We're having three parties this weekend, lunch for 120 on Saturday, lunch for 100 on Sunday, and then the young are having a dance on Sunday evening. So I'm busy. Lettice cooked dinner last night ... yet more roast potatoes (some people have had them three nights in a row this week), with roast chicken. Also roasted peppers and onions, stewed mushrooms, and a salad. Delicious. Lettice cooks her roasties in a conventional manner, no funny shapes, no holes, no bacon - and they were perfect. I only had one, because (whisper it gently) I'm getting rather fed up with them. Horatio ate dozens.
I got up early early this morning and drove to Covent Garden flower market to buy flowers for the marquee. Only as I was driving home did I realise that virtually all the flowers I had bought were scented ... lilies, lavender, tobacco, stocks. Sunflowers were the only exception, because I couldn't resist them. They're in buckets of water now, and I'll arrange them tomorrow, nothing too fancy, just one type of flower (one colour in the case of the stocks).
It's the first time I've ever handed the food over to a caterer, a very special lady called Jenny. We're having cold meats, salmon, tarts, with salad and hot potatoes, because Lucius always wants hot potatoes. Then soft fruit for pudding. Samphire with the salmon if we can find it. I'll keep you posted, and try to get a couple of the tart recipes from Jenny, as they sound wonderful. Sunday night the organic farmer who comes to the Henley farmers' market is doing a pig roast.
I'm off to buy yet more beer for the boys ... in the mean time, here are the flowers:
Stealing fruit - "Everything is balanced and orderly; everything is running riot; everything is an English garden." A.S. Byatt on William Morris's Strawberry Thief design; ...
20 hours ago