I get quite a few invitations to hotels, but when this one dropped into my inbox, I couldn’t wait to attend! The Connaught has a new Social Manager, and so together with twelve other top bloggers, we were invited to spend the afternoon in this most impressive hotel.
The Connaught is grand, but manages to feel intimate at the same time. Its classic English feel with wood panelled walls and carved doors contributes perfectly to the atmosphere, and is characteristically charming throughout. We were treated to a tour of the hotel, meeting in the Cigar Lounge, which is now the champagne bar. I was so excited to be given a tour and was incredibly overwhelmed by the elaborate, luxurious décor with beautiful attention to detail in the intricate wallpapers, furnishings and artwork.
Weddings at the Connaught…
The Connaught is very well suited to hosting weddings. Its close proximity to Farm Street Church makes it an ideal venue for a reception, and of course, you can hold the ceremony at the hotel if you wish. There’s a choice of four larger rooms for weddings. The Mayfair Room is the largest. Elegantly finished in neutral white and silver tones and with full length antique mirrors it will accommodate 200 guests for a reception with 120 for dinner.
The Maple Room’s floor to ceiling windows and mirrored ceiling compliment the maple panelling perfectly and the room can host up to 100 for a reception with 60 for dinner. The Connaught’s Regency Room and Carlos Room feature stunning 18th Century art and are the smallest of the four rooms. Adorned with glittering crystal chandeliers, the rooms will accommodate a reception of 40 guests, with 30 for dinner.
The Connaught also has four smaller function rooms to hire for smaller events such as afternoon tea for a group of hens…!
After the tour we went through to our afternoon tea which was held in the exquisite Carlos Room. We all fell silent as we stepped through the door and took in the beauty of our surroundings. A huge floral tree provided by McQueens was placed at the centre of the table, its delicate white blossom wafting its gentle fragrance around the room.
The table had been laid with our afternoon tea, and on closer inspection, every place setting had been personalised. Each had a monogrammed napkin, mine embroidered in grey with my initials – a lovely touch, and so welcoming.
Also at each setting was a sweet little pouch by Brooklyn Bridal, filled with lavender with the day’s date and declaring ‘Love is all you need’ – a perfect accompaniment for me at 5 Star!
And so to eat…
Wow. Sandwiches, warm scones, gorgeous cakes and pastries filled the cake stands. Little macarons, petit fours and layered cake slices invited us to sit and eat, and white candles and beautiful fresh white flowers on the table ensured the colourful treats really stood out. Champagne as well as the traditional afternoon tea flowed and all us bloggers got our phones out to capture the delicious opulence of it all! The Oscar de la Renta china was so pretty with a beautiful red print – he has a boutique close by – and the afternoon tea menu itself was simple and charmingly produced by The Wren Press, featuring a drawing of the hotel façade and most importantly, bearing the details of the treats on offer at tea.
Whilst snapping away to remind us all of our wonderful afternoon, Rupa Photography treated us to a photography tips. We learnt how to take good pictures to really capture the feel of the event. This was really interesting, but soon my eye was drawn to the sommelier who was lingering next to an intriguing drinks trolley…
A martini masterclass…
A martini masterclass followed, with bespoke martinis for each guest using a whole range of liqueurs and infusions – lavender, lemon and vanilla amongst others. As he made each one, he talked us through the process before presenting us each with our own. A lavender infused martini made its way to me and it was delicious! I have never tasted anything like it before.
The whole afternoon was relaxed and incredibly luxurious. We had time to chat as well as being fully informed about the hotel and treated to a couple of excellent masterclasses. As an extra special touch, the General Manager came to personally welcome us which was a lovely gesture.
On leaving, we were each presented with a Connaught bag with a pretty peacock on it and containing a soy wax candle – a lovely reminder of our very special afternoon.
Many thanks to the Connaught for the impeccable hospitality, I would love to go back and be thoroughly spoiled again! Afternoon tea would be a perfect celebration for hens, they really did make us feel incredibly welcome and truly spoiled.
Images courtesy of Rupa Photography