Royal Hospital Chelsea welcomes guests to an evening of extravaganza
Last night, the Royal Hospital Chelsea opened its doors for a spectacular evening of entertainment. The inaugural showcase gave guests the opportunity to experience the finest hospitality whilst mingling with the iconic Chelsea Pensioners at their historic home.
On arrival guests were greeted with a choral medley performed by the Royal Hospital’s very own Chapel Choir, set within the distinctive Sir Christopher Wren designed ‘Octagon’. The space was themed for the evening by Amanda Austin Flowers, who had created elegant floral displays in rich burgundy and magenta tones.
Once inside, guests were guided to the majestic Great Hall where they were treated to bespoke cocktails and canapés from Zafferano, under the gaze of Antonio Verrio’s 17th Century mural of Charles ll. The atmosphere of extravaganza was further enhanced by striking up-lighting and a gold mirrored circular bar by Wise Productions.
Next year the Royal Hospital celebrates its 325th anniversary and its Royal founder King Charles II and architect Sir Christopher Wren both made dramatic appearances during the evening – played by actors – where they thanked the invited guests for attending.
Zafferano offered guests a chance to sample their signature catering, a selection of delicate, sophisticated and garden-themed canapés including: rabbit sausage roll with carrot ketchup and carrot tops, King Edward potato drop scone and some floral-inspired puddings.
The evening’s drinks were kindly sponsored by The Prosecco Agency, who donated 10 cases of delightfully frothy Prosecco and Zafferano created a special cocktail for the occasion, the ‘Chelsea Gardener’- a playful take on the French 75 using lavender.
The evening culminated in a raffle-draw where one lucky winner walked away with a prize of afternoon tea for two with champagne at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.
Commenting on the evening, Jo Cochran, Head of Events at the Royal Hospital Chelsea said: “We could not have asked for a better turnout to our inaugural showcase. The evening has been a wonderful success and I would like to thank all those who attended. The Royal Hospital is currently one of London’s hidden gems and tonight was our first chance to showcase our facilities to clients and suppliers. The Royal hospital offers a range of versatile indoor and outdoor spaces for special events, right in the heart of Chelsea.
“Our venue is not only stunning in an architectural sense, it is also home to over 300 Army veterans – who are the heart and soul of the organisation. As a charity, profits from our events contribute towards the up-keep of our Grade I and II listed buildings and to the care and support of the Chelsea Pensioners.
“It was amazing to see the Great Hall transformed for the evening and we could not have done it without the kind support of Zafferano, Amanda Austin Flowers, Wise Productions and The Prosecco Agency, Vibrations, a big thanks must go to them.”
The Royal Hospital Chelsea is set in 66 acres in central London. Founded in 1682 by King Charles II and designed by Sir Christopher Wren, the Royal Hospital Chelsea was built as a home for ‘veterans broken by age and war’. For over 300 years it has housed the famous scarlet-coated Chelsea Pensioners, former soldiers of the British Army.