Reception & Dinner in Gray's Inn
3 March 2017
For his final dinner The master Sir David Wootton chose the banqueting hall of Honourable Society of Gray's Inn to celebrate his legal qualifications and career. A reception was held upstairs in the Large Pension Room before dinner in the Great hall. Grace was said by the Hon Chaplain, The Very Reverend Dr David Ison, Dean of St Paul's. A five piece salon orchestra from The London Banqueting Ensemble played throughout the evening. After the toasts they performed a rousing Post Horn Galop. The guest speaker - Master of the Bench at Gray's Inn - His Honour Judge Stephen Kramer QC, gave an interesting and informative speech before the master thanked His Honour and then wished everyone a safe journey home.
Holiday in Barcelona
22 February 2017
In perfect springtime sunshine 34 members of the Guild gathered in Barcelona for a wonderful 4-day holiday - the last of 3 great holidays in Sir David Wootton's year as Master. Catalan art in the hotel before we strolled to the nearby Passadio del Pep restaurant for the first of the memorable Spanish dinners that were a hallmark of our trip. The next day was spent exploring the City of Barcelona, including a private tour of the Miro Foundation and a guided tour of the old city centre, including the Santa Maria Basilica. That evening we enjoyed a stunning private Flamenco show and supper at the premier Flamenco dance school in Barcelona. On the third day we spent the morning exploring Gaudi's amazing Sagrade Familia Basilica, which is still under construction but is none-the-less totally awe inspiring. Then, after a substantial coffee break we toured Gaudi's La Pedrera building, to see another aspect of Gaudi's astonishing talents. After Gaudi, and as a complete change, we went to Barcelona Football Club's stadium for lunch and a private tour of the Club's famous stadium. We returned from there just in time to change and walk from the hotel to a nearby restaurant for an evening of 'de-constructed tapas'. Our final day opened with a visit to the Freixenet winery in the country. After a tour of the cellars and an opportunity to taste some delicious Cavas, we had lunch in a stunning private dining room, with fabulous views over vineyards and the surrounding countryside. That evening we enjoyed a gala dinner in the El Mirabe restaurant, high on a hill overlooking the whole City of Barcelona. In this wonderful setting we enjoyed a truly amazing meal and we were entertained by an internationally renowned group of musicians, The Brossa Quartet. It was the perfect finale to a memorable visit.
Visit to the Dicken's Museum and Supper
15 February 2017
Due to the popularity of this event the Master Sir David Wootton arranged a second private tour of 48 Doughty Street, the Georgian terraced house in Bloomsbury, where Charles Dickens lived with his family in 1837. As before the Guild Members and their guests enjoyed a welcome glass of wine before the tour of the museum. Afterwards everyone strolled to the nearby Ciao Bella bistro where a delicious 3-course supper and wine was served.
Reception & Dinner - House of Lords
10 February 2017
The evening began in Westminster Hall where those who wished were taken on the 'Line of Route' guided tours by knowledgeable guides who gave a fascinating and historical insight into the Palace of Westminster. A reception was held in the Peers' Guest Room before dinner in the Peers' Dining Room. After dinner the West End Kids performed a medley of popular songs from West End musical shows. Later the master, Sir David Wootton, introduced Lord Bilimoria of Chelsea, who kindly hosted the evening for the Guild. He gave an interesting and amusing talk before the Master thanked him and presented him with a Halcyon Days Box, before wishing everyone a safe journey home.
Visit to the Dicken's Museum and Supper
8 February 2017
The Master Sir David Wootton arranged a private tour of the Georgian terraced house in Bloomsbury, where Charles Dickens lived with his family in 1837. It is also the Anniversary of his birth 205 years ago. The Guild Members and their guests enjoyed a welcome glass of wine before the tour of the museum. Afterwards everyone strolled to the nearby Ciao Bella bistro where a delicious 3-course supper and wine was served.
Visit to the College of Arms
1 February 2017
Once again the Guild was hosted by William Hunt. Windsor Herald, on our annual visit to the College of Arms. 20 Guild members and their guests assembled for the visit at 6.00 p.m., and over the next 3 hours William Hunt explained the history of the College, shared insights into the process of designing coats of arms and displayed fascinating examples of the work of the college over the past 800 years. Overall, it was another truly memorable event.
Old Bailey - Visit & Supper
25 January 2017
The Under Sheriff and Secondary of London, Mr Charles Henty, led this very popular Guild event, which began in Court No 1 and finished in the cells below the courtrooms. Court Assistant Councillor Lisa Rutter later thanked Charles Henty for the tour and presented a cheque to 'The Sheriffs and Recorder's Fund'. Guild members then walked the short distance to Guildhall for a 3 course supper with wine cater superbly by 'The Cook and the Butler' in the Members Private Dining Room.
Burns Supper - Trinity House
23 January 2017
The sound of the lone piper, Angus Ingram, echoed throughout the champagne reception as Guild members gathered to celebrate the 257th anniversary of the birth of Robbie Burns. The Cook & The Butler presented a very special 4-course dinner, with trimmings and pageantry to mark the occasion. At the appropriate moment, led by the piper, the chef paraded the Haggis round the dining room, before Past Master Dr John Smail performed a memorable address to it. The complete the special atmosphere of the evening, Past Master Don Lunn spoke eloquently in 'The Immortal Memory', the Master proposed a toast to The Lassies, to which Guild Member Dorothy Newlands of Lauriston replied, and the evening was brought to a close with a rousing rendition of Auld Lang Syne.
Carol Service at the Tower of London
19 December 2016
The Guild was once again privileged to have been given permission to hold its annual Carol Service in the beautiful Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula, the parish church of the Tower of London, which is a Riyal Chapel and a 'Royal Peculiar' directly under the jurisdiction of the Sovereign. The service was taken by The Revd Cortland Fransella and the Choir of the Chapels Royal was directed by The Master of Music Colm Carey. The lessons were read by Guild Members Miss Katherine Ray, Mr Geoffrey Aldridge, Mrs Josie Huggins and the Master, Alderman Sir David Wootton. The Cook & The Butler provided wine and delicious canapes after the service.
Annual Banquet in Guildhall
12 December 2016
The Master, Alderman Sir David Wootton, and Lady Wootton welcomed over 500 Guild members and their guests to the banquet, starting with a Champagne reception in the Old Library in Guildhall. An Honour Guard from the Guild's affiliated Reserve Army unit, 253 Provost Company RMP welcomed guests on arrival, a Carpet Guard from the Pikemen & Musketeers of the Honourable Artillery Company provided colour and pageantry in the Art Gallery and Old Library, and a string quartet from the London Banqueting Ensemble provided background music during the reception. After a truly delicious dinner provided by The Cook & the Butler, which ended with a memorable rendition of the Post Horn Galop by the London Banqueting Ensemble, the Senior Warden, Mr Peter Allcard gave the opening address and proposed the Civic Toast. The Lord Mayor, the Rt Hon Alderman Dr Andrew Parmley, responded, entertaining the company with a most amusing and light-hearted speech. This was followed by the Master, who welcomed the Guild's guests, presented the Lord mayor with a cheque for his charity appeal, and introduced his guest speaker, the Rt Hon Sir Hugh Robertson KCMG DL. Sir Hugh reflected on the nation's recent sporting achievements , particularly at the London and Rio Olympics, thanked the City and the country for their support for the nation's athletes, and urged everyone to help to build on their recent success. Finally the Master brought the evening to a close, and wished everyone a very happy Christmas
DM Thomas Foundation for Young People Annual Ball at the London Hilton, Park Lane
26 November 2016
Once again the Guild was privileged to be allocated a table at this glittering event. A fabulous setting, delicious dinner and sparkling entertainment resulted in a truly memorable and thoroughly enjoyable evening, during which a remarkable total of £438,700 was raised for the foundation.
Champagne Tasting at Tallow Chandlers' Hall
16 November 2016
Harry Vernau, the grandson of Past Master Don Lunn, together with Nicolas Bauget, the owner of the French Champagne House of Bauget-Jouette, hosted and sponsored this year's wine tasting event. The Champagne house is based in Epernay and our hosts took the opportunity to present seven different champagnes to taste. Hot and cold snacks were then served. The Master Sir David Wootton thanked the sponsors for the superb champagne tasting they had laid on for the Guild Members and their guests.
Please note: the photographs that illustrate these articles are the copyright of Peter Holland, the Guild's photographer, or of the Guild (unless otherwise stated). Anyone wishing to obtain copies should contact the Guild office.