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The RHS Chelsea Flower Show runs from 19-23 May and to mark the occasion, head mixologist Gustavo Bertolucci at Pearl Restaurant & Bar (tel: 020 7829 7000) has created a limited edition cocktail. Garnished with a Singapore orchid, the refreshing blend is gin-based and is being served up at Pearl for the next six weeks.
Last night saw the launch of Smithfield Raw at Karaoke Box Smithfield, a monthly event that aims to combine private karaoke with live performances in the bar. The Thirst and The Young Hearts will be playing but more excitingly, all karaoke rooms will be free of charge from midnight for the last hour of the evening, on a first come, first served basis.
This week saw the highly successful launch of the Ladies Lunch Club at Cheyne Walk Brasserie. Running monthly, the club is free to join and has a different theme each time, with the upcoming lunch on 10 June focusing on 'Beautiful Blooms', with florist Pascal Lavorel. £25 pp includes an hour-and-a-half talk from an expert, followed by lunch, wine and coffee/tea.
Having spent over a year under wraps, part of the first floor galleries at The Wallace Collection have emerged from an extensive refurbishment. While the decadent Gold Box Room will remain closed until the autumn, the Boudoir and the West Room will be available for drinks receptions at the end of this month. Tapestries have been specially commissioned to match the themes of the rooms, alongside some 'new' Old Masters.
Eco-friendly conference centre 15 Hatfields celebrated its first birthday last night, following a successful first year of trading. The venue, which has applied for BS8901 accreditation, has proved that a green meeting space can not only be comfortable and modern, but cost effective too, with a competitive DDR of around £60 with AV and event management services included. The team is holding another birthday celebration tonight; if you'd like to attend, email [email protected] for an invite or show-round.
We were delighted to welcome over 300 of you to our reader event at No.4 Hamilton Place last night, to kickstart the summer social season in style. Dish's delicious bowl food was accompanied by an elegant seafood bar, lashings of Pimm's and fizz, and a hog roast. Guests spilled out onto the terrace to enjoy the live band while others browsed the hospitality suite, showcasing the season's top events such as Royal Ascot and Chelsea Flower Show. The only thing missing was the sun but the fun party atmosphere more than made up for it.
Live opera restaurant venue Bel Canto is launching a limited edition 'Three Tenners' menu in honour of José Carreras, who recently announced his retirement. Diners will be able to listen to delightful arias and duets while enjoying a three-course dinner for £30 (usually £55). The offer is only available from May 19-21 and also marks the arrival of the restaurant's new chef. Remember too the venue can be hired privately for 160.
The Serpentine Bar & Kitchen (tel: 020 7706 8114)is the latest public building space to be rejuvenated by the benugo boys, Ben and Hugo Warner. With a delightful setting by the edge of the Serpentine in Hyde Park, it makes a great summer party destination. Capacities are 150 seated inside and 150 on the waterside terrace, with exciting culinary concepts planned throughout the summer months. Get in there quick though - the venue can only be hired six times over the summer months.
2009 marks the 500th anniversary of Henry VIII's accession to the throne and Hampton Court Palace has opened the Undercroft as a new event space to celebrate. 200 people can dance the night away, just as Henry VIII did in his day; the room works well when teamed with the Great Hall for dining.
We enjoyed a magical after-hours VIP tour of ZSL London Zoo last week, part of which was a visit to the new ‘Animal Adventure’ attraction. It's a mini zoo within the zoo, with private terraces affording close-up views of the lions. The space is available for corporate hire during the summer months and is perfect for barbecues, cocktail parties and canapé receptions, holding up to 200.
The V&E team hobnobbed with the stars last night at Fisher Productions (020 8871 1978) 25th birthday rebrand party at The Dairy in Bloomsbury. Jesse Metcalfe, Peaches Geldof and Will Mellor mingled with geishas in robes fashioned from bubble wrap (who later turned hair stylists, creating some outrageous styles for brave volunteers) and retro air hostess waitresses serving delicious food from By Word Of Mouth. We particularly loved the Rococo-style lounge, with cakes by French Laundry patisserie chef Claire Clarke.
Event organisers looking to host a memorable garden party are in luck this summer thanks to the unveiling of a truly lovely outdoor space at Balham’s The Avalon (tel: 020 8675 8613) pub. Landscape gardeners have been hard at work creating colourful flower beds, shrubbery, decking and marble ornaments to charming effect. Up to 165 guests can be seated here and there is more scope for outdoor entertaining on the large outdoor terraces at the front and on the side (accommodating 100 and 40 respectively).
We visited Laughter Lounge at Vinopolis when it first launched late last year and were hugely impressed by the standard of the acts on show. The monthly night has gone from strength to strength since and tickets are still available for tomorrow night's performance, featuring Ian Stone, Geoff Boyz, Philberto and MC Electric Forecast . Tickets are £15 on the door and a current special offer means those booking a comedy ticket can also purchase a Grapevine tour at a reduced price. Click through for details.
Woods River Cruises has launched a fabulous summer party package aboard the Silver Sturgeon. With a theme of 'Vogue does Brighton', the boat is decked out (pardon the pun) with driftwood pedestals, hurricane lanterns, ‘Sea Salt’ candles and Whistable Oyster Buckets filled with seaside plants, rope and shells. Food is courtesy of an on-deck barbecue and icecream and sorbet stall from rhubarb on the river and packages are £98pp.