Rolls-Royce Hosts Surrealist Dinner with Belgian Designer Charles Kaisin

H.R. Owen was pleased to attend the exclusive Surrealist Dinner in London, an event orchestrated to celebrate themes of conveyance and luxury.

Hosted by Rolls-Royce, the dinner was a celebration of the Art Programme’s partnership with the always in-demand Charles Kaisin—a Belgian-born designer who explores the upper limits of form and function in interior spaces.

The invitation-only event coincided with the premiere of Charles’ origami installation inspired by the Spirit of Ecstasy—the iconic marque that has adorned the bonnets of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars for more than a century. The more than 2500 miniature depictions of the marque were suspended from the ceiling of Rolls-Royce’s Berkeley Square location until this past Sunday.

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More than 100 guests arrived, all cheerily dressed in accordance with the theme of the night—‘Black Tie with a touch of the surreal’. Decorated performers greeted guests with both fanfare and refreshment in the form of perfumed water—wild Italian fennel; citrus, anise and mint; fresh basil; and hibiscus. Working with celebrated Michelin-starred chef David Martin, Kaisin crafted concepts for each of the evening’s five courses—including king crab, avocado, black sesame, and caviar encased in a golden tin.

While guests dined, Ellen Vanherck from the Royal Academy of Music in London and Eline Antoinette Vandenheede from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London performed an enchanting rendition of the Flower duet from Leo Delibes’ opera Lakmé, and Canzonetta sull’aria from Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro. At the conclusion of the duets, both Vanherck and Vandenheede revealed that their kimono-style costumes were made from the white tablecloth on which the preliminary courses were originally served.

The soup was offered in a chemistry-flasks and beakers by masked servers dressed in silver jumpsuits, as an ode to the Silver Ghost, one of the most recognizable and revered vehicles in the Rolls-Royce fleet.

The tables were next covered by meticulously constructed grass panels before a main course of black cod was presented by servers wearing hand-painted panelled landscapes, each representing its own unique environment. The grand culinary finale came in the form of dessert, shaped as a golden bar, with pistachio and apple leaf, as well as a selection of Nyetimber wines, grown and harvested just 20 miles from the official home of Rolls-Royce.

As a gift for the guests, Kaisin carefully crafted individual booklets with different letters shaped on the cover using an intricate folding method. Each letter from each book combined to offer a quote from the late Sir Henry Royce: “Strive for perfection in everything you do. Take the best that exists and make it better. When it does not exist, design it.”

Though he has organised concept dinners for client’s across the globe, the Surrealist Dinner for Rolls-Royce Motor Cars was the first spectacular Kaisin created in London.

To learn more about upcoming events like the Surrealist Dinner, please contact your local H.R. Owen Rolls Royce dealer.