By Powwow Events founder & director Amanda Edgcumbe
I have just returned from the most wonderful familiarisation trip hosted by Lafayette Group DMC, Cliveden, Columbus Monte Carlo, Visit Monaco, and the Fairmont Monte Carlo.
It was definitely up there as one of the best in my 35+ year career in events. Starting with dinner at the iconic Cliveden House – a delicious 7-course taster menu with wine from all over the world including a very exotic wine from Japan.
We were hosted by the fabulous Lisa Lernoux-Dock from Iconic Luxury Hotels, whose passion for the hotel and its history is obvious. We were even met by ‘Winston Churchill’ in the wine cellar! The hotel is in fine form, having had millions of pounds spent on it over the past few years and the Chinese Room, in which I stayed, was simply beautiful.
We made our way to Monaco the following day – picking up a tasty, pre-organised picnic lunch from Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant at Terminal 5 to eat on the plane. Upon arrival in Nice, we took a wonderfully scenic ride in a helicopter to Monaco with Monacair – an incredible seven-minute flight away.
In Monte Carlo, we arrived at the newly renovated and great value for money Columbus Hotel – a light and airy luxury lifestyle boutique hotel with a fabulous cocktail bar. The hotel lobby, lounge and bedrooms are light and airy, furnished in blues and greys with black and white historical photos from Monaco’s celebrity past and present. Dinner was spent at the vibrant and exquisite Beef Bar, a short walk from the hotel which offers the best beef cuts from all over the world. They also cater very well for non-meat eaters, offering the best locally caught fish and seafood. A signature cocktail in the Columbus bar ended the evening beautifully.
The next day brought a serious classic car, self-drive rally through the scenic corniches of the Principality of Monaco. We drove a Rolls Royce, an E-type Jaguar, a vintage Porsche and a Ferrari, swapping at each fantastic vista, with many other cars on offer!
Lunch in Columbus’s Tavolo included an exquisite sea bass and local wines to match. The afternoon brought a visit to the famous International Circus Festival which was fascinating and included some amazing acrobats from all over the world.
That evening, after a champagne show round at the beautiful Fairmont Monte Carlo (including catching a glimpse of the fireworks to celebrate Monaco’s National day), we dined at Nobu. The Omakase Experience was an absolute joy – with each course fit for a princess. Next stop, drinks and dessert in the Fairmont suite overlooking the famous Formula 1 hairpin bend, which has been branded tastefully and is a great place to entertain!
The evening ended in the fabulous Casino de Monte-Carlo, a stunning historical building often associated with James Bond! No big wins for me that night, but a massive coup d’état for our magnificent hosts for the weekend.