london events

Autumn round-up: a colourful few months

Another amazing but knackering few months has passed and as we enter the Christmas season, I'm once again so proud and thankful to have worked on some fantastic events with some bloody brilliant people and organisations. 

The one with Patsy, darling! 
I have to admit I hadn't watched any of Joanna Lumley's travel documentaries until she spoke about them at this event on 15 September and I've since binge-watched whatever I could get hold of. Hosted within the beautiful surroundings of The Ned (where the service was first class), Ms Lumley was our special guest for BAFTA's Academy Circle and all of our guests left as serious fans.

We ate seabass and lemon tart (at Chef's recommendation) and drank Le Croix Belle from The Ned's beautiful cut glassware.   

The one that smashed all targets
On 19 October, the AKT Gala moved to Cafe de Paris for an evening bursting with entertainment, hosted by Gok Wan. The Gala exceeded all expectations, with the auction including the opportunity to enjoy dinner at Sir Ian McKellan's home. As always, the dance floor was packed until the early hours... 

We ate smoked chicken and papaya on blini, pan roasted Gressingham duck breast, strawberry feuillete with cognac cream.

The one with David Attenborough
On 23 October, what more can be said about this incredible evening generously hosted by Hotel Cafe Royal, one of my favourite places in London. Sir David had all 80 of our guests eating out of the palm of his hand during a Q&A hosted by his friend and former colleague Alastair Fothergill.

At an intimate supper afterwards, we ate venison loin with twice baked sweet potato souffle and braised red cabbage, followed by blackberry and apple pie with calvados cream. We drank Comtes de Taittinger and the wonderful Louis XIII. 

The one showcasing amazing emerging talent
On 25 October, the sixth annual Breakthrough Brits took place at Burberry's flagship store and we were delighted to host an informal supper afterwards at Thomas's Cafe. The event celebrates breakthrough talent in film, games and television. 

We ate cherry ponzo seared tuna, Hereford beef with Jerusalem artichoke puree, ricotta gnuddi with spiced winter tomato. We drank nothing but Nyetimber.

The one with breakfast with Doctor Foster
I binge-watched the two seasons of Doctor Foster in the two weeks prior to this breakfast on 1 November with the amazing Suranne Jones. Dressed in a jumpsuit and Converse, the former Coronation Street star had the whole room (both BAFTA and Quintessentially members) hooked as she spoke about her career to date, her production company and her plans for the future. She truly is a superwoman!

We ate mini bagels and pastries and drank Buck's Fizz and strong coffee. 

The one filled with colour
On 22 November, we worked with Richard House Children's Hospice to deliver their Rainbow Ball, where the dress code was strictly "anything but black". Our friends at Bloomsbury Ballroom hosted the event with The London Cabaret Club providing a breathtaking array of entertainment, from a contortionist to an aerial dancer. We beat all targets to raise over £350,000.

We drank Laurent-Perrier and ate heavy hors d'ouevres, cut out the starter, opted for a duck main (although we had over 40 guests request a vegetarian meal on the night - we will avoid in future!) and a rainbow-inspired white chocolate bombe. 

The one celebrating our teachers
And before we move into the Christmas period, we closed the season with an inspiring day at Teach 2017, bringing together school leaders and teachers from Birmingham and further afield for a day of learning and sharing of best practice. Our keynote speech from Ofsted Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman, and our panel discussion on collaboration guaranteed lively debate, with our breakout sessions providing valuable professional development opportunities focusing on teacher wellbeing, behaviour management and coaching for excellence.

We ate sandwiches and drank copious amounts of tea and coffees - it is a free conference after all...

Spring round-up: raising millions and launching campaigns

Traditionally, January is a quiet month in the world of events - the desk tidying, paper sorting, thumb twiddling month. Some of my best holidays have combatted the Winter blues. For some reason, 2017 started differently and over the last two months, the team has delivered nine events in as many weeks. 

We started with two drinks receptions, one to promote the work of our client and the other with Eddie Redmayne launching a fundraising campaign to the film, television and games industries. At the end of January, we enjoyed working with new suppliers Free Love Group and the wonderfully creative Mark Valentine to bring the work of the Education Partnerships Group to life in London. 

Ahead of the British Academy Film Awards at the Royal Albert Hall, the following week we ran the third annual Film Gala for BAFTA, with patrons Colin Firth and Emily Blunt. This year we took the event income from £250K to £400K through a brand-new VIP experience. February also saw us running two international education conferences (in Africa and Switzerland) and a whole staff away day for 150 delegates, working with etc venues.  

March has brought a Q&A with the fabulous stars of Netflix's The Crown, as part of the ongoing Academy Circle series. And to finish, over 60 pieces of student artwork went on display earlier this week at Saatchi Gallery raising money to fund enrichment programmes at Ark Schools.