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Mallya hosts magnificent Monaco yacht party 27 May 2011

Force India reserve Nico Hulkenberg with Force India boss Vijay Mallya at Mallya's 'From Monaco to Bollywood' yacht party, Indian Empress, Monaco Force India's Paul di Resta enjoys Vijay Mallya's 'From Monaco to Bollywood' yacht party, Indian Empress, Monaco Vijay Mallya's 'From Monaco to Bollywood' yacht party, Indian Empress, Monaco

Tradition plays a huge role in Formula One racing and one of the best - and most glamorous - traditions of the Monaco race weekend in recent years has been the opening party hosted by Force India boss Vijay Mallya.

Luckily for the paddock, Mallya is a stickler for tradition too and on Thursday night he once again lowered the gangplank of his mega yacht, the Indian Empress, to welcome guests aboard for the evening. And with such jet -set company in attendance, the theme of the evening - ‘From Monaco to Bollywood’ - proved an inspired choice.

After being greeted at welcome desks shaped like Fly Kingfisher check-in counters, guests enjoyed the run of the yacht, which had been decked out with the glitzy decoration of a Bollywood studio, and were fed and watered with deliciously luxurious Indian canapés and cocktails. Even the music came courtesy of a top Indian DJ flown in especially from Mumbai for the night.

Among the guests dancing the night away were a host of Formula One drivers and team principals, Virgin’s Sir Richard Branson, the stars of BBC television’s Top Gear series, CVC’s Donald McKenzie and Princess Beatrice of York.

At the night’s close, everyone agreed the ‘Monaco to Bollywood’ trip had been wonderful and set the scene perfectly for this season’s inaugural Indian race, which will take place in New Delhi in October. A night to remember!

For more pictures, check out our Paddock Postcard gallery.

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