Event planners, agents and bookers travelled back in time to the 18th Century when Somerset House, in partnership with leading caterers Zafferano, hosted a dining experience with a difference in the venue’s atmospheric Deadhouse.
The Zafferano Subterranean Supper Club, hosted in the iconic venue’s underground event spaces, treated guests to an exclusive four course banquet evocative of a time when the first foundations of Somerset House’s famous building were still being laid.
This was the first event held to showcase the Deadhouse in partnership with Zafferano, one of Somerset House’s accredited caterers. Event production company, Fisher Productions and entertainment specialist, Eight Ray Music also supported the evening.
The event kicked off with a drinks and canapè reception, which took the theme of great 18th century artists’ ‘still life’ creations. Taking Hogarth’s ‘Gin Ally’ as inspiration, guests were served ‘Bad Kitty’ and ‘Hanky Panky’ gin cocktails in copper cups before making their way to the imaginatively decorated dining table for a Beggars Banquet. Canapès included native oysters with Black Velvet shots and gin smoked salmon and potato drop scones with gooseberry compote.
Guests were then led through the Deadhouse’s winding and mysterious spaces to the Beggars Banquet which included such culinary delights as potted mackerel, soused beetroot, apple salad and Herdwick lamb pie served with dauphinoise potatoes, brassicas and lamb jus.
Pudding was a decadent affair when dinner guests were treated to a ‘Dessert Tableau’ in the theme of a Courtesan’s Parlour. Dishes included a macaron pyramid, opera cakes and Champagne and gold leaf jellies.
This was all rounded off with Zafferano’s take on an espresso martini. The“Moll Kings Martini”, named after a notorious 18th century Covent Garden coffee house, was served in pewter coffee cups.
Entertainment, provided by Eight Ray Music, included a live performance by classically trained composer, Okiem, famed for being Tinie Tempah’s keyboard player.
Joanna Moody, Zafferano’s Creative Director, comments: “One of the most wonderful aspects of being a special events creator is our access to some of London’s hidden gem venues – the little known but hugely atmospheric Deadhouse certainly falls into this category. Taking the starting point “Unlock the 18th Century” we have created a culinary journey for our guests, guiding them from Hogarth’s gin ally, through to a beggar’s banquet before finishing in the splendour of a Courtesan’s parlour. We believe in providing food that sings and performance is at the heart of everything we do. The Deadhouse at Somerset House has provided the most wonderful stage and backdrop!”
Stephanie Bevan-Moss, Acting Co-Head of Corporate Events at Somerset House, adds: “We were thrilled to work with Zafferano to welcome event organisers and agents to this unique event in one of our venue’s historic hidden spaces. Zafferano, Fisher Productions and Eight Ray Music did a fantastic job in bringing the space to life, from the imaginative culinary creations right through to the styling. The feedback from guests has been fantastic and we are looking forward to holding other similar events here in the future.”
About Somerset House
Somerset House is an iconic neo-classical 18th century building situated on the north bank of the River Thames, which has become a leading centre for contemporary culture in London. Somerset House also offers a wide variety of venue spaces and services, accommodating any event from press days to product launches, receptions and dinners, to presentations and conferences. Corporate and private events can also be connected with Somerset House’s diverse cultural programme, through private tours and viewings. Somerset House is run as a charity by the Somerset House Trust and events held at the venue directly contribute to its cultural programme and commitment to a new generation of artists based in Somerset House Studios, as well as its education and outreach work. The grandeur and heritage of Somerset House’s range of buildings and event spaces, coupled with the expertise of the Corporate Events team, offer an unrivalled location for an unforgettable event.
Somerset House offers 13 highly versatile indoor and outdoor event spaces including:
· Portico Rooms – Somerset House’s most popular private hire venue offers balcony views over both The Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court and the River Thames. With a capacity for 200 standing, 80 people for a seated lunch and dinner and 100 people for theatre-style seating, Portico Rooms provide a flexible yet grand space for all kinds of events from press days and receptions to dinners and wine tastings.
· Navy Board Rooms – These four inter-connected rooms were originally home to the Navy Board, overseeing British naval affairs at the start of the Empire. The layout offers great flexibility - from one specific room to the use of all four spaces for a range of purposes with capacity for 100 standing, 50 people for seated lunch and dinner and 32 for cabaret-style seating.
· West Wing – Entered via the striking grandeur of the Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court, guests experience a feeling of calm and space as they enter the West Wing Galleries. With 15 newly renovated rooms, this expansive area boasts light wooden flooring, sweeping high ceilings and plenty of natural light. The understated elegance of the West Wing Galleries has something to suit all tastes, with the blank canvas galleries providing a fantastic backdrop for showcases, press days, product launches and experiential events.
· River Terrace – The River Terrace location offers glorious views of the South Bank across the River Thames, offering a spectacular setting for al fresco events from summer parties to outdoor receptions. The space holds a capacity of 500 standing. Included in the hire is Seamen’s Hall, a wet weather option with a capacity of up to 200.
· The Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court – The Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court is situated around Somerset House’s elegant fountains and is surrounded on all sides by glorious 18th century buildings. This space is home to some of the best-loved events such as Film4 Summer Screen, Summer Series and Skate, the winter ice rink. This exclusive outdoor space with a capacity of 1500 is available for bespoke evening events on a limited number of specific dates throughout the year.
· Lightwells and Deadhouse – The Lightwells and Deadhouse are a favourite for film location managers for film and television and have frequently been used as a backdrop for film and TV including Downton Abbey and Sherlock Holmes. This unique subterranean space, full of atmosphere and charm, is the ideal location for out-of-the-ordinary events. The unique space is available for receptions, press days and launches and capacity varies for each event.
Somerset House also houses one of the largest communities of creative organisations in London including The Courtauld Gallery and Institute of Art, King’s College London Cultural Institute and over 100 other creative businesses. In October 2016, Somerset House launched Somerset House Studios, a new experimental workspace connecting artists, makers and thinkers with audiences. The Studios provide a platform for new creative projects and collaboration, promoting work that pushes bold ideas, engages with urgent issues and pioneers new technologies. Somerset House is one of the top ten leading visitor attractions in the UK and currently attracts approximately 3.4 million visitors every year.
Connect with Somerset House:
About Zafferano Catering Ltd
•Zafferano Catering Ltd is a specialist, event caterer, founded in 1994, delivering everything from dazzling canapés, tantalising small plates, exquisite fine-dining, theatrical food stations to brain-food for conferences and whimsical wedding fare. Menus are designed to fit the brief, brimming with the spirit of performance. They are accredited caterers at over 40 unique London venues including the National Gallery, Natural History Museum, V&A Museum, Somerset House, Guildhall, Roundhouse, Wallace Collection to name a few.
Eveleen Hatch PR Telephone 01491 412134
Eveleen Hatch www.eveleenhatchpr.co.uk
Director Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mobile: 0781 500 2276 Twitter: @EveleenHatch