As the Court and guests assembled for the February dinner, the champagne and conversation flowed in true Innholder style. We entered the dining hall with little inclination to contemplate what was buried deep beneath our feet, but subsequently all would be revealed!
After welcoming the Court and guests the Master introduced two of our new Freemen, Darren Patt and Nicholas Ford to the Company.
Dinner commenced with a saffron, mussels and chorizo risotto, sublimely paired with a Churton white wine from Marlborough, New Zealand.
This was followed by a tender pavé sirloin steak and delicate morels, served alongside a luscious Pessac-Léognan from the ‘secret garden’ of the Domaine de Chavalier in Bordeaux (the hit wine of the night).
The ‘sticky’ of the evening, a delightful South Australian desert wine from Mount Horrocks in the Clare Valley, beautifully complemented Herbert’s blood orange tart with chocolate sorbet.
With Fonseca port and coffee circulating, the Master introduced our guest speaker, Ms Sophie Jackson, Director of Research and Engagement at the Museum of London Archaeology.
Ms Jackson then commenced an informative illustrated talk on the history beneath our feet. This highlighted the historical importance of the area, the Roman and Medieval archaeological heritage lying beneath and adjacent to the Hall and our proximity to the Wallbrook, a tributary of the River Thames.
The talk expanded onto the type of buildings and occupiers likely to have been around at these times and their role in the expansion and commercial prosperity of the City. The talk was fascinating and very well received – although there were a few jokes circulating amongst the Company about Herbert beneath our feet with his happy brigade of kitchen gladiators!
We left the dining hall well fed, well wined and well educated for a final stirrup cup – nunc est bibendum!