The BCFA Luncheon is an event well renowned in the interior design industry. Every year designers, suppliers and hospitality clients come together for an afternoon of leisurely lunch and a few drinks. It’s a chance to catch up with informal networking and industry discussions.
I was thrilled to receive an invitation to this much-talked-about event – it was going to be my first time and I would be attending with my MD Kate Long and my design team colleague, Maddy Saddler. The streets were heaving with traffic as we headed towards the venue but finally we were able to step out of the taxi and in through the doors of one of London’s most iconic hotels – The Dorchester. The main entrance was littered with guests who had arrived for the luncheon and as we hurried through to the reception area, we just had a moment’s pause to pose for an Instagram shot!
A glass of champagne was thrust into my hands by Kate – well you can’t say no to the boss can you?! Kate has been attending this event for years and she has built up a good solid network of industry professionals along the way!
I had kindly been invited along as a guest of Bancroft Soft Furnishings. I was greeted with warmth and friendliness by Greta, one of the company’s founders. Maddy was seated with OW Hospitality and Kate was the guest of Agua Fabrics.
After a short announcement from the speaker, lunch began with what looked like a small mini pizza and actually turned out to be a light puff pastry tartlet of goats cheese and sun dried tomatoes. Next, the main course – pork, slow cooked to fall away with each stab of the fork, together with creamy mashed potatoes and vegetables.
The award for outstanding contribution to British Interior Design was presented by Tony Attard OBE to Mary Fox Linton, a name with whom I had grown up, and a renowned British designer since the late seventies. She was so humble in her acceptance, genuinely not believing that this honour could have been bestowed upon her!
A tap on my shoulder – ‘excuse me madam’ and there was my own prize sitting on a delicate porcelain plate – raspberry cheesecake!
Another announcement from the speaker, and we were all so awakened to see the comedian Hugh Dennis, take the microphone. He was, as ever, dry in his humour, delivering punchy one-liners to a receptive audience. He’d done his industry research too, hitting the spot with his anecdotes on design briefs.
A toast to the Queen brought the meal to a close and we were invited to move into the adjacent reception rooms for drinks.
A few more introductions were made, and it was nice to see a few ‘old’ faces from my past design role! The ‘after-party’ was just beginning to get going as I grabbed my coat and stepped out from the bright chandeliers onto the street, the dark evening and the pouring rain!
For more information on the BCFA please visit www.thebcfa.com