Vida8’s Art Lovers’ Party

07 Apr

Art Lovers

Sounds a bit Mad Hatter perhaps, but good, non? I have to admit I pinched it from one of those wonderful Grimaldi Forum (Monaco) summer exhibitions. The poster was of Jeff Koon’s giant red Hanging Heart.

Vida8’s very own heart throb Cosmo Barran, proved such a pleasure to work with. Cosmo is the epitome of laid back cool, but get him talking about art and he cannot contain his enthusiasm. Raised in a family steeped in the world of art, he was literally born to do what he does so brilliantly – promote the work of emerging London artists. So we were thrilled to join forces with him to curate a show featuring three London artists: the delightful Matthew Plummer & talented Eleanor Johnson, both present and available to chat with; along with Rebecca Johnson, whose work was boisterous enough to speak for itself.

Ballymore were incredibly generous to loan us the marketing suite of their swanky new residential development Embassy Gardens. Due for completion in 2020, in what will surely be the most up-and-coming area in London, the formerly scuzzy and run-down Vauxhall soon to be distant memory. It’s amazing what can be achieved with vision and talent: with interiors by Luis Bustamante and featuring an indoor pool as well as the stunning Sky Pool, a residents’ cinema and a members’ club with views across the Thames looking directly onto Dolphin Square apartment’s neon red sign, it’s as hip as a Tracy Emin light installation, but with the Frette-sheeted bed definitely made!

The party background sounds of cruisy soul, funk and reggae were perfectly pitched by DJ Rolando, so it was very brave of Cosmo to stop the party in its tracks to give a short talk about the event, but he carried it off with aplomb! The bar was the busiest part of the room – quelle surprise! And what a bar. Those handsome chaps over at Rémy Cointreau provided the cocktails: their fabulous The Botonist dry Gin with tonic and a smoothly delicious Rémy Grand Tonic Cocktail consisting of Rémy Martin VSOP, a splash of dry vermouth, tonic and an orange garnish – yum; while scotch lovers got a chewy short glass of Bruichladdich Classic Laddie with chunky ice. All the better to help down artisan baker Lili Vanilli’s delicious Tomato tart tatins and signature pistachio rose cakes. What is not to like about any of that! No wonder there was a noisy, excitable buzz in the room. And what a glamorous room.

Noticing groups of people gravitating towards different corners, I was reminded of an event on Soho House’s boat at the Cannes Film Festival many years ago, when Véronique, who was running the show, wide eyed and alert as always, commented ‘do not mix ze ravers weez ze diners’. The ravers’ side were almost tipping the boat, getting all smoochy on love drugs, while the diners’ side, where people were trying to conduct coherent working dinners, was clearly more lightweight.

Nothing lightweight about our Art Lovers’ Party goers. What an interesting and eclectic group of people. Around 40% of the room had never been to our events before. But with a crew from Vida including Rachel, Mia and Annika in the room, the questions were soon answered. What is the Art Lovers’ Party? Put simply: a room full of intelligent, sophisticated, beautiful people with an interest in art – who just happen to be single. Friendships were formed, business opportunities set in motion and a few hearts a-flutter.

The party stragglers were clearly not ready to go home. And there were plenty of them: out of the 108 people at the party around 40 descended on the bar at Brunswick House for further frolics. Good going.

Thank you Louise and May for being so welcoming at the door; Embassy Gardens press office for your slick co-ordination.; Josh Govett for your atmospheric photos, and if you were a guest at the party I hope to see you again at another of our events soon, especially a lovely new guest, who was kind enough to write: “Barbara, it’s nice to connect with you. Thank you for organising the thoroughly enjoyable Art Lover’s Party. Great company, beautiful art, and delicious cocktails – a very successful blend indeed!” My pleasure.

By Barbara Brudenell-Bruce, Managing Director Vida8 & Rendezvous

Barbara 4

Barbara represents Vida in Monaco & London, and in 2014 launched Vida8, an invite-only private members networking club for the world’s most exceptional people. She pairs her incredible list of contacts with an intuitive sense of compatibility and environment, channelling the elusive magic ingredient that brings people together. ,


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