Last night Prince Philip House, which is part of the Harbour & Jones Events venue collection, welcomed over 170 industry professionals including Barclays, National Grid, Incisive Media, Kuoni, HSBC, Black Diamond and Melon Events to its ‘Tour of the Senses’ which invited guests to explore the weird and wonderful effects of the senses and their impact on our eating experience.
Situated on The Mall, guests arrived via the grand Carlton House Terrace entrance, they were greeted with ‘champagne and pearls’, a mix of bubbles and blackcurrant and passionfruit caviar pearls, and encouraged to use the new Prince Philip House app, which is set to be the first venue app to ever use augmented reality, before entering the Rolls Royce room.
Bathed in shades of pink and blue, the venue was transformed into an ultra cool evening space with three pop-up bars and luxurious corner sofas giving it an exclusive club-like feeling. Flaring bar staff crafted delicious cocktails of watermelon martinis and homemade lemongrass ginger beer, while waiters brought around bites from the new fine dining menu, including samples from the new eight course taster menu which was designed by Michelin-trained Head Chef, Stuart Cooper.
Opening up the whole of the first floor into one flowing space, guests set out on their sensory exploration. Kicking off with the ‘Hearing’ stall, guests were encouraged to eat soft textured dark chocolate mousse and don wireless headphones while listen to crunching noises, as well as eating chocolate while listening to high and low pitches.
Guest speaker, Peter Barham, who is an advisor to Heston Blumenthal, and also wrote the acclaimed book ‘Science of Cooking’ explained: “Our senses are a very vital part of our eating experience. Eating something soft while listening to crunching noises confuses our brain because it is expecting to feel a different texture. Not only that, but listening to a low pitch while eating chocolate engages our brain and forces our mouth to taste the bitterness of chocolate, switch to a high pitch and the very same chocolate tastes sweet.”
As smoke dramatically poured out of the ‘Smell’ room, also known as the David Sainsbury, guests were greeted with the magnificently pungent scent of basil which they inhaled while eating tomato consommé, creating the unusual sensation of eating the basil.
Continuing the tour, drinkers were given a blind wine tasting session by Jascots, challenging guests to distinguish between white and red without peaking.
Becci Thomson, Prince Philip House Sales Manager said: “It’s been so much fun organising our ‘Tour of the Senses’ and it’s fantastic to see guests gaining as much enjoyment from it as I had hoped. My aim was to not just get guests to come and try our food but to really engage with our chefs, our produce and the whole experience of eating. Every aspect that we’ve shown tonight is also available to event bookers, from the impressive basil smoke bomb to the blind wine tasting, all designed to get a reaction and create a major talking point.”
Showcasing some of the food stalls that are available as event add-ons at the venue, Brindi, the supplier arm of well known restaurant Brindisa, provided ibérico ham that was cut to order, while a cerviche stall served everything from drunk scallops to Japanese salmon and seabass. Adding even more theatre to the event, a liquid nitrogen ice cream stall took centre stage transforming liquid vanilla and chocolate cream into ice cream in front of guests’ very eyes.
Guests downloaded the new Prince Philip House app, which was created by Appsolutely Mobile (www.appsolutelymobile.com), prior to the event in order to post messages and images via the event wall, which were then projected live on to plasma screens around the venue.
Prince Philip House is now offering all event bookers the opportunity to have their own fully branded app to include general information about their event, guest list and use of the interactive event wall.
Suppliers for the evening included production from Velvet Living, EMS, Jascots Wine, Art of Flower, Appsolutely Mobile, Stewart Linton Design and Frasershot.