In October, the Luncheon Club held its annual dinner for members and partners. This year it was held it in the magnificent surroundings of Innholders’ Hall.
One of the penalties of being a large and successful Company is that Paviors do not have the opportunity to dine in some of the small and more intimate halls, so this was a great opportunity to dine in a hall that not many had seen.
Innholders’ Hall is a Grade II* listed building featuring a beautifully preserved 17th Century Old Court Room and an impressive Great Hall.
The Hall is first referenced in a public assessment document dating back to 1522. At that time, College Street was known as Elbow Lane. Observations recorded in 1598 explain that the lane was ‘so called from it bending from Dowgate with an Elbow to Thames Street’. The Hall is specifically mentioned as being located alongside ‘other fair houses’.
During the 1666 Great Fire of London, the Hall was destroyed, along with most of the Company’s early records. By good fortune, the Hall’s fine silverware and the Royal Charters were saved by the Master and safely stored in Smithfield. By early 1670, the Hall was rebuilt and records indicate it was open for the ‘transaction of public business on the first Tuesday in the month’. Archaeological investigation undertaken during Hall remodelling in 1989 discovered a medieval chalk wall constructed on beech wood piles that may have been part of the original 16th Century Hall. The archaeologists also speculate that medieval roof timbers in the current building may have been salvaged from the Great Fire and subsequently incorporated during its 17th Century rebuild.
Diners sat down to a magnificent candle-lit long table in the Hall. Given that Paviors were being hosted by the livery company of the hospitality industry, it was hardly surprising that the food, the wine and the service were all fantastic. Chef Herbert Berger had done a great job in cooking such a delicious meal. Everyone came away having had a really enjoyable evening in beautiful surroundings, and certainly planning to return in future years.