May’s Industry Insider – Amie Bone Flowers

You may have noticed that we missed April’s addition of Steven Pellier’s Industry Insider.  This month however, I am pleased to announce that we are discussing all things floral, with the incredibly talented, highly sought after and wonderful personality that is Amie Bone from Amie Bone Flowers.Steven Pellier May Industry insider

1) Who are you and what do you do? 

My name is Amie Bone from Amie Bone Flowers.  We provide florals for weddings and events throughout the country.

 

Steven Pellier May Industry insider

2) What is your background in floristry?

I am a self taught florist that has been in the industry for 10 years. Starting off with a few bunches in buckets to a fully stocked shop and excellent team that I now work with.

Steven Pellier May Industry insider

3) How did you first start in the wedding and events florist sector?

We started off doing local weddings in Hertfordshire, expanding into the larger more elaborate weddings a couple of years ago.

 

4) Which other exclusive brands have you worked with?

We have worked with ITV, numerous wedding magazines, The Shangri La hotel, The Global Gift Gala – Eva Longoria.

 

5) Who is your typical client?

We have a varied client base – typically London / Essex brides and London hotels.

Romantic Wedding Inspiration at Le Manoir

Romantic Wedding Inspiration at Le Manoir

6) Which venues in the UK do you love working in?

My favourites are Claridges, and The Grove hotel – both very lovely and the staff are impeccable which makes our job easier.

 

7) Do you provide your services internationally? If so where in the world is your favourite venue?

We would love to be part of an international wedding or event – this is definitely something I am eager to be part of.

 

8) What are the upcoming trends in the flower world?

Foliage is king! – The more foliage the better…..and I LOVE IT!!!

Steven Pellier May Industry insider

9) What are the biggest challenges of your work?

The biggest challenge for us is logistics – ensuring we have everything in place at the given time when depending on others.

 

10) What do you enjoy most about your work?

Being creative and coming up with ideas with my clients.

Amie Bone Flowers Wedding at the Marriott Hotel London

Amie Bone Flowers Wedding at the Marriott Hotel London

11) Who would you most like to work for and why?

I would love to work for Elton John – he has a real passion for flowers and I would love to make him a bouquet 🙂

Steven Pellier May Industry insider

12) What’s the most exciting element of your industry?

Creating trends – We have to be 2 steps forward all the time – I love what I do and am very passionate about it.

Steven Pellier May Industry insider

 

A huge thank you to Amie, for taking the time to answer Steven’s industry insider questions.  Amie Bone is an amazing florist, who we love to work with and who I think you will agree, offers her clients a fabulous experience. A very talented lady and a highly respected company with an incredible team.  Why not visit Amie Bones website www.amieboneflowers.com to find out a great deal more & to see how Amie and her team can help with your floral needs at your wedding or next event.

 

We are known as your London wedding planner but also offer wedding and event planning services in London, throughout the UK and internationally, so please feel free to contact our team by emailing hello@stevenpellier.co.uk or calling 0207 760 7553

 

Next month we will have another industry insider answering Steven Pellier’s questions, come back in June to see who that will be????

March Venue of the month – Claridge’s Hotel, London

Claridge's Logo

Claridge’s hotel, the jewel in the crown of London hotels for the worlds rich, famous and royal.  From very humble beginnings to becoming one of the most synonymous hotel icons of the world, let Steven Pellier your London wedding & event planner, take you on a journey of Claridge’s humble beginnings, through her history and what you can expect from the icon today.

 

It all began 205 years ago in 1812, when Lord William Beauclerk applied to Lord Grosvenor to turn number 51 Brook Street W1 (a small townhouse) into a hotel, to be run by a Mr James Mivart.  Lord Grosvenor denied the application, stating that there were already 2 hotels operating on Brook Street and no more were to be allowed.  Lord Beauclerk appealed to Lord Grosvenor, stating that he knew Mr Mivart well and that 51 was to his knowledge, already being used as a hotel.  Lord Beauclerk also informed Lord Grosvenor, that he planned to acquire 43 Brook Street the then Kirkham’s hotel and fashion it into his own private residence, thus meaning that there would once again, only be 2 hotels on Brook Street.  Lord Grosvenor had a change of heart with this new information and the application was approved, although strong objection came from the owners of the Kirkham hotel and number 49 Brook Street the then Coulson’s Hotel, the following year in 1813 – Mr Mivart defeated the opposition and won his case, by stating that he had neither a coffee room, club room or accommodation for business of a public description and that he did not let his rooms by the night as a hotel would, but by the month only, he was therefore, not a hotel but a private and distinct lodging house.  Mivart’s Hotel survived and with James’ ambitious business plans, he proceeded over the following years to buy the 5 adjoining townhouses, with number 53 being by far the largest and subsequently now owned all of the properties down to the corner of Brook Street with Davies Street, as well as 48 Davies Street which came with the bonus of extensive stabling.  Mivart’s soon gained a great reputation in royal courts and was named 1 of only 3 hotels in London, as ‘the place to stay’.

 

Many years later in 1853 to be precise, a retired Butler and housekeeper by the name of William and Marianne Claridge who had been running a small private hotel on Grosvenor Street, acquired no 49 Brook Street the then Coulson’s Hotel, and almost immediately acquired Mivart’s in 1854 also on James Mivart’s retirement, James unfortunately died later that year.  Mr and Mrs Claridge set about incorporating number 49 into the other five buildings and in 1856 after a refurbishment, the hotel reopened with the new name Claridge’s, Late Mivart’s Hotel.

 

In 1860 with Claridge’s reputation growing further and further afield, the hotel was graced with a visit from Queen Victoria and her husband Prince Albert, to take tea with Empress Eugenie of France who was visiting London.  This royal approval soon catapulted the hotels fame further and Claridge’s became a home from home for the worlds heads of state and royalty.  21 years later, following William Claridge’s failing health the Claridge family had to sell the hotel and it was bought by a consortium who tried to manage it the best that they could, but without William and Marianne’s sparkle and flair at the helm of the operation, they failed miserably and in 1893 when the hotel was no longer turning a profit, it was bought by the owner of the recently opened Savoy Hotel, Richard D’Oyly Carte.  Mr D’Oyly Carte promptly closed Claridge’s, realising that it needed huge improvements structurally, in order to compete with the new fashionable hotels springing up all over London and hired the architect later famed for the architectural re-design of Harrods, – CW Stephens who knocked the majority of the six buildings down and rebuilt the hotel from the foundations up, leaving her looking pretty much as we see her from the outside today.  After four years of building, the hotel reopened in 1898, with electricity and working lifts to all floors, under the new name Claridge’s.  It is reported today, that Claridge’s has the oldest working lift in London and possibly the UK, installed by Otis in 1896 and still attendant operated which is wonderful in 2017.

Historical Claridge's

 

Claridge’s reputation was finally restored and the proceeding years saw an abundance of regular guests as well as welcoming many new guests, with the changing of the times – the ‘20s saw flappers and bobs and the Ballroom rung out with music of Gershwin, jazz bands and the Charleston.  1929 welcomed 80 new bedrooms, a new ballroom and Oliver Milne the pioneer of the art deco movement, remodelled The Lobby where much of the decoration and work of Basil Ionides as well as a Lalique door panel, can still be seen today.  WWII witnessed Claridge’s become a refuge for many exiled heads of states and royal families.  The Kings of Greece, Norway and Yugoslavia remained throughout and in 1945, a special request from Prime Minister Winston Churchill was carried out, when suite 212 was declared Yugoslavian Soil, in order for crown Prince Alexander II to be born on his own countries soil.  Later Winston and Clementine Churchill stayed at the hotel, following Mr Churchill’s election defeat.

The Foyer

As happens over the generations, 1950 saw a new wave of Claridge’s devotees, when the stars of Hollywood come calling – Spencer Tracy famously proclaimed that he wanted to come to Claridge’s, rather than go to heaven when he dies.  In 1970 Claridge’s starts a long running relationship with the fashion designer Diane Von Furstenberg, who landed her first interior design project with the hotel, other guests during this time included Aristotle and Jackie Onassis as well as frequent visits from Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, who had a favourite table in the restaurant, dressed daily with her favourite flowers – Sweet Peas.  The momentum of Claridge’s fandom, shows no signs of slowing.

 

With the hotels owners constantly striving for refinement of the hotel, 1996 welcomes a restoration, led by designer Thierry Despont – Gordon Ramsey at Claridge’s is unveiled, along with a new Foyer, The Reading Room and The Fumoir.  In 1998 after 105 years of ownership, Claridge’s bid farewell to the D’Oyly Carte family, who sell the hotel to American equity fund Blackstone and Colony Capital.  In 1999, David Collins is tasked with bringing the Causerie into the new Millennium, whilst still keeping a firm hand on the last one and Claridge’s Bar is born.

 

2004 sees the sale of Claridge’s to Derek Quinlin and his company’s majority owned investment group, Coroin Limited.  They also buy The Savoy and Claridge’s now sister hotels The Connaught and The Berkley, although The Savoy is later sold off.  The early 2000’s see the hotel awash with a new breed of trend setting followers, including the model Kate Moss who celebrated her 30th birthday at the hotel.  Diane Von Furstenberg also launches 20 newly designed rooms and suites, which she had initially remodelled and designed in the ‘70s and the hotel groups ownership company changes name to the Maybourne Hotel Group in 2005.

Current Claridge's

David Linley, a long time friend of Claridge’s completes his work on the 25 Linley Suites and David Downton continues as Claridge’s first fashion artist in residence.  Fast forward to the year 2014 and Claridge’s welcomes another refinement in the guise of Fera at Claridge’s, under the tutelage of Simon Rogan with a new restaurant designed by Guy Oliver, to reflect Rogan’s natural style and to celebrate Claridge’s Art Deco design history.  In May 2015, Qatar’s Constellation Hotel Group gained majority ownership of Maybourne Hotel Group and Claridge’s continues to go from strength to strength, with new expansion and development plans recently being submitted to the council for approval, which all look incredibly exciting for the next instalment of the hotels wonderful history for the owners, staff and Claridge’s loyal, returning and future guests to enjoy.

 

As a wedding and event planner in London, throughout the UK and internationally, I very rarely give an opinion on my personal favourite venues, however, if I may remove my London wedding planner hat just for a moment – I can quite honestly say that Claridge’s means a great deal to me, reminding me of my exciting monthly trips to the hotel with my Grandparents whilst growing up and now I get the opportunity to continue to enjoy the surroundings of the hotel, whether meeting clients, designing weddings or events or simply having a few drinks with friends and loved ones.  Each and every occasion that I cross the threshold into the hotel, I quite honestly feel like I have returned home – with my London wedding and event planner hat back on however, what does Claridge’s offer in terms of weddings and events in the present day.

 

Claridge’s have no less than six function rooms, all impeccably designed for modern day entertaining and business pursuits.

 

The Ballroom – With its exclusive and private entrance on Brook Street, step inside the imposing reception with Ballroom beyond.  Steeped in history and adorned with marble, hand engraved and platinum leaf mirrors, expertly designed by Guy Oliver and reminiscent of its former art deco glamour, echoing the original décor of the late 1920’s.  Enjoy hosting a reception for 450 guests or a dinner for 250 guests.

Claridge's Ballroom

The French Salon – With original Art Deco features such as ironwork tassels by Basil Ionides and winged renaissance style cherubs above the doors, resplendent in classical style with an original marble mantelpiece, the French Salon renovated with fine fabrics of luxuriant blues can accommodate 120 guests for a reception, or 100 guests for dinner and can also be used with the Drawing Room
French Salon

The Drawing Room – A graceful, wonderfully light and well proportioned room, with 18th century elegance, an open fireplace and watched over by a portrait of a lady in blue, the Drawing room can accommodate 120 guests for a reception or 100 guests for dinner and can also be used as above, in conjunction with the French Salon.

The Drawing Room

On the sixth floor Claridge’s offers four further function rooms, The Boardroom, The Kensington Room, The Clarence and The St James Room, varying in size to accommodate between 12 – 44 for dinner or 25 – 70 for a reception.  All of the stunning rooms on the sixth floor offer beautiful views across the London skyline, a personal reception and cloakroom area and natural daylight, as well as all being recently refurbished by David Linley, in Claridge’s signature timeless glamour.

Sixth Floor

To learn more about hosting your meeting or event at Claridge’s, why not contact the Claridge’s meetings and events team on +44 (0) 207 409 6500 or emailing banqueting@claridges.co.uk

For more information or to discuss your wedding or event with Steven Pellier Weddings or Steven Pellier Events, or to see how we can help plan your wedding or event at Claridge’s, or experience wedding or event planning with Steven Pellier in London, throughout the UK or internationally please call the Steven Pellier team on +44 (0)207 760 7553 or send us on email hello@stevenpellier.co.uk

Photo Credits: Claridges Hotel & Steven Pellier

February’s Venue of the Month – Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire

Blenheim LogoSteven Pellier, your London Wedding Planner & Event planner takes you on a month by month journey, of some of the UK’s venues he adores and considers to be among his favourite.  As a London wedding planner & event planner Steven Pellier and his team are based in central London and work throughout the UK and internationally, where they get to visit a great number of amazing hotels and venues, which can become the foundations and backdrops of unique, individual and bespoke weddings and events.  We invite you to discover February’s venue of the month, Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire.

 

The historical Oxfordshire palace and home to the 12th Duke of Marlborough and his family, Blenheim Palace.  The Marlborough family seat, commands centre stage in 2000 acres of Capability Brown landscaped parkland, and has been their home for over 300 years.  Queen Anne and the grateful nation bestowed the land, ruin of an original house and £240,000 to build a magnificent new house, to the 1st Duke of Marlborough, John Churchill, the military Commander who led the Allied forces in the battle of Blenheim, on 13th August 1704.

 

Queen Anne bestowed the gift to the 1st Duke, in honour of his victory over the French in the war of the Spanish succession and the house was built to celebrate the occasion.  Today Blenheim Palace is the only non-royal, non episcopal country house in England, to hold the title of palace and eclipses in splendour and magnitude any of the British Royal family’s residences, with its 187 rooms, 1000 windows when first built and seven acres under one roof, its easy to see why.

 

Famously known as the birth place of Sir Winston Churchill on 30th November 1874 to parents Lord Randolph Churchill and Jennie Jerome and also where he proposed to his wife to be Clementine Hozier in the temple of Diana, on the Blenheim Estate.  The palace played an incredibly important role during WWI, as a convalescence hospital for wounded soldiers and again in WWII, when over 400 Malvern College boys were evacuated to the palace.  In 1950, Blenheim Palace opened its doors to the general public for the very first time, it was later designated a Grade 1 listed building in 1957 and thirty years later, in 1987 a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

 

So the only non-royal residence with the title palace in the UK, and arguably the largest and most splendid house in England, eclipsing even those of the royal family and built as a celebration to mark a very important event in British history, there really is no better venue to mark your very own celebration than the majesty of Blenheim Palace.  With no less than 5 glorious rooms within the palace or the South Lawn, to erect a grand marquee for much larger events – you really are spoilt for choice.

 

The event spaces on offer at Blenheim palace:
The Great Hall – With a height of 67ft from floor to ceiling, which was painted by James Thornhill, The Great hall is the perfect space for a grand dinner for up to 150 guests, or a reception for 250 guests.

 

The Saloon – designated the State dining room and still used each year for Christmas dinner, by the Duke of Marlborough and his family, with walls and ceilings painted by the French decorative artist Louis Laguerre, you can enjoy this splendid room with 80 guests for dinner or 150 guests for a reception.

State Dining Room


The Long Library
– One of the longest rooms of any British stately home and home to 10,000 books, as well as the magnificent Willis organ built and positioned in 1891. With commanding views over the Water Terraces, acres of Capability Brown parkland and the lake, The Long Library makes for a perfect location, to entertain up to 300 of your guests for dinner, or 500 for a drinks reception.Long Library

 

The Orangery – the truly elegant Orangery, with its high arched windows and glass panelled roof allowing for plenty of natural light, gives an immense sense of space.  Once used as the Marlborough family theatre, you can now enjoy the wonderful room with 200 guests for dinner or 250 guests for a reception.

 

The Water Terraces – built fairly recently in comparison to the palace between 1925 – 1930, this venue is ideal for live music and dancing for up to 300 guests.  The Water Terraces are exclusively available for a reception following drinks and dinner in the Great Hall, Saloon and Long Library.

 

The South Lawn – if your guest numbers eclipse those that can be accommodated in the palace, why not erect a marquee on the South Lawn, with the possibility of enjoying the splendour of the palace for a drinks reception, or using the Palace as a backdrop when installing a clear span marquee for hundreds of your guests.South Lawn

 

 

To learn more about hosting your meeting or event at Blenheim Palace, why not contact the Blenheim Palace team on +44 (0)1993 813874 or emailing sales@blenheimpalace.com

 

For more information or to discuss your wedding or event with Steven Pellier Weddings or Steven Pellier Events, or to see how we can help plan your wedding or event at Blenheim Palace, or experience wedding or event planning with Steven Pellier in London, throughout the UK or internationally please call the Steven Pellier team on +44 (0)207 760 7553 or send us on email hello@stevenpellier.co.uk

Photo Credits: Blenheim Palace, Steven Pellier & Unknown

MO London Concierge

World Photography Day

Did you know that today, the 19th August is World Photography Day? Did you also know, that Steven Pellier is an absolute photography novice?

Well last week I had the great honour & pleasure, to be invited to a photography workshop at the Mandarin Oriental London, hosted by the fabulous, internationally acclaimed reportage photographer & Olympus Ambassador John Nassari.

So just a few days before World Photography Day, I arrived at the beautiful Mandarin Oriental Hotel excited and ready to start Johns photography workshop, where we were going to learn a different side to photography, in a fabulous setting with some exciting exercises.

The day started with a very interesting and intriguing slide show, of some amazing photos that John is compiling, for a very special event next year.  A set of stunning photos were revealed, a mix between reportage and posed portraits.  But, how on earth does this man take such amazing photos – in fact how does any professional photographer take these wonderful pieces of art, a snapshot of a moment in time, of memories set to last a lifetime?

A steady hand? – maybe, Skill and a good eye? Absolutely! Science? – no I don’t think so …. What! Science is an important part of taking a photo – indeed it is, it plays a very important role, mixed with semiotics the science of aperture and shutter speed is pivotal to the outcome of any photo.

After we spent time, learning all about the background of how to take a photo and what we need to do, it was time to play with the cameras!!!!

We paired up with a partner and we were off, taking photos of each other with varying apertures and shutter speeds.  After a few initial shaky (& blurry) photos, I actually got it and the results were absolutely fabulous.  We changed our lenses and I discovered the flowers in the flower arrangements, focusing on a single rose, whilst the surrounding arrangement blurred into the background – stunning!

John then had a little surprise / challenge for us.  We were allowed to go to the front of the hotel, to take some real life photos of the concierge team in action, with the best photographer in training selected to win a prize – very exciting!

We had to take the most imaginative and striking photo of the concierge team in action, whilst they went about their everyday work, welcoming arriving guests and wishing farewell to departing guests. Their whole job revolving 360 degrees around ensuring that all of the guests received an outstanding first impression and an ever lasting superb memory, of how fabulous their stay was at the hotel when they leave.

6 sets of two people, mixed with professional cameras, a top 5 star London hotel and taking photos of cars arriving as well as the main entrance, on a very busy road in central London attracts one thing – excitement from passers by, jumping to the conclusions that we were press and paparazzi, poised and ready to take photos of a celebrity or dignitary, arriving or leaving the hotel! Unfortunately not – just a bunch of wedding and event planners playing with cameras.

We returned inside the hotel, to review all of our photos and we all did jolly well – surprisingly so for me, a complete novice who would have struggled before today, to tell whether the camera was the right way up, actually took some pretty good photos – (modest!).

The day was superb, incredibly informative and thoroughly enjoyable. I have learnt so much and have a huge amount of respect and appreciation, to all of the brilliant & professional photographers that we work with at Steven Pellier Weddings, whether we are your London wedding planner or are helping to plan your wedding throughout the UK, in the Algarve or another destination around the world, you can be assured that we can recommend the most sought after and acclaimed photographers for your wedding.

Thank you John Nassari, a truly wonderful and educating day, I’m no longer just a wedding planner in London, throughout the UK & the Algarve but I’m now a photography pro too – well almost maybe?!?!

Venues in London

Exciting Venue Visit…

In July, I was invited to join the team at One Whitehall Place & The Royal Horseguards Hotel, by the fabulous Melissa Goldberg in association with Louise Perry Weddings.

 

Having not visited the hotel or adjoining event space at One Whitehall Place before, I was excited & intrigued, so quickly accepted the invitation & couldn’t wait to have a good nose around.

 

As I arrived at the hotel, I was taken through to a gorgeous terrace, an oasis of calm by the river Thames in London however, you really could have been in the middle of the countryside as it was so very peaceful.  Comfortable outside furniture and champagne greeted us, as the three piece band played gently in the background – absolutely idyllic!

 

The events team then took us on a little tour of all of the event spaces, explaining the relationship between the two venues and wowing us with the buildings astonishing history, including the remarkable survival of the building, after slight bomb damage to the staircase only, during the Second World War.

 

The event spaces are located across a couple of floors & are reached by a magnificent oval shaped sweeping marble staircase. Each of the event spaces vary in size, up to a capacity of 300 people in The Gladstone Library, named after the Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone.  One Whitehall Place was original built & is still used to this day, by the Liberals from all over the UK when they are in London and is decorated in a very traditional way, which gives you the sense that you are in one of the countries great country houses or stately homes.  The different rooms flow beautifully together, so really do lend themselves to all being used for your wedding or event, in a way that could tell your story throughout the day in a logical way, equally however, each of the rooms work just as brilliantly on their own, if that’s how you wish to use the space.

 

We were taken back through to The Royal Horseguards Hotel, via the adjoining foyer.  As we walked across the reception space, you can immediately see that the hotel has been sympathetically and carefully refurbished back to its former Victorian splendour, all the way down to the original floor tiles.  Whilst walking through the hotel, you can really immerse yourself in the history of the building, which used to be the HQ of the Secret Service during the First World War.  The hotel boasts gorgeously appointed bedrooms and suites, a selection of fine dining restaurants, a comfortable lounge & a new cocktail bar, as well as the previously mentioned idyllic terrace, which backs onto Whitehall Park and the River Thames beyond.

 

Our tour concluded on the terrace, where we enjoyed a delectable selection of food & relaxed to the sounds of the band before departing for the evening, excited for the next opportunity we would have to visit again.

 

If you would like to arrange a visit to One Whitehall Place & The Royal Horseguards Hotel, or to discuss wedding planning with Steven Pellier, your wedding planner in London, throughout the UK or in the Algarve, please do not hesitate to contact us today.