Members and guests travelled East this May to gather in the square mile of the City of London. A land of Commerce, Banking, Financial Business and the Corporation of London with Worshipful Companies, The Liveries of The City. The Liveries are an intricate part of the cities governance and though primarily Guilds supporting their crafts and workers they have evolved into huge charitable institutions. Collectively the liveries donate some £40m each year to support charitable causes that have a huge diversity. Some have great aged provenance, and some are more recent reflecting the new crafts of technology. Some have their own Halls, others travel around the City holding their Court Meetings and Events in the huge selection of Halls that are available.
Our evening was hosted by Reunion Member and Past President, Graham Bamford FIH,MI and Master Farmer Julian Sayers, FRICS FAAV FRAgS at the Farmers & Fletchers Hall.
The Worshipful Company of Farmers ironically is a relatively new Company having been given their grant of Livery in 1952 and their Royal Charter in 1955. Their premises in Cloth Street were completely refurbished in 2013 updating the facilities to reflect the needs of a progressive Livery Company. The refurbished Hall was officially opened by HRH The Princess Royal, a Past Master of the Company.
So those accustomed to the antiquity of the older halls were surprised by the stark modern, bright interior. A hearty welcome we received in traditional Livery manner where we were entertained to a reception of Champagne Lanson Père et Fils with light nibbles.
Dinner was called and we all descended a modern spiral staircase to the Dining Hall. Elegant round tables festooned with candelabra, twinkling night lights and crisp linen.
President Wallace Vincent opened the evening with customary address, Past president Philippe Rossiter said Grace and Members were invited to introduce their guests.
The Master Farmer Julian Sayers addressed the gathering informing us about the Farmers Company and how delighted The Company was to welcome the reunion to their premises.
Dinner was served.
Smoked Finnan Haddock fillet, lightly steamed and served with a mustard cream sauce, soft poached quail eggs, and risotto.
Languedoc, Pourquoi Pas, Chateau Val Flaunès
Lemon and Kalamata Olive Granita
Roast Chump of Sussex Lamb with Carrots ‘three ways’ dauphinoise potatoes cooked with wild garlic leaves, rosemary and crab apple jus,
Cote Du Rhone Chateau Courac 2014
Mont –Blanc Mère Jean
Monbazillac, Chateau Pech La Calevie 2014
Coffee and Petit Fours Cockburn’s 2010
The fare served elegantly in customary style, clean white porcelain pleasing on the eye. The starter was a delight to visualise and the taste delicate and satisfying. Moving onto the Lamb another delight of sight and taste that brought us to the pudding – yet another display of culinary art.
Satisfied and replete the evening flowed into toasts to Country members, City Members, Retired Members, Guests and Santé du Chef and Service.
We left into the warm air, wending our way homeward with banter of camaraderie and the joviality of the evening.