Sunday, 7 June 2015

What a Swell Party That Was

(With apologies to Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra who sang the correct version in High Society.  The film also starred Grace Kelly, on whom I had a very definite schoolboy crush.  What a beautiful woman!)

Anyway, the party.

Last night we celebrated Brighton Lions Club's 64th charter anniversary.  The venue was a golf club high on the South Downs, right beside the Devil's Dyke.  It was a glorious summer evening, although windy, and the windows of the clubhouse afforded panoramic views across the Downs, over the city of Brighton & Hove and out to sea.  The reception area is furnished with leather armchairs, although nowhere near enough for all of the guests to sit.  Round a right-angle corner is the dining area with its high windows giving us that fabulous view as we ate.

The food was great with two choices for each course, plus a vegetarian option.  Those of us who chose the Portobello mushroom stuffed with Stilton, leek & parsley were not disappointed.  I heard no comments about the alternative starter, a fairly basic soup.  The main course involved a choice between sea bass on a bed of roasted cherry tomatoes with a basil pesto or Guinea fowl with cream, mustard and bacon sauce.  These were served with parmentier potatoes cooked with rosemary and a selection of fresh vegetables including courgettes, carrots, broad beans, French beans, petit pois and mange tout.  For dessert we could choose salted caramel and dark chocolate pots topped with edible gold lustre or white chocolate panna cotta with strawberry coulis.You could hear sighs of delight all round!

Entertainment was provided by a singer/guitarist who quickly had the dance floor crowded, so accurately did he judge the taste of his audience.  What's more, he kept the volume at a level which enabled people still sitting at the tables to hold conversations!

I've attended a good many charter dinners over the years, but it is a long time since I was still there at the end as I was last night.

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