Following our BIS afternoon event and a quick change from jacket and tie to formal suit I am on route with Kat (Hennessey) and Jules (Juliet Bernays from marketing agency TBCH) to Buckingham Palace for the Queen's Awards for Enterprise reception.
We squeeze through crowds of people celebrating the arrival of a new royal baby and take our places on the quieter side of the gate. Standing in line with our Director General, Rachel (Sandby-Thomas), Secretary Linda (Stephens) and Enterprise Director, Katherine (Courtney) I hear someone behind me whisper 'That's one of our dresses, I must thank that lady later for choosing it!' It is none other than Tiffany London (from winning company 'Tiffany Rose') refering to Katherine's new dress. What are the chances!
We glide into the Palace up thick carpeted stairs, I see framed canvases on every wall, I see winners from our earlier event at BIS, we all feel a little spellbound.
Immaculate waiters and waitresses appear with trays, I am eating a watercress canape. Jules and Kat sip champagne and Pimms. We chat about how lovely everything is and before we know it are gently put into a line and asked to have our name cards ready. I hear my name being read out, I shake hands with Her Majesty The Queen, I don't fall over.
I follow the line into a bigger room, full of people bonded by meeting the Queen. I see Kat and Jules speaking to winners all beaming. We are chatting with Simon and Peter, Richard and James from Harrison Spinks, with James and Mike from I Love Cosmetics, with Aaron and Yulia from London School of Business and Finance (Yulia says 'This is the best day of my life!) I spot Enterprise Promotion winners, Claire Dove, Professor Elizabeth Town-Andrews; John Vernon and the impossibly youthful Rajeeb Dey.
Silver trays of drinks and canapes keep everything moving along luxuriously until all too soon I become aware that we are moving like a soft wave towards the exit doors.
It has been a lovely party on a perfect summer evening in London.
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