Tuesday, Jan 16th.  Boisdale of Mayfair.


So down a dark and narrow stairway we went – that being the eccentric approach to our private room in Boisdale of Mayfair and The Vinyl Bar and Groove Room 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 GM Lizzie, and cocktail maestro team Stefan and Ricardo, they introduced us to a cocktail so delicious you really must try it at home.


The Dark and Stormy
45ml Chivas Regal Extra
15ml Ginger beer
10ml lime juice
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Stir, strain in a rocks-filled glass and garnished with lime


The night took off at a gallop and there were so many of us we were split into two groups. Pernod Ricard Whisky Ambassador Phil Huckle with his booming voice 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 Phil 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:

Chivas Regal Extra with liquid Sea Salted caramels and maple syrup
The Glenlivet 12 year old with luxury ginger and lemongrass.

Skapa Skiren with a dark chocolate ganache.
Blending our two groups of 30 into one big group of 60 in our private vinyl bar in the basement our boisterous crowd barely drew breath. Lots of new friendships were formed, numbers exchanged and, empowered with our deeper awareness of whiskey and chocolat, we snuck back up the staircase. 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: –

Dear Barbara,

What a wonderful whisky galore fuelled evening on Tuesday, thank you so much. Lovely to see you and Lou and a host of friendly familiar faces. Great fun and a fantastic start to 2018. Looking forward to seeing you again soon.

J x

Hi Barbara

This was my first Rendezvous event and after the initial apprehension and losing 5 kilos of January weight in nerves….I really enjoyed it!  Can you please send me all the details to join the Rendezvous club and I can’t wait for the next event you were telling me about in the Casino.

C x

Hello hon …

Thank you so much for your hard work in arranging a fun evening on Tuesday.

X and I really enjoyed ourselves and met some lovely people who we are meeting up for coffees/dinners.


D x

Hi Barbara

Thank you very much for the party yesterday I enjoyed it immensely.

I have heard only positive comments about your abilities as hostess well done!

I have heard there is another party you are hosting the Casino night that is meant to be the best if the season…

Can you remind me about it?


T x

HI Barbara!  Thanks for the invite yesterday.  It was a great evening.

There was a girl there I was talking to called X. Would it be possible to introduce us on email?

See you soon.

C x


Watching the Detectives recap

Picture credit Brand You Max

Smith & Whistle, 28th November 2017.

What a fun-filled night we had last week at Park Lane Hotel’s fabulous Smith & Whistle bar.  A fair bit of detective work helped make some wonderful introductions and the room was buzzing!

Thank you to our brand partners The Sheraton Park Lane, and Laura Gub of Brand You Max, Boisdale, Goat Chelsea, Berrywhite, Artisan du Chocolat and Orit London

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…


Hello Barbara, it was great seeing you again last night, I thoroughly enjoyed myself and met some really interesting people.
M x

Dear Barbara
Thank you for another super evening.   Lovely people and a great venue.
D x

Thought the evening a great success -great location -right nos -well circulated! Met a charming lady from *** who I plan to meet up with again.
B x

Hi Barbara
Good fun last night!
D xx    

Hi Barbara,
Thank you for last night’s party, loved the venue! As always, a great atmosphere and it was lovely to bump into old friends and to meet new ones!

Hi Barbara
Thanks for a fabulous evening – good to be back in the game; so to speak!
Looking forward to the next one.
C xx

Thanks for a lovely evening.  Great fun!
D x

Thank you for another super evening and being a great source of graciousness and fun!
T x

Hello Barbara,
I wanted to thank you for organising a fun evening!
Everyone seemed to be in a festive spirit 🙂
0 x

Calling the Coolest Shots – Aquavit

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).

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