Any excuse for a party is fine with us. And the fact that Mr G was celebrating a birthday and Christmas was in the air would have been just plain rude to ignore. So we decided on a theme (always easier to work with), drew up a guest list and got ready to rock and roll…
There’s always a lot more work to do than you think. A party, even an average one, takes lots of planning. And who wants an average party? That said we didn’t want anything pretentious or poncy, just a nice little soiree for a few of our favourite peeps. On the drinks front Champagne cocktails fitted the bill perfectly. They’re chic and stylish yet simple to make and get any party ticking over just nicely. Sorted. All we needed to do was pop over to Majestic Wine, order the fizz, a couple of buckets to keep the wines chilled, glasses and ice. Done. The food was a little trickier… Even though the word canapé is French Mr G wanted the menu to have a distinctly British accent just to get our brains a-whirring. We don’t think we did too badly as it happens. Apart from a slight detour to Russia for our cream cheese, caviar and blini ‘starter’, we flew the flag for Blighty with dainty soft-boiled quails eggs and celery salt, followed by ‘mains’ of sausages on sticks with a creamy mustard dip and roast beef and horseradish mayo served in roasted new potatoes. ‘Dessert’ was mini brownies (okay, maybe we stopped swung by the US), followed by cubes of Paxton & Whitfield stilton on a cocktail stick punctuated with a big, fat, juicy grape. All made by our own fair hands thank you very much.
Obviously, we had a dress code: nice frocks for the girls, smart suits for the guys and for the most part, everyone happily obliged.
The Cocktail Lovers Guide To Hosting The Perfect Cocktail Party coming soon.
Words to the wise (or just plain curious)
The effortlessly elegant Champagne Cocktail was first mentioned by Mark Twain in Innocents Abroad, 1869. Its origins depend on who you’re talking to, ranging from being the winning entry in a cocktail competition in New York circa 1899, to hailing from south America.