Sociable Reading: Don Tillman’s Cocktail Party

InvitationThe Ivy Club, LondonThe Rosie Project by Australian Graeme SimsionThe Rosie Project

Event: ‘Don Tillman’s Cocktail Party’ at The Ivy.

Who: Michael Joseph, an imprint of the Penguin Publishing Group and FMcM (PR and Communications consultancy) and Author Graeme Simsion – of course.

What: Pre-publication launch of Graeme Simsion’s debut novel ‘The Rosie Project’

Where: The Ivy Club 9 West Street London WC2.

When: Monday 25th February, 6.30-9pm.


I had never been to The Ivy, and to be honest I never thought I would (be able to afford) so when the opportunity knocked to attend the pre-publication party for the newest literary phenomenon The Rosie Project who was I to disappoint?

The Book: This is the debut novel from Australian author Graeme Simsion. The protagonist is Don Tillman, he is a socially challenged genetics professor who’s decided the time has come to find a wife. He just doesn’t know who she is yet but he has designed a questionnaire to help him find the perfect woman.

Graeme, who was present at the party, kicked-off the evening with a witty speech about how meeting people like his main character had inspired his novel, and the journey undertaken by himself and his wife since then. He was funny and engaging and clearly thrilled at leaving his IT career behind him to embark on an exciting and hopefully successful literary one – he even signed my book, which is a massive tick from me!

Drinks – Where do I begin about the joy that was the cocktails?! We were presented with a nice menu which detailed the four main characters of the novel and the cocktail that summed up their character. Since it was Don’s party I had to kick-off with his cocktail which was a rather delicious take on a margarita – it packed quite a punch! The next one to be taste-tested was Gene, he was a a hearty dark rum combination with a sliver of orange peel – we liked Gene we had three of him. Unfortunately, the girls got a little left behind Rosie a classic Peach Bellini, seemed to run out quickly so I could only look at her and poor Claudia, the non-alcoholic, wasn’t even getting a look-see! All in all a rather tipsy school night.

Food – When this started discreetly emerging I was very excited. The first foray into the food was a moorish beef carpaccio in what looked like a parmesan basket (?), then came the lamb balls which were superb with a minty dip. The one that fell a bit short, and revealed my plus one’s juggling skills as to be lacking, was the gnocchi – it came on a plate with a spoon, it ended up on the floor… However, the trophy went to the salmon fishcake which was in short a triumph for the taste buds.

I had a very fun evening the food and drink were both fabulous, I had a little shmooze amongst members of the publishing world and got my (free) book signed by the author – in conclusion a rather top-notch Monday night.

Rating: 9 out of 10 – book review to follow!


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