On the evening of Tuesday 5th June, the Master Entrepreneur, Mr Lee Robertson, welcomed Freemen and guests to the annual Summer Banquet, held this year in Vintners’ Hall by the kind permission of the Master Vintner.
The Summer Banquet is one of only two formal feasts of the Guild’s year, where Freemen and guests dine together in evening dress, in the very best traditions of the City of London. Elegant gowns and crisply starched collars (and even one or two top hats) thronged Upper Thames Street as the guests presented their gilded invitation cards and were welcomed into the cool and richly-decorated Vintners’ Hall.
In the first-floor rooms, violinist Ms Laura Stanford struck up cheerfully to accompany the reception. The Master welcomed the Guild’s official guests and bade them enjoy chilled glasses of dry, stylish prosecco in anticipation of dinner.
Dinner was called, and the diners were treated to their first glimpse of the beautiful Livery Hall, lit warmly by candles and huge chandeliers, and sumptuously appointed with the Vintners’ collection of precious plate, paintings and woodcarvings. A delicious fillet of gurnard was served with samphire and wild garlic, accompanied by a delectable Languedoc marsanne/vermentino.
It was then the privilege of the Master, on behalf of the Guild of Entrepreneurs Trust, to formally present the Trust’s first beneficiary, Ms Carole Jahme.
Ms Jahme spoke of her gratitude to the Trust for its very generous grant, and for the faith and support of the Guild as she pursues her Ph.D at University College London. Ms Jahme’s research focuses on gender and entrepreneurship.
The Freemen, all of whom contribute to the Guild of Entrepreneurs Trust, were delighted to hear more about the significant impact that the Trust has had in prospering education and entrepreneurship through Ms Jahme’s work, and applauded very loudly at the conclusion of her remarks.
Guinea fowl, roasted and richly presented, was paired with a thoughtful Chilean merlot, as conversation rose, stimulated by Ms Jahme’s hypotheses. There was particular delight at the arrival of dessert – a crisp dome of chocolate concealing a lightly-texted but richly-flavoured chocolate mousse, passionfruit ice-cream and a scattering of edible flowers.
Grace was sung, and the Loving Cup dexterously shared to a vigorous medley of tunes mischievously played by pianist Mr Paul Knappett.
Port was served, and toasts followed, and the Junior Warden, Mr Lars Andersen, then rose to deliver a cleverly-worded welcome, on behalf of the Guild, to the many visiting Masters and official guests representing the Guild’s many friends and affiliates.
The Master Draper, Mr Steven Beharrell (accompanied by his Clerk, Col. Richard Winstanley OBE)
The Master Carpenter, Mrs Rachel Bower (accompanied by her Clerk, Brig. Tim Gregson MBE)
The Master Information Technologist, Dr Stefan Fafinski (accompanied by his Clerk, Mr Mike Jenkins)
The Master Tax Adviser, Mrs Morag Loader
The Recorder of London (who is also serving his year as Master Feltmaker), His Hon. Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC
Representing the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom, its Chief Executive, Air Vice-Marshal Chris Luck MBE
The noted orator, broadcaster and academic, Dr David Dunkley Gyimah was then introduced, who, following a toast, rose to respond on behalf of the guests. Dr Dunkley Gyimah’s energetic speech was characteristically engaging, as he spoke about his experiences in communication, his academic work and the recent DisLab collaboration between the University of Westminster and the Guild of Entrepreneurs. Dr Dunkley Gyimah was roundly applauded at the end of a very stimulating address.
The Master responded, with thanks on behalf of the whole Guild to David, the Guild’s hosts at Vintners’ Hall, and the support team of Beadle, musicians and photographer, who worked so hard to ensure a successful and memorable evening. All too soon, the recessional march was played, and the Master, Wardens and distinguished guests led the charge back to the Drawing Rooms for a last glass of wine, and carriages home.
Read Dr David Dunkley Gyimah’s reflections on the evening HERE
For a list of forthcoming events, please click HERE
All images are property of the Guild of Entrepreneurs and are © Jonathan Cherry