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Right now, it's all about The Big Apple. From slider sandwiches to warehouse design, London's event scene is taking note. yank your party into shape with these top tips
New York restaurants are popping up all over London. From the meatpacking glam of The Standard Grill (soon to hit Marylebone) to the permanently engaged phone lines of Balthazar, which has just arrived in Covent Garden by way of Manhattan’s Soho, food joints seem to be falling over themselves to get their fingers in the London pie. With NYC now starting to put its Statue of Liberty-sized footprints on events, we thought we’d run you through some ways to add a piece of the Big Apple to your parties.
An easy way to achieve NYC style is through food. If you’re thinking canapés, go for miniature lobster rolls, salt-beef bagels and doughnuts. For a slightly less formal, more dive-right-in event, give themed food stations a whirl. Streetfood stalls inspired by Little Italy or Chinatown are obvious choices.
Big Apple boozing is also easily done. Try diner-style ‘hard shakes’ (milkshakes with liquor), such as All Star Lanes’ Bacardi Gold rum and raisin, or Brooklyn Brewery’s dry-hopped lager. Don’t forget Picklebacks (Jameson’s and pickle brine) either – much more palatable than they sound.
For decorative ideas, take a look at the industrial flair of Electric Diner’s bare, red-brick walls, hanging pendant lights and metal-top tables. Of course, additions such as famous street signs and yellow cabs will make for great photo opportunities, but stay on the right side of gimmicky by projecting images of skyscrapers and iconic New York landmarks on the walls instead of getting too many props in.
Now, the only thing left to arrange is the entertainment and there’s little more fitting than a live rat pack covers band in homage to Ol’ Blue Eyes himself. If the budget won’t stretch, create a playlist featuring the likes of Queens rockers The Ramones and, of course, Jay Z and Alicia Keyes’ 2009 tribute. With 1920s glamour taking over nearly every cocktail and dinner party – not to mention the ‘G’ word – we really are in a New York state of mind this year.
This article was first printed in Square Meal Venues & Events, summer 2013.