Syon House

State Dining RoomRed Drawing Room - Syon House

Yesterday I played for a wedding at Syon House. I had heard of Syon House before but didn’t know too much about it. Now I am a bit more informed and as always will share with you some facts and tips about this venue. Situated in the 200 acre Syon Park, 10 miles to the west of central London, it is home to the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland and has been in the family for 400 years. As you can see from the photos above, it is a very traditional venue with ornate decor and grandiose appeal.

This was a very expensive wedding with heavy security, guests arriving by helicopter, and a few well-known faces…. surprising since it was just the second function that I’ve been booked for by this particular agent and the last was to play at Bedford Category C Prison! … I suppose we can definitely say we cater for all occasions!

During the drinks reception The were four rooms in the main house with live music; there was a solo Pianist in the Long Gallery, a string quartet in the Red Drawing Room, a light Opera Singer in the State Dining Room and I played in the Great Hall. After the drinks reception the guests made there way to the very impressive Great Conservatory (pictured below) which had a special lighting design by Sound 2 Light. There was then a firework display as the Bride and Groom walked from the house to the conservatory to the applause of the guests. This was my cue to play my flamenco arrangement of Cavatina.

All in all, a very nice wedding in splendid surroundings. I’m just left wondering what the next booking from this agent will be… 😉

Great Conservatory - Syon House

Tower 42

Tower 42

Gary Rhode's London Restaurant








I played last night for a private party at Tower 42. I had never heard of this building which I am surprised about because It held the status of tallest building in the City of London for 30 years, until it was surpassed by the Heron Tower in December 2009, and is the seventh tallest in Greater London (I am not sure whether these statistics are pre or post shard). The (42 story) building was originally called the National Westminster Tower, having been built to house the National Westminster Bank’s International Division. It is currently home to a number of companies and Rhodes 24 – Gary Rhode’s restaurant on the 24th floor. This restaurant has superb views across London through the ceiling-to-floor glass windows and, of course, great food. There are also “private dining capsules” next to the restaurant itself which are served from the Rhodes 24 kitchen. They have the same views, same service and same menu but are enclosed and private.

Also, on the 42nd (top) floor of the building there is a champagne bar aptly named Vertigo. I went up to have a look and it is a very chic bar with almost 360˚ views of London and decorated and lit throughout in purple. You could almost imagine it being Prince’s private bar.

Vertigo Champagne Bar, London

Donnington Manor Hotel, Sevenoaks, Kent – Canon in D

Donnington Manor HotelWedding Photos at Donnington










On Saturday I played for a wedding in Sevenoaks, Kent at the Donnington Manor Hotel. The pieces chosen by the Bride were as follows:

Aisle walk: Pachelbel’s Canon In D

Signing: Marry You by Bruno Mars & Just The Way You Are by Billy Joel

Exit: The Entrance Of The Queen Of Sheba by Handel

I then played for the drinks reception in the hotel bar and for the wedding breakfast in the restaurant upstairs at the hotel. All in all a good day.

Wedding Musician

Paella Afternoon, Shoreditch

This afternoon I played for a “Paella Afternoon” on the roof terrace of Wieden & Kennedy’s offices in Shoreditch, London. They are the cutting edge advertising company behind some of the coolest television adverts, some of the most well-known being Nike’s My Time Is Now and Nokia’s Gulp.

Is was a relaxed midday party with some great Paella and I played more from my Spanish and Flamenco repertoire. I’ll leave you with some pictures of the wonderful paella.

Freshly mad seafood PaellaFreshly mad vegetarian Paella with artichokes








Spanish and Flamenco Guitarist