Sir Elton John topped the bill at the annual Dine & Disco event held at luxury country house hotel Chewton Glen. The star-studded annual party, masterminded by Virgin Radio DJ and TV presenter Chris Evans, helped raise over £1.9 million for the Elton John AIDS Foundation last weekend.
Guests had previously taken part in an on-air auction to win a place at the event, which was held in the grounds of the hotel. Guests sat down to an al-fresco banquet in the Walled Kitchen Garden, prepared by a brigade of celebrity chefs.
José Pizarro provided a ‘Taste of Spain’ with his trademark Tapas selection, Atul Kochhar was in charge of street food, which included an array of samosas, Tom Kerridge wowed diners with his ‘Proper Donner Kebab’, and Chewton Glen’s own Executive Head Chef, Luke Matthews, created a trio of pizzas using the hotel’s wood fired pizza oven. The culinary feast was brought to a close by James Martin with his orchard-inspired ‘The Kitchen Apple’, served with a delicious apple coulis.
TV presenter Olly Smith and award-winning wine expert, foodie and columnist was the Master of Ceremonies, with guests having also joined Olly in the hotel earlier in the day for a ‘Cake and Chat’ get-together, alongside fellow TV presenter, Angelica Bell, and former Bake Off winner, Candice Brown.
After the banquet, guests who were staying overnight at the property, made their way to the hotel’s orchard where the stage was set for performances from stars including Rick Astley, plus a surprise musical guest appearance by former Spice Girl, Melanie C.
Guest had taken part in an on-air auction to win a place at the star-studded event…
Other well-known faces on stage included TV vet Noel Fitzpatrick; British comedian Alexander Horne, creator of the BAFTA award-winning Taskmaster; Radio DJ James Carpenter and Chris Evans’ stellar team from Virgin Radio, including Vassos Alexander and Rachel Horne.
Later in the evening, it was the comedic David Walliams who provided an introduction to the stage for Sir Elton John who, complete with his 9 ft. long piano known as Aretha (one of the five pianos from Elton’s 2013 tour and part of his current farewell tour), entertained with solo performances of hits, including ‘Bennie and the Jets’, ‘I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues’ and ‘Your Song.’
Chewton Glen is a five-red star privately-owned luxury country house hotel, located on the edge of the ancient New Forest National Park in Hampshire. The hotel, featured in the Channel 4 series Britain’s Most Luxurious Hotels, has 72 individually designed bedrooms and suites including 14 tree-house suites, a nine-hole par three golf course, croquet lawn, indoor and outdoor tennis courts and a spa.
It also boasts a purpose-built cookery school, bakery and informal restaurant opened in association with James Martin. To stay at Chewton Glen click here.
Commenting on the evening, Andrew Stembridge, Executive Director of Iconic Luxury Hotels and Managing Director of Chewton Glen said: “It was a truly remarkable evening from start to finish. As always, we were thrilled to work with Chris Evans, as well as his right-hand man, Hiten Vora, to arrange the spectacular entertainment. This was the fourth year we have hosted the Dine & Disco at the hotel, which has raised many millions of pounds for charity since its inception, including BBC Children in Need and now The Elton John AIDS Foundation. It was an honour and a privilege to host Sir Elton John and support his tireless work in combating AIDS worldwide”.
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