An unforgettable Christmas celebration in a stunning and historic London setting
Our client, a leader in the aviation industry, wanted to treat 30 of their clients to a very special Christmas celebration dinner. We were asked to provide full end-to-end management, including venue finding, to deliver a high-end experience that guests would remember for a very long time.
Finding the perfect venue was our first priority. The event was to be held in London and we were spoilt for choice, but one venue stood out and our client agreed. Hidden away on a cobbled street in one of the oldest parts of the city, Middle Temple is one of London’s four Inns of Court. Dating back to mid-16th century, Middle Temple is a fine example of Tudor architecture. Steeped in history, countless famous figures have visited over the centuries, from Sir Francis Drake to Charles Dickens.
For 30 guests, the obvious choice would have been a relatively small room for an intimate dining experience. However, we wanted to create a huge wow factor and chose The Hall, a magnificent cathedral-like banqueting space, complete with oak-panelled walls, countless historic paintings, a stunning stained-glass window, minstrel gallery and intricate wooden vaulted ceiling.
The look and feel of the space naturally influenced our design theme. We worked with a traditional festive colour palette of rich reds and greens, complemented with gold. A long banqueting table took centre stage and we made sure that every element of the décor conveyed luxury and opulence, from the damask burgundy tablecloths and green napkins to the choice of cutlery, beautifully arranged floral displays in gold vases and gold candelabra. Large floral arrangements, using an abundance of deep red roses and gorgeous foliage, were displayed in gold urns placed on plinths, which added a sense of richness and indulgence.
A warm lighting scheme further enhanced the atmosphere. Pinspots were used to highlight the table centrepieces, the large floral displays were lit up, uplighters were positioned around the perimeter of the room and profile lights created a patterned wash over the floor, along with gobo effects. Instrumental jazz music was played through a PA system, which helped create a lovely ambience throughout the event.
Guests were greeted with a Champagne reception and canapés were served, including smoked and cured beetroot carpaccio, horseradish and caraway cracker, goats cheese profiterole with bee pollen and wildflower honey, truffled Baron Bigod croquette and smoked tomato and smoked venison tartare with English mustard, pickled shallots and marigolds. The quality ingredients and perfect presentation gave guests a tantalising taste of the dinner they were soon to enjoy.
In keeping with the grandeur of the venue, we made sure that the food would be equally impressive and planned a sumptuous three-course dinner. A starter of burrata served with grilled and pickled pear, endive, sorrel and Jerusalem artichoke crisps was followed by glazed beef short rib with white onion, wild spinach, boulangère potatoes and wild garlic sauce. Non-meat eaters were equally delighted with their dish, roasted cauliflower steak, cauliflower purée, charred leek, hasselback potato, preserved wild garlic oil and pumpkin seed pesto. A choice of desserts included Amalfi lemon tart with crème fraiche, torched meringues and marigold chocolate delice and raspberry sorbet with cocoa nib crumb. Coffee, tea and herbal infusions followed, all served with petit fours. Carefully selected French fine wines were served with dinner and small details, such as artisanal breads served with whipped butter, helped to elevate the dining experience to another level and deliver a flawless experience for our client.