New summer menus launched at Bateaux London

Bateaux London is celebrating the very best of British cuisine in its new summer menus for its fine-dining Thames cruises.

The four-course dinner menu available on both its Harmony and Symphony vessels, which take in the sights of some of the capital’s most iconic landmarks, begins with a summer pea velouté and a choice of starters including free range chicken and Pimms jelly pressé, Scottish smoked salmon with yuzu pearls, asparagus and caviar or marinated heritage tomato salad.

Main courses of Cornish hake, South Downs’ lamb or crisp basil gnocchi are followed by sumptuous desserts including dark chocolate and Kentish raspberry delice, poached summer berries and artisan English cheese.

Lunchtime diners will be served roasted feta and pickled summer vegetable salad, roast Suffolk chicken or burrata and summer pea stuffed courgette flower, with strawberry cheesecake for dessert.

While those planning to spend Sunday on the river will enjoy a starter of pickled heritage beetroot, a main course of roast highland beef starter or traditional nut roast and a dessert of rhubarb and vanilla cream.

Or, for an alternative to the four-course menu, guests can enjoy a quintessentially British afternoon tea featuring smoked salmon and cucumber, egg and cress and coronation chicken sandwiches, a variety of cakes and scones, with strawberry preserve and Cornish clotted cream.

Gareth Brown, marketing manager for Bateaux London, said: “This summer we are celebrating the best of British produce with some classic, traditional dishes and where better to enjoy them than on the Thames, with a backdrop of world famous buildings such as Tower Bridge and the Palace of Westminster?”

Bateaux London’s vessels are available for exclusive hire for a range of corporate and leisure events.

For information, or to enquire about booking an event with Bateaux London, call 020 7695 1800 or email [email protected].

Edible Cinema teams with BOMBAY SAPPHIRE for Romeo & Juliet at BAFTA

This Sunday 3 May, BAFTA 195 Piccadilly will play host to Edible Cinema and BOMBAY SAPPHIRE as the iconic venue stages a special screening of Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo & Juliet. It moves from the Electric Cinema on Portobello Road to the home of British film following the phenomenal success of previous screenings.

Guests will be treated to an edible adventure through the film, where experiences will range from a ‘tongue sandwich’ as Romeo and Juliet share their first kiss, to a mini vial of ‘poison’ as the film reaches its epic climax. As guests take their seats, the divided room will become apparent with one side Capulets and other Montagues. Each side will receive different cocktails, inspired by the two families.

The first of its kind, Edible Cinema is a collaboration between Soho House chef Jake Rigby Wilson, Soho House events manager Zoe Paterson, renowned experience organiser Polly Betton, BOMBAY SAPPHIRE mixologist Sean Ware and BAFTA 195 Piccadilly head chef Anton Manganaro. The concept truly enhances the film using taste, aroma and texture to heighten the viewers’ sensory experience of the film’s most famous scenes.

The screening will kick start Edible Cinema’s 2014 programme of events, with new films scheduled for the summer, Halloween and Christmas. All film titles and dates will be announced via the Edible Cinema website.

St Martin’s announces new events menus

Adam Ismael, head chef at St Martin-in-Fields is pleased to present a series of delicious new menus for events at this Trafalgar Square venue. Appointed in 2013, Ismael’s career background encompasses West End restaurants and prestigious events, including state banquets at Buckingham Palace.

Since becoming head chef, Ismael has opened Café in the Courtyard, revitalised the daily menus in the Café in the Crypt and this season he will introduce a new series of menus for events and meetings at St Martin’s. From canapés and fork buffets to sit down dinners, the new St Martin’s menus are sure to delight every client.

For more details of St Martin’s menus and for information on room hire and availability email [email protected].

Menu relaunch for The Rag

Private members’ club The Rag has relaunched its menus for events, bringing a new level of culinary expertise to the offering at this exclusive venue on London’s Pall Mall.

Executive chef Paul Elliott’s career spans numerous prestigious establishments, including a three-year role as personal chef to the Aspinall family at Howletts Mansion in Kent, well known for its work with endangered wild animals.

The new private dining and banqueting menus feature the best British produce, promoting the use of rare breeds from British farms that practice the highest standards of animal husbandry. Only the finest meats make it into classics such as Tournedo Rossini and roasted loin of ‘Denham Estate’ venison wellington.

Using the new ‘menu selector’, event organisers can create their own event menus, choosing from an array of both classic and modern dishes.

Request a copy of The Rag’s new event menus by contacting Emily Moss, events manager via email at [email protected] or by phone 020 7930 9721.

Win incredible London experiences at Destination Westminster 2013

To celebrate 10 years of The Westminster Collection (TWC), visitors to Destination Westminster 2013, the London venue showcase, will have the chance to win an incredible, high-value selection of memorable experiences in an exclusive competition taking place at the event – on Friday 13th September, 8:30 – 11:30am, at 8 Northumberland Avenue, London.

Visitors to Destination Westminster 2013 can compete to win these prizes, which showcase the creativity of Westminster as a business and lifestyle destination, by completing a competition card at the event. Prizes will be allocated at random and the winners will be notified by email following the event.

Prizes include:

1 Wimpole Street – Win an exclusive overnight stay for 2 at an Edwardian London townhouse

Win an exclusive overnight stay for two at 1 Wimpole Street’s Grade II listed sister venue and boutique hotel, Chandos House. Spend an evening in the period surrounds of one of Chandos House’s six luxurious bedrooms, before enjoying a delicious continental breakfast the next morning.

St. Ermin’s Hotel – Win a luxury one-night London stay for 2, with breakfast

St. Ermin’s Hotel in St. James’s Park invites one lucky winner and their guest to enjoy an overnight stay in the newly refurbished surrounds of its hotel. Relax and unwind in the building’s historic interiors or take advantage of the hotel’s proximity to some of London’s most iconic attractions.

Round off this luxury break with a sumptuous breakfast. This prize is valid for any date up to 29th August 2014, subject to availability. Blackout dates apply.

8 Northumberland Avenue – Win a 3-course meal at Boyd’s Brasserie

Enjoy a delicious three-course meal combining the best of British cuisine with a modern twist in Boyd’s Brasserie at 8 Northumberland Avenue. Here, you and your guest will enjoy innovative dishes such as lobster bisque with lobster dumplings, and chocolate mousse and popcorn ice cream with a salted caramel milkshake.

The Chesterfield Mayfair – Win an award-winning Afternoon Tea for 2

The prestigious Chesterfield Mayfair is gifting a traditional, award-winning British afternoon tea for two, especially for one lucky winner and guest. Enjoy a selection of delicious treats, including a delightfully playful selection of Willy Wonka themed pastries and cakes including Oompa Loompa cupcakes, fizzy lifting cakes and chocolate Wonka bars.

The Cinnamon Club – Win a cocktail masterclass

Win an exclusive cocktail masterclass at The Cinnamon Club’s cool and contemporary bar, where master mixologists will guide the winner and their guest through mixing and matching premium spirits with deliciously spiced ingredients. Learn a few tricks of the trade on the way.

St Martin-in-the-Fields – Win a wine & jazz night experience for 4 at Café in the Crypt

Put a swing in your step by scooping an exclusive evening of wine and jazz for you and four of your friends at Jazz Night in the Café in the Crypt at St Martin-in-the-Fields, on Wednesday 3rd October 2013.

Central Hall Westminster – Win 2 tickets to Neil Gaiman’s exclusive book signing

Win two tickets to an exclusive book signing session with best-selling children’s author Neil Gaiman, at 6pm on Tuesday 15th October 2013. See Neil read and talk about his silliest adventure yet as he takes you on a time-travelling, space-exploring adventure filled with lots of laughs. This is a sold-out family event and one not to miss. The winner will also receive a signed copy of Fortunately, the Milk.

Banqueting House – Win a tour of Banqueting house for 2, plus guidebook

Experience the majestic interiors and beautiful ceilings painted by legendary Flemish artist Peter Paul Reuben as you and your guests steep yourselves in the unique history of The Banqueting House, part of Historic Royal Palaces.

You and your guest will also receive a beautifully produced guidebook giving unrivalled information on one of London’s most historically significant buildings.

41 Portland Place – Win a Brazilian ‘Brigadeiro’ chocolate bootcamp for 4

As well as being famous for his amazing brownies, 41 Portland Place’s head chef Will Carvalho’s is also a master of creating delicious Brazilian Brigadeiro – a South American twist on chocolate truffles.

Chef Carvalho has offered to share his family Brigadeiro recipe with one lucky visitor to Destination Westminster 2013 and three of your friends in a chocolate masterclass at 41 Portland Place. Learn how to create your own Brigadeiros and as an extra treat, you will be treated to a bottle of their finest Champagne while you cook.

Victory Services Club – Win Sparkling Champagne Tea for 2

Win a sumptuous, sparkling afternoon tea in VSC’s stylish Lounge Bar, where you can enjoy all the trappings of a traditional English afternoon tea, accompanied by a refreshing glass of chilled Champagne.

The Rag – Army & Navy Club – Win Champagne Afternoon Tea for 5

Take a delicious Champagne Afternoon Tea in the sophisticated surroundings of The Rag’s Ladies’ Lounge for you and up to four of your friends. Afternoon tea is served Mondays to Fridays from 2.30pm – 5.30pm and this prize is valid until the end of January 2014. Tea must be pre-booked with the venue.

etc.venues Victoria – Win a garden BBQ party for 10

The sizzle of late summer comes to etc.venues Victoria as you and nine of your chosen guests enjoy a delicious, two-course BBQ in the contemporary courtyard garden.

The Lansdowne Club – Win a Champagne dinner for 2

The prestigious Lansdowne Club is putting sparkle into Destination Westminster 2013, offering a luxurious Champagne dinner for two in the surrounds of its exquisite Art Moderne Dining Room. Tuck into British classics including bone-fresh Cornish sole, filling spring chicken pie and a tasty trio of beef, all accompanied with chilled glasses of Champagne.

The Athenaeum Hotel – Win a 5-star meeting for 12 with luxury accommodation

The 5-star Athenaeum Hotel is offering one lucky person the chance to win a meeting for up to 12 people and an overnight stay in its luxurious hotel rooms. The winner and their delegates will have the opportunity to experience the Athenaeum’s sophisticated facilities and its unrivalled access to lovely natural daylight and stunning views, the ideal backdrop for discussion, debate and putting the world right.

Bistro 51 at 51 Buckingham Gate – Dinner for two and a Bottle of House Wine at ‘Bistro 51’

To register for FREE, and for more information about the timings and full programme for the showcase and panel discussion, click here.

76 Portland Place brings scientific wonder to event menus

76 Portland Place, home of the Institute of Physics, is renowned for pushing the boundaries of innovation to deliver show-stopping, sustainable event menus and now, after months of experimentation in its kitchens, the team is pleased to announce the launch of its ‘Molecular Tasting Menu’. It is available now for anyone looking for something different and unique at their next fine dining function.

Combining a number of complex and intricate techniques, Leo Rodley, executive chef at 76 Portland Place, and his team have used sophisticated methods and the latest equipment available to create menus which appeal to the senses and play mischievously on the palate to create a memorable dining experience.

The tasting menu features seven courses, with high quality ingredients which can be manipulated to take on different textures and enhance natural flavours. Highlights include table smoked salmon mi-cuit, prepared sous vide and served under a glass cloche, enrobed in the delicate, heady aroma of apple wood smoke, or a 72-hour-roasted beef rib and Dexter beef fillet with broccoli three ways, dehydrated nettle leaves and a rich port jus.

Some of the dishes can be prepared table-side, to dramatic effect, like the nitro-poached green tea mousse – a refreshing palate cleanser.

The molecular tasting menu is bespoke and available to anyone booking a fine dining event at 76 Portland Place throughout 2013. Prices are available on request for between 4 – 20 guests.

For more information, contact Jenny Hullock at [email protected] or on tel: 0207 470 4871.

Christmas party venues: Intimate, private dining celebrations

The quiet and understated elegance of The Chesterfield Mayfair boutique hotel captures your imagination. Its old-fashioned values of service and courtesy charm guests to create an intimate, home-from-home environment. Executive Chef Ben Kelliher looks forward to designing bespoke Christmas party menus to be enjoyed in the sumptuous surrounds of one of the hotel’s private dining rooms, be it The Royal Suite, seating 100, the light and airy Conservatory, seating 40, with views over the garden and fountain, or The Library, seating 20. Guests can also book tables in Butlers Restaurant, famously the home of ‘the best Dover Sole in London’.

To enquire or to make a reservation, call The Chesterfield’s Christmas coordinators on 020 7514 5604 or email [email protected].

Adjacent to the award-winning One Twenty One Two restaurant lie the six private dining suites of One Whitehall Place, a venue which connects with The Royal Horseguards Hotel. Perfect for hosting smaller, festive parties, three-course menus are available from £39.95 per person, or more grand-scale party packages start from £105pp including dinner, half a bottle of house wine, mineral water, DJ and dancefloor.

Book before the end of July and receive 10% off when quoting ‘TWC/LA01’. Call 020 7451 9386 or email [email protected] to enquire.

More London Christmas party venue options:

Good, old-fashioned nostalgia: 1920s & 1940s

VIP gigs and the edible Sugar Palace

Your own private members club

Lights, camera, exhibition!

A classic Christmas knees-up

Christmas with a conscience

Roasted chestnuts, mulled wine and carols

Work hard, play hard

Book now for Off to Work’s Event School 2013 – 9th & 10th April

Award-winning event staff supplier, recruitment consultancy and professional training academy Off to Work is delighted to launch its Event School for 2013, with a special focus on style and design.

With names like Masterchef winner Keri Moss and former The Apprentice contestant Miriam Staley within the speaker line-up, bookings are expected to be snapped up quickly for the two-day workshop series, which will run on Tuesday 9th and Wednesday 10th April at the London Irish Centre, Off to Work’s dedicated Training Academy in Camden, London.

Building on the success of last year’s school, Event School 2013: Style & Design will bring together renowned professionals from successful creative businesses to deliver a practical, workshop-led programme focusing on specific areas of the event planning and delivery cycle.

From a designer ‘mocktail’ mixing masterclass with Sejuiced and a lesson in wine buying for events with Blanco & Gomez, to workshops in food styling and event storytelling through photography with Red Photographic, room theming and lighting with Wise Production, plus content marketing and event communication tips from Custard Communications, Event School 2013 is aimed at event planners, event coordinators and managers, event agencies, caterers, F&B staff, chefs, marketing staff and business development teams.

Highlights of the programme include a networking lunch and concurrent panel debate on ‘Menu design for events’, featuring Keri Moss, winner of MasterChef: The Professionals 2012, Nick Mead, director at Eden Caterers, Vicky O’Hare, managing director of Party Ingredients and Gerald Aberdeen, executive head chef for Table Talk. These expert menu developers and chefs will share tips and tricks for planning a show-stopping selection of dishes that are not diluted by challenging dietary restrictions.

The workshop style of the programme means that delegates can pick and choose which ‘modules’ best fit their job role and requirements and attend these sessions as one-off learning experiences.

Attendees working in events and hospitality will leave inspired and equipped with tangible skills to aid their career development and to maximise the impact and profitability of future events.

“We’re pleased to welcome our clients, our team and all events professionals to attend any or all of the Event School’s workshops. We’ve designed workshops to be intimate, with a cap on 20 people, to ensure you can enjoy a focused and interactive learning environment,” said Philip Atkins, managing director, Off to Work. The exceptions to this are the educational, networking lunches.

A vibrant and sociable company, Off to Work has been providing the finest, skilled staff to the events and hospitality industries throughout the UK and overseas since 2001. Throughout this time, the company has stayed true to its guiding principle ‘to help provide some of the best experiences and memories people have ever had’ – something they achieve by remaining committed to hiring only the people most passionate about hospitality.

Event School 2013: Style & Design will take place on 9th & 10th April 2013 at London Irish Centre, Camden Square, London, NW1 9XB. For the full workshop programme, to find out more information or to book, please email Lucy Katan, call 020 3155 1975, or visit the dedicated website page.

Workshops are priced at £40+VAT each and package rates are available if you’d like to attend multiple sessions.

London Transport Museum injects new flavours with revamped accredited caterer partnerships

By Word of Mouth, Ampersand, Table Talk, Jackson Gilmour and Dish are amongst the caterers now accredited for evening events by the London Transport Museum, following a highly competitive tendering process that saw more than 20 companies apply.

The extension of the venue’s accredited list from three to six caterers is the first supplier shake-up since the museum’s reopening in 2007, following its £22.4 million refurbishment.

Searcy’s, which has been a caterer at the museum since 2007, has also extended its on-site contract for a further two years, with exclusive responsibility for the Upper Deck café bar and the venue’s daytime conference spaces.

“We are delighted to extend our accredited list of caterers at this pivotal time as we head into the 150th anniversary celebrations of the London Underground,” said Julie Bouabbane, venue sales and marketing manager at the London Transport Museum.

Located in Covent Garden’s bustling Piazza, the London Transport Museum captures the very essence of London, celebrating one of the capital’s major icons, the classic red double-decker bus.

During the day, the museum can accommodate meetings and conferences for 15-121 guests. In the evenings, the Museum Galleries provide a spectacular backdrop to receptions for up to 500 and to dinner parties for 180, enabling guests to mingle amongst colourful, interactive displays, iconic posters and vintage vehicles.

For more information regarding the catering at London Transport Museum or to enquire about venue hire, please contact Julie Bouabbane on email at [email protected] or by calling 020 7565 7292.

Catering: Make it memorable for the right reasons

By Jonathan Morris, Commercial Director, No.11 Cavendish Square

Food is a talking point of events, whether it’s a reception with canapés, a gala dinner with three courses, a party with bowl food, or an all-day conference with breakfast and lunch. Catering can really make or break an event; poor catering performance is a significant reason for dissatisfaction with an event.

If the catering isn’t delivered well, it not only reflects badly on the services of the caterer, but the venue too.  Guests will often associate the ‘bad food’ food experience they had at an event, with the venue and are likely to share their experience with others, which can be very damaging for the venue’s reputation.

As a venue that specialises in weddings at the weekends, we look at offering a diverse selection of menus at No.11 Cavendish Square.  Working closely with our in-house caterers Ampersand, we produce innovative and tantalising menus that are an extension of the No.11 brand. The objective is to continually raise the stakes and offer our clients refreshing alternatives to customary solutions. It is important to be contemporary without alienating clients. There needs to be a balance of fun, creative flair and palatable options suitable for the majority.

This year the emphasis is on affordable luxury at No.11 Cavendish Square. With the economy still unstable, organisers are budget conscious and want value for money. We have collaborated with our in-house caterers to produce menus that feature the latest food trends found at top restaurants. These include themed tasting dishes and shared plates which can be served as an alternative to starters, mains and desserts.

Live food bars are another option; they add a sense of theatre to events as guests can watch dishes being prepared with flare in front of them. Ask chefs to flambé, carve meat off the bone, fillet fish and shuck oysters.  Guests get delicious contemporary dishes served beautifully, without the hefty price tag.

To make an event memorable for all the right reasons, venues need to have a solid working partnership with caterers. Regularly review the latest restaurant trends, look at different serving options and host regular tasting and menu brainstorming sessions. This ensures that both parties are working to the same goal and keeping menus fresh for organisers.