The British Chamber of Commerce Thailand (BCCT) Eastern Seaboard chapter held the Xmas party for members and friends at Jameson’s Pub as has been the norm this year. However, this party was a real Xmas party with decorations that would have looked good in Trafalgar Square.
Landlord Kim Fletcher had been waxing lyrical all week regarding the addition of rum babas and lardy cake on the menu. These are both very “English” items and not part of the normal Jameson’s menu. But the BCCT events are always “English”.
Down from the Bangkok branch of the BCCT were Chris Thatcher and Executive Director Greg Watkins. They were welcomed by the head of the Eastern Seaboard chapter Mark Bowling, who was accompanied by his lovely partner.
Others who came for a while (some a long while) were Dr. Penguin, Brian Abbott, Sam Peebles, Stephen Page, Geoffrey Huggins, Paul Kidder, Stuart Daly, Stuart Saunders (he was let in provided he denounced his Australian nationality), Gavin Perfect (is he really?), Paul and Tui Dobbs (she is the good looking one), Matt O’Sullivan, Thippawan Suddan, Paul Johnson, Thanachai Nenphitak, Rodney James Charman (the one handed photographer) and Chris Ryan.
At some stages they were three deep around the Nova table, despite which Kim Fletcher’s laugh could be heard above anything.
I did some research on the typical English afternoon tea snacks of baba and lardy. A rum baba or baba au rhum is a small yeast cake saturated in syrup made with hard liquor, usually rum, and sometimes filled with whipped cream or pastry cream. It is most typically made in individual servings (about a two-inch-tall, slightly tapered cylinder) but sometimes can be made in larger forms similar to those used for Bundt cakes. The batter for baba is even richer than brioche batter and includes eggs, milk and butter.
The other, lardy cake, also known as lardy bread, lardy Johns, dough cake and fourses cake is a traditional rich spiced form of bread found in several southern counties of England, each claiming to provide the original recipe. It remains a popular weekend tea cake in some of the southern counties of England, including Sussex, Hampshire, Berkshire, Wiltshire and Dorset. It is unrecorded in the south east counties of Essex and Kent, so it must not travel well, or gets eaten before the border gates.
As a BCCT event it was a success. As a Xmas party it was a success, with some people requiring a taxi home afraid of being pulled up drunk in charge of a rum baba.
(Thank you for arranging my taxi, Kim.)