Cocktails in the City

09 May

May 4, 2016 – They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, and I’m not going to argue with that, but if there’s a sure way to my heart, littered with lovelorn suitors though it is, it might just start with a Martini. Well that’s how I fell for miracle-working mixologist Sebastian Kasyna, on a balmy May evening just a few nights ago in the glamorous Threadneedle Bar on the mezzanine floor of the Royal Exchange. This is one Head Barman who really knows how to shake a woman who thinks she can’t be stirred (or is it the other way round?). Check him out here on YouTube.

This was the kind of event that sums up just why I’m in this matchmaking game and how rewarding it can be. I just happened to be introduced to those fabulous people behind Quaglinos, Coq d’Argent and Le Pont de la Tour (to name just a few!), namely D&D London, whose management team suggested I meet with the glamorous MD of Royal Exchange (REX), Laura Dove. Laura and her team were fascinated to learn about what we do as matchmakers and who we have as clients and guests to our events. They asked me what makes them special, and my response was that you are taste makers as well as taste transformers; you’re sophisticated, charming and successful, and confident enough to turn up at one of our events on your own. So there you go!

Suitably impressed, the REX team offered to produce this event for us, which included a specially designed cocktail. Sebastian’s sure-fire entry for the summer cocktail of the year is the fabulous Threadneedle Fizz, made with:

Vodka, green tea, peppermint tea, nettle cordial and lemon juice, made in a CO2 syphon and garnished with a twist of both lemon and orange. Magic. It tastes like a super-elegant Pimms, with the lemon adding more sophistication for our sugar-rationed palates.

Cocktails in the City

If you’ve ever read anything I’ve written before you might just have noticed a pronounced- enthusiasm for great food and wine. Throw in a glamorous location and top notch service and I’m in just the right kind of heaven to give my full attention to the key service our events offer: Introductions. Whether you’re newly single and would like to meet other fun single friends, or you’re in business and want to network with intelligent sophisticated players, or even taking a no-nonsense ‘if you like it, put a ring on it’ approach, we aim to match you up with just the right people.

What impressed me about last night’s gathering was not just all those lovely faces I know, adore and count as personal friends, but all those new faces who had the pluck to come alone and through personal recommendations. What a lovely thing to do: introduce a close friend to a service that you admire and trust. And all the more admirable if it’s a quality friend who you are really proud of.

Feeling proud of yourself and the people around you, while also feeling right at home, amongst friends in a special place is the best. That was the vibe of the evening and REX certainly played their part, providing us with ample samplings of their delicious canapes, starting with Beef Carpaccio and rocket pesto on toasted crostinis and Parmesan crème sablet tartlets and ending with divinely petite cheeseburgers with a slightly spicy tomato relish. Us ladies are usually a bit nervous of tackling these miniature mountains – but not last night. Throwing all delicate decorum to the wind, ladies banished worries of lopsided lipstick in pursuit of (in Samuel L Jackson voice) one tasty burger. We got it…

By the time we left no-one had an excuse for not meeting everyone they could have wanted to. We were all perfectly peopled. Unbelievably our hosts insisted on giving us a parting gift of a Threadneedle Fizz take-home pack, which included a little note telling us how to get a drink on the house for ourselves and a friend on our next visit to the Threadneedle Bar: Just say the password ‘Vida8’ and leave your business card to redeem your cocktail of choice. My advice: Ask for the Threadneedle Fizz. It works like ‘Open Sesame’ – a treasure trove of opportunity…



by Barbara Brudenell-Bruce


Barbara’s career has been defined by a series of successful, iconic start-ups within telecoms, entertainment and fashion; among them, the creation of a London club that defined a whole generation: Fabric. After its sale in 2003, she launched Spoylt on both sides of the Atlantic with a New York and London state of mind. It combined both a delectable collection of lingerie with an enviable list of A-list celebrity clientele. Her network boasts an impressive black book of entrepreneurs, celebrities and aristocrats. Barbara leads Investor Relations for a London-based consultancy, raising capital for entrepreneurs. Alongside financial matchmaking, she owns and runs Rendezvous – social events for +40s. Barbara’s innate sense of what it takes to fit people together, alongside an intuitive sense of compatibility, makes her a social anchor for all who know her.More by this author