Apothecaries’ Hall was the venue for this year’s Paviors’ Christmas Dinner. The event was organized by the Paviors’ Luncheon Club and it was the first time that the event had taken place at this venue. Apothecaries Hall, built in 1676, is the oldest livery hall in the City of London and still retains its key original features. It provided a wonderful setting for this year’s event, which was attended by 110 people.
Although this was a ‘black-tie’ event, the Paviors attending did their best to dress festively. Many of the men wore Christmas-themed bow-ties and waist-coats, with ladies dressed in festive colours adorned with seasonal decorations. Clearly, everyone was bent on having a good time.
The evening started with a champagne reception in the Court Room. Guests then moved to the Great Hall to dine under a portrait of HM The Queen. Dinner was traditional Christmas fayre, accompanied by an English white wine and a South African red. The dinner concluded with the Loyal Toast, followed by a raffle, based on seat location, with a number of Christmas hampers and wine for the lucky winners.
After a short break, guests resumed their seats to enjoy the highlight of the evening. This was musical entertainment by the superb Vox Cantium, under the direction of Peter Brice, who sung and led a programme of traditional Christmas music and carols. The standard of singing, at least by the choir, was very high! Vox Cantium kindly donated their fee to the Heart of Kent Hospice.
The Luncheon Club Chairman, Tom Barton, proposed a toast to the guests, and the response was by the Paviors’ Master, Sue Illman, who entertained everyone by reading a Pam Ayres Christmas poem.
This was a splendid evening and those attending left with a warm feeling. Many thanks to Tom Barton and Liz Morgan for organizing the event, and to the Learned Clerk, John Freestone, for his assistance.