Master' Event 2018

27th July 2018

Master’s Event 2018

This year the Master and Mistress, John and Mavis, welcomed Fellow Liverymen and their families and friends to join them for a “Master’s Event” on the borders of Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire.

The visit contrasted busy Oxford City Centre with the Chiltern Hills, known locally as simply “The Chilterns”, which were designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 1965

The visit began at noon on Friday, in the buildings that used to be Her Majesty’s Prison, Oxford. This was of particular interest to the Master who worked on the project that converted this very grim Victorian Prison (where, among other programmes, Porridge was filmed) into what is now a luxury hotel run by the Malmaison Group.

Following a very good lunch in Cell 5, the group was then taken on a tour of the older parts of the complex, climbing the heights of St George’s Tower and plumbing the depths of the medieval vaults. Some of the more intrepid then ventured up the mound, which was the site of the original, Saxon, Castle.

On Saturday morning, the first stop on the itinerary was a visit to Daws Hill Vineyard, an award-winning vineyard based in Buckinghamshire where, after a very comprehensive tour of the vineyards, a detailed explanation of the methods of production employed by Daws Hill was given by Holly, the daughter of the late founder. Then a selection of their quality still and sparkling wines were tasted and very much appreciated by the Fruiterers, not many of whom knew that the “Méthode Champenoise” was, in fact, invented in Britain, not by a French monk by the name of Dom Perignon! Also, that Prosecco is fermented in the barrel not in the bottle, hence its lower price.

Following this most successful “Thirst Quenching” morning at the vineyard, the group then went a short distance down the road and crossed the border back into Oxfordshire to The Sir Charles Napier Restaurant, where, in the gardens surrounded by a number of unusual sculptures, yet more sparkling wine was enjoyed!

And then, before sitting down to lunch, the Master planted a “Blenheim Orange” apple tree which had been selected - because of its geographical connection - and provided courtesy of Past Master Will Sibley. In this, the Master was ably assisted (?!) by the restaurant’s owner, Julie Griffiths

The Master’s wish for Fruit, Fun and Fellowship during his year in office was undoubtedly fulfilled!!

In recognition of John’s and Mavis’s hard work and enthusiasm which made the two days in the “Chilterns” such a hugely successful and enjoyable event, a “Big Thank You" must be recorded on behalf of all those who attended.