Michaelmas Feast Rhyme and Dine

On 14 January 1644, one Thomas Herbert of the City of York gave:

‘to the Corporation of Marchantes … the somme of Thirtye poundes, to the End that there shall be a Sermon yearely before the Company att Michaellmas Courte’.

Three hundred and seventy years later,  the Thomas Herbert sermon is still being preached as part of the annual Michaelmas Service held at the Merchant Adventurers Hall in York. This year’s sermon was given by the Bishop of Beverley, the Right Reverend Glyn Webster. And I was one of those present to hear it.

A 370-year-old tradition – consisting of formal processions of people clad in full regalia – is a hard act to follow. But that was my job. For after the Merchant Adventurers’ Michaelmas Service comes their Michaelmas Feast, and I was to provide the entertainment for said Feast. I did so by turning it into a Rhyme and Dine event.

With the Governor and Clerk of the Company of Merchant Adventurers of the City of York, Michaelmas Service 2014

Being introduced by the Governor of the Company of Merchant Adventurers of the City of York (Photo: Nikki Bowling)

Yes, inbetween the courses of the Feast I entertained the guests with amusing poems about the food we were about to eat.

Rhyming and Dining at the Michaelmas Feast 2014

Rhyming and Dining at the Michaelmas Feast 2014  (Photo: Nikki Bowling)

So, how was this Rhyme and Dine received? Well, I’ll let the current Governor of the Merchant Adventurers, Alan Suggett, answer that:

‘It was a tour de force from you … we all enjoyed every syllable of your poems. They fitted the mood of the evening we were hoping to create, and … the diners were universally delighted with their unusual entertainment. (One only had to look at the faces around the room to see that they were joyfully attentive).’

Well that’s a relief to hear! There was quite a weight of tradition – and responsibility – on my shoulders that night!

With Governors past and present at the Merchant Adventurers' Michaelmas Feast 2014

With Governors past and present at the Merchant Adventurers’ Michaelmas Feast 2014 (Photo: Nikki  Bowling)

Thank you to all the Merchant Adventurers, their spouses and their guests for being such an appreciative and welcoming audience. And to the caterers for working with and around me to enable to Rhyme and Dine to work.

I very much enjoyed creating the poems to fit in with the menu for this feast. Especially my Sticky Toffee Pudding poem!

If you’d like me to turn your next feast or dinner into a Rhyme and Dine event, then do contact me to find out more.

Anneliese Emmans DeantheBigBuzz – Bringing poetry to life

Another ‘Rhyme and Dine’ at Bedern Hall

Bedern Hall in York was at its beautiful candlelit best on Monday night for the Rhyme and Dine event I put on with chef Roger Lee for Cambridge Education Group’s FoundationCampus annual conference.

Bedern Hall, York, decked out for a Rhyme and Dine evening for Cambridge Education Group

Bedern Hall, York, decked out for a Rhyme and Dine evening for Cambridge Education Group

Inbetween the courses of the delicious meal, I entertained the – very convivial – group of people gathered there. With poems such as this one:

Plus a a poem about FoundationCampus that they had commissioned from me specially for the event.

The evening ended with delegates entertaining each other – and me – with their freshly minted limericks. Much fun was had by all!

How did the event go down? Well, listen to the conference organiser, Lisa Tyler:

Or, as she subsequently wrote:

‘Thank you once again for helping to make our annual conference such a success.’

FOC Conference Organiser Lisa Tyler at Bedern Hall

FOC Conference Organiser Lisa Tyler at Bedern Hall

A big Thank You to FOC’s Lisa Tyler for all her behind-the-scenes work in advance of the conference. To Roger Lee and his staff at Bedern for a fabulous meal. And to the great – and very talented! – group of people who make up FoundationCampus, for sharing their evening with me.

And if you’d like some entertainment with a difference for your conference dinner – with, perhaps,  a poem written specially for the occasion –  then get in touch!

Anneliese Emmans Dean www.theBigBuzz.biz

‘Rhyme and Dine’ response!

What a lovely crowd came along to my York Food Festival ‘Rhyme and Dine’ evening at Bedern Hall yesterday. Thank you to one and all!

Rhyme and Dine at Bedern Hall on Tuesday 20 September

Rhyme and Dine at Bedern Hall on Tuesday 20 September

Especial thanks go to one Cap Fowles, who at the end of the evening came and performed this ditty for me:

Thank you very much Miss Poetry Bird
These were the best rhymes I ever heard

I came here at my wife’s suggestion
And your rhymes really helped my digestion

Feedback from other diners included ‘Delightful’ and ‘A brill performance!’

Roger Lee and his staff made us very welcome in the stunning surroundings of Bedern Hall, which I think is one of York’s hidden gems. They served us a delicious meal of local, seasonal produce, giving me the opportunity to perform entertaining poems on subjects ranging from Pommes dauphinoise to Apple Crumble!

Click here for full menu details

Roger Lee of Bedern Hall, who created a faulous meal for our Rhyme and Dine evening

Roger Lee of Bedern Hall, who created a fabulous meal for our Rhyme and Dine evening

If you fancy trying out the ‘Rhyme and Dine’ experience, then contact me, Anneliese, to find out more!

Me (Anneliese) at the end of a very enjoyable Rhyme and Dine at Bedern Hall

Me (Anneliese) at the end of a very enjoyable Rhyme and Dine at Bedern Hall

Anneliese Emmans Deanwww.theBigBuzz.biz – Bringing Poetry to Life

‘Rhyme and Dine’ at Bedern Hall

York on a fork – with poems to tickle your taste buds!

To celebrate York Food Festival, I have joined up with Bedern Hall in the centre of York for an evening of sizzling poetry interspersed between the courses of a sumptuous meal.

This Rhyme and Dine event will take place on Tuesday 20 September, starting at 7pm.

Do come and join us! Book online here
or phone 01904 653698 or email Bedern Hall

We have created a Rhyme and Dine menu that showcases the best of local, seasonal produce, much of it from Bedern’s own gardens. And I have written humorous poems to complement each dish.

Rhyme and Dine at Bedern Hall on Tuesday 20 September

Rhyme and Dine at Bedern Hall on Tuesday 20 September

I’m really looking forward to performing in the stunning surroundings of Bedern Hall, which is the 14th-century dining hall of the Vicars Choral of York Minster.

My Rhyme and Dine evenings have been described as ‘sublime’ and ‘fabulous’: ‘Her words were as luscious as the food’. Find out more

The mouthwatering Bedern Hall Rhyme and Dine menu we’ve created consists of:

  • Butternut squash soup with lemon
  • Navarin of Lamb with ratatouille & pommes dauphinoise
  • Spinach & fettle pancakes (vegetarian option)
  • Apple crumble or cheeseboard
  • Coffee & chocolates

Tickets are just £28, and include:

  • Welcome drink
  • 3 course local food menu plus coffee
  • Entertainment throughout the evening

Book Your Tickets Now online!

or phone 01904 653698

or email Bedern Hall

Hope to see you there!

STOP PRESS: Want to know how it went? Find out here!

Anneliese Emmans Dean
www.theBigBuzz.biz – Bringing Poetry to Life

Conference entertainment

The Society for Editors and Proofreaders held their annual conference at the University of York last week.

University of York campus (Photo: Anneliese Emmans Dean)

University of York campus (Photo: Anneliese Emmans Dean)

I was delighted to provide the entertainment for their 20th anniversary banquet – turning it into a Rhyme and Dine evening.

I enjoyed the evening enormously. As did, it would appear, the conference delegates:

‘I thought Anneliese was magnificent.’

‘Sublime!’

‘Fabulous show – your words were as luscious as the food!’

‘Wonderful!’

The conference organiser wrote that ‘a lot of people told me they thought you were excellent – certainly your performance made a significant contribution to the success of our conference.’

So, if you’d like to add a little word magic to your next conference, just get in touch, and I’ll transform your conference meal into a Rhyme and Dine experience!

To find out more, email me at info@theBigBuzz.biz

Many thanks to the catering staff at Vanburgh College at the University of York, particularly Jane Anness and Stuart Scott, for all their assistance and for their delicious food. Thank you too to conference organiser Lotika Singha of the Society for Editors and Proofreaders, for all her highly efficient behind-the-scenes work.

And to find out more about holding your next conference at the University of York, click here.

Anneliese Emmans Dean – info@theBigBuzz.bizwww.theBigBuzz.biz

Sell-out Success!

My LitFest LitFeast at Meltons Too restaurant on Sunday night (part of the York Literature Festival) was a sell-out! Late bookers were turned away disappointed.

Meltons Too provided an exceedingly fine dining experience (see menu), and I entertained with poems between each course in celebration of local fine food.

The LitFest LitFeast at Meltons Too on 9 March 2008

The feedback has been very gratifying:

‘You were amazing last night.  What a natural performer you are.  I really enjoyed myself.  The whole event was incredibly professional.  Your poems were great fun.  I love the way you play around with sounds of words.’

‘I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed your fabulous performance.’

‘Thank you for a wonderfully enjoyable, sociable, hedonistic and educational evening on Sunday! It really was a wonderful night out.’

Thanks go to Lynn Allington (below left) of Meltons Too, and all the staff there, including Harriet, our waitress for the evening, for pulling out all the stops for us.

Lynn Allington of Meltons Too and I after the LitFest LitFeast on 9 March 2008

As the evening was such a success, we’re looking forward to putting it on again. So, if you’re looking for a ‘Do with a Difference’ for your group or company, email me to discuss booking a ‘Rhyme and Dine’ evening!