I’m not a big fan of super cars, yet when I was invited to attend the exclusive Grand Prix Ball at the chic Hurlingham Club in leafy Fulham on Wednesday, I gracefully accepted and had a fervent rummage in my wardrobe for a suitably fabulous dress.
The star-studded event was held in aid of the notable Wings for Life charity for spinal cord research to celebrate the upcoming Formula 1 British Grand Prix at Silverstone.
Founders David Coulthard, Eddie Jordan, and Christian Horner put together an enviable celebrity guest list for this year’s exciting annual event, which boasted a three course gourmet dinner, DJ set by Seb Fontaine, a contemporary ballet dance, a live performance by The Gipsy Kings and F1 live car demonstrations in the lush green grounds.
We heard rumours of a special table aptly named the ‘Legends Table’ – available to lucky guests who fancy the privilege of wining and dining with a Formula 1 legend, and the opportunity for two people to be personally introduced to the stars of the evening.
David Coulthard stated” We created The Grand Prix Gala Ball 6 years ago to support charities and we are proud to have created a long-term partnership with a National UK charity Wings for Life, a spinal cord research foundation, which has special and personal associations for us.”
Super car driving stars from previous events have included Formula 1 world champions Damon Hill and Nigel Mansell. I did keep a cheeky eye out for Lewis Hamilton, but was sadly not graced with his exciting presence – still there’s always next year…
In true ethnic fashion, my partner in crime and I arrived mischievously late and so missed the glitzy champagne reception in the club’s scenic gardens, but we were told from our more punctual friends that it was a joyously merry affair involving F1 drivers posing by stunning racing cars, endless bubbly, strikingly dressed celebs and general fabulous pomp.
Luckily, we did manage to arrive just in time to hear a musically gifted supercar ‘sing’ the British National Anthem due to some seriously talented engine revving. Who said cars can’t be patriotic?
After admiring the selection of slick motors dotted around the grounds and meeting a few Formula 1 legends (as you do), dinner was served before the comedic auctioneer started the raucous bidding war, delightfully mocking certain members of the crowd to the amusement of anyone possessing a cheeky sense of humour (that would be me).
One bidder was naughtily referred to as “David Cameron’s love child”, whilst another was goaded for having a table void of women.
Raising money for Wings for Life, well-heeled guests generously bid on special motor sport-related prizes such as a designer dress by LSAHA (going for £1,075), a weekend on a luxury yacht hosted by Eddie Jordan and a massive elephant sculpture – sold for £5500 to a guest with (presumably) a very large house or garden.
Prizes at past events have included exclusive guided tours of the constructor’s facilities and paddock passes with badass levels of hospitality at the British Grand Prix.
Emily Haig performed a mesmerizing opera set, but for me, the highlight of the evening was the live performance by the true Latino legends that are the Gipsy Kings.
We danced the night away to the sounds of our youth, took selfies with racing cars, swigged cans of unusually flavoured Red Bulls, hobnobbed with witty fellow party people and bundled into a taxi in the early hours of the morning with bulging goody bags and beaming smiles on our faces.
Silverstone, here we come…