Sunday, 5 November, 2017
As the nights draw in and the weather gets colder, I cannot think of a better way of spending an evening than in the company of good friends and food so I hope this post will inspire you how to create the perfect dinner party over the festive season. And as someone who positively relishes meeting new people, I was thrilled to attend one of Havana Club exclusive sobremesa dinner parties at the beautiful private members club Devonshire Club in the city of London close to my offices.
The purpose of the dinner was to raise awareness around the Havana Club Iconica range (specifically focused around the Tributo and Maximo expresssions) through the format of a sobremesa experience, which literally means “over the table.” Its about the time that is spent chatting and enjoying each other’s company over a meal; the idea that how we eat is as important as what we eat.
Hosted by the brilliantly witty Paul Croughton and Meimi Sanchez (Havana Club’s Brand Ambassador), the line up of guests, including Tom Marchant the charismatic co-founder of luxury travel company Black Tomato
, was so interesting and engaging, with the backdrop of the fabulous Library room at the Devonshire Club, I don’t think I could have created a better fantasy dinner party if had tried.
It was fascinating to learn more about Havana Club’s Icónica collection (and course to taste the rum, including the fabulous Havana Club Máximo Extra Añejo edition which is limited to just 1000 bottles created a year). Meimi explained how the Maestros del Ron Cubano, have aged and blended the finest rum reserves to produce the Icónica Collection.
The company and concept of sobremesa was enhanced by the exquisite and innovative menu created by the Devonshire Club’s executive chef Oliver Lesnik and featured the picture-perfect (and delicious) edible Cuban garden salad, finished off with cigar-inspired dessert.
And as we often feel like often one of the biggest luxuries in London life is time, taking time to relax over good food and conversation, the sobremesa moment encourages people to take more time to speak with each other in a meaningful way. With a variety of guest speakers, Cuban music playing in the background, and Tim Marchant’s of Black Tomato’s anecdotes about his time in Cuba, we felt were transported to Havana for the evening and I certainly didn’t want the evening to end. It was truly special evening and one I will remember for a long time.
(Image credits courtesy of Havana Club)
Monday, 4 September, 2017
Groucho Marx famously wrote in a letter …..
I Don’t Want to Belong to Any Club That Will Accept Me as a Member
I don’t think the newly opened Curtain Club in Shoreditch, East London will have the same problem. To be honest I think it will be the reverse. As the hottest new opening in the area, it is set to rival Shoreditch House and give the eclectic local residents and workers a fabulous new space to work and play in.
Having walked past the building works on my way to the offices every day over the last year, I was intrigued to see the inside of the Curtain Club and so was delighted when it finally opened and I was offered the chance to go in and have a snoop!
The wow factor clearly comes from the rooftop restaurant and bar, The Lido, set in front of a year-round heated swimming pool and sun loungers, but all the spaces have been carefully and beautifully curated, and will transport you away from the, at times, gritty city surroundings.
Interestingly, it was the area that attracted New York hotelier Michael Achenbaum (of the acclaimed Gansvoort brand) to build his club in this area. As he says : “We spent almost 10 years seeking locations throughout London, with the last 7 years specifically focused on the emerging East London area. It’s in our DNA to create hotels in neighbourhoods that are not only ahead of the curve but also in areas that are growing. The Curtain is that vision come to life in Europe.”
In addition to The Lido, members have access to private club club spaces and bars as well as a 24 hr gym, spa and live performance space.
And foodies, both club members and the general public, can enjoy the delights of Marcus Samuelson’s iconic Red Rooster restaurant, bringing its Harlem cool to London, as well as an all-day taqueria and bar, La Tienda, which are both also on site.
Finally, the Club also offers 120 guest rooms, including five suites, but more on that next time!
Check their website for more information about the club and about applying for membership.
Image credits (except pictures 3, 6 & 7 : Adrian Houston)