Hosted in five acres of green space at the Honourable Artillery Company, this year’s London Concours will be a milestone celebration. As the first major automotive event to take place in the UK since February, it will not only reunite the car community but bring together 80 of the world's rarest cars in a series of curated displays.
“London Concours is unlike any normal garden party,” says event director Andrew Evans. There are, however, elements that you can recreate at home if you’re unable to attend. Here are Andrew’s insider tips for achieving a unique, and accomplished, outside soirée.
Whether it’s a formal al fresco arrangement or casual barbecue, Andrew insists on three key elements when choosing the appropriate food to serve; there must be “something seasonal, something refreshing and something indulgent."
“This year, Searcys are helping us create a menu of the finest British produce, including luxurious cuts of beef, fresh asparagus, light meringue and vibrant strawberries – and no summer garden party is complete without champagne,” he says.
DRESS CODE & DECOR
This is how you elevate the mood and have fun. “A dress code really sets the tone,” says Andrew, who encourages owners to wear clothes that match the era of their vehicle as it creates the illusion of being “transported to a different time.”
Although bunting can make things jolly, London Concours decor follows a “fresh English garden theme” with a less is more approach. Lanterns, tea lights and garlands of solar lights will create a twinkly finishing touch to an evening gathering – and can be used to illuminate pathways and tables.
ATMOSPHERE & ENTERTAINMENT
“The gentle murmur and laughter of people catching up is a welcoming ambiance,” says Andrew, who provides deck chairs, stools and sofas for guests to relax, socialise and take the weight off. Live jazz and light Café del Mar music plays in the background, but Andrew likes to create elements of surprise and delight. Roving comperes tell the stories behind the cars at London Concours, so add a sense of theatre to your party with a magician or cocktail maker.
A gazebo provides sanctuary from the rain and sunshine, but umbrellas and blankets are essential. “As long as you have shelter and warmth, guests will be happy,” advises Andrew. “Last year, during a passing shower, the smiles and shared conversations that took place as guests huddled underneath the shelter above one of the priceless F1 cars made for a perfect moment.”
“The grass is our VIP guest,” says Andrew, who forbids the turning of wheels and places drip trays beneath cars to prevent damage. At home, cut grass half an inch longer than usual so it acts as its own cushioning, and sprinkle with sand in case of wet weather.
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