The third day – quite an untraditional start awaited me: we met at the reception and then moved into the third hall, which is the main lodge of masons (un-married?). It’s one of the oldest organizations; many myths have been written about it.
The Palace itself is a masterful representation of ART DECO. The Order built it themselves, with their own money – this was where the final lecture, or workshop, took place with Duncan Wardle, the former head of innovation and creativity for Disney. The workshop was about 2 hours in length – the topic of which was the already mentioned innovation and creativity; it was tremendously fun and informative, Duncan showed us how to entice, and consequently change your perspective on things, the result of which is also labeled as creativity.
After the lecture, we received picnic packages, my favorites: Fortnum & Mason. We then had a tour around London. Towards the evening, we had to prepare for the evening party in Kensington palace, known mainly for being Queen (at that time still princess) Victoria and Prince Albert’s home, also Princess Diane lived here. We received a brochure, which detailed Queen Victoria’s biography and photos of her sketches, they were already setting up the mood for the evening; she would dream up sketches she then realized – this was the main theme for tonight.
Dresscode: Dreamy Chic
We were honored to see the first-ever video-mapping directly projected onto the Palace, Queen Victoria’s silhouette, dancers and other figures all over the Palace; it was stunning and, again, drew us into the evening thematically. Having entered the Palace, one could observe various characters from the Queen’s sketches; floral & butterfly ladies, white rabbits, soldiers, toys and the Queen herself. At the staircase, we were welcomed by a quartet – a heartfelt performance (they were, surely of no surprise to the reader, fantastically dressed). I saw halls, all beautiful, decorated with fairy-tale characters, ballet dancers, all the while accompanied by musical performances. Their goal here was to replicate that dreamy atmosphere and to return to childhood – when dreams were big, real and fantastic.
The staff wearing uniforms, delicious canapé, and select drinks; walking through the grand halls, decorated and beautiful; how dreamy it was!
We moved to the lower part of the Palace, snacked on some warm finger-food and then we were in front of the Palace, a dream-like performance for us. Albert’s balcony, beautifully lit with an acrobat on it – we were given some headphones so as not to disturb the neighbors; and it began: video-mapping on the Palace. We slowly started walking, when a title was projected: are you still dreaming, or is this becoming a nightmare? A new mood was present – at the end of the garden, I walked past a creature that prophesied a change of atmosphere at the afterparty; ee got into the ghost bus, it was Halloween and something was sure to come for us…
After a short trip, we found ourselves in the most famous private club in London – Anabelle’s Mayfair. Normal’ people don’t have access to this place, only the British aristocracy really, and this is why they took our phones, locked them up, as there is a strict no-photos policy and the Halloween party began. The theme? Game of Thrones. The bottom half of the club was themed such, as ‘white walkers’ on the dance floor. And again – everything here was perfected, even the smallest detail, including the lighting. I left at around one in the morning – I had to get some sleep for the final day.
The fourth and final day at Engage: at 11 o’clock, we went to the Hampton Court Palace. In other words, the king’s Palace, best known for the famed Henry the 4th, from the House of Tudor, who – along with Anne Boleyn – founded the Church of England.
A private tour of the Palace awaited us; a guide who, dressed rather quaintly, gave us some background on the Palace; we then entered into a beautifully decorated hall, where we were to have lunch. There were four wedding arches to the right, all in shades of pink, from lightest to darkest. Beautifully set tables with tall and short floral arrangements were to the right of the arches. The main theme was, then, pink roses; you would find this motif everywhere – the menu and even scented candles (as a gift from the Engage crew).
The staff was very well dressed, a pleasant atmosphere thanks to the violinists. The food was quite untraditional, the service of which was accompanied by explanations of the head chef, truly the best of the best were present, as is familiar with the Engage summit.
After lunch, we went to the hotel and started preparing for our departure. I had about 60kg of luggage, not including the gifts we got throughout the summit; this took quite long.
To conclude, I would like to say that the Engage summit was indeed a one-of-a-kind experience, something I’ll remember for years; it was worth it in every way possible. Inspired by the best, I’ve returned home with heaps of enthusiasm and desire to take all I’ve learned and made it a reality.
PHOTO: BEN FINCH, GENEVIE VEDE MANIO, JACQUI COLE, VARNA STUDIO, GORBIN GURKIN, JOHN CAIN PHOTOGRAPHY, BENGA STUDIOS
Though this isn’t where it ends, I’ll be visiting Dubai in a couple of months. I have to go!
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Take a look on a part 2.