This annual boat festival happens in the only marina in central London and attracts various brands and companies that are involved in sailing, boating and yachting. Armed with business cards, I attended the festival on all 3 days and managed to meet and network with almost every brand, going from stall to stall. I was pitching them an idea I had and most of them expressed interest in it.
I dressed smart casual for this event, and decided to wear my powder-blue Retro jacket, which is like a statement piece. Several people comment on it; “I LOVE your jacket!”, “where did you get it?” etc. The sunglasses were given to me by the founder of BorrowABoat.com, a sort of Air B&B for boats! How cool is that? They insisted I wear a pair as it matched my jacket.
It was great meeting the elegant Anke Summerhill and her stylishly-dressed husband John. They both wore fancy scarves! Well, the weather was a bit chilly on one of the days. Anke & John are the CEOs of Minotti London, the London branch of 70 year-old luxury Italian furniture brand Minotti. If you’re interested in stylish luxury furniture, make an appointment with Anke and go visit the Minotti store in London Mayfair. Mention you heard it from “Emmanuel Ray.”
There were champagne, oysters, various canapés and snacks, water and beer available at the festival. One could also order food from the menu at the Champagne & Oyster Bar. Over 3 days, I stuck to 2-3 glasses of either champagne or wine per visit (properly spaced out, with water drunk in between – thank God there are loos at the docks!), and had a few canapés. When you attend an event in order to network, the last thing you want to do is stuff your face constantly with food, and keep washing it down with drink. Not only does it make you look like some free-loader, but it also defeats the purpose of your visit.
When it comes to timing, networking, pitching, socialising etc – I do everything according to a plan. Being well-organised helps. I even took a neighbour of mine on the last day of the event who ended up buying a few things at some of the stalls. One of the highlights of the event was meeting Ruth, a lovely lady from Cornwall, one of my favourite places in England. She owns this beautiful brand called Petals & Peas. What a lovely name! CLICK HERE to visit her website and scroll down the homepage to see all her wonderful products. Not all of them seem to be available to buy on her online shop, so I’ll be telling darling Ruth to do something about it. Ruth, I know you’ll be reading this!
And here are a few other happenings from this annual boat festival which I enjoyed very much. This is the second time I’ve been to this. Last year, I just went to do some shopping at the independent stalls. This year, I went for business purposes but also had the chance to do pleasure!
Bumped in to interior designers Michel Colaço and Francesca Graham who co-own Colaço & Francesca Graham. They’ve just been contracted to do a stately home and are incredibly excited about it. They introduced me to their friends. I met Michel through a stunning South American woman (the wife of an Diplomat), whom I met through a Banker that I met at the Brazilian embassy, at an event I was invited to by an Event Promoter. Networking and connections are a common thing in my life!
Paul Fallows representing Silver Sea Cruises looked incredibly dapper and stylish!
During a long chat with Metropolitan Police‘s Thames Team, I learned the difficulties of their job.
Tom, the waiter at the Minotti London tent is a friendly and charming young man whom I would meeet again, at another party. His job during the boat festival was to serve champagne, then go around filling glasses, balancing trays full of glasses, offering snacks etc. It might sound easy but when you’re doing it, you realise it isn’t! Always with a smile, and always very welcoming, Tom deserves a mention.
And here are 2 clips I captured on my phone of the band that played that evening, at the Minotti London tent. We Are The Strikes are based in Nice, along the French Riviera and travel all over the world.