ABOVE: Johnny surrounded by flowers for an event in Florence

INTRO BY NICKY SUMMER: Over the course of my life and career, I’ve socialised and liaised with some of the most powerful and influential figures in global film, music, politics, public relations, media, hospitality, fashion, aviation, property, interiors and events… and they all have something in common – a generosity of spirit and a certain flamboyance that makes them charismatic and attractive, a strong identity, a force of nature. Look at someone like Barbara Broccoli, or Richard Branson, or Kelly Hoppen, or John Hunter, or Matthew Freud, or Donatella Versace – they are all ’one offs’ dedicated to producing the best experience possible for their clients. Attention to detail, creativity, style, confidence, individuality, inclusiveness, a sense of fun all contribute to their success – which leads me to the well-known ‘party architect’: Johnny Roxburgh. Johnny held a Royal Warrant for a decade, organised the 21st Birthday party of Prince William and is best known for his expertise in producing high-end events, parties, and weddings for some of the world’s most elite clients – members of royal families, celebrities, and business leaders; he has over 30 years of experience in event design and has worked on a wide range of projects, from intimate gatherings to large-scale events with thousands of guests. He’s the founder of his own event design company, Johnny Roxburgh Designs, and his work has been featured in numerous publications including Vogue, Tatler, and Harper’s Bazaar – he’s also appeared on television shows such as BBC’s ’Party War’ and ‘The Perfect Wedding’ on Sky Living. Aside from his work in event design, Johnny is also a philanthropist and supports various charitable organizations, including the Prince’s Trust, Children in Crisis, and the NSPCC. It turns out we have a lot in common, from our mutual love of Shutters, Hotel Costes and Bloody Marys through to Venezia, Marrakech and my local patisserie in London, Birley’s Bakery! We had a quick chat directly after the coronation of King Charles III about past projects and what he has coming up for the summer ahead: Here’s Johnny!

NS: ”Johnny, you’ve produced amazing events for members of the royal family over the years; which have been the most successful and what most endears you to the institution?”

JR: ”I’ve done many parties for the Royal Family all of which have been a great success in their own way, some great memories! Their incredible sense of duty, it’s truly admirable…”

ABOVE: Johnny’s dedication to the Royal Family is clear from his Instagram posts over the Coronation period: @johnnyroxburgh

ABOVE: An event staged by Johnny Roxburgh Designs

Although I wasn’t involved in the Coronation of King Charles III, I dressed my own house in London from top to bottom in bunting (which my neighbours loved), lunched with my husband on coronation chicken washed down with a delicious Champagne then boarded the Eurostar to Paris for a party I’m planning for this summer…”

Johnny Roxburgh

ABOVE: An event staged by Johnny Roxburgh Designs

Each event has it’s own unprecedented challenges, but that’s all part of it and often the area I enjoy most…”

Johnny Roxburgh

ABOVE: A view of the Grand Canal, Venezia; Jasper Conran’s new boutique hotel in Marrakech

NS: “Which elements of event production are most crucial to you, how many projects do you undertake per season and which overseas locations do you consider to be the current hot-spots?”

JR: “We have a trusted little ‘black book’ of incredible global florists, wonderful production companies and spectacular entertainment companies; I’d say we stage around 10-15 events per season but it seems to be ever-growing, especially since we’re now over the covid lockdowns. Italy is always a hot spot and I understand why it’s so popular – Venice must be one of my most favourite destinations, alongside Marrakech… I’m still undecided about taking a holiday this year as my summer seems to be filling up pretty quickly!”

My favourite cocktail? I recently had the most delicious Bloody Mary martini… truly off the charts; if not, Aviation gin has a place in my heart...”

Johnny Roxburgh

ABOVE: An event staged by Johnny Roxburgh Designs

NS: ”I appreciate your travel calendar is chock-a-block and would love to know which luxury hotels immediately spring to mind when you’re heading for the city or the beach?”

JR: In the city that would be Hotel Costes in Paris, I love the way it looks and smells; and for a hotel by the ocean, I’d choose Shutters On The Beach, Santa Monica

ABOVE: Shutters On The Beach, Santa Monica designed by Michael S Smith; Hotel Costes, Paris

NS: ”I know from my own experience how mentally, emotionally and physically exhausting it is to organise an important event – what do you do to aid your recovery at the end of it all…?”

JR: ”That would be a massage at the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park…”

ABOVE: Inside the Birley Bakery on Chelsea Green; the pool area of Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park

As summer is approaching, I urge everyone to be outside as much as possible, perhaps pack a picnic and enjoy it with friends; if you’re based in London then ‘Birley Bakery’ just off Elystan Street in Chelsea has the most wonderful pastries which would brighten up anyone’s day! 

Johnny Roxburgh


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