The big finale to our summer was having a visit from our close friends who live in Boston, US. A family of four with two boys aged eight and four, we were really excited to join them on their extensive schedule (including Cambridge, Stone Henge, Bath and Stratford-Upon-Avon), show them parts of London we love, and welcome them into our home.
There were many highlights to the visit, and a great deal of laughter, but for me one of the things that struck me most was the joy of sharing your home with people you love.
For the last night we had planned to stay at home invite a close mutual friend over and enjoy your meal together. We felt we had to give them as true English and experience as possible, so despite the muggy weather and the seasonal imbalance we made a Roast Beef Dinner followed with Spotted Dick and custard. We supped martinis and red wine and giggled like schoolchildren about all the innuendos the name 'Spotted Dick' can conjure. We laughed and ate until we ached. The next morning we cried as we parted and made assurances of return visits next summer.
And the thing that struck me most is how ever beautiful your house and the things within it are, they have no value until they are shared.
My English Supper for American Friends...
No Starter: the meal is heavy so we didn't want to overdo it.
Instead we had a Martini, expertly crafted by my husband. Always gin - always dry. He likes them with an olive, a little dirty, I like them with a twist. Pop over to the Gin Foundry website for more details on how to make the perfect Martini.
- Slow Aga- Roast Beef Brisket
- Roast Potatoes
- Beef & Wine Gravy
- Yorkshire Puddings
- Carrots, broccoli and peas.
- Spotted Dick with Homemade Custard
Followed by a selection of cheese and biscuits.
(I also cooked a chicken and some mash potato as I'd had my teeth whitened that day and had to keep to a white diet!)
I won't bore you with recipes (unless specifically requested) but I did serve the food using the Falcon Enamelware Bake set.
For serving Champagne I love my LSA Champagne Saucers. I got my set as a 40th birthday gift, and they feel decadent and delicate and set a tone of high camp and serious socialising. I don't stock these (yet!) but they can be bought from their website. Treat yourself, they'll fast become a favourite amongst your homeware collection, and you'll always have a reason to drink Champagne.
By and large I believe there are three things that should always be white: Towels, bedding and plates. I have, however, made the exception with the glorious range of London plates from Snowden Flood. I bought these for my husband to mark his completion of the London Marathon as they show landmarks that are passed on the Marathon. We used them for this dinner, as it seemed fitting whilst celebrating all things British. Our friends were so inspired they immediately bought a set of the plates and a tea-pot and had them shipped to the USA. Who can blame them? All the joy of a London Souvenir, all the sophistication of fine English China.