Friday 20 July 2018

What it's like dining with Margot Robbie at Kate Middleton's home - we go inside the pre-BAFTAs party at Kensington Palace

Darren Kennedy at the pre-BAFTA party at Kensington Palace
Darren Kennedy at the pre-BAFTA party at Kensington Palace
Dessert at the pre-BAFTA party at Kensington Palace. Picture: Darren Kennedy
The Palace Rooms at Kensington Palace. Picture: Darren Kennedy

Darren Kennedy

It's not every day you get to dine in Kensington Palace with Salma Hayek and Margot Robbie - here, Darren Kennedy takes us behind the velvet rope at the exclusive pre-BAFTA bash...

Who was there

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(L to R) Margot Robbie, Caitriona Balfe and Salma Hayek at the EE British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) nominees party at Kensington Palace

Every year, the British Academy Film Awards celebrates the best and brightest of the big screen with an invite-only dinner the night before the BAFTAs, which attracts some of the biggest names in Hollywood - with a royal twist.

Kensington Palace plays host to an influx of acting greats for the BAFTA Nespresso nominees party, which celebrates the best in British and international film. Last night's guestlist included Harrison Ford, Natalie Dormer, Nicholas Hoult, Greta Gerwig, Karen Gillen and Irish actress Caitriona Balfe.

What happens

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The Palace Rooms at Kensington Palace. Picture: Darren Kennedy

On arrival, guests are given the option of glasses of champagne or coffee based cocktails in the Palace rooms, which are normally the reserve of royalty and heads of state. Ornate chandeliers and paintings of the royal family adorn the walls.

As the evening progressed, a smaller group of guests moved into The State Apartments for an intimate VIP dinner hosted by Nespresso, sponsors of this year’s BAFTAs. I was sandwiched between my good friend Millie Mackintosh on my left and songstress Jessie Ware to my right.

This year's host Joanna Lumley was in flying form and was well impressed with yours truly, as I made my way to the red carpet - crutches (out of shot) and all.

"Darling, you’re working those crutches with that suit, bravo!"

The menu

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Dessert at the pre-BAFTA party at Kensington Palace. Picture: Darren Kennedy
 

We tucked into a four course dinner infused with coffee starting off with Crown Prince Squash Royale with Parmigiano Reggiano & leek ash before moving on to the most delicious crab, apple and smoked Scottish salmon.

For mains, it was a beautiful fillet of Italian Piedmont beef with Jerusalem artichoke & potato cannelloni. No one could resist dessert: a mix of Demitasse Valrhona chocolate cup, malted milk foam and warm cinnamon doughnuts paired with Nespresso exclusive selection Nepal Lamjung. At that point, we were all ready to roll home to get some shut eye before the main event this evening in the Royal Opera Hall.

The only disappointment is that we failed to find any hint of Prince William or Kate Middleton - despite our very best efforts.

Follow Darren Kennedy on Instagram for more behind the scenes access into his generally stylish life including nights at Kensington Palace and backstage at London Fashion Week: @darrenkennedyofficial

(L to R) Margot Robbie, Caitriona Balfe and Salma Hayek at the EE British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) nominees party at Kensington Palace
(L to R) Margot Robbie, Caitriona Balfe and Salma Hayek at the EE British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) nominees party at Kensington Palace
Darren Kennedy attends the EE British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) nominees party at Kensington Palace on February 17, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)
Darren Kennedy attends the EE British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) nominees party at Kensington Palace on February 17, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)
Millie Mackintosh attends the EE British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) nominees party at Kensington Palace on February 17, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)
Caitriona Balfe attending the Nespresso British Academy Film Awards Nominees Party at Kensington Palace, London
Kate Mara (L) and Jamie Bell attend the EE British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) nominees party at Kensington Palace on February 17, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)
Caitriona Balfe attending the Nespresso British Academy Film Awards Nominees Party at Kensington Palace, London
Natalie Dormer attends the EE British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) nominees party at Kensington Palace on February 17, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)
Margot Robbie attending the Nespresso British Academy Film Awards Nominees Party at Kensington Palace, London
Margot Robbie attends the EE British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) nominees party at Kensington Palace on February 17, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)
Millie Mackintosh attending the Nespresso British Academy Film Awards Nominees Party at Kensington Palace, London
Gemma Arterton attends the EE British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) nominees party at Kensington Palace on February 17, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)
Jameela Jamil attends the EE British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) nominees party at Kensington Palace on February 17, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)
Allison Janney attends the EE British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) nominees party at Kensington Palace on February 17, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)
Annette Bening attends the EE British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) nominees party at Kensington Palace on February 17, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)
Millie Mackintosh attends the EE British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) nominees party at Kensington Palace on February 17, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)
Leslie Bibb and Sam Rockwell attending the Nespresso British Academy Film Awards Nominees Party at Kensington Palace, London
Salma Hayek attends the EE British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) nominees party at Kensington Palace on February 17, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)
Jameela Jamill attending the Nespresso British Academy Film Awards Nominees Party at Kensington Palace, London
Salma Hayek attends the EE British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) nominees party at Kensington Palace on February 17, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)
Margot Robbie attends the EE British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) nominees party at Kensington Palace on February 17, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)
Daniel Kaluuya attends the EE British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) nominees party at Kensington Palace on February 17, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)
Octavia Spencer attends the EE British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) nominees party at Kensington Palace on February 17, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)

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