Thursday, 25 July 2013

How to throw the perfect dinner party...NOT

On my 101 list, I challenged myself to throw a dinner party for reasons I'm not entirely be sure... I am pretty awful in the kitchen and have absolutely no confidence in my abilities (due to the fact they are so lacking) and live in constant fear that I am going to give my 'victims' food poisoning. Therefore, I like to seriously overcompensate with decorations and alcohol (I apologise for the differing lighting throughout, they were taken at various points throughout the day):

I picked up the table runner, place mats, napkins and candles from a cracking shop called Butlers that is quite similar to Crate&Barrel but on a much smaller scale; it is the type of place that sells things that you didn't know you needed until you saw them. It's also pretty affordable, the candles were only 99p for instance. I tried to keep costs low as much as possible so, as it was a very informal evening, I just used paper napkins and little plastic kid's bowls as side 'plates' for bread, as my little flat is definitely not well stocked enough with crockery. I realise that the table could be viewed as a little gaudy, but I think that it works well in this sweltering summer heat. I personally really like the colour clash and think the massive white hydrangeas break it up well. As for the bubbles, well, what is life without whimsy. 

I also set up a little 'bar' which later had olives, flowers and prosecco, but unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of that. I tried this funkin' bellini purée as I didn't want to be messing about trying to make my own, but I wasn't impressed really - it took a lot to get any real taste from them. And as for the cocktail shakers, I LOVED them when I got them as they're really bright and fun, but before even using them two of the 'heads' had broken off, which was very upsetting. I picked these up at Butlers, so just as a warning, they aren't the most fantastic quality.

As for food, it was definitely not haute cuisine. The menu consisted of scallops and butternut squash purée (that was it, I forgot to put the other ingredients in), salmon with ratatouille and couscous, Eton mess (which I forgot to get a picture of, but I served them in Kilner jars as I didn't have enough bowls) and my amazing cheese board - this is the bit I'm most proud of, mainly as I wasn't responsible for any of the food. I stuck with the classic rule of one hard, one soft, one blue and one goats with crackers, grapes and chutney and it was pretty darn good. Sadly, though, I had plied my guests with so much food and alcohol that they didn't want any more by the time this came out and so this is now sat in my fridge and stinkin' up the joint. Marvellous.

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