Wedding planning is hard work! One of the perks of the job is that every so often we are invited to networking events and dinners. We emerge from the depths of our office, leaving the schedules, time-sheets and mass paperwork behind and mingle with others of our kind.
Venue launches, catering showcases and exhibition openings are just some of the lovely invitations that come through the letterbox. Last week I was invited to an exclusive Royal Wedding dining experience, by The Berkeley Hotel. The Royal Wedding buzz is really causing a stir amongst us wedding planners, constantly discussing who and what will the beautiful bride be wearing?! The Berkeley decided to showcase their own take on a Royal Wedding, inviting a small group of wedding professionals for an evening of bubbles, delicious food, great company in a beautiful setting.
The invitation itself gave a small insight into what was to be expected. Leeming Brothers created a beautifully simplistic and regal looking invitation with gold and imperial blue engraving, matching gilt edges and a stylish two-tone lined envelope. I am a huge fan of Leeming Brothers, specialising in engraving they also offer thermography, litho, foil and letterpress printing, producing some of the finest stationery.
The Berkeley is located in swanky Knightsbridge and it exudes luxury and style. The ballroom has recently undergone a refurbishment and is the first contemporary ballroom located in any 5-star London hotel. The geometric style of the ballroom decor includes a ceiling featuring a three-dimensional triangular design, and state of the art lighting that can be tailored to suit your colour scheme.
We were greeted to Champagne on arrival and a selection of yummy canapes. After catching up with some friendly faces, I spotted the lovely florist Larry Walshe and instantly knew that the design inside the ballroom was going to be stunning. Larry, of course, did not disappoint! I have had the pleasure of working with Larry before and not only is he a dream to work with but his floral creations are spectacular.
The partition doors opened, revealing a magnificent, lavish and dreamy tablescape, most definitely fit for royalty! A sumptuous, low floral runner of blown blooms including fluffy white peonies, roses and seasonal florals adorned the table, finished with sprinklings of powder blue and dusty pink sweet peas. Five impressive towering rose framed, gold centrepieces took pride of place, each structure was decorated with luscious cream roses, creating a whimsical and romantic design.
Greathire provided their elegant gold chandelle chairs, working perfectly with the opulent decor. Duchess and Butler added the final gold touches using their matt gold cutlery, gold charger plates and gold rimmed glassware.
Luxury wedding gift registry Platinum by Prezola provided the goody bags for the evening, spoiling us with a variety of goodies including a Jo Malone candle. Prezola is a modern gift registry offering over 50,000 gift ideas, from over 500 brands including The White Company, Soho Home and L’Objet. If you are looking at alternatives to wedding gifts, Prezola have you covered as you can also set up a honeymoon fund, charity donations and cash contributions.
We were treated to a six-course tasting menu, showcasing The Berkeley’s culinary style, each course was full of flavour and beautifully presented. Having recently turned pescatarian and as a previous meat lover, I am always interested to see the alternatives to the hearty meat courses. The lovely Samantha Young from Prezola was one of my dining partners for the evening, I did gaze longingly at her menu which had Aberdeen Angus Beef listed as her main. However, I can honestly say I did not get ‘food envy’ as the pescatarian menu was absolutely scrumptious.
I had a slight moment of hesitation at course four, wondering if would be able to make it through to the final two. However, the palette cleansing strawberry sorbet, drizzled with Champagne, pushed me towards the finish line. I ended the race with grace, dignity and a slightly tighter dress!
White Asparagus Veloute – Wild Garlic, Raspberry Cells, Grapes
Scottish Smoked Salmon & Dill Mille-Feuille – Quail’s Egg, Pickled Vegetables, Rye Croutons, Trout Roe
Mediterranean Seabass & Merlot Dressing – Parmentier Potatoes, Clams, Pistou Vegetables, Kale
Goat’s Butter and Baked Cauliflower – Cauliflower Puree, Hispi Cabbage, Sauce Vierge, Sour Cherries, Forged Herbs
Strawberry Champagne Sorbet
Raspberry & Orange Blossom Gateaux – Almond Genoise, Raspberry Mousse, Orange Blossom, Mascarpone Cream, Frais De Bois Sorbet
Just when I thought I could not manage another bite, they announced that GC Couture’s beautiful Indulgence Bar was now open! Well, it would be rude not to! I made my way over to the table of exquisite cakes with Samantha and our latest dining recruits Audrey Ametis and Mati Gono and we feasted on cake pops, biscuits and the most delicious cupcakes. I have to say GC Couture creates not only beautiful cakes but their cake pops are to die for! It was the perfect end to a very lovely evening.
Thank you to The Berkeley for the lovely invitation and putting on a great evening. Well done to all involved and I look forward to seeing you all again soon!
Images featured are by Xander Casey.