From blending whisky to taking on the world’s highest slide tunnel, we’ve reviewed some of last month’s best events for you to take inspiration from
Fiume preview dinner
, Battersea Power Station
The commuters among us have spent the last few years watching from train windows as luxury flats have been erected around Battersea Power Station. So, where better to check out the one of the first restaurants to open in Circus West Village than one of the penthouses. As the paint dried inside D&D London’s newest site, 20 guests were whisked upwards for champagne and pizza canapés. Here, Fiume exec chef Francesco Mazzei cooked four courses in the flat’s kitchen. He told us it was a challenge, but the food suggested otherwise: the truffle and burrata tortellini was unforgettable.
, The Test Kitchen
Prior to opening his first permanent London site in 2018, Adam Simmonds has launched a year-long pop up restaurant in Soho. An ever-changing menu sees the brigade of chefs trial different dishes and ingredients. At the end of the meal, diners are presented with feedback forms. Simonds’s aim? To collate the 'perfect' menu at his new place. When we visited, some guest criticism had already been addressed: bread was now on offer, portion sizes had increased and prices had been lowered. Our own assessment concluded that the scallop ceviche that we tried should definitely make the cut.
Concierge Ambassador Tour
, ArcelorMittal Orbit
and London Stadium
We joined some of our top event bookers for a tour of two venues in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Things kicked off at London Stadium, where it came as little surprise that many of the spaces include pitch-side views. What we didn’t expect was to find such modern design throughout. That and the thankfully less than scary slide down the world’s highest and longest slide tunnel at ArcelorMittal Orbit. Things were rounded off on the top level with standout views of the city, bowl food, drinks, and funky installations from Guinea Pig.
Refurb celebration dinner at Alyn Williams at The Westbury
, The Westbury
We were of course interested to see what the Bond Street hotel had done after a year of renovation and the promise of 44 new luxury suites. But, if we’re honest, it was the prospect of dining at the hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant that had us RSVPing in record time. Our favourites were delicate Orkney scallop; slow-cooked cod with coco beans and truffle; and salted caramel tart with baked apple ice cream. We like that guests choose the wine first and the kitchen team create a menu to match. If it’s a private dining experience with a difference you’re after, then this is it.
Thanksgiving at Sea Containers
, Mondrian London
Having had her fair share of Thanksgiving feasts, we sent our American content editor to find out if Sea Containers could pull one off. Guests mingled with Woodford Reserve cocktails in hand, before sitting down at a vast, gold table in the private room. Whole baked pumpkin stuffed with braised turkey, mustard and honey was a particularly good riff on the underappreciated bird, but it was the pumpkin pie designed by Bake Off winner Edd Kimber that everyone came for. Topped with pecan crumble and maple cream, it’s a pie worth crossing town for.
‘The Blend Sessions’ with Chivas Regal
, The Blend
London Cocktail Week might be a little way back now, but we thought this particular event was worthy of a nod. Documentary pros Ross Kemp (…on Gangs
) and Orlando Von Einsiedel (Virunga
) were interviewed about their many adventures and how their ‘blend of skills’ has contributed to their success. The link to Chivas’s blended whisky might be a bit flimsy, but the guys' stories were fascinating and it really showed how quality guest speakers can make an event memorable. The interactive whisky blending session afterwards was fun too – especially as we got to take home our concoctions.
Planning your own event? Check out these 10 video seminars from the SquareMeal team to get you started.