What was the party? Victorian venue 88 St James's Street, adjacent to St James's Palace, was chosen to showcase Tamarind Catering and Events' Christmas party menus. Event organisers, agencies and suppliers were invited to try out the company's festive treats.
How was the party themed? Guests were met by a large wooden elephant and two authentically dressed Raj doormen. As they entered the venue on the ground level they were treated to a visually stunning 1920s Art Deco Raj theme, designed to represent the period when India was under British occupation. This included huge parasols, period statues and a large food station with an Indian-themed backdrop that included foliage and cleverly constructed floral displays, and which served a bespoke blend of Indian and traditional Christmas-style food. At the back of this room there was a purpose-built library that led through to the venue's stairwell. This had been transformed into a wardrobe with clothes, jackets and shoes adorning the walls and the ceilings. Guests passed through the wardrobe, down the stairs and entered the world of Narnia, as depicted in the famous C.S.Lewis novel The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Blue drapes with hand-painted drawings of magical palaces covered the walls while white and blue uplit tables and large plastic icicles gave the lower level a magical winter feel. On both floors traditional music was provided to adapt to both of the themed areas, with chill-out tunes downstairs and some traditional Indian beats upstairs.
Who was behind the party? Under the guidance of Tamarind event sales manager Victoria Jarvie, themers Party Design UK brought the two areas to life. Jarvie also enlisted the help of florist Moyses Stevens, bar and staff supplier and mixologist Bamboo, musicians Quintessential Music and audio-visual expert All Safe and Sound.
What were the highlights? Most impressive was the way in which the venue was transformed into two themes – the stairwell that became a wardrobe and the hand-painted drapes depicting Narnia. The food on both floors was excellent, from the Indian-styled treats to the magical canapés in the kingdom of Narnia. Importantly, the high turnout of guests that forced the party to continue for an hour longer than expected was a real sign of appreciation.