The Gin Guild’s Autumn Installation event at Mansion House is an occasion to remember. For those who have not experienced a City of London formal function, with the traditions and ceremonies of the City of London and of both the Gin Guild and the Worshipful Company of Distillers, it is an unforgettable experience.
Unlike the Gin Industry Annual Dinner normally held in May in London’s Guildhall, which is restricted only to industry members so as to provide maximum networking opportunities, the Annual Banquet and the preceding Gin Guild Autumn Installation is open, and welcomes spouses, consorts and other guests.
4.00pm for 4.30pm Welcome drinks
Pre installation, a refreshing G&T is available.
The Gin Guild event will be held in the Old Ballroom. This is on the floor above the main reception hall.
Approximate ceremony start time: 4.45pm
5.15pm Post Installation
Post installation, the Gin Guild bar will be offering a choice of G&T’s.
The Guild bar will close at 6.15pm.
6.30pm Banquet Reception
At 6.30 guests exit the Old Ballroom and join and merge, through the main doors to the reception hall, with the flow of guests to the banquet.
Please collect your seating plan and greet the Master. A choice of drinks from the Master’s Bar will then be offered by servers.
We will be called to dinner at 7.00 or thereabouts. Guests are requested, if possible, not to leave their seats during dinner or the speeches.
This, the official residence of the Lord Mayor, has an impact of its own upon the visitor. There is an old-world dignity to the Mansion House. It is beautiful in it’s Palladian style.
The Mansion House took fourteen years to build, being completed in 1753. The architect was the then City Surveyor, George Dance the Elder, who based his design on the works of Palladio, the sixteenth century Italian architect. Following the Italian style, Dance constructed the Mansion House with an open courtyard in the centre. This courtyard was later roofed in and now forms the Saloon.
The cost of the building was financed from fines levied upon those wishing to evade the office of sheriff. That fact caused a wit of the period to say that it was built for those who wished to become Lord Mayor out of the pockets of those who did not!
The Egyptian Hall (pictured), with its columns, clerestory and lovely barrel ceiling combines both dignity and beauty and provides a worthy setting in which the City’s chief citizen can entertain the distinguished visitors that come from home and overseas. It is, as its name implies, designed in what Dance thought to be the Egyptian tradition.
Of interest, although of later date, are the large stained-glass windows at either end executed by Alexander Gibbs in 1868. That at the western end depicts the signing of Magna Carta and, below it, Elizabeth I in her state barge on the Thames. The one at the eastern end shows Sir William Walworth, Lord Mayor, slaying the rebel Wat Tyler in 1381, and, beneath, Edward VI entering the City after his coronation.
No other official residence anywhere in the world is like the Mansion House. It is at once an official residence and a home, a court of justice and a prison. It serves the Lord Mayor in his or her judicial and official capacities. It is a focal point for all that pertains to the personality and office of the head of the oldest municipality in the world.
Many sufferers from disaster think of the Mansion House with gratitude. It is the source of great national appeals of a benevolent or charitable character, inaugurated by the Lord Mayor.
Our installation ceremony takes place in the Old Ballroom (see below)