Jazz Jan 2019

About Jazz January Whisky and Chocolate

Tuesday, Jan 15th.  Boisdale of Belgravia

So around a windy mishmash of rooms we went – that being the eccentric approach to our private room in Boisdale of Belgravia the Auld Restaurant, its own cute stand-alone party venue within a party restaurant which was the venue of our January party. But then there’s a lot about Boisdale that’s eccentric, which, no surprise, is exactly what attracted us to the kooky-kitsch, red-walled, tartan-clad, cigar-smoking, jazz-loving group of restaurants in the first place!
With its charming and capable fun-pectation team, what could possibly go wrong?
Led by delightfully capable Head of Events, Miranda Hadsley-Chaplin, and cocktail maestro team Glen and Jose, they introduced us to a cocktail so delicious you really must try it at home.

 

Whisky sour with a twist
1 part Isle of Arran Whisky

2 parts lemon juice
2 dashes of Crème de Cacao

You can top up with fizzy water, if this version is too perky.
Stir, strain in a rocks-filled glass and garnish with lime

 

The night took off at a gallop and there were so many of us we were split into two groups. Boisdale’s Glen Collins ably stepped into the Whisky Ambassador shoes with his charming way led the assault on our palates with a glorious taste tour and masterclass. But wait, where’s the assault of Whisky proportions as we know it? This combination of whisky and chocolate is mellow – a warm, palette pleasing sensation, decidedly rich but decidedly dammed fine!
As Glen charmed our palates with his whiskey non-assault course, delightful elocutionist and Artisan du Chocolates ambassador Danny wowed us with a chocolate pairing combination that really hit the spot. She paired:

Robert Burns single malt with maple syrup sea salt caramel – No11

The Arran Malt 10-year old with Tasmanian honey dark chocolate ganache

The Arran Malt Amorone cask aged with tarragon and maple syrup milk chocolate ganache

Boisdale provided some post-whisky tasting snacks to keep the crowd er….standing, we were bolstered up with delicious Welsh rarebit bites and smoked artisan sausages with honey and mustard, yum!

Blending our two groups of 25 into one big group of 50 in our private Auld restaurant our boisterous crowd barely drew breath. Lots of new friendships were formed, numbers exchanged and, empowered with our deeper awareness of whisky and chocolat, we snuck back around the windy passageway. Eventually, that is – the party was so enthusiastic nobody (including moi) wanted to leave.  What a blast! To everyone involved in setting up this epic fun-feast, let’s do it again soon!

 

And some lovely feedback: –

Babs!

Thanks for last night.  Great organization and ideal venue.  It was a great evening.  Enjoyed chatting with May and Lou and X is quite a card – I must call her!

J x


Hi B

Thanks for a wonderful evening, met some interesting people!  X, a fellow Scot, was a bit of alright…..!

C x


Hello B

What a wonderful evening!!! Thank you so much although my head is a little sore as I was part of a small group that stayed on and closed Boisdale’s down! The attendees were interesting, entertaining and great fun.  Look forward to seeing the whole gang again soon!

B x

 

Aquavit Calling all the shots

Aquavit Restaurant. Calling all the shots.

Aquavit Restaurant.

Calling all the shots.  Tuesday 16th October.

The Michelin stars were out last week it’s easy to see how this fine establishment has earned its one-star rating.

The sublime Stockholm room creates a welcome to all, fuelled by views over the dramatic restaurant downstairs.  Boldly decorated in arts and crafts prints and bespoke wood trim by London-based interior architect Martin Brudnizki (another Swedish talent!)  Brudnizki also designed the over-the-top and outrageously out there Annabel’s – the most Instagrammed club of this year.  Quite how an owner could say – yup I’ll have that interior because it’s so bonkers I really don’t know – its times like that you just have to run with it and trust the talent.

 

The talented Mr Brudnizki’s interior truly did provide the perfect backdrop for our boisterous and confident crew.  On arrival Kitty the General Manager and able bar supremo treated our singles to super-chilled Prosecco, the perfect perk-me-up.  The treats didn’t stop there: we munched through the freshest and most delicate canapés you’ve ever seen – including Västerbotten tart, Shrimp Skagen, fennel, onion and caraway tarts and liver pate with pickled cucumber.  Hmm, might have overdone the latter, but hey the room was buzzing with conversation and dare I mention flirtation.

It’s no wonder the name of the restaurant comes from Aquavit a flavoured distilled spirit, that the Germans call Schnapps; like the French ‘eau-de-vie’, aquavit means ‘water of life’. Delicious, but in a rocket-fuel kind of way!

What a high-spirited crowd, they had great fun hatching plans with old friends and welcoming

over 20 new people who soon became immersed into the group like treasured and respected friends.

We are so looking forward to our last event of this year on the 27th of November. It really has been a pleasure running Rendezvous this year.

It wasn’t just the Rendezvous team who had such an amazing time at Aquavit on Tuesday, thank you so much for sending us such lovely feedback.


 

Good morning B, I just wanted to say thank you for another great Rendezvous evening.  There was a lovely mix of people and the energy in the room was high.

R x


 

Dear Barbara, what a fun evening in a cool location near the clubs etc, loved it, thank you for all your effort.  P x


Hi Barbara 

Another great fun evening!

J x


 

Crab pic

Absolutely Crabulous: A crawsome party.

Fancy Crab | 92 Wigmore St | W1U 3RD
Wednesday, September 12th

You’ve got to be quite daring to open a restaurant serving one thing on the menu.  Rendezvous being a daresome crew were intrigued enough about swanky Marylebone eatery Fancy Crab that we decided to create an event for our fun-loving guests centred around the supreme ruler of this crustacean space; the noble Red King Crab.

Fancy Crab on Wigmore Street is just minutes away from Bond Street station and a fantastic spot to drop into for lunch, dinner or a snifter and a snack.  We were side-shuffled away to a private room tucked away under the main restaurant, with its own private bar and plenty of booths to dive (see what I did there) into for a sit down.

If guests, like me, were unfamiliar with the giant Red King Crab, fear not as we were treated to an awesome crab experience. Apparently, these fancy crabs are caught off the north coast of Russia, boiled and immediately frozen for maximum freshness.  Fancy Crab’s head chef presented us with an enormous crab – I suspect with a leg length of 30 cm – however I was informed that this was merely a youngster as they can grow to five feet across – yikes!  The leg meat is the whole point and the sweetest of them all, the Hermes of the shellfish world.

The monster crab was cut up in front of us (with a few legs that had been prepared earlier) aided and embellished by beautiful young assistant Lou Lou who keenly deciphered the chef’s Russian to bonkers English – well not really but never let a good story get in the way of a very good story.

Lou Lou being ringside to the crab show handed me a wafer of crab meat and yowser did I get an unexpected taste bud jolt.  I’ve been to gin tastings and still not liked gin, whisky tastings and still not liked whisky.  Red King Crab tasting …..and yabba dabba ding dong – I’m hook, line and sinkered.  A taste bomb like no other. Date nights do you hear me, I want to go back to Crabulous!

Thank you Evgenia and Luis for looking after us so well and for all your delicious canapes.  We really appreciated the wonderful goodie bags including crab bibs – what fun!