Past Masters Dinner: In & Out Club

Thursday 8th September 2016

Since its inauguration at the Oriental Club last year ago under Immediate Past Master Christopher Allen, this is set to become London's most exclusive cigar dinner. As a member of the In & Out (Naval & Military) Club in St. James's, I know it has a rather lovely private dining room ideal for our purposes. Meeting for drinks (and varied smokes) on the private balcony of the Nancy Astor Room at the In & Out Club in St. James's Square, nine Past Masters plus myself met for our preprandials. Alas, Southern Rail's ludicrous strike had claimed a couple of scalps, and PM Simon Orlik had, in trying to impersonate Andy Murray, come a cropper on the tennis court this very morning and had had to cry off with "wounds unbecoming". At 7.30 I called order of sorts and we assembled to dine in this rather lovely room - Nancy Astor's old bedroom, apparently.. Prawn Cocktail, braised beef and tarte tatin were washed down with good French vino and a nice sticky from the Colonies (Australia). I'd arranged for coffee, port and a good torpedo cigar to be consumed in the pleasant courtyard and so it was to here we adjourned and sat for a hour or so - Rolf Christophersen developed a taste for the truffles so these were placed within easy reach! Around 10pm there was a gentle shuffling until it was left to just Richard Yeo and myself to set the world to rights. We thought we did a pretty good job, but then the port decanter was empty and it was half eleven when we tottered through the now silent rooms.. Over to Ralph for next year's when I will be pleased to attend as Immediate Past Master!