The Great British Garden Party
By Sherri Balefsky
Photos courtesy of Vivacity
On Friday evening, Miami’s finest congregated at the historic Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables. The occasion? The Queen’s birthday. Yes, that Queen. Although her actual birthday is in late April and Her Majesty was not in attendance, guests spent the evening paying tribute to all things British.
Hosted by the British Consulate-General of Miami, the GREAT British Garden Party was a way for local tastemakers to celebrate the best of the British creative sector that continues to amp up business in South Florida.
I had the pleasure of attending this invite-only event. I was greeted by three exquisite Bentleys—the quintessential British automobile. One was even painted in Union Jack designs. I was also able to spend a few moments inside the driver seat of a gorgeous black Bentley convertible. These shiny works of “art” set the tone for what was happening inside.
After ogling the cars, I entered the Biltmore’s posh Country Club Ballroom, where I was given my Virgin Atlantic “ticket.” A ticket to all that Great Britain is known for—a red, white, and blue display, complete with a traditional bright-red London phone booth. Even the guests got into the theme and dressed their best in their chicest garden party attire. As a tribute to British style, many ladies donned colorful floral fascinators.
Kevin McGurgan, Her Majesty’s Consul General in Florida, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, kicked off the event with a few words to welcome guests. He then introduced the Mayor of Coral Gables, James Cason, who further applauded the unique partnership that has evolved between the British Embassy and the City of Coral Gables. He saluted the British businesses that continue to influence Miami in all industries from art to fashion to food.
After the introductions, we were simply asked to enjoy! We drank tea, ate scones and other delicious pastries, and sipped on Bombay Sapphire. There was even a station set up so that guests could learn how to mix their own Bombay Sapphire cocktails.
The highlight of the night was the interactive photo booth set up so that guests could take a picture with a Virgin Atlantic flight attendant with a backdrop that, once superimposed, made it seem that guests were actually mid-flight on a Virgin Atlantic airplane.
All around, it was a bloody good time. Next stop—London!