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Annual General Meeting, Simpsons on the Strand
May 7, 2011
Meeting on the site of the original Fountain Tavern ,and home of the Kit Kat Club ,tends to reinforce the great historical association of Simpsons-in -the Strand with gastronomy and ,in turn with the Reunion (our first A.G.M. was held at Simpsons on 2nd March 1955 !)
Once the formalities of the A.G.M. were completed and the new presidential team and committee had been installed, members were offered an aperitif of Champagne Theophile (the 2nd champagne of Louis Roederer) It was noted that Louis Roederer, in both forms, is the House champagne of choice of a growing number of prestigious London establishments.
The new President had requested our host, fellow gastronome Stephen Busby, to create a menu which reflected the great traditions of Simpsons-in-the Strand. Stephen responded with enthusiasm to deliver a menu of Simpson’s classics.
A simple but delicious smoked fish starter—-a saddle of English lamb, carved long in the English style from the bespoke silver carving trolley—-Colston Bassett Stilton—Spotted Dick made correctly with suet! All dishes so long associated with this famous establishment.
Some of the original carving trollies, just big enough to take one saddle of lamb, introduced by John Simpson in 1848 are, amazingly, still in use. No need to replace equipment unnecessarily then!
The excellent Bill of Fayre moved one long standing member to comment that it was the best supper he had enjoyed at Simpsons for many years. A good Sancerre and Rioja Reserva exemplified the generosity of our host.
The well-earned “Santé du Chef “to master cook Jerry Rae preceded a return to tradition with various toasts to members carried out with aplomb by P. Webber, P. Hawley and B.Clivaz: the latter, for good measure, rendered some excellent impersonations of previous Simpsons managers!
A reassuring turnout of 50 members (including 91 year old Leslie Oblath—you cannot keep a good Joe Lyons man down!) boded well for the coming year’s programme of interesting venues.
Our thanks to Stephen Busby for his excellent hospitality.