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MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA A crowd decked in festive hats and British-inspired fashions attended the Great British Garden Party May 16 at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, Florida. Hosted by the British Consulate-General in Miami, the event was intended to promote tourism and jobs in the United Kingdom and brought brands including Virgin Atlantic, BBC Worldwide, and Mini Cooper to show off their wares.
The hotel was chosen for its “hybrid of heritage and elegance,” said Kevin McGurgan, Her Majesty's Consul-General in Miami. The Biltmore’s open landscape welcomed guests with a display of the latest vehicle models by Mini Cooper, Rolls-Royce, and Bentley, on loan from Braman Miami. Upon check-in, guests received an event boarding pass, courtesy of Virgin Atlantic, before posing for photos next to an in-flight Virgin Upper Class cabin. Photos were displayed inside an authentic British telephone booth.
Guests sipped champagne served by Virgin Atlantic-clad flight attendants, as well as specialty gin cocktails shaken by mixologists at a featured Bombay Sapphire bar. On the veranda, guests enjoyed British-Miami fusion bites and posed in an oversize four-person photo cutout depicting the Beatles’s Abbey Road album cover—modified to the Miami-centric “Lincoln Road” for the occasion—along with the event’s hashtag, #GreatGardenParty. Guests wore glasses with the event’s “Great” promotion printed on them, while napkins, signage, and banners also sported the party’s theme. British tunes from the 1960s rounded out the event.
“The Great Britain campaign showcases the very best of what Britain has to offer and welcomes the world to visit, study, invest in, and do business with the United Kingdom,” said Clare Risman, head of marketing for U.K. Trade & Investment U.S.A., the department of the English government that works alongside other agencies to promote the tourism and business-focused initiative overseas. Virgin Atlantic was chosen to participate in the Miami-based event following previous successful event sponsorships including the Great Tech Awards in New York and the Great British Film Reception at this year’s Academy Awards.
Guests were also treated to packaged, British-theme cupcakes topped with edible crowns and flags, courtesy of Cakes by Irma.