Looms were nowhere to be seen recently when the Worshipful Company of Framework Knitters, took a break from their usual dinners in the south of the country and headed north to hold their Gala Dinner this year at Multi award-winning hotel and restaurant, East Lodge in Rowsley.
The Framework Knitters have a long and distinguished history, first incorporated by Oliver Cromwell, then Lord Protector of England in 1657, this status being ultimately confirmed by the restored King Charles II in 1663, although the very first machine invented by William Lee near Nottingham was demonstrated to no less a person than Elizabeth I in 1589. Today the company is unusual in the sense that it has retained close connections to its original trade (most of the members of the company remain involved with the craft to this day), but with a focus very much on supporting various charities.
This Gala Dinner was an opportunity for East Lodge to showcase the best of the Derbyshire region in terms of attractions and produce.
“There is a popular misconception that the best dining and accommodation is only to be found in the south, so this event was an opportunity to put not just East Lodge, but Derbyshire and the midlands on the map for many of the people attending” explained East Lodge director Iain Hardman. “All our food produce is locally sourced from local suppliers, and our Chef Simon Bradly is acknowledged as one of the best in the country so this dinner was our chance to prove that when it comes to fine dining and the best produce, Derbyshire can compete with the very best this country has to offer.”
As well as hosting the Gala Dinner, members of the company stayed at East Lodge for three days and took the opportunity to see the sights of Derbyshire and the surrounding region, as Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire are the spiritual home of Framework Knitting.
Their tour of the region included among other things, a visit to Rolls Royce, afternoon tea with Sir Richard at Tissington Hall and of course, a behind the scenes tour of Chatsworth. Staying in the closest hotel to the region’s most famous landmark, the opportunity to visit was too good to miss!
The breakthrough for the framework knitting machines came in 1758 when Jedediah Strutt introduced an attachment for the frame known as the ‘Derby Rib’; which was apt for the meal created for the Gala Dinner at East Lodge, as while ribs were not on the menu, the meal did consist of the finest in Derbyshire cuisine.
“We had an excellent meal at East Lodge and it was an informative visit to the region that has important historical significance for our Company,” said Master of the Framework Knitters George Turner. “Everyone had a great few days in the region.”
At East Lodge, The Framework Knitters were treated to dinner at one of the top hotels and restaurants in the UK, with a prestigious range of accolades to its name and with a new local wine supplier, meals now taste even better than ever. As well as being the perfect venue for showcasing Simon’s talents, East Lodge can also point to the coveted AA “Inspectors’ Choice” Award, with three red stars for 2010 placing it within the top 150 hotels in the whole of the UK and East Lodge remains just one of 48 hotels in the country presented with a Visit England Gold Award.
For enquiries and for booking your meal in the restaurant can be made by calling East Lodge on 01629 734474. Alternatively, visit the hotel website at www.eastlodge.com