Last week was particularly full of wonderful things, but the absolute best part, the cherry on the icing on the cake was the dinner that my dear friends at the Italian jewellery house Dodo threw for me on Tuesday night to celebrate my cookbook Friends, Food, Family, in their Sloane Square flagship store.
As a natural evolution from the dinner I threw for Dodo almost this time last year in my London flat, we invited twenty of my friends, from photographers to artists, stylists to presenters,for cocktails in the store, followed by supper downstairs in Dodo’s beautiful event space.
With my lovely friend Susanne Madsen at the very beginning of the evening.
The cocktails were from the book: An Elderflower, Mint, Cucumber and Gin Collins, and a twist on an Old Fashioned. Along with Champagne too, of course.
Literary agent Gordon Wise, and Silvia from Dodo.
Me with Ursula Lake (left) and Hannah Hayes-Westall (right)
I don’t think we had drunk many of the delicious cocktails at this point: I think we were just high on happiness at the lovely Dodo-ish-ness of the evening.
Hannah Teare, Anders Thomsen and Susanne Madsen
Anders Christian Madsen and Felix Cooper.
Hannah and Mark Hayes-Westall
Everyone was gifted a Dodo gold charm on their place setting. Although Dodo charms all come with a special meaning (I wrote about them here), we were particularly pleased that there was a gecko for Gordon, and a horse for Susanne, who loves to ride.
My favourite events company Cellar Society didn’t just help design the mise en scene to reflect me and my book, their chefs interpreted my recipes to perfection. It was the first time I’ve had someone cook for me from the book, and I was quite nervous.
But when the food came out, it was exactly as if I had cooked and presented it myself. With maybe less swearing.
All the recipes were from the book: we ate thee very large chicken pies, served family style with Jerusalem artichokes with green peas and lemon rind, cauliflower puree, and chiffonaded and stir fried Brussels sprouts with slivered almonds, followed by three GIANT blackberry and apple trifles, which were placed at strategic intervals down the table.
It is always VERY satisfying when there are completely empty plates all round.
I was sat between Anders Christian Madsen and Edwina Ings-Chambers, and we were opposite TV presenter Charlie Webster and Julieanne Dorff from Harper’s Bazaar (above).
Susanne and Gordon
Me and Anders. (Selfie-style.)
The beautiful flowers were by my friends at Scarlet & Violet.
Along with their personal Dodo gold charm, everybody took home a copy of Friends, Food. Family, and a little pail of chocolate brownies from the book that I had baked that afternoon, and tied up with pretty labels from Merci in Paris.