TakingStock – Dinner goes with a bang in Flanders.

After Baroness Noakes’ haranguing of the European big wigs at last year’s ICAEW lecture to the College of Europe – the breeding ground for the Union’s future leaders – this year’s speech offered welcome relief.

In wholeheartedly pronouncing himself for Europe, much to the delight of the eager students in attendance, ICAEW president Graham Ward went some way to repairing the damage caused by the battling Baroness some 12 months ago.

However TS was relieved that there were some fireworks to light up the occasion. Though Ward was clearly in no mood to match the pyrotechnics delivered by his predecessor, the evening dinner – hosted by Paul Breyne, governor of West Flanders, at his palatial abode in Bruges – went off with a bang. Literally, when, mid-meal, the oven exploded.

This has all the making of an annual event to rival 5 November. Roll on next year.

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