They say that people make a place and that couldn’t be more true for Bella Chalmer. She worked at The Club between 2006 to 2013, starting out as a bar girl and ending up as manager. After 3 years away, she’s returned to Peli HQ to head up our events in partnership with her newly launched creative events agency, Riot. We sat with Bella to find out what Peligoni was like a few years back and what it takes to make the perfect party.
HOW DID YOU END UP AS A BAR GIRL AT PELIGONI 10 YEARS AGO?
After I graduated from Bristol University I was looking to get away for a few months of fun before finding a ‘real’ job. My housemate Jess suggested applying for a summer season at Peligoni, as she had been there on holiday with her family and highly recommended it. So we both applied together and got jobs working behind the bar!
WHAT WAS THE CLUB LIKE BACK THEN?
It was more shabby than chic, it is definitely much smarter now than it was back then! My first summer was in 2006 when Peligoni was much smaller, there weren’t many villas around and The Club was half the size! Now, the portfolio of properties has expanded, there are some really breathtaking villas available and The Club has developed into a beautifully designed ‘barefoot luxury’ retreat.
YOU’RE BACK TO RUN EVENTS AT PELIGONI PART TIME AS WELL AS HEADING UP THE NEWLY REBRANDED PRIVATE EVENTS COMPANY, RIOT – PREVIOUSLY KNOWN AS ECLAT. HOW HAS PELIGONI CHANGED SINCE YOU LEFT?
Peligoni now offers guests a wide range of experiences and activities such as day trips on a yacht, villa hosting, a driver service to and from The Club… all of these things were not available when I first started working there 10 years ago! The Club still has the same amazing atmosphere that allows guests to completely chill out. I remember one guest telling me that Peligoni is the only place in the world where he can truly unwind and leave his work behind. The Club is, and always has been, a very welcoming place. The relaxed boho vibe has not been lost and still remains the magic behind Peligoni.
Scene from ‘Woodland Wedding’ , an event curated by Bella’s new company, Riot. Image courtesy of riot.co.uk
HOW WILL EVENTS AT PELIGONI BE RUN NOW YOU’RE AT THE HELM?
The Club and some of the surrounding villas make such a perfect location for intimate celebrations and weddings. This summer, I am planning on creating some more bespoke experiences that our guests can incorporate into their special occasion.
WHAT MAKES A GREAT EVENT, IS THERE A FLAWLESS FORMULA?
Each guest is different so it is absolutely crucial to listen to their ideas and expectations before the event planning begins. You can’t just roll out the same formula and ideas for everyone, each celebration at Peligoni is tailored specifically to the individual.
YOU’RE GETTING MARRIED THIS YEAR – WHAT HAS PLANNING YOUR OWN WEDDING TAUGHT YOU ABOUT EVENT ORGANISATION?
I haven’t really started organising my wedding yet but what I do know is that you should always follow your gut instinct when it comes to planning your special day… despite what other people may tell you!
WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST EVENT PLANNING FAILURES?
In my opinion, leaving anything to the last minute is always stressful and most of the time, it can be avoided!
WHAT MAKES PELIGONI A SPECIAL PLACE TO CELEBRATE?
Peligoni feels so undiscovered and unspoilt, it is not known to many as a wedding or party venue so it really is a unique place. The views over the Ionian Sea with the beautifully rugged and wild landscape create the perfect backdrop for any special occasion. There are now flights from the UK every day of the week which makes it even easier to travel to Zakynthos even just for the weekend!
CAN YOU TELL US A BIT MORE YOUR NEW EVENTS COMPANY, RIOT?
Yes sure! I have teamed up with Mickey Luke from the brilliant events companies, Yurtel and Audience, to create our new company called Riot. We specialise in bespoke event management for private celebrations such as parties, weddings and bar mitzvahs and turn the wildest ideas into a reality. Together with our tried and tested suppliers, our experience and knowledge takes the hassle out of event planning to create an incredible event.
Riot is a full service creative events agency founded by Bella Chalmer and Mickey Luke. Discover more here.
Events At Peligoni
You can read more about events at Peligoni here. In the meantime, Bella would love to hear your vision for a dream party, feel free to email her on firstname.lastname@example.org and she’ll get back to you as soon as possible.