Clare Smyth has a surprisingly low public profile as a chef. This is, perhaps, an odd thing to say about someone voted “Best Female Chef in the World” but few people knew that she was head chef at Gordon Ramsay in Chelsea when it was collecting three Michelin stars year after year.
Smyth opened her own restaurant, Core, in Notting Hill in 2017. On 9th October, Marriott Bonvoy is organising a special lunch event.
They did this last year, and I went along with my wife (not a freebie, I used 32,000 of my own Marriott points). Here is a photo of me chatting with Clare. Don’t ask why I’m pointing – we’d all had quite a bit to drink by this point …..
This was the definition of a ‘money can’t buy’ event – except you could buy it for as few as 30,000 Marriott Bonvoy points, which is the sign up bonus on the SPG American Express card. Booking a table in the normal way got very difficult when the restaurant was awarded two Michelin stars last year, just 14 months after opening.
There is a slight difference this year as the event is being run by head chef Jonny Bone and not Clare herself.
There are two offers. The first is two places at a champagne and canape reception in the kitchen followed by a three course lunch with paired wines. You can bid for that here. There are 15 pairs of tickets available, with a minimum bid of 30,000 Marriott Bonvoy points. Based on last year, 35,000 points should be enough and you may get lucky at the minimum 30,000 points.
The second offer which will undoubtedly go for a higher points price is a cookery class, starting with breakfast and then moving on to prepare parts of the lunch, followed by the reception and lunch outlined above. You can bid for that here. There are four packages available, with a minimum bid of 75,000 points. A friend of mine did this last year and found it a great experience.
There is, as I like to stress on HfP, a lot you can do with your points outside of more flights and more hotel rooms. Hilton, Marriott and Emirates all offer excellent ‘experiences’ packages for points, and we feature the best of them on HfP as they come up.
How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards (May 2022)
There are various ways of earning Marriott Bonvoy points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.
The official Marriott Bonvoy American Express card comes with 20,000 points for signing up, 2 points for every £1 you spend and 15 elite night credits per year.
You can apply here.
You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points by converting American Express Membership Rewards points at the rate of 2:3.
Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE Marriott Bonvoy Gold status for as long as they hold the card? It also comes with Hilton Honors Gold, Radisson Rewards Gold and MeliaRewards Gold status. We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.
The Platinum Card has doubled its sign-up bonus to 60,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert to 90,000 Marriott Bonvoy points, if you apply by 1st June 2022.
You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points indirectly:
- American Express Gold (20,000 bonus Amex points)
- American Express Rewards Credit Card (5,000 bonus Amex points)
and for small business owners:
- American Express Business Gold (20,000 bonus Amex points)
- American Express Business Platinum (40,000 bonus Amex points)
The conversion rate from American Express to Marriott Bonvoy points is 2:3.
(Want to earn more hotel points? Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)