Tribute to Aileen Hall

Aileen Hall, who was among the first members of the Guild in 1986, died in December 2015 aged 85, after a sad few years suffering from Alzheimer’s.


In 1970 she became Chief Inspector of the Good Food Guide. Though she wrote and edited quite a few books on food and restaurants for Consumers’ Association, they insisted on her remaining anonymous. She did so reluctantly, naming herself ‘Hilary Fawcett’, and in my copy of The Good Cook’s Guide, written with Jeanne Strang, published in 1974, she wrote: ‘Wish I had the courage to mention “fellow cookery writer”!, Love, Aileen’.


We had met around Christopher Driver’s table. Talk about food was never far from Aileen’s witty, and not infrequently damning, conversation. Her fortunate friends were often invited to accompany her on her outings to restaurants all over London and further afield, thus witnessing her keen palate and astute recognition of both the good and the bad in the culinary world.


Aileen will be remembered by her friends as generous, smart and charming, with a lively sense of humour ….but one who didn’t suffer fools gladly.


Aileen’s family have expressed the wish that if anyone would like to make a donation in her memory it be sent to the Alzheimer’s Society (details on their website).


See Tom Jaine’s obituary for the Guardian here.