Save The Children’s Harry Potter inspired Winter Gala, held at the spectacular Guildhall welcomed Ambassadors and supporters including Joely Richardson, Luke Evans, Laura Bailey, Chloe Delevigne, Myleene Klass, Sir Mo Farah, Kirstie Allsopp, Natasha Kaplinsky, Prue Leith and stars from the film Helena Bonham Carter and Helen McCory.
Guests stepped inside the transformed venue which resembled the magical world of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, in celebration of the 20th anniversary of its publication.
Departing from Platform 9 ¾, the high profile guests made their way into Diagon Alley to enjoy spellbinding cocktails and magical canapes before taking their seats in the Great Hall for dinner.
The welcome reception
Canapes included ‘Owl eggs’ truffle potato chips, served on pine sprigs, ‘The choosing canape’ – Lancashire Bomber beer bombe, quince, gold with four different garnishes served under wizard hat cloches filled with oak smoke, and Smoked salmon cinders served on roasting spices in a ‘witch’s hat’.
Accompanying the canapes were cocktails such as ‘Rising Phoenix’ – Gin, St Germain, matcha tea, mint infused honey, lime and soda, garnished with a golden physalis and ‘Better Brew’ – Tovaritch vodka, coconut water, sage, peach, lime, egg white, served in a martini glass with a ‘lightning scar’.
Bespoke dinner menu
Dinner began with a ‘Quidditch’ inspired ‘Snitch’ starter – Chicken liver parfait, mandarin glaze, golden bay leaves, savoury granola, earl grey tea spritzed edible filo page featuring the first paragraph of the first Harry Potter book.
Vegetarian guests were served ‘Pumpkin’ baked pumpkin, cows’ curd, squash ketchup, sage, accompanied by the edible filo page.
Mains consisted of Miso glazed cod, black truffle soy, romanesco, crisp potato hat, seaweed dust, or for vegetarians, Potato fritter, mushroom, artichoke, romanesco, pomegranate, borage flowers.
The dinner reached its crescendo with triumphant dessert ‘Eureka’ – Grey sugar sphere, cardamom chocolate ganache, blackberry, sesame, milk foam.
The dish was accompanied by party poppers filled with bright sparkles and freeze-dried powdered fruit (all colour matched for the four individual ‘houses’), which guests popped at their plates.
The Great Hall was spectacularly styled with long tables decorated in four different ‘house’ colours and an exclusive copy of the first Harry Potter book bound with a matching cover.
Semi-translucent ‘ghosts’ hung from the iconic venue’s ceiling and a giant winged phoenix, with a four metre wingspan, soared to the rafters.
Meeting the fundraising target
A surprise performance by world-famous magician Dynamo led into a fantastic live auction, where guests bid on incredible prizes including a one-on-one magic lesson with the Magician Impossible himself.
The event raised over £970,000 and counting, for the charity’s vital work around the world.
“Thanks so much for catering our Winter Gala so brilliantly yet again. We have had nothing but amazing feedback so far about the food.”
Eloise Smith, Save the Children
“The minute you walked through the door, you felt like it was going to be something special”
Dynamo, Magician Impossible
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