If Romania was to ever have a ‘social season’, the British Queen’s Birthday Party would be at the top of the ‘most want to be invited’ dream list. Held in June at the BNR Arena, nearly 1,000 guests wallowed in British hospitality.
The cream of the British business community was in attendance, together with an assortment of Ambassadors from other nations, and the elite of Romanian political and business circles.
There was no pomp, but plenty of ceremony as British Ambassador Paul Brummell entered the stage for the de rigurer welcome speech to an army bugle fanfare from British Bugle Major Martin and Corporal Freeland, both of the Second Battalion The Rifles.
It snapped the 1,000 strong ensemble almost to attention, and concentrated their attention on what was to come.
Thereafter, Ambassador Brummell delivered a 20 minute monologue, championing British investors in Romania, and praising Minister of Justice Raluca Pruna for her commitment to keeping the heat turned up on financial crime when she attended the London Anti Corruption Summit in May.
He also praised the officers and men of the The Rifles Battalion for their ongoing role in training and assisting the Romanian army in joint exercises.
But to the delight of the audience, he delivered his speech in Romanian language, without the aid of prompting notes. It caused one person to quietly mutter to me that his command of Romanian was the best she had ever heard when comparing him to his numerous predecessors.
For those who wished to break bread with the British, there was a vast array of food. Predictably there was ‘fish and chips’ the ubiquitous dish associated with Britain, – somewhat unfairly as over the years, it has become a mere tourist staple. Brits are nowadays into far more exquisite dining.
Are you aware that the UK has been for several years the world center of gastronomy? This is a known quantity which can only be endorsed by the patter of feet belonging to some of the best chefs on the planet, all rushing to the UK to find work.
The evening was livened by a group of strolling players named the ‘Parabola Company’ a delightful group of young actors who charmed the audience with various extracts from Shakespear’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ to mark the 400th anniversary of the playwrite’s death.
“Romeo, Romeo wherefore art thou?”If he were alive and at the party, he would doubtless be with me in one of the bars where rivers of Ursus flowed accompanied by gallons of fine wines and Chivas Regal, the latter both donated by sponsors Halewood and Pernod Ricard respectively.
Overall, it was a spectacular event, which may even be surpassed by the next 2017 party.