The museum’s main event space welcomed computer consultant Bill Bottriell to celebrate his 60th birthday on 22nd July with 340 guests. Adopting an immersive ‘Night at the Museum’ theme, the dress code was black tie glamour to mark the special occasion.
Moving Venue were truly honoured to both carer for and project manage the first event since the Hintze Hall’s refurbishment and arrival of Hope the Blue Whale. This event was particularly poignant for the team, given that they were the first caterer to work in the museum 31 years ago when it opened its doors to the events world.
Guests enjoyed arrival drinks, food stations and circulated canapé trays in the contemporary Darwin Centre, before moving into the Hintze Hall for a three-course sit down dinner under the blue whale skeleton, whilst a baby grand piano was played throughout the meal. The gourmet food continued after dinner with late night snacks such as fish and chips served in specially-designed newspaper cones featuring Mr Bottriell as Prime Minister and scoring the winning goal in the Champions League final. A keen Tottenham Hotspur supporter, Mr Bottriell’s allegiance was also celebrated with the table decorations; the names of Tottenham players transformed into dinosaurs plus an ice sculpture of the Champions League trophy. The celebratory birthday cake was designed and supplied by expert chocolatiers ChoccyWoccyDooDah.
Moving Venue senior planning manager Elle Harper explains: “This was an extra special date in our events calendar with Bill being one of Moving Venue’s partners and shareholders. As the company was asked to cater the very first event in the Natural History Museum, it was a privilege to come full circle and cater for the first corporate event in Hintze Hall following its incredible re-launch.”
Europe’s 17-piece Dov Amiel Band flew in from the South of France to entertain guests, while the National Theatre Company also performed throughout the evening.
Event florists Pinstripes and Peonies, who have been one of the Natural History Museum’s approved floristry suppliers for six years, created stunning table decorations and a spectacular walkway of lanterns to guide guests through the event. Using a dome of white hydrangea in cubed vases and bar vases filled with purple hydrangea, lilac roses, dahlias, orchids and purple stock flowers brought a deep, rich colour to the hall.
Project manager Ruari McCulloch said: “Being the first florist to work on a commercial event in the Hintze Hall after the installation of the jaw-dropping blue whale, was an incredible experience and such a privilege. It was an event that we will remember for a long time to come.”
Hawthorn supplied full technical production for the evening including lighting, sound, staging and power distribution.
They installed a large moving light rig which brought the blue whale skeleton– the room’s focal point – to life and provided a red carpet with spectacular flame effects which welcomed guests to the occasion. Hawthorn also supplied a large stage to accommodate the Dov Amiel Band.
Robert Wetherell, head of venue hire at the Natural History Museum, said: “We were delighted to see our new look Hintze Hall being used for such a spectacular occasion. With all the finishing touches and theming, what is already a dramatic space was transformed into an unforgettable celebration and we hope Mr Bill Bottriell and his guests had an amazing evening.”