128The Countryside Alliance’s London Wine Auction Dinner last night (8 October) at the Victoria and Albert Museum was another record-breaking event, raising around £185,000 for the Alliance.

Three hundred guests tucked into a sumptuous meal, sponsored by Roxtons Field Sports, that included seared scallops, fillet of venison and a Fortnum & Mason cheese selection accompanied by superb wines. 

Bidding was brisk, with the dozen lots in the live auction raising in the region of £85,000 alone. Items in the silent auction, which went on throughout the night, included a “Boris” Brompton Bike, a bespoke two-week tour of India and duck hunting in Argentina, as well as the wines for which the auction is famed (for a full list of lots, please contact the Countryside Alliance press office, number below).

Three tables led the bidding all night, with that headed by Charlie Foreman of the banking company Lazard managing to place 57 bids in the first half an hour.

Celebrity guests included actor and TV presenter Alexander Armstrong, television presenter and gastronome Loyd Grossman and British dress designer Amanda Wakeley. The reluctant to leave guests exited the V&A at 11 to continue the party at Robin Birley’s exclusive club, 5 Hertford Street.

However entrepreneur Nick Bannister and his table nearly spent a night at the museum when they got lost among the displays. All was well, though, as they landed an impromptu tour by staff once they were tracked down and guided out.

Organiser Milly Browne said: “The Wine Auction is the Alliance’s flagship event and it gets bigger, better and more fun each time. The V&A was an amazing venue and we would very much like to come back next year, when the chairman will be Johannes Huth of KKR (Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co Partners).

“Our thanks also go to this year’s chairman Simon Hall, to all the individuals and companies who donated lots and to our wonderful and generous guests.”

For more information, contact Countryside Alliance head of media Charlotte Cooper on 0207 8409220 and 07500 834163 or email [email protected]