The Locrian Ensemble

MICHAEL DRAKE Barnham Broom Hotel


Barnham Broom Hotel

It's always pleasing to be invited to dinner by friends - and we can call the ebullient Locrians friends by now, so often have they entertained in and around Norwich - and Friday evening's first concert dinner at this new venue was no exception.

The quartet of strings and harp in their usual period costumes played a light, popular programme.

But that is not to dismiss it as incidental, for the intimate drawing room atmosphere showed admirably that they do not need a concert hall acoustic (though this one did favour the lower strings) to display their remarkable musical precision - not surprising for all are soloists and members of celebrated groups in their own right.

The aperitif was the Arrival of the Queen of Sheba and the lush romanticism of Grandjany's Aria in the Classic Style served well as the main course, with dessert in the form of Saint Saens' The Swan played on the 17th century cello with gently lapping harp.

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In the rest of the menu, Pachelbel's Canon was better than most plays on Classic FM.

Add sensitive fingers for Handel's Harp Concerto and an extra helping in a cheeky Cock Linnet Song and we did find our way home well satisfied.

The whole was beautifully set in a candlelit room with impeccable service, good food and wine and good musical company.

It was the sort of event for which one hopes for a future invitation.

Get the programme - there's plenty to choose from in future menus.

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