An evening of champagne and shadows at the Banqueting House
As London event planners specialising in unique venues, we were delighted to be asked to plan Alvarez and Marsal's annual reception at the Banqueting House on a beautiful, crisp evening in October.
The dramatic “lost royal palace of Whitehall” was the perfect setting for our client’s 400 guests.
The Banqueting House
The Banqueting House was created in 1622 specifically for entertaining. It astounded London society and still dazzles and impresses today. Designed by Inigo Jones for James I, the building was built in the Palladian style and is one of England’s earliest classical buildings and home to the stunning ceiling painting by Sir Peter Paul Rubens. In more exuberant times, courtiers danced, drank and partied beneath the breath-taking ceiling painting.
On the Night
When planning events we always wish for no rain, especially as guests arrive, and thankfully it worked for this event! Guests enjoyed a specially designed navy carpet lined with tall lanterns either side to guide them through the courtyard. The main doors were flanked with twinkling LED Autumn Maple Trees by Twilight Trees, welcoming guests with a warm elegance that subtly hinted towards the grandeur to come.
The Main Hall
Once inside, guests were invited to the staircase which delicately sparkled with frosted nightlights and towards the breath-taking Main Hall. Here they were welcomed with a glass of champagne and classical music by the wonderful Elixir String Quartet to perfectly accompany the awe-inspiring setting. The soaring Ionic columns lead all eyes upwards to the magnificent Baroque ceiling.
To enhance its natural beauty, we dressed the Main Hall with soft lighting by Wise Productions and leafy twilight trees to add a gentle sparkle. To match the opulent surroundings and enhance the sense of grandeur, we furnished the room with gold Gianni poseur tables, blue velvet benches and ottomans from Great Hire.
Wise Productions created a large, circular, mirrored bar for the middle of the room, which was garnished with a large central display of autumnal foliage by Lavender Green.
Champagne flowed throughout the evening and the reliably delicious Rhubarb took charge of the menu. Hot canapes including delicate lamb carnitas & corn tortilla and butternut & kale doughnuts with pecorino custard were on offer. Cold bites of salt cod rillete, tomato salsa & crispy gyoza taco, and smokey aubergine sambal in crisp wonton cones delighted the guests. Always ahead of gastronomic trends, Rhubarb also served mouth-watering bowl food. Highlights included bowls of glazed lamb rump with borlotti beans, braised baby gem & mint jelly, and for vegetarians - smoked burrata, satsuma & radicchio.
The room paused for speeches and a very special performance by Evolve, a shadow show dance by highly skilled internationally renowned acrobats. Their bodies created the story of the company’s growth, achievements and future. The Main Hall provided the perfect theatre for this emotive and impressive performance.
After great applause, the evening continued with more bowl food and Elixir stepped up the vibe from classical music to modern day covers.
Rhubarb then revealed their impressive pudding station. Guests tucked into confit lemon pebbles, sherry trifles in dark chocolate cases, passionfruit pavlovas and lemon cheesecake pops.
The evening flowed with more revelry and celebrations as guests continued to mingle, admire the room and enjoy the atmosphere.
With a venue as special as the Banqueting House, entrenched in history and stories, our challenge when planning events is to do justice to the building. With the help of our fantastic staff and partners, this was another Golborne success. We would like to think the building’s royal ancestors would have enjoyed the party too!
The Banqueting House is one of our favourite of the Unique Venues of London to work in, the team are amazing and we can’t wait to be back!
For more information about this event or if you are looking for venue recommendations or event planning services in London, please be in touch with us, we would love to hear from you.