by John Yeo
About fifty people gathered together to enjoy a meal in The Dormy House Hotel, this a thriving establishment overlooking the sea on the outskirts of West Runton in Norfolk. People began arriving on foot and by car, in good time, dressed in lunchtime finery. Many overcoats hats and scarves were in evidence as the wind was biting and the temperatures were in the low single figures. With ample parking space at the rear, just a short walk from the entrance, a superb lunch was promised by the aroma of food emanating from the building as we made our way to the entrance.
At the entrance to the restaurant, with a smile and a greeting of welcome stood Dr May, the organist and musical director of Holy Trinity Church. As the organiser, he welcomed everybody individually and recorded their presence by ticking their names off on a list. Coats were discarded and hung on the many available hooks and there was an impressive coat stand. Pre-dinner drinks were consumed as the diners whetted their appetites for the feast.
The appointed time arrived and at a signal from the organiser, we all began to file into the well prepared restaurant. The tables were set up in readiness, five long tables set up to seat twelve people on each. The staff here at the Dormy are always friendly and efficient with a welcoming smile.
We walked passed the carvery, displaying the meats available for our lunch. A large joint of Beef a joint of Gammon, with a Turkey Breast Crown, waiting and ready for carving. We took our seats. The table positions reflected the wishes of the diners, as people who wished to dine with each other, simply sat together. When everyone was comfortably seated, the Rector welcomed everyone and said Grace.
The waitresses served a uniform starter of tasty Parsnip soup and croutons. Bottles of cold water were placed on the tables for liquid refreshment. Soon an orderly queue of diners were lined up, table by table ordering their main course. A friendly personable chef was carving the meats, and an excellent array of vegetables and gravy was available.
There was a ripple of continuous conversation from the diners, as everyone tucked into their meals, a great deal of general catching up of Parish affairs, and much friendly enjoyment of a happy congenial occasion. When the main course was consumed and the dishes were cleared away, the waitresses delivered the dessert menu’s, a tempting selection of dishes designed to finish an excellent meal, by leaving a sweet taste on the palate.
Sitting back with a feeling of contented satiation, it was time for a welcome cup of tea or coffee to finish off an excellent companionable meal and give thanks for a splendid lunch.
A discreet offertory bag was passed around from table to table, the diners placed tips for the waitresses and staff inside, with gratitude for an excellent service.
Thanks were extended to the staff by Dr May for a wonderful meal. Finally the Rector, thanked Dr May for organising this splendid Parish lunch, bringing everyone together.
Then the members of the community slowly left the venue. Many worthy parishioners, (myself included), would sleep the sleep of the contented later this afternoon.
Some of our lady dining companions would be attending a pre-arranged Mother’s meeting later this afternoon, at St Andrew's Church, possibly stifling contented yawns from the after effects of a heavy lunch.
This afternoon’s meal was an illustration of the congregations of two village churches, comprising the parish of Runton, bringing people together from several nearby towns and communities to enjoy a friendly dining experience.
Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved