My favourite part about having friends over for dinner is making the table look pretty. Not in a themed, party planner way, but just taking care with flowers and candles and colours, trying to aim for something seasonal without spending too much money. I'd rather spend that on the food and drink.
Yesterday morning Bella and I walked up to the shops. On our way home we picked cow parsley and buttercups, what you might call hedgerow flowers. Except hedgerows are few round here so we made do with the footpath at the top of our road and the grass verges outside the houses. I added to this with chive flowers from the back garden and put them in some half litre carafes which have small necks, making them ideal for holding the flimsy, wiry stems.
I'm still not tired of cow parsley, even if it does shed tiny little white petals over everything.
These posies set a soft, summery tone for the table, along with a pink table runner I've had for years, some tea lights, and my Grandma's silver cutlery.
I made a big jug of Pimms. We drank it in the garden even though it was really a bit too cold.
We ate salads, breads, smoked meats and dips to begin with, followed by a great big beef chilli that John made, with rice, tacos, guacamole, sour cream.
Then for dessert John made an orange and almond cake, which he served with an orange syrup and marscapone. He's made it before and it's amazing.
Good times with good friends. Although we were greeted by fuzzy heads and a frankly unfriendly amount of washing up when we came down this morning. How did we manage to use every glass, plate and chopping board in the house? But at least there is left over orange cake.