Friday, 28 June 2013

Taylor Wimpey - My Dream Dinner Party Menu

I love dinner parties!  It’s a chance to show off my creative flair, and to utilise all those tens of plates and table knickknacks that I keep purchasing everywhere I go (that frustrates my husband no end), but does make my dinner parties feel special, and go with a bang.

Romantic dinner party for 2
I have had some good ones over the last few years, and I know I spend far too much time prepping for them, but it always is worth the effort.

Raclette dinner party for 4
The good people over at Taylor Wimpy Homes have set a challenge to devise a dream dinner party menu.  As I don’t actually have to cook it and photograph each dish, or need a brigade of chefs to help me (as my menu would take an age to cook all by myself), I felt I could really let my imagination go into overdrive!

So what would my menu comprise of and why?  Well first off as we live on the Hampshire coast and have fresh catch daily, it would be a travesty to not include some wonderful fresh fish.  Secondly I would love to boast about the dish containing fresh herbs from my own garden (and you can’t get more locally sourced than that).  And thirdly, a consideration for seasonal ingredients is a must to any serious cook as it’s bringing the best taste OTM straight to the table.   

So without further adieu, here is my dream dinner party menu entitled

'The Best of British'

Welcome drink:
Frozen Elderflower Liqueur and Sparkling Wine Cocktails with Popping Candy.
Since discovering this liqueur I’m hooked, and I couldn’t think of a better way than drinking this on the terrace with your guests on a hot summers evening, with the addition of popping candy running through the mixture to create excitement and help imitate that sparkling element on the tongue. Elderflower is in season this month too, so some fresh flowers to decorate would make a nice touch.

Mackerel Tartar, Beetroot Gazpacho, Horseradish Ice Cream, Watercress Oil.
Johnson’s fish market two miles from my doorstep provides me with fresh fish that has been sourced locally, and Mackerel when cured to make a Tartar is one of the best dishes I have tasted.  As beetroot is bang in season, piling this fish tartar in the centre of a plate with a gazpachio and adding a small scoop of creamy horseradish ice cream on top would make such a flavourful and visually captivating starter. Not forgetting our famous Hampshire watercress made into watercress oil and drizzled over the dish!

Loin of Hampshire Buffalo, Cauliflower Puree, Parsnip Crisp textures, sautéed Cabbage and Bacon, Port and Jasmine Tea jus.
OK, this may at first glance sound a bit wintry, but trust me as the British summer sun disappears around 8:30pm, we all know how quickly it cools down, so I couldn’t think of a better full bodied dish to have after a light starter. Buffalo is not a meat we have that often in the UK, but I’m always seeing it at my local Southsea Farmers Market, and it’s just as versatile as beef.  With lashings of port and jasmine tea jus made from the base of a good quality meat stock, it's sure to be truly mouth-watering! Brownie points with my guests too for finding a different flavoursome chic alternative to beef!

Lavender Crème Brulees with Rosemary Tuille Biscuits.
Quite simple, it needs little explanation, but how about showing off my homegrown lavender and rosemary in this stunning little dessert to end the evening!

Jacob’s Creek Sparkling Shiraz.
Hard task this, but if I could only chose one wine then it would have to be this.  A red wine that would go with the main course, yet it’s sparkling, so would be light enough on the pallet to pair with the beetroot notes in the starter.

Well although I may not be able to manage cooking all these dishes for one dinner party, after devising this menu, I feel sure that I should include some of the dishes in my future dinner parties, so people watch this blog for updates!


  1. I love sparkling shiraz! You have my vote!

  2. A great blog article thank you for sharing. Here at Queens Hotel Portsmouth we offer a superb venue for that special celebration and wish you and all your readers all our very best.

  3. Well first of all i appriciate your passion for cooking.. Nice blog as well
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