by Richard Brownlie-Marshall
For London’s social elite, there are a few events that you would find on their calendars as must-go-to events, and one that certainly features is the Grey Goose Winter Ball to Benefit the Elton John Aids Foundation. Historically, Elton has always been known for throwing some of the most exuberant and exciting parties, and on the night of October 29th 2011, he certainly didn’t disappoint.
Held in the enchanting Battersea Park, I donned my black tie and tuxedo, and ventured across the city, surrounded by witches and devils getting in Halloween early, and arrived in party bliss. We entered the dark interior, like stepping into a sci-fi movie, black walls with 100’s of Marc Quinn eye balls staring at us from the left and a multi-coloured geometric bar rising through the floor on our right. Their was a giant Louboutin shoe as we ventured further and around the main dining area was a force field, made from gauze which had projections that magically changing as the night progressed.
The giant stiletto was the one-off cocktail bar designed by Christian Louboutin and was one of the main auction lots for the evening. With his signature red sole acting as the interior, you could see his fascination with Egypt demonstrated through the engraved hieroglyphics around the outside – not to mention the lingerie wearing Egyptian queen demonstrating its multiple functions.
Performers for the evening were Plan B, who Elton confessed to being a great admirer of, and it seemed all guests on the evening agreed, surrounding the stage and dancing along to every song. I had the good fortune of talking to the beautiful Alexandra Burke, arriving late due to her last minute stint on the X factor, standing in during Kelly Rowland’s absence. She had intended to come for the whole event, but having just found our about her X Factor role at 4pm, plans had to change, which led to her being a great addition to the judging panel.
As with anything associated with Grey Goose, you can rest assured that the drinks will be out of this world. There was an elBulli martini, which boasted liquid nitrogen, producing a great smoking effect, and a spherified olive that exploded in your mouth. Christian Louboutin also created the ‘Grey Goose Red Carpet’ cocktail that incorporated his bold red colour with tart Fresh raspberries, cherries and goji berry liquor with a pepper and ginger kick. My personal favourite was Johnathan Saunders’ creation, which took on the colour palette from his latest collection of blue with bursts of orange. This cocktail involved Grey Goose L’Orange, caracao and Scottish bramble liquor served in a saffron rimmed glass.
The night continued until the early hours of the morning with the Stiletto bar being converted into a DJ box as the night progressed. Coffees, teas and espresso martinis were served to signal the winding down of the evening which proved to be a huge success, not only for the wonderful night had by all but also thanks to the generosity of those who came to support and raise money for the Elton John Aids Foundation.