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Stonewall Equality Dinner 2016

Stonewall Equality Dinner

The time was upon again for the Stonewall Equality Dinner.  I invited my guests to join me which is my third year hosting a table at this fabulous event.  I have been an ambassador of its work for several years and I look forward to contributing to the cause for as long as I can.

Speakers on the night included actor Malcolm Sinclair, rugby player Keegan Hirst, Chair of Stonewall’s Board of Trustees; Group Brand Director at Aviva, Jan Gooding, and the dedicated CEO Ruth Hunt.

Keegan Hirst talked about his own experience coming out in a masculine driven industry and his thoughts about other athletes who may be remaining in the closet in fear of bruising their careers.

“Our message to the world and to athletes isn’t we want you to come out, it’s when you’re ready we will be here and we’ll support you.”

Sir Ian McKellen was amongst the crowd and the one and only retail guru Mary Portas; just to name a few famous faces.

Though this was a night to celebrate the great success Stonewall has done for the LGBT+ community, it was also a night for them to raise funds for the year ahead. It was a thrilling battle of bidding during the live auction of which I completely failed to win: the three-night stay in a luxury penthouse in the Mediterranean island Valetta or the three glorious year’s supply of Ben and Jerry’s ice-cream.  They raised £410,000 that evening which is amazing.

Ruth Hunt, Chief Executive of Stonewall, concluded the speeches; ‘It’s vital that we continue our work so that all lesbian, gay, bi and trans people in every country, community hospital and school, are free to be themselves and are accepted without exception.’

It was a truly inspiring evening that never fails to disappoint.  Roll on 2017….

Stonewall Equality Dinner2

Inclusive Capitalism with Bill Clinton


Our CEO and Founder, Suki Sandhu, was very fortunate to be invited to an event organized by the Coalition for Inclusive Capitalism in association with The Economist. It was held in the historical Guildhall with a welcome address from Boris Johnson, Lord Mayor of the City of London.

Bill Clinton was the keynote speaker and he didn’t disappoint with his inspired speech calling for businesses to be more inclusive, long term in their planning & strategy and to think more about community and society economics. Lady Rothschild was the other keynote speaker and she was also very clear that change is required if capitalism is to regain trust.

We agree. Truly embracing diversity and. moreover, inclusion is such a mandatory cultural shift in big business and it’s great to see such predominant global authorities taking this issue as seriously as we do.

McKinsey taught us companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 35 percent more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry averages. Now, if that isn’t a strong enough incentive for change, we don’t know what is.

J’adore Paris


Last week, Audeliss went away to Paris for two nights to spend time together away from the office to relax, regroup and develop stronger relationships as a team.

Our CEO and Founder, Suki Sandhu, surprised the whole team with the destination the day before, then off we all went on the Eurostar on a Thursday afternoon arriving in Paris to beautifully sunny weather. We had dinner in the Montmartre area before wondering round the sights to see the Sacré-Coeur. The following night, we went to the gorgeous George’s, a restaurant at the top of the Pompidou centre, and then to some of the local bars until the small hours. Everyone had a great time and once all the sore heads recovered the following morning the bonding continued and relationships were strengthened further.

‘Be human’ is one of our core values at Audeliss, and this mini-break reminded us that there is always a person behind their office responsibilities and that a company is only as strong as the team behind it.

Eggs Benetine…

This might seem like an unusual blog post but I have to share with you all what my favourite breakfast is; Eggs Benedict and Eggs Florentine combined with the hollandaise sauce on the side. Not only is it delicious but it has excellent nutritional value; the lean ham, steamed spinach, eggs and not too many carbohydrates. Plus, the sauce is on the side meaning you eat less of it rather than it being smothered (and in my opinion ruined and overwhelmed) by the taste of hollandaise. But the spinach has to be above the ham otherwise the muffin gets soggy (yes i am that fussy and precise when ordering it!). There is no name for this breakfast so answers on a postcard please. How about Eggs Benetine as an initial suggestion? On second thoughts no that makes it sound like a cough medicine!

Stonewall Equality Dinner 2013

This was the second year that Audeliss hosted a table at the Stonewall Equality Dinner and it was fabulous. We love stonewall and love supporting them. My Audeliss Angels didn’t disappoint in the fashion stakes and looked beautiful and I got to showcase my new Louboutins although two of the studs were missing the following morning (too much dancing at the after party where Boy George was DJ’g!!). Ben Summerskill delivered a very inspiring speech and Stella Duffy was an exceptional hostess. The live auction was thrilling and I managed to win the bid to have afternoon tea with tony Blair. Yes you read that right, TONY BLAIR!! I can hardly contain my excitement and apparently it might be in his home. I wonder if Cherie will be there too?!? One of my esteemed guests on my table also won one of the auction prizes for two VIP tickets to the MTV Music Awards in Amsterdam in November and she’s taking me with her. And I almost forgot but I won two tickets to London Fashion Week in the raffle. So all in all, it was a very successful evening. Here’s to 2014!

 

 

Stonewall Awards 2012…

It was that time of year again where Stonewall hosted their awards in the V&A museum in Kensington. That means worthwhile individuals are recognised and the Bigot of the Year is announced. There was much controversy this year about the latter award. Should they have it or not? I personally feel they should. The ‘Bigots’ nominated are particularly nasty characters who have said some appalling comments about the LGBT community. By acknowledging them, we’re sending a message to the world that it is not right and should be stopped.

I’ll now step off my soapbox and write about the more fun parts of the evening…Gok Wan did a brilliant job hosting the awards again. His flirtatious behaviour with Ben Summerskill (CEO of Stonewall) was hilarious. There were a smattering of celebrities (some of them pictured below) in attendance. Rylan Clark from X-Factor was one of them who was lovely but was wearing a touch too much make-up!! We thoroughly enjoyed the champagne but missed the fun photo corner they usually have where you receive a memento of the evening taking silly photos with some props. Hopefully, they’ll bring it back in 2013.

 

 

GREAT Britain…

I’ve been feeling such an immense sense of pride since watching the Opening Ceremony last Friday. We put on such a fantastic show and it made me feel extremely proud to be British. The scene with the Olympic torch being passed over to the younger generation and then them lighting the cauldron was just inspiring and brought a tear to my eye.

Watching the teams enter the arena was also brilliant although I couldn’t help judging the fashion choices. I thought the Swedes looked the best with their stripey scarfs. The chap from Fiji was probably a little too oiled up for my liking but each to their own!  As for me, I had my own Nike trainers designed in the colours of the British flag which I cannot stop wearing (see the photos below).

On Sunday, Ellie and I went to see Team GB take on the Russians at Basketball. The atmosphere in the stadium was electric. It’s a shame that we didn’t win but who knew basketball could be so thrilling?!? I love it when they play music in between play and create a party atmosphere that’s more like a concert.  It was so disappointing to see Tom Daley NOT win a medal in the 10m synchronised diving final.  The crowd was behind him and his teammate but it wasn’t meant to be.

Perhaps 2016 in Rio although I doubt I’ll be there to see it!

I was most impressed by the Olympic Park itself. It looks so pretty (even Anish Kapoor’s Orbit sculpture) and the staff are super friendly giving a hearty welcome and genuine goodbyes. They’ve clearly been trained well and should be given credit for making our international guests feel welcome. I’ve also been surprised at how easy it’s been getting around London but I won’t say much else about this in case I jinx it.

London deserves a diamond medal for the way we’ve hosted the Olympics so far so let’s hope it continues for the rest of the games.  I’ve been lucky enough to get tickets for the closing ceremony and the 4x400m final and I cannot wait.  Let’s hope Team GB wins a gold medal soon. I have my fingers and my toes crossed!!

 

Shhhhh… Don’t tell anyone….


I recently went to one of London’s best kept secrets, a place to have a drink where you have to go through a SMEG fridge door to access an underground cocktail bar. YES REALLY.  The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town is a hidden gem with exposed brickwork, delicious cocktails and impeccable service.  If you want to impress a friend, colleague or partner then definitely head here. Head to The Breakfast Club on Artillery Lane, just off Bishopsgate, and that’s where you’ll see the ordinary looking fridge door.  It only holds about 30 customers and doesn’t take bookings so get there early if going in the evening.  My favourite cocktail was Ian Kane’s Tao Smash made with gin, grand marnier, lime, mint and kiwi close followed by the Mango Bellini. I can’t resist comfort food so the cheese chilly fries went down a treat too.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

I survived Glastonbury Festival 2011!

 

This may not seem like an achievement to many of you but for me it really was. I’m not really a camper, I’m not a huge fan of indie music and I’m definitely more of a city boy. So ‘why did I go?’ I hear you ask. Well because there was a really good group of friends going and I wanted to do something I usually would never do. I arrived when it was incredibly muddy and having to drag my shopping trolley of alcohol through this mud was a challenge in itself. I very nearly turned back to go home (plus I endured a 5 hour coach journey to get there – yes a coach!). My lovely friends had built my tent for me already. I couldn’t believe it was made for 4 people. You could hardly fit in my air mattress.

I saw the likes of Ke$ha, Jessie J, Two Door Cinema Club, The Wombats, Coldplay, Pendulum, Plan B and finally Beyonce who rocked the main stage on the last night. I genuinely had an amazing time and the value for money in terms of the number of artists I got to see for my money was pretty damn good. I’m definitely going back in 2013 but doing the luxury camping i.e. glamping! I’d happily not look at another tent for the rest of my life.

 

Wonderful Wimbledon

 

For the first time in my life, I was lucky enough to experience the Wimbledon tennis tournament. And in Centre Court too! The weather wasn’t brilliant but that didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits. My friend and I drank generous amounts of Pimms and lemonade out of what I can only describe as Starbucks Frappucino style plastic glasses. We took lots of photos looking like tourists and got to see Nadal beat someone whose name I cannot remember, Schiavone (who has an unsettling grunt when she hits the ball) beat Dokic and Murray win his first match. It was such a great day and I wanted to share it with you all and to thank my friend Chris for inviting me.

Thanks again Chris!

 

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