Opal shines as the stars turn out
Friday, November 7th, 2003
on behalf of Montpeliers (Edinburgh) Ltd
The exclusive party, which was one of the best-kept secrets of the awards, attracted a list of top names including Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera, Pink and Dido. Also in attendance were the Black Eye Peas, Shirley Manson, Mark Owen, The Darkness and Chelsea footballers Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Celestine Babayaro.
Admission to the multi award-winning George Street bar, hosted by the massive BMG media conglomerate, was strictly limited to an invited A-list of 300 VIPs.
Police had to cordon off George Street to allow the fleet of limos carrying the stars to negotiate the huge crowds outside Opal Lounge. At one point, it was estimated that around 2000 people had gathered, closing down one lane of George Street.
600 bottles of Moet and Chandon Champagne and 2000 bottles of Mini Moet had been brought in to help the guests enjoy the night. A unique cocktail list had also been devised (see below), but guests were able to order their favourite cocktail from a team of Scotland’s top mixologists on duty during the night.
An executive chef was also on standby to respond to any late-night food requests from any of the party-goers. But to ensure no one went hungry, scores of platters of canapés (see below), including Sushi and dainty five spice duck spring rolls, were served up throughout the night.
The party was a big hit with Pink who spent a large of the night on the dance floor, while Christina Aguilera celebrated her successful hosting of the awards by chatting to friends in the Opal Lounge’s den bar.
Opal Lounge General Manager David Hall said the party had been a great success. He said: “The feedback we got from the BMG and the artistes was that the Opal Lounge was a fabulous venue and everyone really enjoyed themselves.
“We were told that in 12 years of BMG staging these events there has never before been such a gathering of superstars under the one roof, even including all the so-called AAA-event parties in the States.”
Star-studded after show party
David Wither, Managing Director of Montpeliers (Edinburgh), which runs Opal Lounge, said the event was by far the biggest star-studded after-show party of the MTV awards.
He said: “It is safe to say Edinburgh will not have seen anything like this party before – or likely every will again.
“The people at BMG said it is so rare for this collection of people to be in the same place together.”
David Wither added that the planning for the event, which had taken place over several weeks, had been top secret with even staff having no idea what was happening until just hours before.
He added: “Opal Lounge was chosen because it is the best venue in Edinburgh with the best staff and the best atmosphere. BMG wanted somewhere they knew their stars and executives could relax and enjoy themselves after the awards.”
Invites to the party were so prized that they were only personally delivered to the VIPs yesterday morning.
BMG is the global music division of Bertelsmann AG, one of the world’s leading media companies. BMG owns more than 200 record labels in 41 countries including Ariola, Arista Records, J Records, Jive Records, and RCA Records.
Opal/MTV Party Cocktails
Guests enjoyed a unique cocktail list specially devised for the party by Scotland’s top “mixologist” Chris Langan.
More than 300 punnets of berries, physalis’s and mint were used as well as gallons of freshly squeezed apple juice.
The list involved:
Tumble Berry – Jim Beam Black, berries, sugar, cranberry
Cherry Gin Cup – Plymouth gin, Cherry Marnier, seasonal fruit, ginger ale
Orient Spring – Pressed apple juice, elder flower, Moet & Chandon champagne
Vanilla Bond – Absolut vanilla vodka, Moet & Chandon champagne
Physalis Daiquiri – Mount Gay rum, lime, sugar, physalis
Peach Martini – Absolut vodka, white peach, sugar
Martini – Plymouth gin, vermouth.
Chris Langan, who worked throughout the night, said he wanted the cocktails to be simplistic, easy to make, but still guaranteed to create a real reaction.
He said: “I went for a list which involved adding twists to a range of contemporary classics, but ensuring the finish was very minimalist. We wanted each one to create a spark. For example the Orient Spring has a piece of cucumber in it which reacts with the champagne to ensure the bubbles keep going for longer. The Cherry Gin Cup has a berry which was soaked for an hour in cherry brandy to give the cocktail a hugely flavoursome cherry buzz.”
Opal/MTV Party Food
Three types of sushi – prawn tempura and avocado rolled in seaweed
– raw tuna and pickled vegetables
– raw salmon and pickled vegetables
Canapés – Thai fishcakes and cucumber dipping sauce
– Five spice duck spring rolls and hoi sin sauce
– Jumbo prawn skewer and soy miren dip
– Lemongrass chicken skewer and coriander and pesto dip
– Beef fillet with cucumber salad
– Salt and pepper calamari and lime mayonnaise
– “Chinese spoons”, wasabi-crusted tuna cube with sesame seeds on a bed of salmon caviar eaten off a ceramic Chinese spoon.
Desserts – Banana and almond spring rolls with plum dipping sauce
– White chocolate ginseng truffles
– “Chinese spoons” – Raspberry coullis served with scooped lychee sorbet and eaten off a ceramic Chinese spoon.
All dishes were created by head chef Adam Ireland with thebulk of them about to appear on Opal Lounge’s new menu which will be launched next week.