Dinner at Merchants’ Hall, Bristol

Merchants' Hall, Bristol The Promenade, Bristol

We have a fantastic opportunity to dine at the famous Merchants’ Hall, courtesy of the Society of Merchant Venturers of Bristol. The Hall is located on the Clifton Promenade, with lovely views over the river Avon. The evening will start with drinks on the terrace, followed by a black tie dinner. Our guests will include Professor Mark Clatworthy, Head of the award-winning School for Accounting and Finance at the University of Bristol and serial education technology entrepreneur, and Merchant Venturer, Heather Frankham. Places cost £88. The next morning, there is the option to enjoy (1) a two-hour free walking tour in Bristol of Banksy’s murals and artwork, or (2) a guided tour of the SS Great Britain (£16). A pub lunch may be arranged after those tours. This visit should be great fun, and teach us about a famous Guild beyond the City.

£88

New Freemen’s Dinner

Guildhall Gresham Street, London

This enjoyable and fairly relaxed evening is to be held in Guildhall this year. It gives new Members, who come for free, as guests of the Company, the opportunity to meet and chat to the Master, Wardens, Almoner and other senior officers, and thereby gauge how best to engage with the Livery and make the most of their membership. Dress is smart business attire.

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Dinner at Cutlers’ Hall, Sheffield

Cutlers' Hall, Sheffield 7-15 Church Street, Sheffield

By kind permission of the Master Cutler, Mr James Tear, we will enjoy the splendour of Cutlers’ Hall for a black-tie dinner on the evening of Thursday, 9 June, followed by an optional tour of Sheffield Forgemaster’s the following morning. As you may know, the 2022 UK Livery Masters' Weekend is being held in Sheffield that weekend, hosted by the Lord Mayor, so this is a sneak preview. The evening will start with a guided tour of Cutlers' Hall, with its extraordinary grandeur and many fascinating artifacts (Knives feature heavily!), followed by a drinks reception and a three-course dinner with wines in the lovely Drawing Room. Book here, or email or ring me.

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Grange Festival Visit to see Verdi’s Macbeth

Grange Festival The Grange, Northington, Alresford

The Grange Festival is one of those extraordinary events that is really hard to describe. You have to see it to believe it – especially as it is about so much more than the performances themselves. Sparkling wine from The Grange vineyard; delicious, sesonal and unpretentious food, made from beautiful locally sourced ingredients and venue like no other in opera. As you sink into one of the comfortable seats in our elegant indoor theatre, expect to be wowed by performances curated by artistic director Michael Chance CBE, who is dedicated to bringing the very best opera and dance to this unusual setting near Winchester. Verdi wrote Macbeth in 1847 for the Teatro della Pergola in Florence. The theatre at The Grange is of similar proportions. For Verdi, Shakespeare’s Macbeth was ‘one of mankind’s greatest creations’. His version of the play is full of threat and ferocity, an intense exploration of ruthless ambition in a world governed by superstition and violence. Lady Macbeth dominates and the chorus, who are both observers and protagonists, is given some of Verdi’s most thrilling choral writing. We are delighted to have been offered an exclusive package for up to 20 people, for £230 each. This includes a top-price ticket to the performance; a three-course Dinner in the House made with delicious locally sourced ingredients and an invitation to the Artistic Director’s post-performance drinks reception with Michael Chance.

£230

Swan Upping on the Thames near Henley

Henley-on-Thames

All aboard The Waterman! The day will start at Henley-on-Thames at 11am for an 11.30am departure, on the beautiful, double-decked Waterman. As we cruise down the Thames, a Swan Upper will explain the history of Swan Upping, while we all enjoy a glass or two of Pimms and some delicious canapes. We will then sit down to a three-course lunch with wines, while keeping tabs on the swans and their signets. The afternoon will conclude at about 3.30pm, when we will dock back at Henley, hopefully having seen several swans upped and no uppers dunked! Tickets are £110 and numbers are limited, so they will have to be restricted to two per Member (ie themselves, plus a guest) and also allocated on a first- come-first-served basis. Book here, or email or ring me

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Royal Charter Banquet

Mansion House Walbrook, London

This year is the tenth anniversary of the granting of the Company's Royal Charter and so our usual July Banquet has been moved to September, to match the precise month. The evening should be like our regular Summer Banquet, only that little more extravagant and spectacular. So save the date and look out for the detailed announcements nearer the time.