QEII Centre hosts illuminating showcase of excellence

More than 200 event planners came together at London’s QEII Centre recently to see the venue present a sparkling showcase of its flagship evening events space.

One of central London’s largest event venues, the QEII Centre invested in the refurbishment of its fifth and sixth floors as part of a £12m capital investment project, creating a combined space perfectly suited to evening receptions, banqueting events and award ceremonies.

Guests arrived into the Cambridge room on the fifth floor through a glimmering tunnel of lights, to see the blank space area totally transformed into a classy cocktail bar ‘The Light Lounge’, where they sipped on lychee and violet martinis and matcha mojitos.

Event theming partners Event-Trees pulled out all the stops to use the theme of ‘illumination’ to showcase the versatility of the event spaces, with a rainbow-coloured backlit staircase leading the way to the sixth floor Mountbatten, where the views of the London city skyline were almost as dazzling as the room itself.

Lit with the warm glow of bejewelled chandeliers, branches radiating light and glowing orbs as table centrepieces, it was a world away from the traditional conference set up many were used to seeing, and provided the ideal backdrop for the three-course dinner served by QEII’s in-house caterers, QEII Taste by Leiths.

The menu created by executive head chef, Jean Michel Viala, formerly of The Dorchester, included yuzu-marinated halibut with fennel salad and pink peppercorns to start, followed by slow-cooked fillet of beef with ceps puree, Romanesco broccoli, heirloom carrot, pomme Anna, chimichurri sauce. Dessert was chocolate praline, hazelnut craquelin, salted butterscotch, chocolate feather sponge and passion fruit coulis created by celebrity chef Claire Clark.

Entertainment came from Ember Trio, Europe’s most successful classical crossover string trio, who have performed their contemporary pop interpretations all over the world.

Speaking at the event, chief executive of the QEII Centre Mark Taylor said: “Creativity has always been part of the fabric of this great building; it’s one of those stimulating environments that fires the imagination and allows truly imaginative ideas to turn into reality. It’s not just the rooms or the stunning views that spark the imagination and make clients return time and again, it’s also our continued commitment to the latest cutting-edge event production that’s helping brands push the boundaries.

“As we near the end of the most successful year in our 31-year history, I’d like to thank our many clients for their ongoing support, and look forward to welcoming many more new faces to the centre as we deliver even greater success in 2018, with some major global events coming up very soon.”