Chris Edwardes & Amanda Blanch
Legendary bar guru Chris Edwardes started working as a cocktail bartender at the tender age of 17 in 1975 after lying about his age. He learned his trade working at Maxwells Bar in Covent Garden and refined his skills running various bars and restaurants around the country before returning to London in 1991 to open the Jazz Café in Camden. He then moved to the Groucho Club where he spent two and a half years as head bartender and cemented his reputation in the industry. He was head-hunted by Oliver Peyton to open the Atlantic Bar & Grill with Dick Bradsell, which he followed by another two and a half years running the bars at the Groucho Club, during which time he met his wife and inspiration Amanda Blanch. Chris went on to set-up and run the bar at Damien Hirst’s iconic Pharmacy for a year before starting the GE. Club at Conran’s Great Eastern Hotel.
Amanda meanwhile was finishing her interior design studies and immediately putting her skills to work. In the year 2000 they moved to Brighton to set up the much-respected celebrity haunt Blanch House, a boutique hotel with a fine restaurant and cocktail bar. It gave Amanda the perfect opportunity to hone her design skills and she was short listed for the best hotel room design in Europe by Sleeper Magazine and she went on to design several other bars and restaurants. The bar at Blanch House was nominated for Best Hotel Bar in the country 5 times and twice for best bar. It won Best Bar Team, Best customer service and Best Cocktail Offering, two of the staff were also finalists in the best bartender category. Chris also won the outstanding achievement award for Theme magazine in 2007 and then for Class Magazine in 2008 which he attributes to the inspiration of his wife. They were also both included in the 100 most influential people in the bar industry in Theme magazine for three consecutive years.
They moved to Ibiza in 2010 to set up and run what was the best cocktail bar on the island in renowned restaurant/lounge venue Aura. Then found their dream bar in the picturesque North of the island called Hidden, which has already received international accolades in the press and was short listed for the worlds 50 best bars. Chris and Amanda also enjoy flying around the world to advise bars and spirit brands on their cocktail offerings, judging International cocktail competitions, designing bars and running the bars at exclusive parties as well as speaking about the industry and their experiences and opinions at bar events all over the globe. They have now moved to their dream destination on the island of Hvar Croatia where they have built a new and exciting brand BE, Blanch Edwardes Consulting and Hidden House, an intimate B & B in the old town of Stari Grad. Chris and Amanda are now concentrating any spare time on writing and making their own vermouth, gin and various liqueurs and enjoying their new home.