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Neon showcase at Somerset House

by Nicola Macdonald

Over 100 event professionals from the creative industries gathered at Somerset House on 25 April for a glowing showcase of the venue’s newest space, the River Rooms.

The suite of interlinking open-plan rooms was transformed for the evening into a dramatic and colourful event space for the Neon showcase event, held by the Somerset House Events Team in partnership with leading caterers, Alexander & Björck and production company, Wise Productions.

The 186sqm River Rooms’ raw aesthetic, complete with original fireplaces and exposed brick archways, provided the perfect backdrop for the event which gave guests a range of different experiences in each of the four rooms.

Guests arrived via the exclusive Chairman’s Entrance and were directed into the first experience area for drinks, with bar artwork commissioned especially for the event by Wise Productions and incorporating the specially-designed Neon logo alongside clever use of UV light. Cocktails included the Cactus Collins with pear liqueur and Last Thyme We Met featuring thyme-infused yellow Chartreuse, while a mocktail of rhubarb & rosehip spritz provided a refreshing non-alcohol alternative.

In the main room, guests were served canapés on neon trays by waiters in colourful morph suits while listening to entertainment from accredited supplier Euphonica, who provided a dynamic duo set from the DJ Orchestra, with a lounge set courtesy of DJ Lopez. Creative canapés included tuna temaki with wasabi and sambal gel, beef tartare with raspberry and parmesan rocks and a chickpea wafer with fizzy figs and cashew cheese.

Following the inventive canapés selection, guests were invited to an immersive ‘white’ dining experience in the adjoining room for groups of 12 people at a time. In the all-white room, a white oval table provided the centrepiece for incredible projection mapping which announced each dish and wowed diners who sampled two courses of cured sea bass and Itakuja cremeux with passionfruit and coconut meringue. The dishes themselves followed in the white theme for a fully immersive experience. A lavishly-designed cheese display with a port accompaniment rounded off the evening.

Jenny Freestone, head of corporate events at Somerset House, commented: “This was such a cutting-edge event and our staff and suppliers really pulled out all the stops to showcase our River Rooms to full effect. As one of our newest spaces with a raw, unfinished edge, the River Rooms have heaps of potential for all kinds of creative events from fashion presentations and product launches to exhibitions.

“As Somerset House is a leading creative hub and centre for contemporary culture, we wanted to reveal how the River Rooms can be transformed for an imaginative event that’s completely out of the ordinary,” she added.

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