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Archive for October, 2013

The Milestone Hotel and Alexeeva & Jones Chocolate Pairing Event

Rather like George Owell’s famous statement ‘some are more equal than others’ this can be applied to chocolate. Alexeeva & Jones are among the world’s leading chocolatiers, so how appropriate to team up with The Milestone Hotel, a member of Small Leading Hotels of the World.

We were treated to the pairing of four wines, all of which are produced at Red Carnation (the hotel group to which The Milestone Hotel belongs), winery in South Africa: Bouchard Finalyson. So we saw ‘Mission Vale’ being paired with ‘Franck Daubos – Pamplemoussette’; a full bodied Chardonnay with a candied grapefruit peel coated in (the ever popular) dark chocolate; a full bodied Galpin Peak with ‘Centho – Sakura’ a delightful cherry blossom ganache layered with cherry jam and Hannibal with ‘Paul Wayne Gregory – Dark Raspberry.  A dark shell filled with raspberry ganache.  It was difficult to chose a winner but in the end our favourite pairing was ‘Walker Bay’ – a Semillon paired with ‘Paul Wayne Gregory – passion fruit’ – an amazing ganache which tasted wonderful.

If this event is held again next year I would highly recommend it. Sumputious surroundings of the Milestone, together with high quality wines and chocolates will surely delight any fans with an appreciation of both.

www.milestonehotel.com
www.alexeevajones.com

Kensington Palace and The Kensington Magazine co-host an ‘Historic’ Meet your Neighbour event

Within a couple of hours of the October edition of the magazine coming out all fifty places for this special occasion had been allocated.  A chance for local residents to meet each other in the splendid surroundings of Kensington Palace, experience a speedy history lesson on the inhabitants of the Palace over the years, and then take a private tour learning not only historical facts and figures, but equally fascinating historical anecdotes. This exclusive tour comprised The King’s State Apartments.

Residents were spellbound by the historic beauty and fascinating facts of each chamber. Upon entering the lavish room in which Queen Victoria was baptised, we learnt how the Duke of Kent struggled to name her before settling on the anglicised version of her mother’s, Victoire.  We also visited the room in which King George II was found dead by his ‘Gentleman of the Stool’ – an apparently highly regarded position at the time (think Horrible Histories’!)

There was something quite wonderful looking onto Kensington Gardens, past Queen Victoria’s Statue out onto the Round Pond. The night was beautifully clear and Autumnal and the grounds looked suitably regal.  For fifty residents this was a real occasion and a true treat. Credit must go to Gemma and David who between them could certainly apply for Mastermind in their specialist subject. Speed History!

www.thekensingtonmagazine.com

www.hrp.org.uk

Banter and anecdotes with David Attenborough and Alastair Fothergill, in the presence on HRH The Princess Royal @ The Royal Geographical Society

On behalf of the Whitely Fund for Nature held at the Royal Geographical Society in the presence of HRH The Princess Royal, Alastair Fothergill (Wildlife Film Producer) and David Attenborough engaged in light hearted banter about their experiences of working together over some 30 years on some of the greatest natural history programmes ever shown, including Planet Earth and Frozen Planet.

Although lasting only an hour ‘in conversation’, it was filled with anecdotes and film clips, whilst the 700 strong audience audibly held their breath. Scenes of destruction: chimpanzees (showing distinctly humanistic tendencies to team work) hunting down monkeys to feast upon; weeds choking their host for energy and food to dominate foliage; and fish with scarily enormous teeth – all filmed so cinematically and with such dramatic accompanying music one realised where Dr Who producers had taken their inspiration. Children and adults alike sat transfixed – after all David is The Wildlife Man (probably of the planet) – and, despite his soft voice, still conveys a sense of urgency for us to recognise our responsibility to the planet.

During the Q&A session, David admitted it would be hard to choose one favourite animal, although he admits to being keen on Birds of Paradise, but explained it is the ecosystems which we must focus our conservation energy. Of all the ecosystems, he felt the ocean was the most important.

The event was held to raise funds and awareness for the Whitely Fund for Nature which is a small NGO whose mission is to support local experts in the conservation of wildlife across the globe. Individuals who apply for funding go through a rigorous selection process. Many recipients of past awards have now become experts in their respective fields.  Lady Catherine Faulkes, a Trustee, spoke of one finalist who several years ago was awarded funding for the rarely seen Snow Leopard. He is now the world’s expert on this subject, despite having only seen a Snow Leopard three times in his life (and to boot, the same one!) This example illustrates the total devotion of those involved.

The strength of this tiny but effective NGO is the high calibre of Patron and Trustees (HRH The Princess Royal is Patron and David Attenborough is a Trustee); a small in-house team of staff, and (particularly important from a Development perspective), using local experts with local knowledge to entrust the safekeeping and conservation of our planet for future generations. More importantly grants are not given on a one-off basis but for long term conservation projects.

This was an excellently presented, engaging and natural ‘conversation’, which in years to come will no doubt inspire a new generation of Attenboroughs’, Fothergill’s or even Dr Who producers. A real treat.

www.whitelyaward.org

www.thekensingtonmagazine.com