This week we had the privilege of decorating a few of Oxford’s finest venues for a worldwide event hosted by Ordnance Survey; the ironically named ‘Cambridge Conference’ which took place over 4 days.
Day one’s brief was to be classically elegant with a white and green colour scheme to include floral material with a strong scent. This part of the conference took place in the Oxford University Natural History Museum which boasts a huge collection of geologic and zoological specimens. We wanted to enhance, not prohibit, the natural beauty of the neo-gothic architecture. Situated in the central area with high ceilings to incorporate the life-sized dinosaurs we opted for glass vases on white plinths to welcome guests to their drinks reception. The vases were full of gladioli, double-headed lilies, stocks, molucella, lysimachia, viburnum and finished with a mixture of foliages including natural fern. The beautiful perfume wafted amongst the dinosaurs, the perfect start to a gorgeous summer evening.
Our next stop was to create a large all-round pedestal, again with a strong scent, to be positioned under a large stained-glass window in Keble College. We filled the pedestal with a mixture of gladioli, delphiniums, molecular, stocks, alstroemeria, lilies and finished with a mixture of green foliages.
Day four’s brief was ‘English country garden’, in a loose natural freshly-picked style. This part of the conference was to be hosted at Balliol College in the grand dining hall. We opted for banquet style table centrepieces to include a mixture of vase sizes and small olive trees all to be finished off with olive green chapel candles. The mixed vases were oozing with scented seasonal delights, such as sweet peas, stocks, alstroemeria, campanula, scabious, mint (a personal favourite) all finished with seasonal garden foliages to include English glossy green ivy.
Each of the four corners of the hall were decorated with overflowing natural pedestals of a soft colour palette. Full of white gladioli, lilac delphiniums, molecular, lilac stocks, pink alstroemeria and gorgeous white hydrangeas again pulled together with natural British foliages.
We felt that it was the attention to detail that made this event look so stunningly beautiful, and the use of the olive-green chapel candles which made the room glow radiantly. We also added some chapel candles in a mixture of hurricane vases to line the large outdoor steps which illuminated the way for guests to enter the dining hall.
love, sarah x