HELLO! Online's taste of the BAFTA after-party
Once the BAFTAs have been awarded and the speeches have been made, the star-studded celebrations can truly begin.
The 2000 or so lucky VIPs are whisked from the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden to the iconic Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane where the after-party takes place.
While for some the presentation of the prestigious awards and red carpet appearances are the main event, the Grosvenor House team have been preparing for this glittering party since April.
Executive chef Nigel Boschetti explained that the menu goes through a rigorous testing process and that factors such as the sheer number of people, time constraints, seasonality and budgeting play a part as well as having to consider his clientele. "These people eat out all the time," he said. "As it's the BAFTAs we've brought a British flair to the menu."
Using the finest ingredients, immaculately presented, the menu itself is actually quite simple.
A light smoked salmon starter is followed by lamb for the main course. Nigel explains, it is "a shepherd's pie glammed up with a loin of lamb and given a modern twist."
Dessert, created by David Demaison, Cuisine Development Chef at Hotel Chocolat, is something of a masterpiece. Careful consideration went into developing the Salted Caramel Cremeux with Chocolate Mousse. "The crunchiness of the salted caramel is balanced by the softness of the mousse," he said. "It is surprising too because you bit into the part that looks like caramel but it's actually chocolate and vice versa."
With a room full of celebrities, dietary requirements are perhaps more demanding than average but staff at the Grosvenor House are no strangers to high-profile clients so nothing is too much trouble. Nigel is most looking forward to cooking for Anne Hathaway. One of his trickier customers, she follows a strict vegan diet. "It is a challenge but we wanted to produce something just for her and make it really special."
So with around 90 kilos of chocolate and nearly a ton of meat brought in for the occasion, do the partygoers fully enjoy their food? "They tend to eat most of the food," said Nigel. "It is a long day and gone 10 o'clock by the time they sit down to eat so they are all quite hungry."
Many like to soak up their surroundings too. Dinner is held in the opulent Great Room which is brilliantly decorated with each table themed as one of the five films nominated for Best Film. "The room looks amazing on the night so they like to walk around and see that as well," Nigel explained.
Dinner finishes just shy of midnight but official sponsors Taittinger and Disaronno guarantee the party keeps going into the early hours. "The after party normally dies down at around 4am," said Nigel. "But I'm long gone by then."
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