Birthday dinner re-enactment a tribute to town’s namesake
A feast fit for a queen
By Lawrence Powell
When Queen Anne celebrates her birthday, the royal chefs stop at nothing to lay on a lavish feast fit for – well a queen. And such was the Queen Anne Birthday Celebrations Dinner February 6 at the Annapolis Royal Golf and Country Club where about 45 well-wishers mixed and mingled before sitting down to seven courses of soup, duck, salmon, beef, royal pudding, coffee, and cheddar cheese.
The royal feast was one of many events in a year-long celebration of the renaming of Port Rpyal to Annapolis Royal in 1710 – 300 years ago.
The capacity crowd at the Saturday evening feast came from across Nova Scotia and each was presented to Queen Anne (Anne Crossman) by Her Majesty’s Crier (Peter Davies) before assembling in the grand dining hall -- all standing until the Queen was escorted to her throne and seated.
The re-enactment was complete with the golf and country club staff in period costume inside and outside of the kitchen where authentic recipes were followed to add to the authenticity of the candle-lit celebration. Organizer Linda Brown of Team 300 said owners Harry and Jacqui Shepherd researched each course of the meal and the menu was based on an actual birthday dinner for Queen Anne in 1708.
The court jester (John Coker) used his considerable wit to entertain the guests who had come from as far away as Yarmouth and Halifax. The Queen was also attended by her Privy Councillor (Ken Nye) and Lady in Waiting (Val Davies).
And, as would have been in 1710, the dinner was complete with court musicians (Kurt Haussecker and Elizabeth Harwood) performing on recorder and harpsichord before and during the feast.
Brown said the night was a big success, both for the Annapolis Royal 300 celebrations and for the Shepherds who proved that such experiential feasts can work when done properly, something she believes Saturday night’s hosts will be able to do again successfully. She said that bodes well for economic development in the area.
On May 6, a combined concert with A Royal Consort and the Annapolis Basin Community Band will be held at St. Luke’s Anglican Church. Music will include Annapolis Royal Suite and Birthday Ode to Queen Anne (Eternal Source of Light Devine).