The first of these was the inaugural Esquire Townhouse, hosted between 12th -16th October by leading men’s magazine Esquire, alongside Dior. Esquire took over 10-11 Carlton House Terrace for the four-day luxury brand experience, curating a series of talks, interviews, film screenings and masterclasses to showcase the best in style, sport, tech, travel, food and film. At the launch party, Esquire’s guests tucked into a range of bowl food, including a steak tartare with quail egg yolk and sour dough toast served from Moving Feast trolleys. Also on offer was curried John Dory with courgettes and crème fraiche and a BBQ pork belly with gem and spring onion with miso sauce.
Luxury fashion house Dior hosted an exclusive VIP lunch which consisted of a jasmine and orange blossom cured salmon served with whipped curds, baby heritage beets, nasturtium leaves and honey dressing for the starter. For main course, guests enjoyed a rosemary roast double cutlet of lamb, with sticky glazed neck, miso roast aubergine, pea mousse and baby Chantenay carrots. Guests then made their way to a dedicated Eton Mess dessert bar and other dessert stations to enjoy brightly coloured meringues, fresh berries and a selection of liqueurs.
On Tuesday 18th October, the winners of the 52nd Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition were revealed at a lavish event at the Natural History Museum. During the champagne reception, guests enjoyed a selection of canapés, which included parmesan and smoked paprika mille feuille straws and homemade pork scratching strips. During the two course seated dinner, a slow cooked shoulder of beef, with salt beef and confit shallot galette, parsnip purée, spiced red cabbage and braising jus was served. For vegetarians, guests enjoyed a roasted organic pumpkin filled gnocchi, Barkham blue cheese velouté and toasted walnut watercress pesto. For dessert, guests devoured a delicious Chardonnay spiced poached pear verrine with Madagascan vanilla panna cotta, warm chocolate air and cinnamon doughnuts.
The following Tuesday, the prestigious Man Booker Prize was held at the Guildhall, where American author Paul Beatty was named winner of the 2016 Man Booker Prize for Fiction, for his book The Sellout. Guests were treated to a sumptuous three course dinner, consisting of sweet corn croquettes with baby heritage radishes, red pepper purée, mustard seed caviar and tarragon dressing for the starter. Main course was a venison fillet lightly roasted with poached pear, smoked bacon panna cotta, Jerusalem artichoke purée, roasted carrots, venison jus and bitter chocolate oil. To polish off dinner, guest tucked into a cranberry walnut treacle tart with cranberry jam, orange sorbet, speculoos tuille and clementine segments.