What are the first steps when someone approaches you to arrange a party?
As an event planner, relationships and getting to know your clients are extremely important elements to planning any party. We invite our VIP clients to come in for a meeting with canapés and Champagne (or whatever their tipple of choice happens to be) and find out their exact vision for flowers, audio-visuals and the menu. An appointment with our executive chef, Martyn Nail, is vital, too, so that he can discover precisely what they love and translate that into a bespoke menu for the evening.
What is your golden rule of party planning?
Never say ‘no’ to a client. My job is to listen, think outside the box and find solutions to make even the most outlandish wishes become a reality. But the service doesn’t end after the last guest goes home. We keep in touch with our clients through occasional breakfasts and dinners and stay up to date with what’s happening in their lives. If they get a puppy, we will send a card to congratulate them. Once you’re a Claridge’s VIP, you’re a Claridge’s VIP for life.
What party trends are going to be big for 2020?
While flowers will never go out of style at Claridge’s, balloons seem to be making a big comeback. Elaborate structures we can mix with blooms are becoming more popular for wedding archways or photo walls; they look exquisite. A more subtle trend for events is long tables. It looks elegant to have three long tables of 50 in the ballroom and ask the waiting staff to serve in sync in one long line. Conversely, the long, one-sided top table has fallen out of favour for weddings. Now brides and grooms crave the more intimate setting of a round top table where they can interact more easily with their most special guests.
Brook Street, W1K 4HR
020 7629 8860 | claridges.co.uk