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Kevin Skeet - Midland Dinner Organiser


This year our Midlands dinner organiser, Kevin Skeet, stands down. We asked some of our committee and close friends about Kevin and his time with the Champagne Academy.






Kevin took over as Organiser of the Midlands Dinner in 2008. At that time he was the General Manager of the Burlington Hotel in Birmingham so in an excellent position to take on this task. For some years prior to that he had been helping me with the dinners and his experience and expertise were invaluable.


During that time he came to the attention of the champagne houses and they were delighted to nominate him to go on the Course in 2004. From then until 2008 Kevin was the expert help I very much needed behind the Midlands Dinners.



In 2008 when I moved from Birmingham to London Kevin very kindly agreed to take over the complete running of the Midlands Dinners and through his knowledge and contacts arranged for them to be held in some great locations. Possibly my favourite was at Coombe Abbey in Warwickshire in 2021.


Kevin always provides fabulous table decorations but the highlight has to be his table menus created by his great friend Clive Freeman. As Philip so rightly says, these are truly collectors’ items, much appreciated by the guests who look forward to seeing what he produces each year.


In 2017 Kevin took on the mantle of Chairman of the Academy so he not only had to organise the Midlands Dinner but was also responsible for the London Dinner as well. This was held at Sea Containers, a fantastic building on the south bank of the River Thames with fantastic views over the sights of London. Kevin was now the Group Operations Director for Legacy Hotels & Resorts Ltd and they were 100% behind him all year, generously taking tables at each of the dinners and giving large donations to the charity raffle.



This year’s dinner was held at the Grand Hotel in the centre of Birmingham – another great location. Kevin was delighted that his 17 year old son Joseph was able to join him and his wife Mandy for the first time.


I think we can all agree that the following quote from Kevin has held true ever since:

When I was so fortunate enough to attend the course, I vowed to myself that I would pay the academy back in whichever way I could and I have stuck to that thought.


Thank you Kevin for all that you have done. We know it was a lot of hard work and a lot of aggro at times, but oh so enjoyable for all the members and guests.


Valerie Simpson - Administrator



Kevin Skeet took over the mantle of Midlands Dinner organiser from Valerie Simpson, so he had a very good tutor and quite possibly why at each years event he appears so calm and relaxed. As everyone knows the Midlands Dinner is the Academy’s Benchmark Dinner, so Kevin is always under pressure to find interesting and stunning venues for the Dinners and boy has he excelled. His background in hotels had enabled him to select varied venues in and around the midlands, that can offer the quality of event that Academicians expect. From Cricket Grounds, to pre-dinner tastings in indoor ornamental gardens to the plush newly refurbished Grand Hotel in Birmingham this year, with Kevin we have seen the lot.


In my year as Chairman Kevin took us to the NEC in Birmingham. A newly renovated operation that could cater for events of 2000 plus, the place was enormous, but Kevin put on a spectacular show that was intimate and classical Champagne Academy Dinner, I expect no one apart from Kevin and I would have been aware how big the place actually was! I am always amazed by the wonderful table decorations and his menus, are collectors items, the boy knows how to put on an event!

I wish Kevin a happy retirement and look forward to raising a glass of Champagne at next years Midlands dinner, which will be a much more relaxed event for him!


Philip Amps - Treasurer



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