Last week, I was lucky enough to be invited to the stunning 45 Park Lane hotel to sample cocktails which had been created especially by Dorchester Collection’s dedicated bar teams across Europe, aiming to capture the spirit of each designer in the finals of its Fashion Collection.
Established in 2010, the annual Dorchester Collection Fashion Prize was created to discover emerging fashion talent. It’s the first award of its kind developed by a luxury hotel company, and this year five gifted designers are vying for the prestigious accolade.
We arrived at the gorgeous art deco-inspired hotel feeling a little flustered after a crowded tube journey, but once we stepped inside, all our troubles were forgotten. Dark woods, soothing music and soft lighting envelop you as you enter the building, and it wasn’t long before we spotted the fabulous work of Sir Peter Blake and Damien Hirst on the walls.
An Augustine Teboul design
Upstairs, we met the team behind the Fashion Prize and learned about the unique cocktail collection that has been created to reflect the work of each finalist – a brilliant concept that aims to encapsulate the personality of each designer and their respective collection. Each cocktail was a complete contrast to the last, echoing seasonal favourites of the catwalk.
Calla Haynes’ colourful work
The designs of Calla Haynes have been reimagined in a glass with the ‘Milanese Calla-pirinha’, a clever spin on the classic caipirinha. Presented in a topsy-turvy glass, the bright colours and exotic ingredients won us over immediately. Daniele Confalonieri at Hotel Principe di Savoia made the drink with the intention of reflecting Calla’s love of colour and passion for travel, which are plainly evident in her designs.
The experimental designs style of IRM have been interpreted in an inventive serve of three vodka shots presented with three pipettes – one iris (I) , one rose (R), one mint (M). I’d never come across anything like this before – we had great fun squeezing extra flavour into our shots, but they were incredibly strong. Hotel Plaza Athenee’s Thierry Hernandez and IRM Design definitely ensured that the IRM collection was memorable with these exciting mini drinks.
London-based designers Annelie Augustin and Odely Teboul were helped by Stefano Cossio at Bar 45 to create the ‘Black Velvet’, a sumptuous cocktail concocted from blackberries, creme de cassis, thyme honey and lime juice. The tequila base was unexpected, but refreshingly tasty.
The ‘Black Velvet’ and the ‘Black Southside’
The ‘Nuit Noir’ uses a dark concoction of blueberry vodka and blackberry liqueur to draw on the deeply dramatic mood of the Les Garcons collection, created by the team at Le Meurice in Paris. We loved this one, too – stylish and sophisticated, it felt timeless and was far too easy too drink!
Last but by no means least, Quentin Veron’s designs were adapted for the gin-based ‘Black Southside’ cocktail using fruity notes of blackberries and cherry syrup. The bar team at Le Richemond used an unusual sugar and black pepper mixture to line the rim of the martini glass, adding a surprising burst of flavour. This was our favourite by far – silky, luxurious and sweet.
We loved the ‘Calla-pirinha!” and the ‘Nuit Noir’!
Amy @ FashionBite xx