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!

Barbara Brudenell-Bruce

Barbara Brudenell-Bruce

Barbara is an entrepreneur with a background in fashion and events.  She is a partner in Vida8, the event side of London’s exclusive matchmakers Vida. Barbara’s innate sense of what it takes to fit people together with a flair for hosting exquisite events, makes her a social anchor for all that know her.

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Barbara is an entrepreneur with a background in fashion and events.  She is a partner in Vida8, the event side of London’s exclusive matchmakers Vida. Barbara’s innate sense of what it takes to fit people together with a flair for hosting exquisite events, makes her a social anchor for all that know her.

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Barbara is an entrepreneur with a background in fashion and events.  She is a partner in Vida8, the event side of London’s exclusive matchmakers Vida. Barbara’s innate sense of what it takes to fit people together with a flair for hosting exquisite events, makes her a social anchor for all that know her.

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Barbara is an entrepreneur with a background in fashion and events.  She is a partner in Vida8, the event side of London’s exclusive matchmakers Vida. Barbara’s innate sense of what it takes to fit people together with a flair for hosting exquisite events, makes her a social anchor for all that know her.

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Barbara is an entrepreneur with a background in fashion and events.  She is a partner in Vida8, the event side of London’s exclusive matchmakers Vida. Barbara’s innate sense of what it takes to fit people together with a flair for hosting exquisite events, makes her a social anchor for all that know her.

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Barbara is an entrepreneur with a background in fashion and events.  She is a partner in Vida8, the event side of London’s exclusive matchmakers Vida. Barbara’s innate sense of what it takes to fit people together with a flair for hosting exquisite events, makes her a social anchor for all that know her.

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Barbara is an entrepreneur with a background in fashion and events.  She is a partner in Vida8, the event side of London’s exclusive matchmakers Vida. Barbara’s innate sense of what it takes to fit people together with a flair for hosting exquisite events, makes her a social anchor for all that know her.

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Aquavit Restaurant. Weds 11th October.
In one of our recent Rendezvous club competitions we asked members to share a great chat-up line to be in with a chance to win a magnum of Mirabeau rosé, which reminded me, conversely, of some of the best brush-off lines I’ve heard over the years (being a cheeky sort of girl, there’s been a few!).

One I’ll never forget came courtesy of my bestie and partner in crime La Grand Blonde (LGB). She has a penchant for the classic Scandinavian, tall, lean, and frankly damn good-looking man and, given that she stands 6ft in heels herself, she’s not about to settle for second best. Being the annoyingly-good-at-everything sort of girl that she is, she can rattle off some choice lines that make even Swedish sound cool. I remember her chatting away to a would-be Swedish suitor before abruptly cutting the poor chap off, only to turn to me and announce “Well he was tall, I will give him that, but Inget att hänga på julgranen (“he’s nothing to hang on the Christmas tree”). And with that we were off into the night in a blur of blonde hair, heels and chuckles.

Now something that is definitely worth hanging on the Christmas tree is everyone-in-the-knows favourite newbie in swanky St. James’ Place, the freshly Michelin starred Scandinavian restaurant Aquavit.

It’s been on my radar since it opened in December last year, and some of us shared a post-event cocktail or two there following our fabulous Franco’s rosé wine event last April. Not long after, events star, friend and all-round glamour puss Bethany Russell announced that she would be heading up the events team at Aquavit, thereby launching a star of colossal and bauble-worthy proportions. Or to calm down a little and put it more prosaically…Aquavit (schnapps) was duly sampled (hick), a party plan was penned, and a date announced to our lovely guests to-be (that would be you.)

Come the date in question, all preparations perfectly performed, our lucky guests arrived at our private room, The Stockholm room overlooking the restaurant, to find it boldly decorated in arts and crafts prints and bespoke wood trim by London-based interior architect Martin Brudnizki (another Swedish talent!), providing the perfect backdrop for our boisterous and confident crew.

Bar Manager Jun had whipped up two fabulously extravagant his-and-her cocktails to welcome us with, all overseen by unflappable restaurant manager Paola:
Freyja (Girls) Petronella, Lanique rose petal liqueur, Lime, Apple juice and Egg white
Glat Buck (boys) Bouillet bourbon, Peach liqueur, Lime cordial, Peach bitters

Sensational! And the treats didn’t stop there: we munched through the freshest canapés including Västerbotten tart, gravlax on rye, Shrimp Skagen, Crab, rye and fennel and Onion and caraway tarts. Hmm, might have overdone the latter, but hey I was buzzing around the room, so I don’t think anyone minded.

To wash all those goodies down we were treated to a tasting of Sweden’s most popular Aquavit, OP Anderson. Aquavit is a flavoured distilled spirit, what the Germans call Schnapps; like the French ‘eau-de-vie’, aquavit means ‘water of life’. Delicious, but one more and I’d have been drowning…

Needless to say the room was in very good spirits. Cosmo Landesman was looking his snogalicious self and we had great fun hatching plans for new things to do; and there were 15 new people who were just such fun to have in the room, which, as usual, felt like a group of treasured and fun friends.

Roll on our last event of the year on the 28th 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 Weds, thank you so much for sending us such lovely feedback.

Dear Barbara,
Thank you so much for organising such a great party last night, it was absolutely excellent, fantastic atmosphere, venue and everything else. I have met some great people, fun, diverse, interesting and smart I really hope to see again, many new faces and some that are becoming friends. You are a  relationship magician and you seem you  gather amazing crowds that gel and have fun. What a great night :))
D x

Dearest Barbara
What a fabulous evening!   A great turnout, lovely mix of interesting people, beautiful venue and they offered delicious hors d’oeuvres (of course they would, they have a Michelin star).
xx

Dear Barbara
Thank you for organising such a stylish and fun event at Aquavit on Wed.  The venue was superb and food absolutely delicious!
Thank you again for a really lovely evening – it is always such a pleasure to see you!
A x

Dear Barbara,
Thank you for a lovely evening on Wednesday evening. I enjoyed meeting you and making new friends.  Please keep me on your mailing list, I look forward to the next one!
C x

Barbara Brudenell-Bruce

Barbara Brudenell-Bruce

Barbara is an entrepreneur with a background in fashion and events.  She is a partner in Vida8, the event side of London’s exclusive matchmakers Vida. Barbara’s innate sense of what it takes to fit people together with a flair for hosting exquisite events, makes her a social anchor for all that know her.

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Barbara is an entrepreneur with a background in fashion and events.  She is a partner in Vida8, the event side of London’s exclusive matchmakers Vida. Barbara’s innate sense of what it takes to fit people together with a flair for hosting exquisite events, makes her a social anchor for all that know her.

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Barbara is an entrepreneur with a background in fashion and events.  She is a partner in Vida8, the event side of London’s exclusive matchmakers Vida. Barbara’s innate sense of what it takes to fit people together with a flair for hosting exquisite events, makes her a social anchor for all that know her.

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