Banqueting House, one of six venues cared for by independent charity Historic Royal Palaces, re-opened ‘The Den’ for an exclusive dining experience last Thursday 7 February.
Home to King James I’s drinking den 400 years ago and famed throughout history for its lavish soirees, Banqueting House welcomed guests to experience an evening of feasting and entertainment with a nod to the former monarch. Guests based in central London were hand-delivered their invitations designed by Merrie & Bright and inspired by the intricate furnishings found within the Undercroft.
On the night itself, guests were welcomed into Banqueting House by walking a dark green carpet provided by Vibrations, guided by black edged lanterns by Lavender Green. The evening began with an intimate drinks reception enjoyed in the main hall under Sir Peter Paul Rubens’ masterpiece ceiling, surrounded by a sea of lanterns and candles by Lavender Green. Guests enjoyed drinks by Tattinger, canapes by Food Show and a performance provided by Prelude Entertainment which took place in a four-metre-high ‘snow globe’ accompanied by a light show by Vibrations.
The mirrored top table in the Undercroft, which reflected the historic vaulted ceiling, was decorated with a runner of flowers down the centre by Lavender Green, with hanging fairy lights above the table and gold & white Chandelle chairs from Great Hire to complete the intimate dinner setting.
A luxurious four-course banquet was served by Food Show which was based on banquets of the past that had taken place at the palace, and each course was paired with a delicious wine. Dishes included mushroom consommé with parmesan foam & truffle, native blue lobster with orange, basil & watercress, squab pigeon & wellington foie gras with bee pollen turnips and velvety meringue pearls for dessert, served with vanilla scented custard pearls and raspberries.
Jennifer Lockham, Head of Banqueting House, commented: “We thoroughly enjoyed hosting this lavish banquet in ‘The Den’, allowing guests to immerse themselves in the rich history of Banqueting House while enjoying the stunning palace setting and truly magnificent Rubens masterpiece ceiling.
“As with any event held at Banqueting House, income raised from activities including venue hire is reinvested in conservation and education activities, to ensure the venue is well maintained and open for all to enjoy.”
Suppliers on the night included Food Show catering, Lavender Green flowers, Vibrations Group production, Great Hire furniture, Prelude Entertainment, Merrie & Bright stationery and Two by Two photography & videography.