Aime Bone – Fantasia 2020 Flower Masterclass And Gala Dinner

Article by: Aime Bone Flowers

Our first ever 3 day floral masterclass “Fantasia” at the world-renowned Four Seasons Hotel Park Lane was an experience like no other - I am beyond proud of what my amazingly talented team and I produced in 3 days of floral epicness x I have always wanted to run a masterclass for aspiring florists and was fortunate enough to be supported by the best talent in the industry to bring my vision to life. Florists from across the globe joined us to create the ultimate immersive floral experience - The Four Seasons at The Four Seasons “Fantasia”.

The masterclass came about over an impromptu lunch meeting with the director of events from The Four Seasons Sasha Taylor who offered the hotels services when I explained I wanted to create a class for florists to learn techniques, and skills of large scale floral installations that Team Bone are famous for - I honestly couldn’t believe it - that such a huge brand such as The Four Seasons were willing to support my dream - but they were and the whole hotel team from start to finish were a pleasure to work with - nothing was too much trouble, the level of detail and service was exceptional throughout the 10 month preparations for the event. Sasha, as I said in my speech we have become true friends through Fantasia and our friendship, will last a lifetime x

Once the hotel was confirmed and the date secured I was then on the lookout for the very best in the industry to collaborate with - over a glass of bubbles Bruce Russell the acclaimed international wedding and party planner agreed to plan and coordinate Fantasia. I love Bruce's can-do attitude, his sense of calm, and hisknowledge of all things parties. I also really enjoy working with Bruce and found his attention to detail infectious - that's an amazing quality when you are stepping into the unknown!
The list of collaborators goes on and on - to bring the design to life I needed the best team in London and I was so lucky to have the best in the business by my side - trusting in me and my vision both mentally and financially.
Guests were welcomed into Winter - a mirrored walkway led the way past a huge winter tree - surrounded by hundreds of white hydrangeas. Jack Frost greeted our guests at a life-size floral igloo, where the amazeballs Bubblegum Balloons created a white balloon backdrop behind suspended wintery floral chandeliers and giant snowballs of flowers.
Guests were then transported into an enchanted autumn scene - giant floral mushrooms, hanging garlands of rich textured foliage, and a captivating fairy house surrounded by gardens of deep coloured autumnal blooms, masses of candlelight and enchanting tree stilt walkers set the tone of this beautiful concept.
The next room for guests to enjoy was Club Tropicana - complete with our very own Fantasia flamingo bar for the hour long drinks reception! Archways of exotic flowers and foliage encapsulated the guests when they entered the beautifully designed space. This room was stunning - pink planters filled with palm trees and pink exotic flowers looked incredible. The escort card table holding flamingo shaped escort cards from our friends at The Wren Press went down a storm and fit the theme exceptionally.
Being called to dinner walking through our quintessentially English summer complete with fairies and amazing rose clad cake from Hall of Cakes - was nothing short of dreamy. The wisteria and cherry blossom ceiling installation was heavenly, the gardens of English blooms smelt and looked divine.
Dining in spring - the grand finale - when I think of spring I always think of daffodils - so it was an obvious choice for me that spring had to be yellow. The absolute pinnacle of my career was crafted with so much love within the ballroom at The Four Seasons - super wide banquet tables holding spring gardens of yellow blooms, and hundreds of candles in various holders to compliment the beauty of the design. Overhead a canopy of the finest Italian mimosa complete with giant floral butterflies. Bespoke windows filled with the same delicate blooms looked incredible as a back drop to a soft seating area. The mirrored bar complete with floral backdrop stood proud at the end of the ballroom - there was so much to take in - it was a true feast for the eyes x
Not only did I want to run a successful floral masterclass I wanted to throw an amazing party for my industry colleagues to enjoy and my oh my did we achieve that! - What a party it was with the fabulous Elan Artists to entertain us into the early hours - it really was the best night ever! It was surreal - we get to transform spaces with our flowers all the time - and we never ever really get to see peoples reactions or get to feel the love in the room at the weddings or parties we dress - Fantasia you did not disappoint- the look of joy on our guests faces, the positive comments and feeling I wish I could bottle - each time I watch the film I relive the moments again and again!
I can not begin to thank everyone that was involved in Fantasia - Tom and Al from Lightning Events that provided the incredible production for Fantasia - you guys are the best - thank you so much for everything - I always say we can create anything with flowers but its you guys that make them look amazing with your incredible lighting x
Sam from Stock Florist - you were my rock - thank you my darling for always telling me “we got this” always being positive and generally having my back x you are one in a million and I love ya x
Chris - CP - The Wren Press - The invites set the tone of what the event was going to be - they were completely incredible - the whole design process was a joy x The wonderfully quirky escort cards that looked incredible and a total fit to the tropical room.
And finally the menus which made me burst into tears as soon as I saw them - in a good way people!!! - I literally felt like I stepped into the drawing on the back of the menu - thank you Chris for all your hard work you are the very best and as I said in my speech a master of your craft x
Nicola - Hall of Cakes - thank you for raising the bar with your edible masterpiece - your love and craft shone through in what you created - the cake was an absolute beauty x
Neil - Neil Hughes Productions - my god you nailed it! - Considering we have never worked together before, we only had a few telephone conversations, and I sent you the initial mood board you grasped the design and run with it! Thank you Neil for entrusting in me and in the concept of Fantasia - I know we will be working together lots and lots over the coming years!
Anastacia - Wedhead - the chairs looked incredible for spring dining - they fitted into the design perfectly - and your velvet soft furnishings complemented our floral wall perfectly - thank you so much for going above and beyond as always x
Maria Antonia - Duchess & Butler - my go to girl and lovely friend x thank you for your support. The table looked beautiful with your stunning glassware, charger plates and cutlery - as always your support is appreciated and we love working with you x
Sophia - Just 4 Linen - As you know I am a huge fan of your fabulous product and will continue to be an advocate for your brand. Thank you for your support and it was so fabulous to finally meet you at the gala dinner 🙂
Natalie - Byredo - the scent throughout the event was incredible - thank you for your support - I look forward to working with you and the team in the coming months and creating an amazing event with Bruce at your Soho store.
Roger and Sophie - Wow Grass - what a product you guys have - I am so grateful that you embraced the design and showcased your fab grass at Fantasia x thank you for everything and I look forward to working with you both in the very near future.
Laura - Bubblegum Balloons - my go to balloon girl 🙂 I love working with you - theres no such word as no - you are always a joy to work with and your team are incredible. Looking forward to working with you lots more very soon x
Josh and The Elan Artist's team - Wow! - What a performance - absolutely mind blowing - incredible from start to finish. The artists, the choreography, every element was off the chart and I know that we will be working together lots and lots over the coming years as I can't recommend you guys enough - thank you so much x
Teri - Teri & Lori - Thank you so much lovely Teri for capturing all the amazing behind the scenes imagery that have bought so much joy - I can relive the 3 days through your photos x I look forward to working with you very soon when you capture more of our beautiful weddings and events 🙂
Aurelius- Varna Studios - the man behind the lens! WOW!!! Incredible - simply amazing Aurelius - I can not recommend you and your services highly enough x each time I watch the films which is a lot - I cry - I am transported to another world which I thank you for from the bottom of my heart - the films are beautiful and I can not wait to create more beauty for you to capture x
San - Sanshine Photo - the woman behind the camera 🙂 As always you captured the vision of Fantasia perfectly the crispness of winter, the depth of autumn, the party vibe of club Tropicana, the essence of English summer and the love of spring x thank you my darling San with love as always x
Lastly but by no means least - my wonderful students from as far away as South Africa and the French Rivera, Scotland, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, and everywhere in-between - Fantasia would never have happened if it wasn’t for you. Your trust, your passion for flowers and for the Amie Bone brand is priceless and I am beyond proud to have worked side by side of you guys to bring my dream to life. I have made friends in the people that invested into learning from me and team bone - and I look forward to seeing you all again very soon
x Big Love A x

Article by: Aime Bone Flowers

Stock Florist: We were honored to be part of such an incredible event, the Stock Florist team were amazed at how incredible the final event looked. Thank you from all at Stock Florist x

Venue: Four Seasons Hotel London At Park Lane
Planner: Bruce Russell
Videography: Varna Studios
Photography: Sanshine Photography
Production: Lightning Events
Body Painters/Entertainers: Neil Hughes
Flower Supplier: Van Der Plas
Musicians: Elan Artists
Cake: Hall Of Cakes
Stationery: The Wren Press
Balloons: Bubblegum Balloons
Support Florist: Stock Florist
Tableware: Duchess & Butler
Secateurs: Felco
Grass: Wow Grass
Linen: Just 4 Linen
Neon Sign: Lovestruck Creative
Chairs: Wdhead London
Scent: Byredo
Taxidermy: A Modern Grand Tour
Behind The Scenes Collages & Class Group Photo: Terri & Lori

Meet Sam Raindle – Founder of Stock Florist

We know that Stock Florist wouldn’t be where it is today without the people that work with us. We’ve got such a wonderful and dedicated team who all bring such a range of talents to the table.

We know how great they are, but now we’d love to share (just a little bit) of them with you. Our new blog series will give you a glimpse behind the scenes at what makes our shop what is it.

Without further ado (or, ‘I do’ as might be more appropriate) let’s meet our co-founder, the fabulous Sam Raindle.

Hi Sam. Let’s jump straight into it; Have you always wanted to own a florist?
Oh absolutely, yes. My uncle worked at the Covent Garden Flower Market, so I’ve always been surrounded by flowers.

I love that you can create an arrangement for anything; there are no limits. That’s always something that inspired me as a little girl.

And why this particular shop? What was it that drew you to it?
It was a bit serendipitous really — we were walking through the village, which is now also our home, and we stumbled upon the shop. It was a hairdresser at the time. My husband mentioned how beautiful it would look like a flower shop and it almost took me back to being a little girl again.

He was right; the location is perfect. If you could draw a perfect location for a flower shop; Stock would be what you sketched out. The narrow streets, the old houses full of character, the locals who always stop to say good morning. I really couldn’t have pictured it better in my mind.

Stock is the wedding capital of Essex. There are four very special and very different wedding venues close by. People travel far and wide to come here, though, because there’s something so romantic about Stock.

Ian, my husband, sketched out the shop and it’s a pretty accurate sketch of what it looks like today! We had a few minor disagreements about the colour of the shop (he wanted black, ahem…) but we eventually settled (I persuaded him) on grey!

You’ve been open for 5 years next year & have had great success in the industry. How have you seen the industry change through those years? It has gone so quickly and it changes year on year. We’ve always stayed true to our core values. We’ve never used faux flowers, for example. That’s just one of the trends that didn’t suit our style. We’ve seen colours change, the type of arrangements change and the vase ware change.

At the moment, as an example, we’re investing in some beautiful ironwork. We’re having the pieces made bespoke for the shop and for our clients. They’re subtle, well-designed and really show off our flowers. I’m so excited to share them with everybody! 

What do you think the future will look like? Both for us at Stock Florist & the industry as a whole?
Brexit will make it really interesting for us. Even at the moment, swings in currency make a real difference to us. We import all of our flowers from Holland. If we’re in the wedding capital of Essex then Holland is the flower capital of the world!

We go there 2-3 times a year to meet retailers and source the best products for our brides and grooms and clients.

Some of our readers might not know that you got married recently. For somebody who works with flowers every day, how did you go about picking what you wanted?
Thank you! It was such a special day. The song ‘I’ll bring you flowers in the pouring rain’ was sung as I walked down the aisle because it was pouring down outside. There’s nothing like a bit of good, old English weather! When Ian and I started dating, he bought me the most stunning bouquets of bright flowers, so I knew I wanted all the colours!

The venue — like our shop — looks stunning when there’s colour added to it. We wanted real showstoppers and our fabulous team did us so proud!

Based on your experience, what advice would you give to brides and grooms who are struggling to decide what they’d like?
Be yourself! It might seem like an obvious piece of advice but it’s so important. Most brides have a good idea of what we want. Most of us have been dreaming about this day for their entire lives.

We are here to bring the best out of you. Tell us your style and what you like and don’t like and we can make suggestions based on our years and years of experience. We have a beautiful consultation room and we love having a cup of tea or coffee with our brides and grooms and making lots of suggestions.

Because we’re a working flower shop, we can show our brides and grooms flowers in real time. If they aren’t sure whether a flower would suit their style, we can bring it out and take a look at it mixed in with other flowers. I really, really love that we can do that with them. It makes the whole experience extra special.

How long before a wedding is the optimal time to book a florist?
Honestly, it can be any time from two years to two weeks! Typically, it’s 3-6 months before the wedding. We usually come after the venue has been booked and the wedding dress has been selected - as a general rule.

We think picking your flowers should be like that wedding dress moment. We usually have lots of the family come by to give their thoughts and we make it into a really lovely, collaborative day. We like you to feel that you know us and you can give us a call if you’ve had a new idea or a change of plan. We’re here to help and that’s what we pride ourselves on.

And, what’s your plan for the future of Stock Florist?
Winning British Wedding Florist 2018 at the British Wedding Awards was a huge surprise for us and something we truly didn’t expect. So, in that respect we’ve stopped trying to guess what’s round the corner because we could never, ever have predicted this. We will never get complacent and we do have some very exciting plans in the pipeline. I’d keep an eye on our Instagram because all will be revealed throughout the year! Dum, dum, dum….

OK and here’s the final question. For people visiting Stock for the first time, is there anywhere you’d recommend them visiting (aside from Stock Florist, of course)?
Stock is stunning. If you’re thinking of paying the village a visit, I’d highly recommend it. We’re in the heart of Essex and just ten minutes from Chelmsford city. We have Greenwoods - a beautiful luxury Hotel which was also our wedding venue. There’s Crondon Park, an incredible barn wedding venue.  

Oh and it wouldn’t be a village in Essex without some gorgeous country pubs. We’ve got The Hoop, The Bear, The Harvard Inn, The Baker’s Arms and a lovely bistro called Dandelion & Burdock. And let’s not forget our wonderful neighbours Mr Edward Taylor Hair. Everybody needs good neighbours, especially ones who can do a brilliant blow dry!

*Making notes* Amazing. Thanks Sam!

Make sure you keep and eye out on the blog for more of The Stock Spotlight blog series! If you liked hearing from Sam, give us a follow on Instagram, Twitter & Facebook and you can hear from our wonderful co-founder a lot more!


Mad Hatters win Stock Flower Festival!! June 2017

Every year in the village we love the Stock Flower Festival is a chance for us to let down our hair and party! Teams from across the village compete in the annual fancy dress dinner and this year was no excuse as Stock Florist & Edward Taylor Hair combined forces to enter as ‘The Mad Hatters’ !!

Only three months before the ‘theme’ was announced - ‘Disney’ - so we all had to plan a costume, theme to arrive on the village glebe and how to wow (or bribe) the judges!!!

From cars dressed as Pirates of the Caribbean Ships to fancy dress Magic Kingdoms which came alive with Disney Characters it was a memorable evening. Chimney sweeps from Mary Poppins, Mickey Mouse with ice bucket shorts (Disney on Ice!) & Sophisticated Cats it really is a wonderful evening for all.

With make up by @gvm_makeup and @ellemortimermua AND hair by @edwardtaylorhair we were going to win!!!

And you guessed it! winner of Best Fancy Dress went to ‘The Mad Hatters’!!! - we only bloody won!!!

An amazing achievement for all of us and so much fun…see you next year!!