All the pomp and circumstances of a State Dinner without the head of state: butt then, we’ve dispensed with the usual protocol and decided to call this “Official Dinner” a “State Dinner” anyway. After all, we came here to CHANGE things, remember?
And David Cameron, for his part, earned the special honor admirably, as seen here in his toast to Big Guy:
Barack, it is an honor to call you an ally, a partner, and a friend. You don't get to choose the circumstances you have to deal with as a President or a Prime Minister. And you don't get to choose the leaders that you have to work with. But all I can say is that it is a pleasure to work with someone with moral strength, with clear reason, and with fundamental decency in this task of renewing our great national alliance for today and for the generations to follow.
Moral strength, clear reason, fundamental decency: who wouldn’t want to renew a great national alliance with a guy like that? Plus, BO’s a Nobel Peace Prize winner and he really knows his brackets.
Suffice it to say they don’t make Tory leaders like they used to.
Butt I know you want to see the gowns, front back and sideways:
While Sam’s gown showcased her very slim figure, she did her best to maintain the myth of the Brits being dowdy. Lady M of course was resplendent in her Marchesa gown and Thomas Binn pearls – a king’s ransom’s worth.
The largest State dinner to date, this one had to be held in the Big Tent around back,
Don’t worry though, we spared no expense on the ambiance, with the theme and decorations arranged by the same people who did Chelsea Clinton’s wedding – so you know it was really cool, even if it was a little pricey. Butt price was no object: after all “We don’t have a stronger friend and stronger ally than David Cameron and the British people.” (Or is that the French?)
Sharing in last night’s sacrificin’ for the American people were all the usual suspects: media-whores (can I say that?), celebrity donors and really big bundlers. Note: in keeping with the Bison themed dinner many of the guests came with beards…and facial hair.
In the media-whore contingency, l-r, Claire Shipman(ABC) and Mr. Claire Shipman (JJ Carney), Gwen Ifill (PBS) and date, Anna Wintour (Vogue) and date and, below, the honorable Andrew Sullivan (Newsweek/Daily Beast) of Sarah Palin “Trig is not your child” fame) and his current squeeze, Aaron Tone.
Hollywood backers: dreamboat and ambassador at large, George Clooney, with ValJar; Elizabeth McGovern (unsolicited advice: cosmetic surgery is no longer your friend, dear) and Harvey Weinstein with his wife
…and of course, the bundlers: Richard Branson, Steve Hilton and the honorable Warren Buffet. What? Oh, Uggie? No he didn’t attend, he just came for a play-date with Little Bo.
You’ve probably heard about the famous Buffalo menu by now:
Shaved Brussels Sprouts
Applewood Smoked Bacon
Spring Garden Lettuces
Shallot Dressing, Shaved Breakfast Radish
Cucumbers and Avocados
Red Wine Reduction
French Beans, Cipollini Onion
Warm Meyer Lemon Steamed Pudding
with Idaho Huckleberry Sauce and Newtown Pippin Apples
We had to stretch our definition of eating “local” to mean “somewhere in America” as the halibut was flown in from Alaska (bringing a pretty big carbon footprint with it) and the bison came from one of Ted Turner’s many bison ranches – this one in South Dakota. This is completely OT, butt did you know that Ted agrees 1000% with Big Guy’s decision to deep six the Keystone Pipeline? He agrees that our carbon footprint’s already big enough and now that he has his, it’s time to put a stop to this nonsense. He’s always been very supportive (philosophically as well as monetarily) of our progressive agenda. Too bad he couldn’t make it last night: I guess he was too busy trying to save some other endangered species.
Anyway, that’s a long way to travel only to be turned into a dish with roots in the British upper-class:
Don’t worry though, we balanced the dinner’s “upper-crust” image with an homage to working class fare with our first course of fish and chips.
BTW, a little insider baseball story about the Pippin apples included with the steamed Lemon pudding: it seems that the Newtown Pippin Apples "serve as a symbol of the American-British partnership—the apple was so favored by Queen Victoria that she had the customs duty on them eliminated," according to the Big White PR staff. Hmmm – removing taxes on something considered a luxury item? That seems a mixed message coming from Big Guy who’s committed to making sure everyone pays their fair share. Butt what do I know about taxes, politics, or - for that matter - mixed messages?
I can’t share the wine selections with you. Ever since we were criticized after the Won’s first State Dinner for serving such expensive wine during a painful (for most Americans, butt none that were here last night) recession, the wine list has been “classified information.”
The entertainment was swell too: John Legend (regular visitor here at the Big White) and Mumford and Sons, a British folk band and personal favorite of Sam Cam’s.
You’re all aware of Lady M’s interest and commitment to mentoring youngsters so you’ll not be surprised to hear that she found a way to include them in this historic State dinner in honor of our first (or second) strongest ally. Before the big bash, she invited both U.S. and British schoolgirls to review a copy of the regal table settings arranged in the State Dining Room, and to sample the steamed lemon pudding. Originally she told the girls they’d be the first to get a little taste of it, before remembering: “I think me and Grandma and a couple of people, we’ve tasted the desserts.”
Press preview, with girls
Ah yes, we’ve tasted the desserts. And they are good.