Inspiration: Party Life - Behind the scenes

Getting under the skin of events to bring you the trends in themes, entertainment and food.

FOOD

Once again, December proved manic in terms of events and awards ceremonies. With so many party planners desperate to outdo one another there were some interesting takes on food. At the ISES Christmas party Richmond Catering broke with the convention of canapes by providing a hot turkey-and-beef sandwich buffet, complemented by home-made sherry trifle ice cream.

Meanwhile, The Hurlingham Club's caterer Searcy avoided the usual dry chicken or duck served up at many industry awards dinners with a delicious roasted tranch of turbot at the Eventia CE Awards.

ENTERTAINMENT

As well as wheeling out big guns such as Beverley Knight, Alexander O'Neal and Will Young at La Dolce Vita, organisers also opted for fresh talent. These included the Roundhouse's youth choir and dance group, who stole the limelight from Jocelyn Brown at the Visit London Awards.

Proving that a good grounding in breakfast TV goes a long way, the event's presenter Kate Garraway provided razor-sharp ad-libs when faced with a boisterous crowd, while up-and-coming band Scala Fever kept guests entertained with their eye-catching dresses and musical virtuosity at the Eventia CE Awards.

THEMES

During the festive season, organisers tend to pull out all the stops to create a variety of both traditional and non-conventional parties, and this year we were lucky enough to be invited along to experience Mask's transformation of Old Billingsgate into La Belle Epoque, with its decadent collection of props and theming.

Another interesting theme was the Studio 54 style implemented at Quantum Leap Events and Owen Brown GL Events' Battersea Evolution, for Haymarket Publishing's Christmas party.

From the dancefloor and bars to the party wigs and crazy glasses, the 70s theme was captured brilliantly.

RSVP RECOMMENDS ...

- Having made her mark on ITV's award-winning breakfast show GMTV, Kate Garraway proved she is more than just another Autocue reader like so many of her peers. For details on how to book Garraway for an awards ceremony visit www.jla.co.uk

- A privately owned catering company, Searcy is the sole caterer at some of the capital's most prestigious venues, including 30 St Mary Axe, The Hurlingham Club and the Barbican. For information on awards dinner food visit www.searcys.co.uk

- Renowned for its large Christmas events for corporates such Amex and Haymarket Publishing, Battersea Evolution produced a great take on the Studio 54 theme. For more details visit www.batterseaevolution.co.uk.


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