We may be a tiny toddler in comparison to those WI groups toasting their centenaries but I feel so lucky to have been at the helm with the committee of The Borough Belles on the occasion this November of our 10th birthday. So many ladies have been part of the journey, perhaps more than a traditional WI branch, such is the dynamic of a city-centre WI, and I hope the Belles have been as impactful a part of all their lives as it has mine. I know I’m gushing but I’m proud of all of us, those spear-heading the start and those loyal, creative and adaptable ladies keeping us inspired, entertained, fired-up and friends month after month. The WI sisterhood is amazing and you’re all brilliant!
We started at Bread Ahead Bakery in Borough Market where we were extremely lucky to have a class especially adapted for our celebration. We were a large group of very chatty ladies and the Bread Ahead team and especially our teacher, Julia (who was a contestant on Bake Off 2017), managed to patiently guide us to an extremely successful grissini and pizza conclusion. The baked goods were delicious having been made flavoursome with a prepared starter of yeast and flour and light and bouncy by our judicious kneading. Toppings were home-made tomato sauce, mozzarella, torn-basil and chilli flakes. We ate at the bakery and most pizza intended for later didn’t even make it down the stairs 🙂
Interim grissini were equally delicious and were polished off in seconds. Well, after they’d been posted to social media of course …
Happy and full of baked goods and cheer we walked the short distance to Roast restaurant, also in Borough Market for part 2 of the evening.
The bar team at Roast had really pulled out all the stops to design a welcome cocktail for us whose recipe worked for everyone; drinkers, non-drinkers, vegans and permutations of both – and it was delicious. They named it the Borough Belles Sour and even stencilled a Borough Belles bee on the foam – we were delighted!
I hadn’t prepared a speech and not that confident with an impromptu effort, when the Belles demanded one I suggested a rendition of Happy Birthday. I hope the diners in Roast didn’t mind too much being serenaded by 30 ladies singing happy birthday to themselves – it was very special 😉
And then there was cake – and what a cake! Belle Kiki had constructed the most multi-layered, BBWI-coated cake you could imagine. There was even a little Belle on top.
What a fantastic evening.
Here’s to the next 10+ years fantastic Belles! Cheers!
President, Borough Belles WI