Mansion House Banquet

The October banquet at Mansion House is always a splendid occasion for the Livery; this year’s was no exception.

It is a privilege to entertain the Lord Mayor in his own home and we were honoured by the presence of Alderman Sir Alan Yarrow, Lord Mayor Locum Tenens.

Fellow Liveryman and Honorary Chaplain the Rev’d Canon David Parrot set the tone with his customary rhyming grace. He manages to combine humour, reflection, reverence and anticipation in a few sentences to the delight of all.

Serenaded by The London Banqueting Ensemble the full house sat down to a delicious dinner of Sea Bass tartare, Aged filet of beef, Cheddar and smoked haddock savoury, rounded off by Caramelised apple tart with Calvados sauce. Quite delicious.

The Livery is known for the excellent wines we serve and, following the exquisite Champagne Henriot, or a selection of delicious cocktails from The Master’s Bar, the company was treated to Chablis (William Fevre) 2017, Chateau Fourcas-Dupre, Listrac-Medoc 2016 and the gem that is Chateau Barbier, Sauternes. All showing at the top of their game. To set us up for the pleasure of the speeches what better than the Taylor’s 10 YO Tawny with coffee?

The Mansion House Kitchen Brigade and serving staff were on top form and, as always, looked after us with style, efficiency and courtesy.

Respecting the sensibilities of Covid the Master decided reluctantly the ceremony of the Loving Cup should be placed in abeyance this year; however we were treated instead to a glass of The Balvenie 14 YO – Caribbean cask and so we toasted the company with this, The Master’s Dram, and an inspired substitute it was too! During its service two Pipers of our adopted regiment, The London Scottish, made several circuits of the Egyptian Hall eliciting a ringing acclamation of prolonged applause. As a former “Piccadilly Highlander Jock”, when I was a student, I love the pipes and this was an exhibition of great playing.

We must not forget the ‘duelling banjoes’ , or rather post horns, playing that eternal favourite at Mansion House: The Post Horn Gallop. It is always thrilling.

The Speeches by our Master, Sir Alan Yarrow and Lord Dalmeny entertained us with a hearty mixture of amusing anecdotes, news and good cheer.

How wonderful it was to gather in such splendour with conviviality and fellowship after so dark a Covid enforced absence.

Jonathan Orr-Ewing