We received the usual warm welcome to the Cutlers' Hall for the annual Court & Livery dinner and those attending agreed it was good to get back to something near normal, although the City was relatively deserted. After canapes and a pre-dinner glass of champagne we were formally greeted by the Master and Wardens.
Dinner was held in the more intimate surroundings of the Court Room and Dining Room, with the doors between the two rooms drawn back to allow us to sit at one long table. As is customary, places at table are drawn at random.
The dinner was of the high standard always provided by the Cutlers' kitchen staff and was accompanied by a selection of fine wines. The Upper Warden described the wines with the authority of a Bordeaux negociant Few of us were able to place the Sauvignon Blanc which accompanied the fish starter as from South Africa. We next had the opportunity to taste two vintages from Bordeaux, a Chateau Lagrange St Julien 2005 and a Chateau Tour St Bonnet 2010, the former courtesy of the Master. These were followed by a Graham's LBV 2011 and, as the wines were drunk, the volume of lively conversation rose.
After the loyal toasts the Master formally welcomed all present. The Master stressed how important this event is to the Livery, it being the only occasion open to just the Court and Livery and therefore provides the opportunity to build relationships with fellow members of the Company and promote good fellowship. The Master set a challenge for everyone present: to encourage a friend from within the Company to attend an event in person over the next 3-4 months.
The toast to the Company was proposed by Liveryman Ed Rolls. Conversations then continued at table as the decanters circulated until the last members of the Company headed home just before 11pm, having enjoyed an excellent evening with good friends.