Last Wednesday, here in London at their New Bond Street flagship store, Swiss knife experts Victorinox threw the most amazing supper party to celebrate my cookbook Friends, Food, Family: Recipes and Secrets from LibertyLondonGirl.
With the help of my friends at caterers extraordinaire, Cellar Society, we turned the lower floor of the store into a dining room for the evening. It was wonderful.
There were delicious cocktails, based on recipes found within my book, including a twist on an Old Fashioned and, of course, Champagne.
I got to practice my signature many times over.
If any of you hadn’t worked it out, Victorinox is the home of the Swiss Army Knife.
And what might my connection with Victorinox be, you may ask? Well, I used their kitchen knives consistently during the testing of the recipes for the book and, if you look carefully inside, you’ll see Victorinox knives lurking in some of the shots.
This absolutely wasn’t product placement or a commercial arrangement – I used their knives because they are truly excellent. My favourites are from the Fully Forged range. With the tang running right through the handle, and beautifully weighted in the hand, they are the kind of tool any cook would want in their kitchen. (I recommend the three piece Chef’s Set.)
Lots of lovely people came: here I am (above) with Allan Jenkins, editor-in-chief of Observer Food Monthly.
It was actually quite hard to find a photo where we weren’t all cracking up. It was an EXCELLENT evening.
This is lovely Barney Desmazery, head honcho at BBC Good Food.
And the delectable Anna Hart, Travel Editor at Stylist and all round excellent writer. We are trying to perfect our sultry, fashion-y camera pose in this photo. Hmmm.
I particularly loved the place settings for the dinner.
My friends at florists Scarlet & Violet made posies of white and green flowers to scatter around the tables, and there were tall, white candlesticks to light the table.
We used Victorinox cutlery, and each place setting had a personalised miniature Swiss Army Knife instead of a placecard.
Everyone received their own copy of Friends, Food, Family: here’s Talib Choudhry, Interiors Editor of The Telegraph Magazine and Stella, and editor-at-large of Elle Decoration reading his.
In keeping with my food philosophy, we kept things very simple, and served all the courses family-style: we started with my pomegranate, maple roasted walnut, roasted cauliflower & watercress salad with tahini and pomegranate molasses dressing. This is a midwinter salad for when you despair of ever having a full day of sunlight. The sweet sour flavours, and the crunch of the seeds and walnuts make this quite addictive.
Then there was PIE. I do serve this delectable chicken pie a lot, but it is just so delicious and easy, perfect for this cold weather. Food to eat when you come in from the cold.
Then we dived head first into a bucket of blackberry and apple trifle. This is, I am proud to say, a trifle that even non trifle lovers adore.
Here I am looking contemplative – thank you Anna for the lovely photo.
In 1884, the Swiss pioneer Karl Elsener founded a cutler’s workshop. A short time later, he paved the way for an unparalleled company history by developing the now legendary «Original Swiss Army Knife». In addition to pocket, household and professional knives, today the independent family company Victorinox also produces and sells timepieces, travel gear, fashion and fragrances all over the world. Each product is an expression of Swiss quality and Swiss pioneering spirit.
Style Notes: Black crepe dress and satin necklace by Cos. Black tights by Falke. (press sample) Leopard print Stella heels by J Crew. Gold studded bracelet by Eddie Borgo (gift)
Huge thanks to MAC Cosmetics in Covent Garden for doing my make up and to my friends at Blow Ltd for the blowdry.