Starters and Puddings Evening

Church Rooms, Wenhaston, Saturday 13thJuly 2019

(a fundraiser to purchase and develop Malster’s Little Field as an
 extension of the community wild space provided by Grove Piece)

Wow, what an evening! When we embarked on the idea of an auction tied in with a meal as a fundraising event, we really couldn’t have dreamt that our coffers would be increased by a whacking great sum of £2,106.50!

Diners were greeted on arrival with a glass of fizz attractively set off by a string of red currants and a plumptious blackcurrant sitting daintily at the bottom (try this at home – it gets the party off to a good start).

Our guests were invited to look at the auction sheets on which they were to make their written bids and to look at some of the splendid items on offer, whilst quaffing their aperitifs and chomping some hors d’oeuvres. We already had bids for all 10 generously donated auction items ahead of the evening. Guests were encouraged also to read the beautifully presented information board which showed, amongst other things, a fundraising “tower” of over £4,000 already received for this project. Little did we know that by the end of the evening this would have increased by 50%!

The 32 diners were invited to take their seats at the four decorated tables and it was apparent that the Bach violin music about to play, in order to provide the right atmosphere, would not be required as conversations between guests were already in full swing (our apologies to the Church Rooms’ neighbours for the babble!).

Diners were treated to delectable vegetarian starters, kicking off with Geraldine’s Spanakopita, followed by Marie’s Zingy Summer Pate and by Liz’s Vegetable and Chick Pea Tagine. A plentiful supply of green salad and seemingly endless slices of beautiful bread, kindly donated by the Two Magpies Bakery at Darsham, complemented the dishes. The recipes are available on this website.

There followed a lull in proceedings while tables were re-laid, allowing guests to consider their written auction bids. Before the puddings arrived there was an open auction for a bottle of prosecco kindly donated by Wendy and Peter.

The luscious trio of puddings was then served, consisting of Claire’s Chocolate Truffle Torte, Liz’s Frangipane Slice and Ann’s Blackcurrant Cheesecake all helped down by the obligatory pouring cream. These vegetarian recipes are also here on this website.

Further time was allowed for auction bids during coffees, teas and petit foursand the remaining Two Magpies Bakery loaves of bread were auctioned – food as good as this cannot be wasted. As if this wasn’t enough, birthday boy Norman was presented with a birthday cake accompanied by lusty singing from one and all.

Then came the evening’s next big moment with the announcement of the winning auction bids:

  • Trish Gower’s donation of a 4 person 3 night self-catering stay – won by Ellie Smithwith a bid of £225
  • Liz Hill’s basket of homemade scones and jams – Janice Claxton £50
  • Alan Miller’s guided bird and wildlife walk – bids of £150each were accepted from Tony Gowand from Nickand Sally Amery
  • Mick & Rose Hart and John & Marie Rolfe’s River Alde trip – Gus Jones £100
  • Liz Hill’s 2kg of Spanish raw almonds – Laura Edwards £15
  • Darsham Nursery’s ‘Opal’ plum tree – Kate Archibald £53
  • Claire Ross-Masson’s Grove Piece inspired pit fired ceramic art work – Judy Miller £60
  • Ann Follows’ 6kg mixed wild bird feed – Sallyand Nick Amery £30
  • Jill Daines and Caroline Way each donated a day in a different Southwold beach hut –Trish Gower £50and Julia Wilson £40
  • Woottens gardening course for two people with lunch at The Star Inn – Trish Gower £60and Kate Archibald £40

Additionally, a “whispering auction” bid of £200from Michael Gowerwon the “Canterbury Bells” painting, so kindly given to Blyth Woods by well-known local artist Tessa Newcomb.

Other extremely generous donations were made on the night and, with some sales of Liz’s delicious preserves, we reached that staggering total of £2,106.50.

A huge, huge thank you to everyone for their generosity of donations in whatever form they took and to all our dinner guests who made it such a rollicking success with their very happy demeanours.

The fireworks at the conclusion of the event, by the way, were not provided by Blyth Woods, though it’s an idea ……………………..

Oh, and sorry for all the damp tea towels we left behind after the clearing up!

Ian Bigwood

P.S. Just in – £500 donation from an anonymous ex-Wenhastonian to further swell those coffers – we are truly blessed to have such Friends of Blyth Woods.

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