As Armistice Day approaches, we have taken the opportunity to reflect upon an inspiring WW1 Centenary Remembrance Event that we recently hosted in the Nave of Bristol Cathedral.
To mark the centenary of WW1, the Cathedral was showered in an abundance of symbolic reds. The tables, each named after a WW1 hero, were lined with towering poppies and flickering candles. Whilst every guest’s seat was marked with a luggage tag, the evenings proceedings were printed in an authentic ration book.
Guests were welcomed to the Cathedral with a glass of fizz, kindly supplied by Avery’s Wine Cellar. Throughout the drink’s reception, a series of impromptu performances broke out – each reciting topical and thought-provoking stories about men at war and the aftermath of the period.
After the choir finished the first of their performances, guests were called to their seats for dinner. Created by Fosters, the menu had clear links to the offerings of the era – it was of course served immaculately and tasted sensational. A starter of Erbswurst, originally spilt pea tablets that were diluted with water, was transformed into an aromatic pea and smoked ham soup. The infamous beef stew ration, Maconochies, was revolutionised to create slow cooked beef, Dauphinoise potatoes, red wine jus and a selection of seasonal vegetables. Inspired by the sweet treat that loved ones would send to the fighting solider, this Trench Cake included nutmeg, ginger and lemon essences.
It was a privilege to be involved in such a reflective, memorable yet enjoyable evening – especially in the breathtaking surroundings of Bristol Cathedral.