Valentine’s Day saw 25 consorts of Paviors meet at the Mansion House for a tour chosen by the Mistress Pavior, Judy Ashley.
Under the guidance of the Mansion House’s ‘Keeper of Walbrook Hall’, John Davies, participants were given an insight into the history of the building and visited some of its beautiful rooms. The group were shown the lovely Harold Samuel collection of Dutch paintings bequeathed to the Corporation of the City of London, and learnt a little about the furniture and chandeliers. This special opportunity was taken to view the large gold and silver vaults with their many incredible pieces and, of course, to see the Collar of Esses worn by the Lord Mayor. Finally, before departing, both lady and gentlemen visitors took the opportunity to view the men’s ‘facilities’, and admire the interesting fireplace and inscription.
The group then braved the freezing wind whilst being escorted to the nearby Merchant Taylors’ Hall for lunch, and to be looked after very well by Front of House Manager, Keith Thornberry, and his team. The food was delicious: crab in filo pastry, lamb and a hazelnut tart – but perhaps an unusual start to Lent! Following lunch, participants were then taken on a fascinating tour of the Hall. This included seeing the different levels of flooring from older structures that have been preserved under the main wooden floor of the Great Hall. This provided a fascinating peep into history, as did visiting the medieval kitchens and the ancient library.
The visit proved to be a really wonderful day that was enjoyed by all.