So my attempt to write a monthly blog has failed quite spectacularly, but on the upside that's because I've been busy, busy playing some truly amazing and eclectic bookings!
In April I played a wedding in a beautiful castle in Bristol where a huge owl flew in to deliver the rings! Who needs a best man when you have a bird? In June I performed in the famous Savoy Hotel in London which has recently undergone a £220m revamp, making it the most costly hotel refurbishment in history! August saw me playing a wedding in Raymond Blanc's stunning hotel and restaurant - Le Manoir in Oxfordshire. The guests were treated to the full 9 course tasting menu while I played (and played, and played...) and waved to lovely Raymond who popped his head in now and then to check all was well.
September was ridiculously exciting as I was flown out to Switzerland by some lovely friends of mine to play at their wedding on a mountaintop. The views were simply spectacular and totally worth the effort of getting a harp up the Swiss Alps in a cable car! (Not a job for the faint-hearted and I was oh so glad the harp was rented and not my own!)
Later the same month I performed on a train (as you do), an East London Line train to be precise, for Sound Tracks Festival 2011. I loved the idea behind this festival - three venues dotted around East London, all showcasing amazing live music, with musicians also performing on the trains that get you from one venue to the next. Brilliant! The wonderful organisers also arranged for it to be filmed so you can check out some of the footage here:
I've also played a wedding in a rooftop restaurant in Canary Wharf, an Indian ceremony in the London Tower Hotel and a proposal dinner in Searcys at the Gherkin - all had views to rival those from the Swiss Alps yet couldn't have been more different if they'd tried. View of St Paul's from the Gherkin:
Then there was the engagement dinner in the 2 Michelin star restaurant in Mayfair, a house-gig in a kitchen, a performance in a cemetery, a Christening by a canal, a Russian wedding (in a teeny tiny church) that I didn't understand a word of, a ceremony in a circular chapel beneath Mile End tube station, a wholly unexpected Jason Mraz sing-along, saucy burlesque nights at Proud Camden, the start of my monthly Sunday lunch residency at The Barnsbury... plus a hundred others that I don't have time to mention.
What a year! No doubt December will have a few treats in store too ;)