Tuesday, February 26, Bocconcino Restaurant
What on earth was our Venus and Mars party all about, you might rightly ask. Well, we wanted to create something to trump a Valentine’s party, throw a psychic love coach in the mix and introduce you to a fabulous Italian restaurant and gorgeous party space at Bocconcino Mayfair.
Valentine’s Day is officially the most romantic day on the calendar. Right, but what is the most romantic day as far as the starry heavens are concerned? It’s the day those tempestuous lovers Venus and Mars come into closest contact. Now the chances of them doing that on February 14th are about one in 365, but this year they weren’t far off. Having consulted the Rendezvous astrologer we were privy to the saucy fact that February 26th was the day when Venus and Mars would be locked in their tightest embrace in the passionate, fiery sign of Pieces. So that’s the day we held our star-crossed February party.
Our party proved to be pure genius on every level. It was an unseasonably warm February night – temperatures had hit a crazy high of 18 degrees during the day. Bocconcino’s windows were adorned with incredible pink flowers – February in Bloom! Bocconcino certainly is an absolute gem of a venue. We were provided with a great room to entertain our guests and what a guest list it was! We were looked after in the most perfect style by Bocconcino’s truly wonderful staff, Lily who curated and oversaw the entire event, Simone, duty manager. Maurizio, sommelier, Giuseppe, Debora and Luciano, bar, who helped create a delicious ambience that set us up for a splendid night.
Our club members arrived first and got first dibs for a psychic reading with Alison Chang Lung – who was very busy all night. Please do let us know if you would like to be connected.
One guest commented that he had raced to London on the fast train from Glasgow and was rather miffed his first-class ticket included a posh meal as he was eyeing up head chef Marco’s delicious platters. We feasted on literally a smorgasbord of Italian sharing platters, Focaccia al Rosmarino, Selezione di Salumi Toscani and the most ridiculously good Italian pizzas you’ve ever tasted. It’s no surprise that BOCCONCINO won both the Diners Choice and Square meal Awards in 2018.
Thank you Bocconcino for treating one lucky guest who left her business card, with a scrumptious dinner for two, she couldn’t believe her luck when we announced her as winner!
And it really is kind of so many guests to ping me a quick note of thanks.
Here’s some of the lovely feedback we received…
Thank you very much for making me most welcome at the party last evening. I met a number of interesting people and enjoyed the evening very much.
You have clearly a huge talent for putting people together and running a very good party. Well done!
Look forward to the next one.
Thank you for organising another lovely evening. The venue was superb and fitted the group really well and the staff could not have been more professional. The food was delicious too!
By the way, it will be my last DD event as my experience has not been very positive – you have spoiled me by delivering exactly what you say you will deliver!
Thank you for another great evening, great atmosphere, quality nibbles and great company. I especially liked X, lovely man, we had such a good conversation, I am hoping he will be at the next event 🙂
Another great event last night!
Lovely venue, lots of new people
And good to meet up with all the regular rendezvous friends I’ve made!!
Please put me down for the next one
Love Suzanne xxx
I attended your wonderful event this evening with my friend X and met a lovely woman called X. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to take her number and I am wondering if you would kindly pass mine on and she can contact me if she wishes to.
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: –
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!
Thanks for a wonderful evening, met some interesting people! X, a fellow Scot, was a bit of alright…..!
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!
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.
Dear Barbara, what a fun evening in a cool location near the clubs etc, loved it, thank you for all your effort. P x
Another great fun evening!
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!
3rd July 2018
Wine and cheese. So far, not so different. Wine and cheese on a stonkingly warm summer evening in the middle of the football world cup and on the night that England was set to play Columbia – now you’ve got our attention. What on earth happened you say – did any men turn up?
As it happens our chaps are rather partial to a spot of wine and cheese. And our ladies by perfect contrast are rather partial to a spot of football. Who was leading the charge to watch up football at a nearby pub you ask…the ladies of course.
And what a fully-charged evening we all had. It was another sell-out event and a few people cancelling in favour of the footie didn’t faze us, we had a couple on the bench ready to take available ticket positions. Our partygoers were on even kookier form that ever. Balmy nights tend to do that to us and who am I to complain – you’ll never see me happier than in a room full of characters.
Character Numero Uno was quietly charming wine buff host Stuart George, who opened the proceedings wowing us with stories of his fine and rare wine business Vins Extraordinaires’ home – the gorgeous 19th Century Townhouse at 50 Brook Street, dead opposite Claridge’s. He circled back later in the evening with another vintage for a blind tasting of what we all assumed would be table wine but was in fact a rare, and no longer in production, port – Gould Campbell 1994. You didn’t fool us Stuart – we guessed it was port all along, even if we didn’t get that it was 24 years old. Didn’t we, our budding Oz Clarkes!
Extraordinary vineyard owners Tim and Vaughan Pearson turned up to show us what a dream of creating a vineyard in South Africa looks like. A labour of love for them was love in a glass for us. A Sauvignon Blanc, an unoaked Chardonnay that tasted more like a Chablis, an oaked Chardonnay, a gorgeous Pinot Noir, and a perfect cheese pairing Syrah. Vaughan was the conveyor of imbibing knowledge and imbibe on that knowledge we did. So full of tips and stories was Vaughan that she held our attention for an inordinately long time, though with well-received pauses for football score up dates. She had us eating, or should we say drinking, out of her hand. Tim was busy pouring wines and imparting his wine knowledge and cheeky tales and their daughter Kim – a Harley Street nutritionist – kept us all chuckling at the entrance to 50 Brook Street as the procession of football lovers hopped back and forth from pub to venue like naughty school kids.
Now we mustn’t forget the Grand Fromage. Stuart Maclennan from Cows & Co talked us through his wonderful project of Scottish cheeses with a twist, each one more delicious than the last. Louise and I fell in love with Nanny McBrie – a gorgeous goats cheese that tastes more like a triple cream sheep’s cheese. I suspect if there was left over cheese on the night Nanny McBrie was not one of them!
The backdrop was Shtager Gallery’s stunning exhibition. Already running the previous week when we stopped into Brook Street to fine-tune details, we asked gallerist Marina Shtager if it could be extended just so all of you cheese, wine and art lovers could experience the whole shebang!
So thank you Vins Extraordinaires, Seven Springs and Cows & Co. There were special packs of discounted wine and cheese on the night – so if you would like to taste for yourselves what we’ve all been enthusing about Follow this link.