Timothy Oulton at Bluebird, Chelsea, hosted an exclusive dinner party last week as part of its first birthday celebrations. And with the season of hosting soon upon us, it seems a fitting time to share some ideas and inspiration from the evening for your next celebratory gathering.
Timothy Oulton always has an “open house”, we think of our stores as a home where we can welcome friends with a glass of champagne or cup of tea. This was the first time our flagship had hosted a formal dinner, and it was a chance to showcase our love of hospitality and bring together some of our VIP customers for a memorable night.
The small group gathered at the Bluebird gallery, greeted with warmth by our hosts and ambassadors. Starting the evening with a champagne reception, some of our guests enjoyed a drink in our leather-clad Apollo spaceship while others were enthralled by the mystical energy of our glowing 1.7-ton rock crystal – the ‘breath of white dragon’ according to ancient legend.
A beautiful dining experience awaited in our Noble Souls gallery, where a long, reclaimed timber table was adorned with hand-dyed indigo table linen, a nod to our Noble Souls fabrics which are dyed using only natural vegetable and plant stuffs. Blue and white vintage plates were accompanied by mismatched vintage cutlery for a collected feel, napkins were folded with leather ties for a more relaxed twist, and name cards and menus had been hand-written with the upmost care and detail.
The table sparkled from an array of polished glasses and flickering candles, while crown-like centerpieces of icy rock crystal – millions of years old – looked almost supernatural. For drama, plinths were topped with huge blue and white vases filled with abundant greenery, while small vases of white flowers completed the fresh blue and white palette.
The atmosphere was one of elegance and warmth, formal yet fun. Rustic and natural materials gave the whole scene a laid-back feel that was hearty and welcoming. It was an evening to break bread together, dissolve barriers over a drink or two and swap stories across the dining table.
A three-course gourmet dinner started with heritage beetroots and goats cheese salad, followed by best end of lamb with roasted heritage carrots and port jus, and finished with Eton mess served with blackberry and fig.
Talk turned to the opening of our Bluebird gallery – Timothy Oulton’s worldwide flagship – one year ago, and guests were reminded of opening night with a video of our Bluebird launch party. Tim Oulton said of Bluebird at the time, “We want people to use it as a meeting place, to talk about it, I want people to just come.” One year on, the gallery has become a hub of the Chelsea neighbourhood, hosting regular events from gentlemen’s evenings to meditation nights.
In today’s “always on” culture, there is a growing feeling that we need to take stock and reconnect, with friends, with family, and with what’s really important in life. That’s why Timothy Oulton is passionate about reviving the art of hosting. As Tim says, “Entertaining and hospitality is massively important because it’s a platform to connect with other people. It’s about opening your home to family, friends, guests…and giving them a great experience. And when it’s done well, it gets the heart racing.”
Timothy Oulton’s storied collections create a conversational backdrop for any occasion, from family feasts to glamorous gatherings. For inspiration and tips on creating your own captivating interior for dining and entertaining, visit our Lost Art of Hosting section online.