The Paviors’ Spring Livery dinner took place at Haberdashers’ Hall near Smithfield Market in the City of London on Wednesday 26 April. The Hall is relatively modern and its oak-panelled main hall provided a lavish setting for the dinner.
The dinner followed the usual format: grace by the Chaplain followed by fine food and wine. On this occasion, diners enjoyed a tuna capaccio starter accompanied by a 2021 Domain de Castelnau Picpoul de Pinet, and then a main course of roast sirloin of beef with an excellent 2013 Chateau les Cruzelles. Dessert was a gooseberry and elderflower fool.
The Master proposed the Loyal Toasts and the Toast to the Lord Mayor and City, and these were followed by musical entertainment of light-operatic pieces by a young trio of Vladyslava Yakovenko (soprano), Jonah Halton (tenor) and Jacob Harrison (bass), accompanied on the piano by Aleksandra Myslek. Diners then participated in the Ceremony of the Loving Cup which, in these post-Covid times, was filled with individually-wrapped chocolates rather than wine!
The guests were introduced and toasted by Pavior Sir Andrew McAlpine bt, and there was a response by the Principal Guest, Algy Cluff OBE DL. Mr Cluff spoke about The Remembrance Trust, of which he is the Founder and Chairman, which restores war graves dating from before 1914, since newer graves are maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Mr Cluff followed this up with a couple of amusing anecdotes from his time serving as an officer in the Grenadier Guards. He concluded by toasting the Paviors’ Master, Mr John May.
The Master responded and gave a brief outline of some of the Pavior activities that would take place during the next few months. He introduced three new Liverymen, who had been admitted earlier that evening: Liam Charalambou, Dave Jerrom and Ed Picton, each of whom stood and received a welcome from the Paviors present. Dave Jerrom then proposed the Toast to the Paviors Company: ‘may it flourish root and branch for ever’. Finally, diners were invited to participate in a Stirrup Cup before departing.
The evening, as with most Pavior dinners, provided a formal, yet most enjoyable evening. Thanks are due to the Learned Clerk, Jennifer Athill, for making all the arrangements.