It was a right royal evening, when we took over Oakham Castle for our Christmas party this year. It was a wonderful setting, with all the horseshoes around the hall, and a great space for our banquet. 32 of us were there on the night (where were the rest of you?). We started with fizz and canapes (and a game of ‘who am I?’) until we were all gathered, with a lovely musical accompaniment thanks to the folk band Moggy in the Wood.
Thank you to Sara McAllister, one of Rutland’s favourite caterers for all the gorgeous food, all brought ready made since there are no actual catering facilities at the castle! Despite this, we feasted on beef, salmon or the vegetarian quiche, with stunning salads and warm potatoes, followed by luscious puds too numerous to mention, followed by coffee and mints. It was a lovely meal produced out of nowhere.
In between courses, most hatters tackled the Christmas-themed quiz devised by yours truly, and after dinner Moggy in the Wood got most of us up and dancing, with plenty of laughs as stuffed-full and (in one or two cases) merry hatters failed to get to grips with casting off, swinging down, chassaying and … err… other mystifying ceilidh calls.
Lots of people had dressed up, with both glamorous gowns and medieval outfits. There was absolutely no contest when it came to awarding a prize though: Lady Big Bang (aka Andie) had apologised for being a little late to the party, BECAUSE SHE HAD BEEN KNITTING HER CHAIN MAIL! Yes folks, Andie had made her own medieval knight’s outfit, complete with helmet, shield, sword, tabard and … chain mail.