Debbie was looking for a London venue with history and character to give her guests a party they’d never forget!
Name: Debbie Allen
Looking for: 60th Birthday Party
Venue: Victorian Bath House
Date: August 2019
Objective: “I told Regina that my objective for the party was to have my guests still talking about it for years!”
The venue: “I’d wanted a London venue with unique history and character, big enough to accommodate approximately 130 friends and family, yet with an intimate feel. The Victorian Bath House certainly ticked all those boxes – and what made it all the more special was that hardly any of my guests had ever heard of it, let alone been inside!”
We sorted out the DJ, DJ Snap, and a stage and AV from our production partner, Production plus. Debbie arranged the Comedian and the Drag Artist herself. We also recommended the photo booth company that she ended up using.
“Planning the party was made much easier by working closely with Regina from the Camm & Hooper planning team. I enjoyed working closely with her not just on usual food, drink, logistics but on how I wanted the party to feel. I knew I was pushing the boundaries on venue capacity and my wish to accommodate entertainers – but Regina really went the extra mile in enabling it all to come together, making recommendations where necessary and remaining positive and enthusiastic throughout!
Whenever we met or spoke by phone to discuss the plans, Regina followed up by email with precise notes and agreed actions/deadlines, which enabled me to relax and know that everything was being well taken care of.”
On the night: “There were many details on the night which made the excellence of the events team at Victorian Bath House stand out. When the weather made welcome drinks on the terrace impossible, the team quickly swung into action with Plan B and accommodated everyone inside without any fuss. Communications between planning, operations and the kitchen were faultless meaning food and drink requirements were clear and timely on the night, so I could simply enjoy the occasion without worrying. Mitchell (Victorian Bath House Events Team) always made sure I had a cocktail in my hand, even when I was too distracted to get to the bar!”
The food & drink:
Debbie had a champagne reception and 3hrs of beer, wine, soft and spirit as part of her package, along with some of our signature cocktails in Kilners.
For the food, she had canapés and small dishes, and we provided the Birthday cake made of cheese. This was special request and Debbie showed us a picture that had flowers on it for the decoration, and we made it happen for her.
“The chefs were so accommodating and created an amazing cheese ‘cake’ that was a real wow for everyone – how it had been decorated, how it was served, and of course, how it tasted!”
The verdict: “My friends and family had expected me to have a big party because I’d held my 50th at Wilton’s Music Hall in Wapping which they’d loved. However, it set a high bar for my 60th – which I can definitely say was more than met by the brilliant venue and the brilliant team. I already know the objective I set, for this night to be remembered for years to come by my guests, has been well and truly met!”
It’s time to celebrate! Birthday? Christmas? No it’s National Plum Day! An iconic day synonymous with our infamous booze engineering history from our very own CBE (Chief Booze Engineer) Patrick Hobbs. Here’s the man himself detailing how Plum Gin #1 came to exist!
‘When I first started out in bars the term mixology was just about to be coined. Twenty years later and although there has been some great innovation with cocktails and drinking trends, the style of service has not really changed. In fact it hasn’t changed radically for 100 years. People still look to the ways and techniques of the pioneers, and hold them in reverence as guru’s relevant to today’s hospitality industry.
I love mixed drinks and cocktail bars but have felt for a long time that instead of making life easier and the guest experience better, there is far too much fuss in making cocktails. Many drinks I sample are too strong, not balanced or don’t quite live up to the menu description. They can take an age to make while the bartender twiddles and faffs and you die of thirst. Somewhere down the line I believe the person behind the bar has focused so much on being a mixologist they have forgotten to be a host. I never enjoyed being in the weeds working a busy bar and thought it must be even worse for my guests. But there they were, patiently queueing five deep while I mixed their drinks. Guests have become conditioned to waiting as this has been accepted as the industry standard. This is where Booze Engineering comes in.
Working events it became very clear that taking 2 to 3 minutes to create a drink was not feasible for a crowd of a few hundred. There had to be another way. I wanted to create beautiful, interesting and tasty cocktails but speed up the process of service. The question that Booze Engineering asked was ‘why can’t I have my delicious drink now please?’ All the hard work and experimentation is done behind the scenes in the Booze Lab so the service part is relatively easy.
This planted the seed of an idea and through a lot of evolution, experimentation and market research the infusion programme was born. However, our first infusion Plum Gin No.1. was very much a happy accident. 10 kilos of Victoria Plums was accidentally ordered instead of 1 kilo which sparked a lightbulb moment and the first of my experiments. I added the excess plums to an 8 litre kilner jar, covered in gin and a little sugar and left them for a month to do their thing. Overtime the gin began to leach the colour and flavour from the plums, the kilner looked amazing and extremely photogenic. We served Plum Gin and tonic straight from the kilner much to the delight of our event guests. We had created a really simple bespoke drink that was right on brand with the increasingly popular gin sector. And most importantly it tastes delicious!
If there ever was a day to celebrate, surely National Prosecco Day (Tuesday 13th August) is up there with the best of them! In the UK we are known for our love of bubbly and are in fact the world’s number 1 importer of sparkling wine – cheers to that!
Champagne has always been the number one choice of bubbly but Prosecco has seen a huge increase in popularity. No longer seen as the poor relation to Champagne, this Italian sparkling wine has captured the hearts (and mouths!) of the UK.
Shane Boyce from Liberty Wines explains “It’s unfair to look at Prosecco as just a cheap alternative to Champagne as it’s a totally different wine, from a different country, made in a different method from a different grape variety.
Around the time of the great financial crisis, people suddenly had much less disposable income to spend on luxury goods (i.e. booze) but the UK’s palate didn’t suddenly change overnight. People turned to Prosecco, initially because it was cheaper, but many then discovered that it offered a much different proposition to Champagne. The key difference is the method of making the wine – Champagne involves a long-winded process that creates complex, savoury flavours and a wine that has very high acidity. Prosecco, on the other hand, is made in an easier (and cheaper) way which creates a wine with more simple, fruity and floral characteristics- it is less intense and less acidic so overall a much more approachable and versatile style of wine.
Its lightness has made it a popular choice for a boozy brunch and its versatility has led to it becoming the number one choice for use in cocktails.”
Here at Camm & Hooper we’ll be toasting National Prosecco Day with our preferred Proseccos. Ca’di Alte, Prosecco Spumante Extra Dry NV – a light straw yellow in colour with fine bubbles and a pleasant bouquet with notes of pear and floral hints followed by a very bright, clean and lifted, palate. Or Ca’di Alte, Prosecco Frizzante NV – a light, soft Frizzante, pale straw yellow in colour with delicate notes of Williams pear and stone fruits, it is clean and balanced on the palate with a fresh finish.
Cheers to many more years of our favourite Italian import!
Camm & Hooper has been identified as one of London Stock Exchange Group’s ‘1000 Companies to Inspire Britain 2019’. The sixth edition of the report is a celebration of the UK’s fastest-growing and most dynamic small and medium sized businesses (SMEs), with companies representing over 40 sectors and spanning every country and region across the UK.
To be selected for the report, businesses had to demonstrate not only positive revenue growth over the last three years but also outperform their sector peers. The result is a unique and varied list of the UK’s most dynamic companies. More details on the Companies to Inspire reports and methodology can be found online at www.1000companies.com.
Camm & Hooper is a London-based iconic events company which specialises in delivering exceptional events in banks, warehouses, townhouses and libraries, transforming some of London’s most iconic venues into great event spaces. From weddings, formal dinners and receptions to product launches, parties, exhibitions, meetings and conferences, Camm & Hooper has the perfect venue and an extraordinary team to curate the perfect experience.
The company’s venues include: Banking Hall in the heart of the City of London together with its Leadenhall sister Grace Hall; Six Storeys townhouse which lives and breathes the spirit of Soho; the opulent Victorian Bath House in the City; and Tanner Warehouse and Tanner and Co Restaurant in Bermondsey. Camm & Hooper has recently added a seventh venue to its portfolio, South Place Society. This historic venue in Moorgate, featuring its own booze lab will open its doors in September 2019.
Camm & Hooper’s Managing Director, Debra Ward: “I am beyond thrilled that we’ve been included as part of this prestigious list. The team works incredibly hard curating events with a difference day after day, week after week. The events and hospitality industry is certainly an exciting and challenging sector and it’s really important that we all pull together in the same direction if we’re to achieve great things. We are delighted that Camm & Hooper has been recognised as a company to inspire.”
David Schwimmer, CEO, London Stock Exchange Group: “Congratulations to all the companies selected for inclusion in the sixth edition of London Stock Exchange Group’s 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain report, which identifies the UK’s most dynamic SMEs. SMEs drive growth, innovation and job creation and are the lifeblood of the British economy. We believe that supporting the growth of these businesses is critical to the UK economy and the creation of a society that works for everyone.”
A full searchable database of all of the companies along with a downloadable pdf of the publication can be found online at www.1000companies.com
1. What’s your role here at C&H and what does it really entail?
The biggest thing for me when I joined was that we were inheriting an awful lot of talent from our previous caterers, which, just through circumstance really, was underused. Now we’ve given them back their empowerment and let them run their own kitchens at each one of our sites across London.
2. What’s the best thing about working for C&H?
Variety. I do so many crazy and different things. There’s the restaurant side and then events and there’s so many different types of events that we cater for. I mean, no client is the same, so no brief is the same. It’s all very free and personal – food is very important to people, so it’s amazing when you can get that right. Especially with weddings, that’s just so special to be a part of. Our aim is to get as close to restaurant standard for every single event we host as we possibly can. And so far, we’re achieving that. Which helps me sleep at night.
3. Give us some Ronnie wisdom…
Well, if I was chatting to staff, I’d just say follow your heart and do what you want to do and what makes you truly happy.
4. What luxury item would you take on a desert island
Chocolate. Willie’s Cacao chocolate.
5. What book could you not be without?
My new vegan cookbook that I bought in Waterstones. It’s so important to look after everyone with the food you have on offer and diets vary so much. I always try and give my veggie and vegan dishes the same feel as my other dishes, so they look similar and I was worried a little while back that I hadn’t got there yet with the vegan offering. I have now!
6. Chef inspiration?
Tim Hughes, chef director at Caprice Holdings.
7. Worst job?
This is a bit harsh… Hmmm. When I was travelling in Australia, I had a job unloading shipping containers from Italy. It was just tins of olives, olive oil and tomatoes. I found it depressing so went to the pub for lunch and never went back.
8. Favourite ingredient to cook with?
Wild garlic. You can overdo it though. The sad thing is, as soon as something is discovered or rediscovered it often gets done to death until the cycle starts again.
9. Best meal you’ve ever had?
There’s two. I was fortunate enough to go to the opening of The Fat Duck in Melbourne. Don’t ask the story, but it was great. I just had all the memorabilia from that day framed for my wife for Christmas. It was a tasting menu so lots of classics. The whole experience of it was amazing.
The second was when I was travelling with my mate about 18 years ago. Went to Himalayas and trekked Kala Patthar. When we got back to Katmandu, we ate steak and chips. It was yak steak, but it was such an incredible meal.
10. Favourite cocktail?
Negroni. It makes me a bit wonky though. Pat’s Saint Clements is amazing too.
London based events agency, Story has just celebrated its fifth birthday with a party for staff and partners at Camm & Hooper’s boutique City venue, Victorian Bath House. The 50 staff and partners were treated to delicious cocktails on arrival, followed by a three-course dinner on a single long table running the length of the main space.
This award-winning agency has grown from turning over £3.1m in its first full year of trading, to a forecasted £7.7m in their current year. This growth has been delivered across all three business areas and the team now boasts 24 full-time staff, supported by three event management interns as part of their ongoing commitment to developing industry talent.
Camm & Hooper have had a long and close relationship with Story Events, which started with hosting their first London Christmas Party Show at Banking Hall shortly after the venue’s opening in 2014, whilst its Venue Search London brand have introduced great client to our expanding venue portfolio over the past five years.
Managing Director, Steph Eayrs commented, “It was the perfect setting for our anniversary party and very fitting to hold it in a Camm & Hooper venue, given the long and successful partnership we have had with this great venue brand over since we both launched.”
Story Events have just opened the registration for their London Summer Event Show at Banking Hall in January, the 10th in the series of their award-winning seasonal event shows, which witnessed record revenues and attendances in 2018.