It’s the Pavilion launch day – get to know the team!

The Pavilion promises to be a collection of stunning event spaces with a unique terrace overlooking the palace gardens. The Pavilion will feature two main event spaces with a capacity for an impressive 800 guests for a standing reception as well as 300 for a seated dinner. The venue will also benefit from a covered terrace area, ideal for sunny receptions and a first for Kensington Palace.

Today’s the day and we just can’t hold our excitement in any longer – it’s the launch of the Pavilion! Pearl & Pear are lucky enough to be the official media partners for such an incredible event. As a sneak peak we have pieced together an exciting feature for you to get to know the famous Historic Royal Palaces team.

WOW, this special occasion doesn’t happen every day… tell us the reasons behind launching the Pavilion.

Historic Royal Palaces is an independent conservation and education charity. With historic restoration being a key aspect in our company cause, we are undergoing a 3 year project to restore the current Orangery building. This gives us the fantastic opportunity to launch a new semi-permanent venue over this time. We can accommodate up to 800 guests for a standing reception which, as we know, is a big old number to find a suitable venue for in London! Sitting in our famous gardens and steeped in history, our new Pavilion will allow us to host large scale gala dinners and Christmas parties that we have previously been unable to accommodate here at the palace.

We understand the Pavilion will be installed with a glass front to overlook the famous Sunken Gardens, what have been the processes during design and build?

The very first stages of this 18 month project started with a tender for the design and build of the structure. Once the tender was awarded and plans submitted, there has been a hive of activity on site. The Orangery was closed in January 2018. This provided the teams with time to prepare the ground before building commenced on 19th February.

Building work only began in February 2018 with an impressive turnaround for launch in March, have you experienced any challenges along the way?

As with any new build and conservation project, hurdles are always expected! We have had a great, pro-active project team working with us to help ensure that the build has stayed on track. Of course we hadn’t anticipated any snow in March, but then again we do love a challenge!

Whilst the Orangery is closed for conservation works we expect the Pavilion will be filled with luxurious events and guests, when can we expect the Orangery to reopen?

We are looking to re-open the Orangery in Autumn 2021 / Spring 2022. As with any conservation project these dates are subject to change and will be confirmed once the project is drawing to a close.

London is a constant source of inspiration to us for the world of events – from new exhibitions to the people we meet, what inspires the Historic Royal Palaces team?

Being an events venue in London is extremely competitive, but we feel that being a historic venue really gives us an edge in the modern landscape. Able to juxtapose 17th century history against 21st century London is such a great addition to any event. This gives our clients the option to let the rooms speak for themselves or to dress them up with mirrored feature bars, sharp angles and dramatic lighting instead!

“At Historic Royal Palaces we work to the ethos – tradition with a twist – and thrive on experimenting with how this can be met in different ways with the help of our other iconic venues and our trusted suppliers.”

Can you combine a tour of the palace with use of the Pavilion?

Guests are more than welcome to add on an exhibition or guided tour of one of our current exhibitions when hiring the Pavilion. It’s a great opportunity for guests to learn the stories of the Kings and Queens who once roamed the State Apartments, view current exhibitions and to really deliver the wow factor for guests by maximising the use of the palace. Events can also be organised across the full site at Kensington with the drinks reception and dinner held in different venues.

Currently our exhibitions focus on the fashion story of Princess Diana and the personal possessions of Queen Victoria, however these are updated and changed throughout the year.

What has been your favourite event to date?

We are lucky enough to be able to host a whole array of events, from film premiere after parties to intimate and lavish 50 birthdays. We really do see the best of the best! Here at Kensington we have a trusted team of approved suppliers who work closely with the client and ourselves, to ensure that each event exceeds the client’s vision both logistically and visually!

What has been your most challenging event?

We were honoured to host a charity concert for Sentebale in June 2016 with headlining act Coldplay. The pure scale of the event was huge, with multiple parties involved and hurdles to overcome.

A charity concert for 3,000 guests in the palace gardens, dinner for 360 guests in the palace, a reception in the Orangery and multiple food and drink vendors on the Orangery lawns all at the same time – it certainly posed a few challenges! The event was a huge success and we loved every minute of it!

Now for a few quick-fire questions… what cocktail would you choose on…

A Friday night? Anything fun and quirky to kick-start the weekend, preferably with a big glug of gin in it!

The Beach? You can’t beat a Pina Colada whilst soaking up some sunshine!

A luxurious breakfast reception? An Earl Grey French 75

A celebratory launch event? A Sloe Royale to keep it classy!

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