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Fractional Summit 2011: whisky galore in London

Date: 2011-03-03 21:48:11

Europe's biggest and best fractional real estate conference came to town in February, as 200 delegates from countries as diverse as Thailand, Brazil, Norway and Ghana – as well as more traditional vacation property destinations – gathered to network, share knowledge and listen to presentations from industry experts at Fractional Summit 2011.

Feedback from the event has been superb, and you can read more about the conference here. But I wanted to use this blog to talk about some of the events going on around the Summit which enabled delegates, sponsors and press to mix business with pleasure.

The night before the Summit kicked off, Fractional Life founder Piers Brown hosted a dinner for sponsors at Gordon Ramsey's restaurant at Claridges. The champagne flowed liberally to get the evening started and then a multi-course (I forget exactly how many) banquet was served in a private room off the main restaurant. Post-dinner, many of us moved on to whisky (more of which later) in the bar, to the accompaniment of folk tunes sung by Jerry Cobb of the Fractional Ownership Consultancy.

47 Park Street fractional real estateAfter a full and informative day's conference programme – and just as the frenetic but highly enjoyable "speed dating" business card swap was about to start, Fractional Life founder Piers Brown and I headed just down the road to 47 Park Street, London's first urban fractional. The property is housed in a beautiful red brick Edwardian townhouse (left) which was originally built for the 1st Baron Milford.

It is now an understated but very classy private residence club with a discerning international clientele. Fractional Life and 47 Park Street were hosting an event for both consumer and trade property press which took the form of a tour of the property, and a whisky tasting, which had been arranged by 47 Park Street's PR company Luchford APM. Their client Balvenie supplied not only the whisky but also its brand ambassador, Sam Simmons (below), who was on hand to talk guests through the company's products and give a basic explanation of the whisky-making process.

Sam Simmons Balvenie

Balvenie is the last remaining distillery in Scotland which still grows its own barley, still malts in its own traditional floor maltings and still employs a team of coopers to tend all the casks and a coppersmith to maintain the stills. The family-owned business has been producing single malt whisky on the same site in Dufftown since 1893, and has won many awards for its range.

The invited journalists (including a former editor of a whisky magazine) mixed with some 47 Park Street owners to sample a range of Balvenie spirits, including 12, 17, 21 and 30 year old versions. Simmons, an infectiously enthusiastic native of Toronto explained how to taste whisky properly, first with the nose, then with a tiny amount in the mouth, and then with a drop of water to "open up" the spirit, releasing the oils and flavours it contains.

Those already familiar with the joys of Scotch were in their element, and newcomers to the spirit had many of their preconceptions dashed by the subtlety and variety of flavours on offer.

Then it was off in to the Mayfair night with a mission to spread the message about the joys of fractional ownership and single malt whisky.

Balvenie whisky range

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1 comment to Fractional Summit 2011: whisky galore in London

Piers Brown says:

The evening was very enjoyable and I was pleased to leave standing up! My thanks to 47 Park Street, Sam Simmons and the organisers for a great evening. Where next - fractional vineyards anybody?

Date: 2011-03-03 22:27:06

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