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

Spirit of Family; Arbikie Mixology Masterclass

Tue, October 24, 2017 – Boisdale of Bishopsgate

Our love-in with kitchy-eccentric restaurant and jazz venue; Boisdale continues at pace. We had so much fun at our Gin-cocktail making event in June that we’re back again for another 50/50 joint. Yes 10 of their members and 10 of ours. Who knows what mischief we’ll get up to – but I’m thrilled to be there as a fly on the wall and fellow imbiber!

Members you are invited to a 90-minute Arbikie mixology event. Arbikie is the world’s first single estate distillery producing vodka, gin and whisky from ingredients grown on their farm. Brothers – John, Iain and David Stirling grew up on the Arbikie Estate and turned it into a bona fide craft distilling centre. Join us for a journey from field to bottle and find out why Arbikie has just been awarded the Scottish Gin distillery of the year.

Enjoy an Arbikie Gin and tonic on arrival and their global brand ambassador Alex will then guide you through their world-class spirits and give you an interactive cocktail master class where you will get to create your own cocktails.

We will help mix you up with the other singles, to create a cocktail showdown, crushing the ice, twisting the lime, stirring and shaking it about before you consume the creations.

* Membership to the Boisdale Club is £240 a year but if you are a Rendezvous Club member you are invited to join for just £95.00.

Giddy in Chelsea – 12th September

Goat Chelsea. 333 Fulham Road. Tuesday 12th of September.
Our members arrived for pre-event drinks (prinks) with the photo savvy Ms Laura Gub who is Brand You Max. Her company specializes in getting the photo that shows the best side of you. And we all want shine on social and frankly look hot to trot!
This September party signalled the start of the Autumn, and getting together with old and new single friends. Cherry blossom Bellini’s got the tongues wagging. The atmosphere was filled with laughter and stories.
The gang settled into the laid-back vibe at Goat, it has the comforting feeling of a place where we’ve all been before? Actually, come to think of it there were quite a few of us in the room who used to frequent this joint when it was a shabby Chelsea pub called the Goat in Boots….back in the day. I would know that because I was one of them! Those were the days when Rendezvous didn’t need to organize parties for singles – pubs were the place to party for singles – you just hit the right day of the week and hey presto – Giddy up!
But in the heyday of heads in phones we all need a little bit of help to meet some new friends and romantic acquaintances. And from the look of the room and numbers changing hands, it looks like our job was done.
Looking forward to seeing you all soon x