From the moment we received the brief from our clients at Sky TV we knew that we were going to involved in something rather special.

The brief

Sky’s amazingly creative team had a clear vision of what they wanted us to help them pull together – an intimate and high-end press event for Sky and HBO’s powerful new drama series ‘Catherine the Great’, starring multi-award winning actress Helen Mirren.

The event, high tea with Dame Helen and an elite selection of influential British press representatives, would be held at an exclusive jewellery store in London’s Mayfair. It was always going to be an opulent occasion. After all, Catherine’s extraordinary story is the stuff of legend. Catherine’s life was filled with political intrigue, power struggles and private passions; tales of which are often exaggerated or pure works of fiction dreamed up by jealous rivals, both personal and political.

No spoilers here, you’ll have to check out this incredible four-part mini-series on Sky Atlantic to find out how this strong-minded, extremely intelligent, sexually liberated and forward-thinking woman navigated the political corridors of 18th century Russia to rise to power and forever change the face of Russian politics.

An event fit for an Empress (and a Dame!)

Press eventIt was a real pleasure working with the team at Sky; the absolute clarity in the creative direction that we were given was a huge help. Our challenge was to add the finer details and finishing touches to an event that would mirror and celebrate the Russian opulence showcased in the series itself.

And with Dame Helen Mirren herself in attendance we knew that only the best would suffice.

We decorated the room with ornate golden candelabras, gold vases filled with opulent displays of cream coloured roses and a scattering of beautiful light blue silk butterflies. The table, dressed in a vintage cream damask tablecloth, was set with gold cutlery, cake stands and gold rimmed glassware.

Press eventThe menu

The menu was exquisite, fit for royalty of any generation, era or nationality. Featuring Fortnum and Mason’s ‘Royal Blend’ tea, which was originally blended for King Edward in 1908; Beluga caviar from London’s iconic caviar house & prunier served with beautifully ornate pearl handled spoons and accompanied by the finest Krug Champagne in extravagant gold rimmed Champagne flutes.

The menu in full:

  • Fortnum and Mason Royal and Russian teaPress event
  • 100% Arabica Gold Leaf Coffee
  • Krug Champagne
  • Carafes of still and sparkling Water
  • Blinis, Caviar and crème fraiche
  • Cucumber pine wheel lollipops
  • Craft vodka marinated salmon pine wheels
  • Chicken and Russian cured ham ballotine, black truffle aioli
  • Artisan macaron explosions
  • Scones with clotted cream and Tiptree raspberry jam


Press eventEvent de-brief and client comments

It was a genuine pleasure working with Sky’s creative team. Their brief was clear and well thought out, as were their ideas on styling and theming. With intimate events the details make all the difference. We loved the challenge. We loved creating this wonderful menu and we loved having opportunity to add the finishing touches to an already beautiful venue.

And what did our client say?

‘Thank you so much to you and your team for an amazing Russian Tea, the feedback has been incredible with many compliments on the food and service’

Planning a press event or launch?

We understand how important the small details are; therefore we make sure that everything is perfect on the day. We work with our clients to design events that meet the brief and we can help to organise as little or as much as you require. Speak to a member of our team on 020 8432 2252 or email london@vanilla-bean.co.uk