New York, New York (PRWEB) April 6, 2007
HENNESSY COGNAC hosted a dinner with Baroness Veronique Bich last night to honor Sir Sean Connery and to benefit the Returning Veterans programs of Friends of Scotland charity. Earlier in the evening, Sir Sean Connery cut the ribbon in a ceremony officially opening "Alba House", whose purpose is to house and showcase Scottish culture, art, fashion, and more. Afterwards, invited guests left Alba House to convene at the Georgian Suite for Hennessy Cognac's private, 30 guest seated dinner to honor Sir Sean and Lady Connery, hosted by Baroness Veronique Bich and her family. The dinner celebrated the "Auld Alliance" between France and Scotland - and the modern alliance too, as Hennessy's Laurent Boidevezi noted the French House of Hennessy's support of this very Scottish evening to benefit Friends of Scotland's returning Veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan. Sir Sean also reminded guests with a chuckle, that, "there is a strong bond between America and Scotland - pun unintended!" Funds were raised not only by Hennessy's generous donation, but also by a live auction of rare items from 3 black bearskins (3rd one not caught yet!) to signed bottles (of the Baron Bich's own wine) to a Haggis Dirk (won by Stone Phillips) to a traditional Officer's Baton, rounded by a Cairngorm Stone and set in a 1912 Sterling Silver Tiffany setting (won by Merrill Lynch's COO, John Sievwright).
The private dining suite was decorated with Tartan fabrics from various clans draping the sconces, the piano, and one contiguous banquet table. The evening started off with a Ruinart champagne and Hennessy Pillow Talk cocktail reception and lots of Hennessy X.O on a Rock. As they were seated, guests were treated to a private concert by world renowned Scottish violinist, Nicola Benedetti who is currently on tour in the United States. Dateline's Stone Phillips was entranced by the soulful performance of a classical French ballad followed by a sassy tune from Gershwin's Porgy and Bess. Meanwhile, there was a real Scottish surprise - as the young Scotsman Andrew Weir "Addressed the Haggis" in a suitably dramatic fashion. Everyone clearly was a Scotophile - not one person asked what the haggis was and everyone ate it heartily, even the French, or in Susan Shin's case, the Korean! Matthew Modine saluted Dr. Geoffrey Scott Carroll, Executive Director of Friends of Scotland, for putting him "back in touch with [his] Scottish roots".
Animated by Sir Sean's exuberant laughter, energy and charming conversation, excited guests spontaneously toasted and roasted each other. Of course there were tributes too - to the returning war veterans to Scotland and to Sir Sean, hailed most eloquently by Matthew Modine and an equally moving return tribute from Sir Sean to Mr. Modine. Sir Sean enthralled the guests with insights into his favorite films and directors and behind the scene anecdotes from his own films including the James Bond movies. The conversation ranged from the rich taste of Hennessy X.O on a Rock to currency rates (bids on the live auction came in US dollars, Canadian dollars, British pounds, Scottish pounds and French Euros) to kilts to Matthew Modine's plea of clemency toward black bear hunting…. and if that weren't enough, the Baroness Bich gifted tartan and jeweled bracelets to the guests. Not to be outdone, Hennessy Cognac presented each guest not only with a gift bag containing a crystal snifter and mini X.O bottles, but with a precious bottle of rare PARADIS cognac, aged up to130 years. Guests, such as George Reid (the Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament), Henry McLeish (former first Minister of Scotland), Kipton Cronkite, Ali Irani, Matthew Modine, Ruby Modine, James Baron, Stone Phillips, Nicola Benedetti, BAFTA/LA's Peter Morris and more, left very happy, wanting to come back tomorrow for another round - the sequel!
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susan @ shinadvisors.com
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