A Dinner for Dodo in London: Friends, Food and Charms…

by Sasha Wilkins on November 18, 2013 · 15 comments

dodo dinner

There is little that I enjoy more than bringing together a group of girlfriends for supper around my dining table. I also particularly enjoy finding the perfect present for my friends and family – as you may remember from my series of Christmas gifting posts last year.

So my recent collaboration with Italian jewellery company Dodo couldn’t possibly have been more Sasha…I invited six girlfriends to my home in London for dinner, and chose for each of them the gold Dodo charm that I thought best suited their personality.


(The Dodo charms are a wonderful collection of animal charms, each of which has a secret meaning so, whilst you can buy a pretty charm as a straightforward present, you can also tell a little story with it too. The Dachshund above means ‘I’d go to any length for you‘)


That’s the table top I designed above (of which more later), and I went to Covent Garden to buy armfuls of flowers to decorate the dining table, choosing roses, Ranunculus and rosemary, all which carry particular meanings, according to the language of flowers. Rose means beauty, rosemary for remembrance and, most appropriately for our charm-inspired dinner, Ranunculus means ‘I am dazzled by your charms’!

Amongst my guests were the photographer Jackie Dixon, fashion editor and stylist Hannah Teare (she styled this campaign!) Helen Seamons – Fashion Editor of The Observer, the brilliant food writer and TV cook Ravinder Bhogal (author of this wonderful book), plus my friends Beth and Emily.  There was a lot of this:


and quite a lot of this


I do love it when an evening gels, and it becomes all about telling stories.

I wanted to design a menu that was seasonal and autumnal in feel, and was colourful too, to match the Dodo felt mats and jewellery boxes. So I cooked and we ate:


Pomegranate, maple roasted walnut, roasted cauliflower & watercress salad with tahini and pomegranate molasses dressing

Individual home made chicken and mushroom pot pies
Buttered Spring Greens
Butternut squash puree with pumpkin oil and pumpkin seeds

Individual chocolate trifles (70% chocolate mousse, home made brownie chunks and whipped cream with chocolate shavings)

Ripe Waterloo cheese (made from Guernsey milk in Berkshire), home made Bramley apple chutney, water biscuits, celery

Empty plates make me very happy


Although, frankly, so does chocolate…


I think Emily would agree.








{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Pippa November 18, 2013 at 18:57

That salad looks delicious! May I be a pest & ask if you roasted the cauliflower and walnuts together in maple syrup or separately? Must try to recreate.


Sasha Wilkins November 19, 2013 at 12:13

@Pippa: Hi Pippa, I roasted them separately. The walnuts in a frying pan, and the cauliflower in the oven. It’s a lot of ingredients but it actually takes very little time to fling them together. LLGxx


K-Line November 18, 2013 at 23:32

You throw the most beautiful parties! I would have loved to sit at that table and eat that gorgeous food!


Sasha Wilkins November 19, 2013 at 12:13

@K-Line: oh bless you sweetheart! LLGxx


Roxanne C. November 19, 2013 at 01:46

Wow, how do you make all that food AND manage to decorate the setting so nicely!

Roxanne C.


Sasha Wilkins November 19, 2013 at 12:17

@Roxanne C.: Serious multi-tasking! Although I am pretty quick with flowers now. The secret is to prep the flowers the night before – strip and chop the stems, and give them a really good drink overnight. That part always takes longer than the arranging. In this case, think two hours to prep, and an hour to arrange!

Also: I designed this menu so that a lot of it could be prepped in advance – the pies were made in the afternoon to pop in the oven, and the trifles just needed their hat of whipped cream for example LLGxx


LucyLondonder November 19, 2013 at 15:20

awww these photos are so beautiful! you can feel the love in the air. ugh, so jealous of your life.



Susan November 19, 2013 at 16:30

Oh, I love everything here. We may need recipes & so on. And I adore rosemary with roses (& the ranunculus). Just lovely, Sasha.


Colleen November 19, 2013 at 19:05

Your flower arrangements are always so very pretty.


Gourmesso coffee shop online November 22, 2013 at 13:18

That place looks amazing, plus the flowers arrangement really got me!


Caroline@beautifulosophy November 24, 2013 at 07:29

What a lovely dinner! And great idea with the gift charms to your guests! Caroline


Emma November 27, 2013 at 13:54

Wow this looks like the most beautiful evening, you’re right, there’s nothing better than when the evening becomes about telling stories.

Hmm maybe…


rosemarie November 28, 2013 at 14:42

Absolutely lovely setting. Thats what I want one day for my big day:)


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