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Why not take staff to party with the monkeys, or lounge around with the lizards this summer? London Zoo is making an animal-themed event all the more appealing this year, offering a free cocktail party worth £1,000 for all parties booked for over 40 people.
Entertain guests alongside an international programme of modern and contemporary art by hosting a Business Breakfast at Whitechapel Gallery. Early morning private views include exclusive access to the ‘Where Three Dreams Cross’, exhibition featuring modern photographs of life in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Choose between a breakfast or canapé reception served by well-established caterer, Vacherin. Prices start from £20pp based on a minimum of 100 guests.
To add a bit of culture to your drinks reception, head to the Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill for the Frieze Art Fair. As part of the hotel’s ongoing association with modern art, the exhibition showcases a series of abstract pieces and work by the acclaimed Patrick Hughes. The exhibition is best viewed in conjunction with a reception in the adjacent library lobby, holding a maximum of 120, stand up.
Since opening last November, Chinese Cricket Club has been making waves with its brand of modern Sichuan cooking. To introduce guests to the region’s food, it has just launched an innovative teambuilding package. Seated round a table in front of executive chef de cuisine, Brendan Speed (formerly of Zuma Istanbul), guests will be taken through how to make the restaurant’s signature dishes & the ingredients that go into their construction. At £57 for a six-course banquet per person, it makes a great alternative to the traditional wine tasting or cookery masterclasses. The restaurant's based in the flagship branch of Crowne Plaza, in Blackfriars.
It would be fair to expect that the Royal Institute of British Architects knows its stuff when it comes to good venues. Our high hopes were rewarded last Wednesday with the launch of the impressive new 120 capacity terrace at RIBA HQ designed by Dan Pearson Studios. Complete with its own 'living garden' and funky outside sofas, it’s perfect for summer parties. It can be hired alongside the art deco Florence Hall, or used for wind-down drinks after a meeting in one the 23 newly refurbished meeting rooms.
Palm Court, the tearoom at the Langham hotel, has been awarded the Tea Guild's Top London Afternoon Tea 2010 Award, the so-called 'oscars of the tea room'. Palm Court is where the traditional of afternoon tea began, 145 years ago, so they should know what they're doing by now. Their award-winning tea menu includes delicate finger sandwiches (cucumber is on the list, naturally), Valrhona chocolate eclairs, scones and clotted cream and and as the afternoon wears on, a glass of Champagne to follow your Earl Grey. The tearoom, which has undergone a £80m refurbishment in recent years, was praised by judges who singled out its 'light and airy' setting, 'beautiful furnishings', as well as its 'exceptional service'. The Tea Guild's Top London Afternoon Tea Award, which is now in its 25th year, is decided by undercover inspectors, who award points for the variety and quality of the teas offered, together with the quality of food, service, décor, ambience, and presentation.
London’s first ‘green’ hotel launched last night with a lavish Thameside party. Rafayel on the Left Bank, the brainchild of entrepreneur Iqbal Latif, celebrated its official opening on its decked 200-capacity third-floor terrace, while the Nirvana Lounge inside the hotel took on an ‘Oscars Night’ theme. Tasty and trendy pan-Asian nibbles kept guests well fed, provided by the in-house caterers from the on-site restaurant, Banyan on the Thames. Right next to London Heliport, it’s a great spot to host a party and watch the sun go down as the glitterati hover away over the horizon.
Fast becoming the London venue for ultra-cool awards ceremonies, the Brewery can now add another to its list of regulars. The inaugural British Inspiration Awards took place last Friday at the venue, to join the Kerrang! and MOJO Awards on its line-up of annual celebrations. The awards were designed to honour the top creative, entrepreneurial and inspirational talent we have in Britain today. Winners included: Michael Eavis, James Dyson, Sir Terrance Conran and a posthumous award for Alexander McQueen. Richard Madeley hosted the ceremony, where Ant and Dec and Phillip Schofield also presented awards. Music from Reverend & the Makers – who played an innovative set backed by a gospel choir – brought the event to a close.