Posts Tagged ‘Great Hall’

- 22 Jul 2014

Good beer as one of our most loyal clients retires….

July 9th 2014 not only marked the 20th occasion that we staged the annual All-party Parliamentary Beer Group Dinner for 250 guests in our Great Hall, it also marked the retirement of Robert Humphreys as our longest-standing client. Our Events Manager Perry Simmonds, who has been at the venue for 16 years has worked on the event with Robert all this time. The dinner, which is attended by brewers from around the UK along with many MPs and Peers is different in that, given what it represents, guests are given beer rather than wine with dinner.

This photo below shows just how many glasses are required to do justice to the selection process!

The beers, which are paired with the food are carefully chosen from a selection submitted by a variety of brewers by a tasting group of experts. Over the last few years, this tasting has happened at the venue and Robert kindly invited us to be involved which while being not only of great interest to us, given our daily involvement with food and drink, has also been great fun. Upwards of 30 beers are tasted to match with the starter, main and dessert. The choice often becomes difficult with very close contenders and so some years, two beers have been served with particular courses.

The pairing process inspired us to suggest having beers rather than wines for a previous retiring President of the Institution of Civil Engineers, our parent body. Paul Jowett, a beer-loving Yorkshireman loved the idea so long as it could include his favourite beer, Timothy Taylor’s Landlord somewhere. Robert was very helpful offering us advice and suggestions and the whole idea was a hit.

Prior to the dinner, guests are offered a range of around 20 bottled beers and ales including cask ales on arrival with a selection of canapés.

The event usually runs without a hitch barring a few last minute table changes which Robert has to deal with but we have had a few occasions in the past where there were parliamentary votes or ‘Divisions’ during dinner and swathes of MPs had to leave the dinner to head across to the House of Commons to vote. In such circumstances there’s really not much you can do other than to try to keep the food warm until they return which is usually within half an hour, although one year I remember there being 2 or 3 votes and they were all ‘3-liners’ meaning that MPs must go to vote.

It is unusual to have worked with a client for such a long time from both sides. Either the client or the venue contact moves on but I like to think in this instance it’s because One Great George Street is such a great venue both to hold an event and to work for.

OGGS Events Manager Perry Simmonds says a few words at Robert Humphreys’ final Awards dinner, the 21st one in fact, as Honorary Secretary of the APPBG

- 15 May 2014

Top Fashion Show Venue Hosts Matthew Williamson AW14

London’s One Great George Street is most definitely on the London Fashion Week map once again proving it is the perfect backdrop for top designers to showcase their seasonal collections.  This season the talented Matthew Williamson presented a bold, sexy show aimed at empowering women rather than dressing girls.  It was less boho than his previous collections, rather more glamorous and unafraid with a touch of charismatic confidence – overall simply fabulous for strong independent London women.

Fashion Show One Great George Street on the runway


The overall fashion show was organised by My Beautiful City who have become a regular client of ours after having hosted  hosted a couple of other events in previous years, including the very recently departed L’Wren Scott who held her fashion show in  here in 2013.  Other than the efficient working relationship My Beautiful City have formed with our events team they also love to use the building as its beauty and architecture make such a striking impression on the show’s audience.

Fashion show venue One Great George Street ceiling

The Great Hall, where the show took place was disguised somewhat; however the magnificent glistening chandeliers and beautiful marble walls remained distinguishable. The main focus was a stunning black and white carpet that lined the runway.  It worked remarkably well to create a distinctive central feature and optical illusion which emerged from the striking press shots of the models on the runway.

Fashion Show One Great George Street on the runway

As with all shows during London Fashion Week a whole host of stunning celebrities attended the event; Cat Deeley (in that now infamous pink coat!), fashionista Olivia Palermo, Twiggy and Cara’s beautiful sister Poppy Delevingne.

The show ended to an extremely impressed and enthusiastic audience which produced an equally positive media reaction to Matthew’s collection.

We are proud to be a reoccurring feature of London Fashion Week and look forward to these exciting events.  Thank you to My Beautiful City, Matthew Williamson and their teams for making it a great experience for all involved.

- 26 Sep 2013

Caipirinhas, Guaraná, Pastel and Bobó de Camarão

Most of us will know that Caipirinha is a nice cocktail although perhaps not its origins. What do these things have in common you wonder? Well, if you are Brazilian you will know that they all come from your home country.
On 11 June, the Brazilian Permanent Representation to the International Maritime Organisation, which is based just over Westminster Bridge on the south side of the River Thames held a lunchtime reception to celebrate the 148th anniversary of the Riachuelo Naval Battle and Brazilian Navy Day and which included Awards of the Order of Naval Merit Medals.
The Great Hall presentation with the Brazilian Navy
Presentation in the Great Hall
Having attended previously receptions here given by the Chilean Navy, the organisers saw our stately Great Hall as the ideal location and venue for this very important occasion.
Guests included naval attachés from many countries as well as representatives from the Royal Navy and other diplomatic representatives. Those in active service came in full ceremonial uniform which made the cloakroom an interesting sight with all the caps carefully laid out.
Brazilian Navy Caps
Brazilian Navy Caps 
In all, there were 300 guests, first assembled in allocated spaces for the award of the medals. Guests were greeted at the door by Admiral Mendonca, the Brazilian Navy’s most senior representative in the UK while the medals were given by His Excellency the Brazilian Ambassador. Special messages from the President and the Head of the Navy were given in writing to guests in a commemorative handout.
After the formal proceedings ended, guests were offered Caipirinhas, red and white wines, soft drinks and Guaraná, a very popular soft drink available all over Brazil and also now here where it is available in some Waitrose stores.
Great Hall at OGGSVenue the Brazilian Naval reception
 The Brazilian Naval reception in the Great Hall
A selection of canapés including the Pastels, a very light pastry plus a selection of bowl food, one of which was Bobo de Camarao.
Bodo de Camaro at OGGSVenuePastels at OGGSVenue
The organisers held a tasting with us to see how good we were at making these 2 food items and give or take a few minor adjustments they said we did very well and on the day they turned out perfectly. Similarly they tested our cocktail making skills and were impressed with our Caipirinha mix.

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