Event report

New Year's Cocktail at Home House


The French Chamber of Great Britain held its first 2022 members event at Home House in London, celebrating the new year with members old and new

It is in the warm and muted atmosphere of Marylebone’s Home House at 20 Portman Square in London that the French Chamber of Great Britain held its first members event of the year.

Addressing some hundred guests, the Chamber’s senior vice president Peter Alfandary expressed his joy to be back among such a large crowd.

Some two years ago, the French Chamber had gathered in the exact same place, at the exact same time, for the exact same reason. Only little did everyone know at the time what destiny was about to befall them.

“Some of you were probably in the same position, listening to me, in these rooms, two years ago to this day,” said the vice president. “We did not know how our lives would change just a month later, and we certainly did not envision all that has happened and evolved in the past two years.”

Mr Alfandary proceeded to thank Home House, which has been welcoming the Chamber for many years, as well as Vranken Pommery – a long-standing partner of the Chamber that provided champagne on the night.

But most of all, it was the Chamber’s members who deserved the biggest thanks.

“It's been a hell of a two years for all of us, and without your loyalty, without you bearing with us, this chamber would have not survived – it’s as simple as that,” said Peter Alfandary. “The big thanks tonight is to each and every one of you, and to your companies. We are grateful to you for sticking with us at times when things got really tough, and we were very worried.”

The Chamber’s team and board, too, had done an exceptional job at keeping things together throughout the pandemic.

“Through extremely difficult times, the team stuck together, and they survived and thrived,” said Peter Alfandary, remembering that we had all had dark days during this period. “Some days, I just didn't want to get out of bed – I wanted to hide under the duvet,” he admitted. “But it looks as though, with any luck, we're through that.”

With most Covid-19 restrictions due to end in England on February 24, the Chamber’s programme of events should also be back in full swing this year. The time has now come for “the good things”, a spokesperson for the Chamber said, and the team would soon be in touch with members to get ideas and feedback on which events they would like to see happen.

Striking a positive note to end his address, Peter Alfandary used a famous quoted from Martin Luther King, Jr.: “We must accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope.”

The night’s wonderful experience would hopefully mark the beginning of a return to some kind of normality, and would be the first of many more equally joyful evenings.

“Let’s just enjoy – enjoy,” he concluded.


An article by Alice Tchernookova from FrancaisaLondres.com


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