Tonight Maureen and I were honoured to be guests of the Master of the Worshipful Company of Chartered Architects at their Royal Charter Banquet. This was a very splendid affair held at The Mansion House for which all guests were invited to wear formal evening attire (white tie for men and evening gowns for ladies).
We were greeted on arrival by our own Past Master David Cole-Adams, and Mary, who took us up the wonderful staircase, flanked by the Sea Cadets and Pikemen, to be introduced to the Master and Wardens and supplied with a very welcome glass of champagne.
We were delighted to be greeted by our own Beadle as well, David Wylie, who made us feel very much at home. We then met several other Past Master Architects and were delighted to be introduced to His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester, The Rt. Hon The Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress, and the Sheriffs and their Ladies. We had some very pleasant conversation after which we were called to line up for photographs around the wonderful Royal Charter.
Following the photograph session, we proceeded to take our seats for dinner. Once again, Maureen and I were honoured to be seated at the Top Table with all the other Principal Guests.
Proceedings commenced with a short welcome to all by the Master and an official welcome to the principal guests by the Upper Warden. Grace then followed by The Reverend Canon David Parrott, The Chaplain to the Company, after which we commenced dining with a wonderful starter of treacle cured salmon, avrugar caviar and beetroot pickled quail's egg, followed by a main course of beef fillet, cottage pie croquette with vegetables, and a dessert of caramelised apple, hazelnut and mascarpone tart with apple and calvados sauce, truly delightful. The food was accompanied by Le Pionnier Blanc and Rouge with a Taylor's late-bottled vintage port.
Dinner was accompanied by beautiful music from the Elysium Brass, an award winning brass quintet formed from alumni of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Following the Loyal Toasts by the Master, the response was given by the Right Honourable The Lord Mayor of London, Alderman William Russell. His Royal Highness the Duke of Gloucester then officially presented the Royal Charter to the Company to the background of the Temple Bar Fanfare played by Elysium Brass.
The Master ended the evening by thanking everyone for their attendance and inviting all guests to a stirrup cup before their journeys home. Another wonderful evening, this time with a Royal touch.