Dining out the Learned Clerk

Saturday 19th May 2018

The Manor Hotel, Castle Combe

As the guests were arriving at St George's Chapel, Windsor, for the wedding of the year, we were checking out The Gorge Hotel and setting the sat nav for Bath. It was a beautiful morning and Bath seemed a delightful place to go while the nation was glued to the TV. We listened to the BBC radio coverage while we were looking for a parking spot in the centre of Bath. Much to my surprise, Bath was heaving with tourists and the queue to see the Roman baths was longer than we were prepared to wait. We looked down onto the weir and took some photographs before going into the Cathedral. As the vows were being exchanged by Harry and Meghan, a chaplain led prayers in the Cathedral for the Royal couple. After Bath, the next stop was Castle Combe where we would be having dinner with Sandra.

Castle Combe is a beautiful Cotswold village that has provided the backdrop for many films and TV programmes. We enjoyed lunch on the lawn of the Manor Hotel before exploring the village and the Manor's gardens. It doesn't take long to see the sights which is just as well because we wanted to sit down and watch the FA Cup Final Alas, it wasn't a classic final with another disappointing showing by United.

Dinner was very good. You could tell how good the food was by the micro portions on the plates. It seemed hardly worth getting the plates dirty but, despite the portion size, the food was good. I had hoped to see the year out without putting on any weight but three consecutive nights of high living made that unlikely notwithstanding the small portions.

Maureen and I have had a wonderful year in no small part due to the support we've had from our Clerk. As a Company, the Tobacco Pipe Makers are very fortunate to have a Sandra; it is only when I speak to other masters, I realise how lucky we are. She even rooted for United during the Final, there's loyalty for you. Dinner was an opportunity to express our appreciation for all that she has done. Thank you, Sandra for making sure it all went to plan.