Z/Yen returned to the scene of last year’s “crime” to take our seasonal team repast at Watermen’s Hall again.
Last year the Ogblog report of the event was combined with a couple of other events of mine. If you want to compare, you can read all about the 2016 happenings by clicking here or through the link below:
There was a very enjoyable pre-lunch Champagne reception, as last year, with everyone who is dining at Watermen’s having a chance to mingle. This year, coincidentally, one of the guests (at one of the other tables) is Kit, who lives in Janie’s former street and is an old friend of ours – small world, eh?
But soon we move on to the five course meal. The menu will be revealed along with this year’s song lyric further down this piece.
The main course, the goose, shown below, was the third course.
I sat opposite Shivangee, who politely told me that i have been pronouncing her name wrong all the while. She looks surprisingly perky in the following picture given those circumstances:
We swapped rural India stories and I promised her I’d link her through to the most bizarre thing that ever happened to me in that part – here and below is that link:
But if Shivangee thought that I could talk plenty over lunch, she was soon to meet a real pro in the commissionaire at the Cinema Museum – more on him later.
In fact there is a very jolly, convivial, chatty atmosphere at Watermen’s. The alcohol flows lavishly through the courses, with a very interesting white port aperitif, white wine, red wine and the more familiar ruby port at the end of the meal.
With all of those courses, a room full of dinners and an appointment at the Cinema Museum to get to, we broke with tradition and decided to sing the Z/Yen Christmas song at the Cinema Museum instead.
But before that, secret Santa was a must at table. I was given some pencils with negatively-motivational messages on them. Is someone (Santa) trying to tell me something?
The Z/Yen staff also each got a Raucherman – one of those artefacts that you didn’t know existed until you were given one, then you realise that your life has previously had less meaning and that now, with your Raucherman, you are that much closer to being fulfilled.
We arrived at the Cinema Museum some while after the originally appointed hour, but still were asked to wait a while so that the head honcho, Martin, might address us (and take our money) before handing us over to commissionaire Maurice, who told us all about it and more besides.
So while waiting, we sang the Z/yen Christmas song. A delightful Egyptian lady, Meena, was joining our tour and joined us in song as best she could:
WATERMEN AND LIGHTERMEN AND Z/YEN – 2017 Version
(A seasonal song to the tune of “Winter Wonderland”)
VERSES ONE AND TWO
Parsnip soup, fit for galleons,
Salmon soused, in medallions;
We’ll eat Christmas lunch, Z/Yen Group as a bunch;
Watch us put on weight at Watermen’s.
At the start, we’ll be perky,
By the end, stuffed like turkey;
Five courses of nosh, all terribly posh;
Watch us put on weight at Watermen’s.
After eating goose with Christmas trimmings,
We’ll tuck in to Perouche cheese with pear;
After Christmas pud, you must be kidding,
With rum sauce that could be a warning flare.
Then in Lambeth you’ll see ‘em,
Tour the cinema museum;
The Z/Yen team en masse, with guts full of gas;
Walking off their lunch from Watermen’s.
(RISING/ROUSING FINALE): Let’s hope walking makes us Lightermen!
Z/Yen Group 2017 Christmas Lunch at Watermen’s Hall
(The Company of Watermen and Lightermen)
- Parsnip & Chestnut Soup
- Medallion of Scottish Salmon, Champagne Sauce
- Roast Breast of Goose & Confit of Leg, Tarragon & Ginger Crust, Red Currant Jus, Chateau Potatoes, Sugar Snap Braised Red Cabbage Broccoli & Baby Carrots
- The Cook & The Butler World Famous Traditional Christmas Pudding, Christmas Pudding Ice Cream, Oranges in Caramelised Oranges, Rum Sauce
- Yule Log of Perouche Cheese with Pear
No it is not the same song as last year – totally different.
Totally. It’s a different menu for a start.
Once we were in the extremely talkative and capable hands of commissionaire Maurice, we were soon singing again – this time the ABC Minors Club Song.
The big thing about that site for the Cinema Museum is that it is the site of a workhouse in which Charlie Chaplin lived briefly as a kid. Sadly the site is being sold and the museum is at risk, unless its joint bid with the Peabody Estate sees off the hard-nosed commercial interest in the site.
It was a quirky tour but very interesting. I remember some of those old cinemas, not least the ABC in Streatham Hill, the Odeon a bit nearer Streatham proper and the Granada across the road from dad’s shop on St John’s Hill. Linda remembered similar from her youth. Maxine and her friend, who came along just for the tour, must have wondered what on earth Maurice was talking about half the time.
A few of us retired to the Old Red Lion in Kennington for a drink and a chat after the tour. James Pitcher proved very good at asking and Alexandra proved very good at answering pub quiz type questions such as “which two tube stations have all the vowels in their names” and “which tube station has six consonants in a row in its name?”. We spent quite some time trying to solve the mystery of the beautiful film starlet whose picture we couldn’t identify. James “phoned a friend” who rather brilliantly responded Pier Angeli rapidly and correctly. Respect.
We drew the line at playing the truth game and at that juncture decided to draw stumps on a hugely enjoyable Z/Yen Christmas event.