Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

Britweek Returns to the OC

Pop up lounges featured furniture sporting the British flag motif

BritWeek hosts a series of events every spring in Greater Los Angeles, Orange County, Orlando, San Francisco to promote British creativity, innovation and excellence across many categories including film & television, music, fashion, sport, philanthropy, business. The event series kicked off its 2016 Los Angeles season with a 10th Anniversary celebration on Sunday, May 1 at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel.

Red carpet celebrities included co-founders Bob Peirce and Sharon Harroun Peirce, Celia Imrie (Marigold Hotel, Absolutely Fabulous), Huw Collins (Pretty Little Liars), Kathryn Prescott (Finding Carter, Skins), Nigel Lythgoe, Darren McGrady (former Royal Chef to HRH Princess Diana), Harry Hamlin, British music industry legend Peter Asher, Fred Willard, Karina Smirnoff, Lotte Verbeek (Agent Carter, Outlander, The Last Witch Hunter), as well as a Mike Myers look-alike, who had dubbed himeself `The Fake Austin Powers'.

Pop up lounges in the hotel courtyard featured furniture sporting the British flag motif. A VIP reception and gala featured scotch tasting and specialty cocktails made with British products. Food included those staples of British cuisine - fish and chips, bangers, and shepard pie with meat and vegetables.

Former royal chef Darren McGrady was on hand, serving the Royal Family's favorite desserts, which included his famous super rich Butter Toffee Bread Pudding, a favorite of HRH Princess Diana, as well as his Chocolate Biscuit Cake which he prepared for Princes Harry and William and chocolate birthday cake prepared for HRM Queen Elizabeth. Rumor has it that Ophrah Winfrey inquired how the Princess managed to stay as slim as she did eating such decadent fare. Apparently, the chef had created a secret low fat versions of the recipe just for her.

Scottish purveyor Walkers' Shortbread set up a photobooth where guests with tartan props could have their photographs taken in front of a street scene backdrop doing an stylishly exaggerated step forward walk for which they received a brief instruction. A booth featuring popular British brands of snacks - chips, cookies, toffee, chocolate, pudding and beer let homesick Brits missing their favorite comfort foods pick up free samples.

A stage also draped with a British flag as backdrop featured all-star performances from Alexander Jean comprised of Dancing with the Stars' Mark Ballas and his fiancé BC jean, season 7 contestant of American Idol Carly Smithson, and So You Think You Can Dance winner Fik-Shun introduced by Nigel Lythgoe.

For more information and a list of this year's upcoming events, please visit


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