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A glamorous night in a spectacular setting

Published on: 13 November 2019

It’s not every day you walk down the red carpet with paparazzi wildly snapping your every move, before being greeted by George Clooney and Marilyn Monroe. Then again, it’s not every day you attend a Première Livery Dinner at Butchers’ Hall.

The evening of Friday 8th November was full of glamour and the sense of fun and anticipation was heightened with the arrival of renowned chef, Raymond Blanc O.B.E attending Butchers’ Hall for the first time as guest of honour at an event that was première in much, much more than name.

As champagne flowed in the reception, guests enjoyed a quite wonderful selection of canapés including the theatre of a Grand Reserva Iberico Ham carved in the room, while Monsieur Blanc signed cookbooks and greeted guests.

The Master, Tim Dumenil welcomed everyone to our new Hall and a special evening, and, to a fanfare, guests made their way to the Great Hall for an inspired four-course menu featuring a main course of Irish Grassfed ‘Demi Baron’ of Dry Aged Beef.

Assistant Peter Allen introduced the fine wines before each course. Indeed could they be anything else but French wines with Raymond in the room?

During the evening a member of the waiting staff asked the celebrated chef how the evening was going, for him to simply reply, “listen to the atmosphere” which told the whole story.

As guest of honour, Raymond spoke after dinner, of his journey, of his passion for food, and of his admiration for our industry. He found time to mingle with Liverymen and their guests as they continued to enjoy the fellowship of those around them, the special fellowship of the Butchers’ Livery.

Red carpet arrival at Butchers Hall
Guests arriving on the red carpet.

But the excitement wasn’t over, just yet. Every single ticket to the dinner was included in a prize draw to win dinner for two with wine in Raymond Blanc’s celebrated two Michelin Star restaurant at Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Oxfordshire, together with an overnight stay in the exclusive 32 room hotel. Congratulations go to Gaye Weston-Simons, wife of Chris Weston-Simons, Past Master of the Armourers & Brasiers. There was a mixture of applause and jealousy as she collected her voucher.

It was Liveryman, Norman Hatcliff who started the ball rolling with the idea of a special dinner to mark the re-opening of Butchers’ Hall. With the help of the WCB Enterprise Team, led by Assistant Peter Allen, and with lots of hard work and support, it became a reality.

The first Livery dinner back in the new Butchers’ Hall had to be special – mission accomplished and funds raised for the redevelopment of the Hall.

Liverymen and their guests left with a souvenir gift bag containing mementos of a “a night to remember and memories to cherish.

With special thanks to everyone who attended and the following companies for contributing to the Butchers' Hall Première Dinner:

Bord Bia • Aubrey Allen • Supplychain Solutions Ltd • Principal Logistics Technologies • 3GI Technology • Hatcliff Rogers Consultancy • Life’s Kitchen • Meat Management Magazine