When PR agency Little Red Rooster invited Hifi Pig’s roving reporter Simon Wilce to the Ivy with the promise of champagne, canapés and a sneaky peak at a few bits of hifi we jumped at the opportunity.
A muggy, sultry July day in Central London and we’re at the first Christmas event of the year at the exclusive Ivy restaurant. The premise was Christmas gifts with cool style – and not just of the Hifi variety. There were designer radiators by Bisque, iPad covers by Proporta, streamers by Marantz plus lots more.
As well as the tech there was also a superb gallery of never before seen photographs of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones which coincided nicely with the Stones’ triumphant Glastonbury and Hyde Park performances.
There were a few highlights for Hifi Pig readers too that included a new colour range from Peachtree for their valve buffered integrated amplifier range – which I’m sure will appeal to the country kitchen Audiophile in all of us (Decco 65 review). Also of note was a new Streamer from Marantz in the shape of their MCR-510 and a sister product that sported a CD player too.
The main highlight of the day wasn’t the hifi or tech gear as it happens, but the stunning display of never before seen pictures by little known photographer Trevor Bray. Trevor captured The Beatles and The Stones in their formative years on tour in Huddersfield. The pictures, all silver nitrate framed prints, are real limited edition collectors’ items that are on sale from Graham Hunter’s Gallery. There was a supreme juxtaposed image of Mick Jagger above the Ruark 7 “radiogram”. The Ruark 7 is due for launch in November now, rather than the Autumn – A radiogram for the modern age is over-seen by the original radiogram star.
Being the Ivy there were no demos to be heard, but my favourite story of the afternoon was from the founder of Breffo, English designers of the Spiderpodium which is a neat little smartphone holder. The designer Patrick Mathews was stuck on a flight from San Francisco to London with a broken in-flight entertainment system watching his fellow passengers craning their wrists to watch films on their smartphones. At this point he conceived the Spiderpodium, an ingenious smartphone holder that works everywhere from tents to car dashboards when using the satnav. This reporter is using the Breffo as a flat mount for improved chassis stability for my current CD player, and it does seem to help a little.