on the Loudoun Terrace – that’s a lot of anniversary events, weddings, and company picnic guests!
  • We’ve also hosted food and wine tastings, art and music festivals, cultural food festival with live bands, food trucks and many local wineries, breweries and distilleries
  • The National can not only hold all these guests – but park them too! Arrival and departure logistics make it easy for everyone to come and go at the same time quickly and efficiently—and at no charge for parking!

Planning for large-scale events requires big talent. The National’s event staff includes certified planners with more than 30 years’ experience in the business, so Hindu weddings for 700 proceed just as smoothly as Easter Brunch for 900, and esteemed Military balls for 1,300.

The key to big events lies in the small moments. We ask our big-event clients to describe what their guests will see, hear and smell when they arrive at the event to give us an overall vision. Then we spend months drilling down the details: Where will they pick up drinks? Will flowers make an impact on tables or in the lobby? What temperature should the ballroom be set at for a crowd in gowns and suits? We’re often rehearsing service and timing until just before showtime to ensure the night goes off without a hitch!

Big events at the National make every guest feel special, pampered, well served, whether it’s a holiday brunch with families or an appreciation dinner with a national sales force. Our biggest events in the past year have included:

  • The Chamber of Commerce Small Business Awards banquet for 600, which consistently impresses the county’s top business leaders.
  • Loudoun County Public Schools Partnership Breakfast for 800 and Excellence in Education Awards for 600 making certain all attendees feel respected and rewarded for the work they do.
  • The ADAMS Center, one of the largest mosques in the US, hosted more than 1,000 guests and benefactors for prayers and a meal.
  • And every year Worldstrides brings together 2,000 high school students from around the country at The National. Yes, we even park all 35 motor coach buses in the West Parking Lot.

Big Foodie News

Part of what makes an experience at The National so memorable is our food, whether you’re grabbing a snack in the Black Olive or experiencing a beautiful banquet in West Belmont Place, or eating meals in the Dining Room during a workshop week. From planning to the plate, that experience is largely due to the hard work and vision of Todd Goldian.

Todd’s progression, from an innovative Executive Chef and leader in our kitchens to Food and Beverage Director, has brought The National forward in the culinary world. Going far beyond what’s come to be expected from conference venues, Todd makes sure every presentation or food experience is exceptional and unique. For our farm-to-table concept, for example, he had farmers literally working with the culinary team, meeting with the sales team, and coming into the kitchen as part of the chef table experience.

Todd’s approach changed the food focus at The National from serving meals to dining, with an emphasis on the experience. His organization of the culinary team allows The National to serve diverse audiences, each with expectations, special requests and dietarian concerns, every day. We are excited to see what Todd will do next and congratulate him on a well-deserved promotion!

Todd is very pleased to share the limelight with our new Executive Chef, Frank Estremera, whom we are welcoming back to Loudoun as he debuts in Dulles Chambers DISHED Chef Showdown. More about Executive Chef Frank Estremera in our next newsletter.

BBQ Secret

Smoky, kicky and a little bit sweet! The secret to spring grilling isn’t in the sauce – it’s in the rub! The National’s Kitchen secret is out.

1 T Kosher Salt
2 t. Guajillo Chile powder
1 t. Smoke Powder (optional but a great addition)
2 t. Ground Coriander
2 t. Smoked Paprika
2 t. Cumin
1 t. Ground Thyme
pinch Ground Ancho Chile Powder
2 t. Ground Chipotle Powder
1 t. Ground Anaheim Chile Powder
2 t. Garlic Powder
1 t. Ground Mustard
1 t. Marjoram
1 t. Dark Brown Sugar

Mix all ingredients thoroughly and store in an air-tight container. To prep ribs, beef, chicken or pork, coat meat with rub 20-40 minutes before grilling. Because this rub contains salt, don’t apply to meat for longer than an hour before cooking.