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Off to meet the Queen

Lunch at the Ritz

Time to meet the Queen

Wow. What a day! As a Queen’s Award winner, we were invited up to London Town to meet the Queen at Buckingham Palace. For a whole load more pics from the day, click here

So we thought as this was such a special, unique, unlikely-to-ever-happen-again event, that we would make it a really special day out.

Oli Christie and Mark Allen with Tom Wharton from Barrington Ayre

Suit you sir

We were suited and booted in our new tailor-made suits by Barrington Ayre and our CEO Oli Christie and CTO Mark Allen needed to get up to the Big Smoke.

Who's gonna drive you home...tonight

And luckily enough, a very good friend of Neon Play was incredibly kind and generous to lend us his chauffeur-driven car for the day. So that was pretty cool and the wonderful John the driver picked us up and we headed down the M4 to London.

Oli Christie and Mark Allen with John the chauffeur

As we got to town, there was apocalyptic thunder storms, but luckily as we approached our London lunchtime destination. And we made a bit of a change from our salad at Somewhere Else and instead headed straight for the Ritz. As you do!

Oli Christie and Mark Allen at The Ritz

Ritz takes the biscuit

And the Ritz really is a different world. The opulence, craftmanship, decor, furniture, paintings, murals, etc are truly breathtaking and we walked slowly through the hotel just taking in this truly stunning environment.

Oli Christie and Mark Allen at The Ritz

Drinks anyone?

As we were running a bit early, we headed to the Rivoli Bar for a pre-lunch drink (£6 for a Coke anyone?!) and that was a good start.

Oli Christie and Mark Allen at The Ritz

Then we headed to the main restaurant for a gastro 3-course meal that certainly strained the buttons on our new tailored suits.

Oli Christie and Mark Allen at The Ritz

Have a look at the amazing menu.

Oli Christie and Mark Allen at The Ritz

Department of Bizzzzzzzzzzzzz-ness

After that, we had been invited to the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills for a drinks reception. Vince Cable was there (yippee) as were a lot of men in suits. To be honest, it was fairly dull, but we did get a couple of punter shots, including Oli pretending to speak, so it was just about worth it!

Oli Christie and Mark Allen at the Department of Business Innovation and Skills

Here's Oli pretending to make a speech.

Oli Christie at the Department of Business Innovation and Skills

Off to the Palace

Then we headed over to Buckingham Palace to see what was going on there. As the royal baby had only been born the day before, there were huge crowds of people queueing for over an hour to see the gold frame on the gold easel announcing the little chap's birth. There was quite a buzz.

Oli Christie and Mark Allen at Buckingham Palace

Nearly there...

And finally, after an amazing day, it was time to get back in our lovely air-conditioned car and head into Buckingham Palace. Following some fairly tight security, we went through the gates at the front of the Palace and drove slowly across the drive and into the inner sanctum of the Palace. 

Have a look at the video below to see what happens when you drive into the Palace.

In we go...

For Part 2 of the story and for pics of Mark and Oli meeting the Queen, click here.

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