Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Spring Birthday

Our most recent event was a splendid dinner party to celebrate a special birthday. As a bonus, it was held right here in the village, so we were able to nip home and pick up anything we might have forgotten. Not that we ever forget anything, of course.

The host created some menu cards, which I thought were fantastic:

So, we arrived in the early afternoon, set the table - a square farmhouse style seating arrangement for the guests - and made sure everything was good to go when we went back for the evening.  As we had plenty of space to set up in the house, as well as a whole separate kitchen for preparation and clearing, we were about as relaxed as you can be in those circumstances. It was helped by the fact that the weather couldn't have been better, and we were trotting back and forth to the house in bright sunshine. That always helps.

The guests were welcomed with a glass or two of fizz and some of our canapes, and then moved across to the main house for dinner.

The starter - a pear, walnut and blue cheese salad:

As we were asked to provide the crockery, there was a slightly eclectic mix, with a vintage/old-fashioned theme which the host and hostess liked.

The main course was a delicious beef daube with dumplings, which I forgot to photograph as we were a bit busy by that point.

The host and hostess provided a selection of cheeses, beautifully arranged by Jo:

The dark pieces on the goats cheese are preserved figs, which looked utterly succulent.

The desserts were our (by now famous!) chocolate mousse cake, and a seasonal apple meringue with home-made caramel sauce, both of which were thoroughly enjoyed by the guests.

To finish, we made some petits fours to go with the coffee - dark chocolate brandy truffles, Seville Orange candied peel (in chocolate) and a dark chocolate and orange bark.

As we left, the party was still going strong!