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French Embassy and Former Prime Minister Treated to Meals by Foxes Students

Four Aurora Foxes students were selected to attend a very special work experience opportunity in London this month.  The prestigious event was held at the French Ambassador’s residence, celebrating the 120th anniversary of the Entente Cordiale (a friendship agreement signed between France and the UK). Our students worked alongside embassy staff.

Working Front of House, Alex Paxman and Arianna Harkin served guests including Theresa May, Sir Chris Paton, Helene Duchene (French ambassador to the UK) and many other dignitaries.  They helped to put finishing touches to the tables, served canapes – holding the tray in the left hand only, helped to serve and clear away the four-course dinner and were taught how to pour wine to an exact amount. 



In the kitchen, Christopher Pullinger and Rebecca Clinch worked alongside Gilles Quillot, the Head Chef at the ambassador’s residence and the Royal Chef Mark Flanagan, helping to prepare a wide range of canapes and dishes.   As expected, the attention to detail in making the food look and taste magnificent was extraordinary and our students were more than up to the task in this respect, as they diligently prepared a range of wonderful dishes.


A group of chefs preparing food


At the end of the evening, all four students were invited into the dining room to receive a round of applause from the guests alongside all staff, before having a glass of champagne in the kitchen with Gilles and Mark. 


A plate of food on a table


Students were accompanied by Aurora Foxes staff Nicola Gibbs (Head of Education), Amber Coles (Deputy Hotel Manager) and Sean Parsons (Lead Chef).


A group of people posing for a photo

Nicola said: “What was particularly good to see was how involved and included our students were.  They were the only students invited in the UK, so had a real masterclass in helping with this important event.”

Christopher described the event as ‘hard work but fun’ and all four students did an incredible job.  This was a once in a lifetime work experience and it’s a memory that will last forever.

Christopher and Arianna are in their first year at Aurora Foxes and Alex and Rebecca are in their final year.