You know what they say, cocktails sure taste sweeter aboard a stonking great yacht… Actually I doubt anyone says that, with the exception of Roberto Cavalli and, as of last week, me. Having attended a couple of their events in the past, I know from personal experience that Johnnie Walker throw one hell of a party. So when they invited me to join them for an evening of stiff drinks and general fabulousness on the John Walker & Sons Voyager – a stunning 1920s style luxury yacht which has hosted the likes of Uma Thurman, Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth and Leonardo DiCaprio – there really was only one conceivable answer, HELL YES!
As anyone who’s spent the past couple of weeks in England will be sweatily aware, we are in the midst of a heatwave. Despite spending every waking moment from November to June complaining about the cold, it’s now 30 degrees and I’m still whinging. No pleasing some people, eh? Anyway, I digress. If there’s one activity perfectly suited to heatwave conditions it’s a yacht party. You can wear your fancy frock free from the fear of a cross winds or a sudden downpour leaving you fleeing for the cabin. You cannot however, wear high heels (a rule many ladies shamelessly flouted I might add) which almost entirely through me off my sartorial game last Wednesday evening. Luckily I managed to concoct a suitable swish flat footed ensemble in the nick of time and, after a quick pitstop at Soho House for the Barbour & Bella Freud launch, arrived at Butler’s Warf ready to revive my sea legs.
Once on board I instantly realised that this yacht was every bit as magnificent as promised. I kid you not, it is genuinely the one in the picture above (although admittedly we weren’t sailing past mountains). From the Johnnie Walker monogrammed bars, vast terrace area and impossibly handsome uniformed waiters proffering trays of Old Fashioneds to the luxurious cabins below complete with world maps and family sized bath tubs, it was old school glamour at its deliciously decadent best. Given that this was a traditional sized yacht (AKA big but not cruise ship proportions) the guest list was tight but still managed to include Nik Thakkar, Patrick Grant, Olivia Inge, Leah Weller, PPQ designers Amy Molyneux & Percy Parker and more famous faces besides.
Amy Molyneux & Percy Parker
Me & Nik Thakkar
Shingai Soniwa & Paloma Faith
As the night drew on, Noisettes singer Shingai Soniwa and Paloma Faith pitched up, just in time for things to really get going. Often at these kind of do’s, many people head home after doing their posing for pap duties but that certainly wasn’t the case on this occasion. We minced, we mingled, we posed for endless Instagrams, strategically positioned in front of Tower Bridge (come on, wouldn’t you?) and all in all I think it’s fair to say everyone had a very good time. When 11.30pm rolled around most of us had to be politely asked to leave and then a foolish few of us headed to Whisky Mist for the after party. An even more foolish few then continued on to Le Baron for an after, after party but I won’t go into the details!
As you’ve probably gathered, this was a night to remember. My only complaint would be that the boats constant movement left me in a constant state of confusion as to whether I was sober or otherwise. Given that the only drinks served were insanely delish Johnnie Walker Gold Label whisky cocktails (of which I guzzled a fair few in rapid succession), I reckon ‘otherwise’ was probably more likely. Either way, I had such a fantastic evening that I sincerely hope I’ll have to get used to the whole partying-on-a-moving-yacht shebang… Thank you Johnnie Walker, you’ve officially spoiled me rotten!
Love Ella. X