Monday, 19 October 2015

The Perfect Dinner Party (almost!)

We've been renting our home now for over 18 months and we're well and truly settled in now, Aside from the cupboard under the stairs storing lots of books, everything had found a place and every room has a use. We chose this house because of one room - the conservatory. Our downstairs rooms are all quite small so the conservatory actually has the biggest footprint, and of course it's beautifully light and airy. We brought lots of new furniture when we moved too, but the conservatory has the dining table from Sion's childhood home as well as a Welsh dresser his father owned so it holds a lot of memories.

The only problem is that most of the time it's just Sion & myself eating and we commit the cardinal sin of eating on our laps in front of the TV most nights. During the summer we had lots of people round, but we tended to push the table to one side and use it more as a corridor to the garden, than long, lazy lunches around the table.

So when Ocean Finance got in touch with me and told me about their campaign to get the nation's unloved dining rooms the centre of people's attention again I was more than happy to get involved.

Their idea was for each blogger to host a Come Dine With Me style dinner with family and friends and then blog about it...sounds simple huh?!

Of course living with a rugby mad man and hosting this dinner during October meant there could only be one theme - The Rugby World Cup. I like using themes to help decide on menu choices, but I didn't want to make people feel uncomfortable by asking that they dress up, so I kept it subtle! re-purposed (brought home from a pub) rugby ball coasters & a rugby themed printed menu were about the extent of my theme, but I think it was enough!

So onto my menu - we started with Welsh Rarebit (posh cheese on toast), followed by Coq au Vin pie and finished with New Zealand's national dessert Chocolate Pavlova. The joy about all of these dishes was that they could be prepared in advance and just finished off once people arrived, although I still managed to burn my toast a little and my gravy didn't really thicken!

Every good party needs entertainment and ours was no different. We made sure there was background music throughout the dinner and we took a break between the main course and dessert to play a few rounds of Cards Against Humanity. For anyone who hasn't come across this game it's a simple card game where you use your cards to make the funniest sentence or awnser to a question. The fun comes in that some (most) of the cards are adult themed, or can be very un-PC in the right context!

We had so much fun sat around the table, giggling over our answers that we carried on playing and eating dessert at the same time.

Of course, this being in the Come Dine With Me style, meant my guests had to score me! So how did I do?....

Go me! More importantly though it re-ignited our love of eating properly up at the table. Eating becomes a pleasure, a time to enjoy, sit back and relax in the company around you. Our table has now been moved firmly into the middle of the room, pride of place, ready for the next dinner to enjoy!

What would be your perfect dinner party? You can read more on how to plan the perfect dinner party here

This is a collaborative post with Ocean Finance, who kindly covered the cost of my dinner party ingredients.

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