We recently revisited the Refettorio Felix at St Cuthbert’s Centre, once again bringing the ‘Friends of BM’ together for our Silent Night Christmas supper. Building on the heartwarming success of last year, which also supported local charities, we found ourselves back in Earls Court to spread more festive cheer. The transformation of the venue into a festive wonderland was a massive BM family team effort. From adorning the space with festive decorations to setting up tables and place settings, ensuring the restrooms were immaculate, and organising a temporary cloakroom, the team worked tirelessly for 120 minutes to achieve a complete transformation. You can see them in action on this timelapse video.

Refettorio Felix, more than just a drop-in centre and community kitchen for those in need around Earls Court, transforms into a magical private hire venue by evening. Continuing our tradition, this splendid setting hosted our second annual Christmas supper, a delightful sequel to last year’s ‘Comfort & Joy’ event.

Supporting the local community

We asked all our guests to bring some toiletries, which were given to the people who regularly use the centre. We were overwhelmed by the amount of donations we received.

Train strikes hampered some of our guests’ attendance and rain created havoc for the journey. However, we welcomed our guests into the hall serenaded by catering consultant, Julian Fris tinkling the piano keys with festive tunes. Following the lively introductions and a tribute to our founder, Wendy, we took our seats.

Burnt Chef Project

Whilst we were breaking bread with our dinner partners, Kris Hall joined us on stage to tell us a little about our new social enterprise partner, the Burnt Chef Project. Kris is their CEO. Alongside the Little Troopers charity, we will be working with the Burnt Chef Project in the new year. The Burnt Chef Project raises awareness, and provides support and education on mental health for people working in hospitality. They aim to challenge the stigma of mental health. Hearing from Kris about his personal and heart-warming story, we are looking forward to beginning our journey with the Burnt Chef Project.  We chose the name Silent Night for the event, to ensure individuals who need support, are silent no more. They have a voice and are listened to. Watch out for our activities with the Burnt Chef Project in 2024.

A beautiful festive feast

We settled into a three course sharing meal cooked by Peter Redman and his fantastic chef brigade team. The menu consisted of Forman’s royal fillet smoked salmon, crème fraiche with watercress oil and chestnut, along with carrot kibbeh with Jerusalem artichokes and pickled raisins to start. The main course was slow roasted shoulder of Aynhoe estate venison with pomegranate molasses, fried shallots and mushroom, or honey and vinegar roasted broccoli shank with sesame and nori. We ended with a vanilla and passion fruit pavlova with clementine, raspberries, caramelised croissant pastry and Islands white chocolate.

The food was backed by two great wines of a Macon Villages ‘Clos de Condemine’ 2022  and a Chateau Bechereau, Lalande de Pomerol 2020 by our wine partner Ellis Wines. The evenings festivities were truly underway.

Fun and laughter

Fun and laughter was had throughout the evening. With the excellent Pop up Pioneer and DJ, Sunil Varma playing our Christmas tunes throughout the evening. Before the evening came to a close, Wendy distributed some festive treats and raffle prizes, including merchandise linked to the Project as well as dinner at Trinity Restaurant or Kitchen W8.

Our ‘why’ for a Silent Night dinner

Our ‘why’ is to never just do a dinner, but to have a purpose in what we do. This year was no different and we raised awareness of mental health for everyone working in hospitality and vital funds for Refettorio Felix at St Cuthbert’s Centre. Topics that are important to us and supporters of the #bmFamily💜💚.

I hope you have a great festive break with families, friends and loved ones.

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