As a prelude to the Xmas Lunch, around twenty-five members assembled at Hyde Park Corner Station on a damp morning for a short walk to sharpen their appetites for what was to come.

We first crossed the Wellington Arch roundabout with its array of war memorials before walking along the edge of Green Park to Buckingham Palace. There, we encountered numerous tourists awaiting the changing of the guard. The crowds eased as we strolled through St James’s Park and looked at the wildlife on the lake, although unfortunately no pelicans could be seen. Leaving the park and passing various ministry buildings, we entered Victoria Embankment Gardens which forms a green strip alongside the Thames between Westminster and Waterloo Bridges. We followed it to the Savoy Hotel where we headed up to the Strand and on through Covent Garden to our regular venue of the Freemasons Arms.

There we were joined by many more members so that a bumper attendance of fifty-six sat down for the 2023 Xmas Lunch. As ever, the food was good, the service efficient and the atmosphere convivial. To finish, before we all all wandered into the night, our chair Hilary thanked the staff and detailed the Club highlights of the year.