Our dinner to celebrate the 400th anniversary of ‘Sir Loin’ was held at Hanford in Dorset on Friday 21 July. Members and guests dined on a meal of White Park beef cooked by renowned chef and restaurateur Mark Hix MBE and supplied by farmer John Lean of Tiverton, Devon. The meal was supported by the fine food department store Fortnum and Mason.
In 1617 King James I enjoyed a loin of White Park beef so much at a banquet at Hoghton Tower in Lancashire that he conferred the title of ‘Sir Loin’ on it. The qualities of marbling and flavour that so impressed him remain the trademarks of White Park beef today.
President of the White Park Cattle Society, Lawrence Alderson CBE, who hosted the dinner, said: “The White Park is an ancient type of cattle kept in Britain for more than 2,000 years. The first written records appeared in the mid-ninth century in Wales and more herds were enclosed by the nobility in parks in other parts of Britain in the thirteenth century. They now are noteworthy not only for their distinctive appearance and beef quality, but also for their ease of calving and thrifty hardiness.” The White Park breed is classified as a rare breed by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust.
After the dinner had concluded the rare breeds auctioneer Clive Roads of Worcester Livestock Market hosted an auction of items donated to the White Park Cattle Society.