When we met… Robert Koppens, Royal Institution

The Royal Institution is a very special events space in the heart of Mayfair. Renowned for its 200 years of scientific heritage and iconic Christmas Lectures, the Ri is home to 14 Nobel Prize winners and the discovery of 10 chemical elements. Venuelior caught up with the Elior general manager, Robert Koppens to find out more about its Christmas offering.

What are your top tips for both planning and running a successful Christmas event?
My top tip for event planners at the moment is that Christmas is only around the corner, so booking your venue now is really important!
What do you find is in high demand when people are booking Christmas events?
There are a handful of dates which are always in high demand and get booked up quickly. We are finding more requests for unique entertainment, everyone is looking for “something different” to add an extra finesse to their party.
Have you seen any changes over the past year in Christmas event requests or event themes?
We have since a high demand for interactive menu’s – party planners are spending more time and more budget on planning their menus with us.
Do you work with the event planner to develop a personalized menu to meet their needs, and if so, how?
Yes! We always work one to one with the event planner, trying to understand the profile of guests and their likes and dislike – this helps us create a bespoke menu which we can then deliver to the client via tasting sessions. These details all help put together the perfect party.
What has been your favourite/most memorable event at Royal Institution?
It’s really hard to choose! One event which stands out was for 300 guests with 6 different themed rooms (cities in the world) we spent time developing menus for each room from each country’s culinary delights.
What menu options are available at Royal Institution for Christmas events?
There is a traditional Christmas menu, however we can completely bespoke a menu.
Have you had any unusual requests for catering, or anything that has stuck out in your mind?
We did a whole Victorian themed Christmas table, we can pretty much do anything the client can think of!