Tuesday night truly proved to be the party of the year as over 400 yelpers ate, drank and enjoyed London's finest – all to say "Happy Birthday Yelp UK!" The celebratory spirit was in the frosty air as guests descended the red carpet to find Islington Metal Works transformed into a magical trip around town.
The posh and proper kicked off their evening with a stroll through Yelp's "G&Tea" Party, divinely decorated with props from GlimpseOnline and A Most Curious Party and beautiful tea ladies styled by Rag & Bow with make-up from Glam it with Mac. Stepping into the grassy garden, yelpers were instantly transported to a lazy summer’s day with live music from Louise Golbey and Will and The People. Spirits were high as Juniper Green Gin, UK5 Vodka and Papagayo Organic White Rum filled vintage teacups, served with naughty and nice Butterfingers Cakes in the lush surroundings of our very own vintage paradise.
Aromas of hot food seduced yelpers to the Midnight Market. Beset with a glass ceiling of twinkling stars, this market was chock full of London's best market stalls, street musicians, and even a tube – which wouldn't you know, we turned into a bar. While Bonfire Band, Fabio Tedde and Jon the Accordion busker captured the soul of London street music, yelpers lined up to nosh on Roast Hog, who crammed buns with juicy pieces of an entire free range pig marinated with rosemary, fennel, garlic and olive oil, along with crackling and apple sauce. Herbivores and carnivores alike came back again and again to sample Anna’s delights at the Veggie Table, and revellers couldn’t get enough of the now legendary Chipstix, chips spiraled around sticks and coated with flavourful goodness – you tried it here first, folks! Dessert? Well what do you know? The boys from Frae satisfied everyone with their lip-smacking organic frozen yogurt (and sexy tight shirts, if we do say so ourselves)! To wash all that down, the bartenders from Slim Jim's Liquor Store took over the "Tube Bar" using Makers Mark to shake, rattle and roll up some fabulous bourbon cocktails.
What is London without trendy pop-ups and independent pubs? The Portobello Gold (Notting Hill's longest running bar under the same ownership) knocked both out in one shot, as designer Fred Rigby transformed the space into Yelp's local. Photography from owner Mike Bell adorned the walls, a free photo booth from The Photobooth Company provided prop-tastic snaps throughout the evening, a foosball championship ensued, and a giant smorgasbord of foodie delights from oysters to chicken wings, sashimi to parsnip chips went down a treat. Thirsty? Pints of Freedom Lager and Harveys Bitter flowed over the bar without stopping, red and white wine kept it classy, and the cinnamon adorned rum punch and Sotol Tequila margaritas kept everyone in the partying mood.
Following the road between the rooms, most yelpers bumped into ZipCar, who were zipping guests to the after-party at Slim Jim's Liquor Store. Not only that, they were giving away a trip for two to San Francisco! Further down the road at the coat check, many dug deep to donate to The British Red Cross Haiti Earthquake Appeal.
As yelper Mei L so eloquently put it: Five stars for any party where the night ends with me bringing home a man. Specifically, a little man with a big beard, a pointy hat and a pot of gold who fits in my purse. Here's to Yelp's Burst Birthday: The only party in London where you can pull a real garden gnome.
And as for the after party.... what happens at Slim Jim's stays at Slim Jim's, right... ?!
Until next time, SYOY!
Your Yelp London Crew