OldCiren - Cirencester, Gloucestershire, UK
Suppers and Dinners
Like most large towns, Ciren has Teams, Clubs and Organisations to suit all. Some, such as the Rotary Club, have been in operation for many years, while others such as the Bull Club and the Freemasons much longer. Many clubs today didn’t exist when I was growing up; we didn’t for example have a Kickboxing club back then and we certainly didn’t have “NinjaTots” to take our children to on a Saturday.
Times may have changed but many Clubs and Teams continue to this day to hold social Dinners; some formal and some more casual. The Kings Head hotel and the Fleece in the market place has alway been a popular venue for Dinners and Suppers, but these have also been held as far away as Stratton or down the Victoria road at the function room of the long gone, Foresters Arms.
Formal organisations such as the Bull Club used the Fleece Hotel for it’s Dinners, while Cirencester Freemasons held their “Festive Boards” at the Kings Head. Masonic dinners held today at the Masonic Lodge in the Avenue, are fairly simple but back in 1930’s, the menu for the Cotteswold Lodge at the Kings Head included Mock Turtle Soup, Roasted Pheasants, Trifle, Cheese Straws. I’m not sure what The Bull Club serve today but the meeting at the Fleece in 1913, offered Eight courses including, Clear Hare Soup, Turbot with Lobster sauce, Venison, Saddle of Mutton, Partridge, “Savouries” consisting of Herring Roes sur Crout and Devilled Cheese biscuits. Where would a Chef in Ciren find enough Lobsters to make a Sauce for a hundred people? Mock Turtle Soup on the hand was probably fairly easy and could have been sourced locally- It’s made from brains and offcuts such as calf's head or calf's foot to duplicate the texture and flavour of the original's turtle meat.