As the leading foodservice agency we are lucky enough to frequent some pretty special eating establishments, but last Thursday was a first, even for us. The Tower of London is of course famed for holding the Crown Jewels, but who knew that this historic landmark also plays host to a fabulous event space. In fact the vast majority of those attending had last visited on a school trip more years ago than any of us cared to remember!
As a long-time supporter of Hospitality Action we try to get along to as many of their charity events as possible and jumped at the chance to attend such a special evening. On arrival we were given headsets to guide us through The Tower with an introduction to its long and often gruesome history, as we soaked up the atmosphere and the scale of the site as well as the patchwork of architectural styles and features.
Then it was onto the reception where we were greeted by characters including Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn to lead us to the obligatory champagne and canapés, which were delicious and set the tone for the rest of the evening. As we sipped our drinks we were treated to a talk on the history of the Crown Jewels, which include a staggering 23,578 gems. Then it was on to see them in the flesh, as we had the privilege of a private viewing of the Jewels, including the Imperial State Crown and the largest diamond ever found.
Having marvelled at the fabulous Crown Jewels we then sat down to dinner on tables hosted by each of the ‘royals’ present. Fiona and myself were honoured to be on the top table with Henry VIII and enjoyed excellent company and exceptional food, wine and service from Ampersand (who run the catering operation at Historic Royal Palaces).
The evening continued with fund raising activities including the favourite ‘heads and tails’ game and an auction for three amazing lots. All in all the evening managed to raise an impressive £10,000 for Hospitality Action and their valuable work, as the industry’s benevolent society. As ever congratulations must go not only to the sponsors of the evening, HR Palaces, Ampersand and The Vintner for the food and wine, but also to the team at Hospitality Action for putting on such a stunning evening which will be long remembered by all those lucky enough to have been there.
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