30 July 2014

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A night at the museums


THE EVENT: Strictly SW7

THE VENUE: or should we say venues. The Natural History Museum, V&A and Science Museumjoined forces to showcase their talents and their suppliers.

THE MENU: canapés, main courses and desserts were served in the three different venues.

Team V&E began in the Science Museum with Payne & Gunter’s mini potato cakes with cured salmon, London gin crème fraiche, capers, cucumber pearls and savoury lemon curd; soup sips (served in miniature mugs) in three flavours: mulligatawny, broccoli and Cropwell bishop stilton, and woodland mushroom cappuccino; rustic chicken with wild mushroom and tarragon terrine, coloured vegetable terrine, and Suffolk ham and mustard terrine; scotch eggs; and goat’s cheese and sun-dried tomato tartlet.

Next stop: The Natural History Museum’s Central Hall where we were only expecting a main course. Caterers The Admirable Crichton had other ideas, buttering us up with oysters and a salmon and tuna sushi platter. The chef d’oeuvre, that followed, was grain-fed sirloin of beef, with a smoking porcini mushroom and truffle jus, served on crispy sarladaise potatoes with salt-baked heritage carrots and béarnaise sauce.

Finally, clutching our bellies, it was on to the V&A. Caterer Create’s dessert bar groaned under the weight of miniature puddings, which ranged from sticky toffee pudding with salted toffee sauce, vanilla custard and crushed pink pralines to lemon sherbet syllabub with lemon curd and popping candy.

TO DRINK: each venue served a selection of Champagne, cocktails and wine with dinner. Our sirloin of beef was accompanied by a Merlot, Rocca 2011 from Veneto in Italy.

ENTERTAINMENT: HRH Prince Harry (okay, it was just a look-a-like); The Bumble Bees, a brass band of five scantily clad ladies wiggling their way around guests, playing the likes of Flight of the Bumble Bee; and a band that played classical versions of pop songs.

ON THE GUESTLIST: 150 event organisers were divided into three groups. They came from companies such as JP Morgan, Amazon, American Express, Emap and The Guardian.

GOODIE BAGS: as if we hadn’t already eaten enough, we were sent packing with a bag full of Create’s treats, along with a tea towel from the Natural History Museum gift shop (beautiful enough to frame), a pink cyclamen (that’s a plant to you and us), a dinosaur key ring, and conical flask salt and pepper shakers. A few lucky guests found a golden ticket in their bags, which grants them free entry to the museums’ exhibitions.

WE LOVED: the cordless lights that decorated the tables in the Natural History Museum, courtesy of iPower; the long white and pink (and ever so elegant) table in the Science Museum’s Flight Gallery; getting a sneak peak at the V&A’s Ballgown exhibition on our way out; and, of course, all that food. 

Natural History Museum 

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Science Museum 

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The Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London, London, SW7 5BD.

The V&A, South Kensington, London, SW7 2RL.

Science Museum, Exhibition Road, South Kensington, London, SW7 2DD.

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