Monday, August 17, 2009

Dunsmuir Hellman House & Gardens

I had a chance the other night to visit the beautiful Dunsmuir House & Gardens located in Oakland, CA on the San Leandro border. What an amazing property with beautiful buildings, lush gardens and towering trees. So many possibilities for business retreats, special events and weddings since there are so many different event spaces both traditional and contemporary.

I attended a special mini-FAM hosted by he Dunsmuir Hellman. Over 100 planners started off at the Dinklespiel House, a small period house that's perfect for board meetings and smaller special events. After wine and hors d'oeuvres, we moved to the Pavillion. On the terrace, we had more hors d'oeuvres by Miraglia Catering with watermelon shooters. Inside the Pavillion whose large picture windows look out onto a treelined terrace itself, Blue Heron Catering provided warm brie in brioche with a lovely cold pear and cheese soup. The group then went through a self-guided tour of the beautiful Neo-Classical Dunsmuir Mansion. The 37 room mansion features a beautiful Tiffany-style dome, woodpaneled public room, 10 fireplaces and inlaid parquet floors with 16,000 sq. feet.

An open air tram shuttled us to the unique and rustic Carriage House (perfect for a Western theme party). I did mention this is a huge property. No Clydesdales in residence at this time, nor cars, but the Carriage House is the perfect location for weddings and meetings. We were presented with a wide variety desserts, dessert wines, coffee and more. On this FAM, we didn't stop, but we passed the Open-Air Canopy. That, too, can be used for receptions and galas.

Over the years, my companies have worked at every venue at the Dunsmuir-Hellman. TeamBuilding Unlimited has done Wacky Games on the lawn and Scavenger Hunts throughout the property. Murder on the Menu has done mystery events for corporate clients and private affairs in the Pavillion and in the Dinklespiel House and on the main lawn. We've even done a public mystery event for the Dunsmuir itself.

If you're in the Bay Area and considering a special venue for your holiday party, wedding, special event or meeting, consider the Dunsmuir House. It's also a great place for daytime retreats, picnics and business meetings. The grounds are private, peaceful and beautiful all year round.

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