Our Grateful Thanks to ABP

Associated British Ports (ABP) is the UK’s leading ports operator with 21 ports and boasts the UK’s leading export port for agricultural products at Ipswich.  

 abp ports, customs house

With its sweeping stone staircases and ornate carvings adorning the portico, you’d be forgiven for thinking Old Custom House was the home of royalty. Since 1844, this iconic building has dominated the Waterfront thanks to architect John Medland Clark (who won an award for its design) and, more recently, has provided a home for Associated British Ports (ABP) in Ipswich. 

ABP has been a firm supporter of Waterfront Life since its inception, so naturally when we were planning the Restaurant of the Year Awards for 2017 and needed a unique, beautiful (and most importantly – neutral & Waterfront based) venue to host – Old Custom House seemed the perfect choice. We approached ABP with our request, and to our delight, they were only too keen to accommodate our cause. 

Divisional Port Manager Paul Ager then kindly gifted us use of the conference facilities on the ground floor of Old Custom House, for the Awards evening held on 24th January. The style and décor of the building was a perfect fit for the event – historical structure and subtle artefacts, combined with the modern glass features and high-tech AV equipment, all leant itself to the formal ambience we had desired, whilst maintaining a maritime theme. 

The conference floor has a grand, wooden foyer to welcome guests and visitors, with the use of matching wooden tables and comfortable seating areas; perfect for serving drinks and canapés and allowing guests to socialise, prior to meetings or conferences. Adjoining the foyer are two evenly-sized conference rooms, complete with AV/TV equipment for presentations, a lectern and plenty of chairs and tables for sit-down gatherings; both rooms being equipped with air conditioning and heating systems. 

In addition to the conference facilities, are modern and very well-maintained toilets, and ample kitchen/catering facilities with plenty of refrigeration and preparation space. Catering for our own guests in this venue proved to be a breeze, and the ABP team were on hand to assist with technical support during the set up of the event, ensuring everything ran without a glitch.  

We are incredibly thankful to ABP for their support, both with Restaurant of the Year and Waterfront Life as a whole, and would highly recommend Old Custom House as the perfect venue for any occasion.