Rather like some of our Rendezvous members, Brunswick House is classically elegant and understated on the outside, while on the inside it is a very different beast indeed – wild, original, carefree and…ok, the analogy ends here. The place looks deranged. Arriving here on a cool November evening, we glide through the classical portico and step into the kind of interior that the Cat in the Hat might have designed for Willy Wonka. Crazy chandeliers, neon lights, over-sized Ming and bonkers bling. But an icebreaker, for sure, which always helps when you want to put new people together.
We’re here for a fun but sophisticated wine tasting with trendy Soho wine geeks Honest Grapes who are all ready to go, glasses gleaming and bottles of wine on ice. They are a welcoming and fun bunch, so we’re in good hands. I make my excuses and head to the bar. It’s here our team of May, Lou Lou and I are multi- tasking – opening Prosecco and greeting new Rendezvous members. Stepping into a dating event for the first time ever is a daunting experience, particularly if you don’t know anybody, so we round up our Social Stars (Single Ticket holders) and introduce them to new guests– a little starter pack of friends to begin the night with.
It’s 7 o’clock and we’re ready to rock. I’m excited. Excited because I have been inundated with emails all day about how excited our guests are and excitement is the kind of bug I find contagious.
First off a fun and chatty Prosecco reception then Honest Grapes supremo Nathan takes to the floor to explain his business and more importantly…the wine! We don’t take much persuasion…..the horses are on the track.
Glasses are poured and conversations start, stop and start again as we go back for more tastes. Plenty was drunk, but not too much; this was a tantalising selection of wines, striking just the right balance between the unusual and the more familiar. Think Argentinian Malbec vs Carnuntum Blaufränkisch, a burgundy style red from Austria with a finish that just went on and on.
The room was full of delightful guests – is it me or are they getting ever more delightful? When I first started running Rendezvous it soon became clear to me that to keep our members happy we needed to ramp up the entertainment factor. We attract lively fun professionals who want to enjoy themselves; people like us who have had busy fulfilling lives, well-travelled, with children getting on in their teen schools or university; people who simply want someone lovely, well educated and interesting to share their new experiences with. After all, it’s so much more pleasurable sharing wine with friends and romantic partners than having to put the cork back in a lonely bottle, no matter how fabulous and unusual it is.
By Barbara Brudenell-Bruce, Managing Director Vida8
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, channeling the elusive magic ingredient that brings people together. firstname.lastname@example.org