On the anniversary of the very first Henley Regatta held in 1839, Olympic gold medallists Sir Steve Redgrave, Sir Matthew Pinsent and Mark Hunter MBE took to the water to unveil the official Henley Royal Regatta afternoon tea guests will enjoy at this year’s event.
Hospitality for the prestigious summer event - which takes place from July 1 to 5 – is once again being provided by international catering company, Sodexo Prestige, which last week (March 26) organised a sneak preview of what will be on offer.
Sir Steve, the new chair of Henley Royal Regatta, which this year celebrates its 176th anniversary, joined invited guests at Bateaux London for a trip down the Thames to experience the Henley offering.
Harmony, one of the Bateaux London fleet, was transformed into a floating garden as guests with guests entertained by a pianist while passing famous London landmarks such as the Houses of Parliament and St Paul’s Cathedral.
They were also given the opportunity to sample the official Champagne afternoon tea which included macaroons, brownies and British favourite, scones with cream and jam.
This is the second year that Sodexo Prestige has provided the hospitality at Henley Royal Regatta’s Fawley Meadows, an exclusive area on the banks of the River Thames and on the private Temple Island in the middle of the river.
Sir Steve Redgrave, Chairman of Henley Royal Regatta said: “Partnering with Sodexo Prestige has been incredible, their work on Fawley Meadows and Temple Island is first class. 300,000 visitors attend over the five days of the regatta, exemplifying the stature and prestige of Henley. Our regatta has been described as the closest thing a rower will ever experience to being in a packed stadium, the atmosphere is exceptional and Sodexo is bringing a new lease of life to entice even more people to come and be part of that unique vibe.”
Guests at the event were also given the opportunity to try out a range of cocktails and vote for their favourite, which will then be on offer at the regatta.
Alex Beaumont, Head of Events at Sodexo Prestige said “Henley Royal Regatta is a highlight of the British summer season, generating a following amongst Brits and overseas visitors alike. Our hospitality aims to reflect this quintessentially British event, providing guests with a great day out soaking up the atmosphere of this historical and one-of-a-kind sporting event.”