Friday, 17 June 2011

Luncheon with the Drapers

Yesterday our Clerk, Adele, and I were at a Court Luncheon of the Drapers Company by kind invitation of their Master and Wardens. It was not a small affair. This may be deduced when I explain that the Master proposed the toast to the guests, represented by more than 40 Livery Companies and 5 Draper related Guilds or Fellowships from around the country-Edinburgh to Exeter. I mean proposed them all individually by name, not en bloc, swiftly, charmingly, amusingly. I would not have believed it possible had I not heard it. A virtuoso performance.
It is of course always a pleasure to go to Drapers hall, probably the most magnificent hall in the City and I'm very pleased that we shall be holding our Bowden Charter Dinner there in October. The word opulent is not too strong to describe the hall-I doubt there's any scagliola here.

The pictures gracing the walls are wonderful but as readers of this blog will know from an earlier blog following a previous visit to Drapers it is the ceilings which fascinate me. Large oil paintings are of course splendid but you can see them in every stately home or National Trust property you go to. Not so with late nineteenth century ceiling frescos. The ones in the hall in which we were dining were Shakespearean with Titania and Oberon at either end and representations from the Tempest in the grand central panel. Knockout! But not sufficient to detract from from a beautiful meal accompanied by the kind of wines that only an ancient cellar containing generations of wine purchases can produce. Like the ceiling, heavenly.

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