Would you like to be invited to the next Rosé Corner? A rose gold envelope in your inbox with me popping out of it… saying Rosé Corner – You’re Invited! 1. simply subscribe and 2. leave a comment letting me know your favorite rosé – sparkling or still, alcoholic or otherwise… and I shall definitely put you on the A list for next one! In the meantime if you’d like to host your own Rosé Corner I’m going through step by step what I did to make it easy for you to entertain at home.
I wanted to create a party for all my girlfriends who have really lifted me up and inspired me over the last couple of years and to celebrate the launch of the website. Such Fun! I can’t wait for the next one!
I am lucky enough to live in the perfect house for entertaining a crowd – there are outdoor areas for people to gather around the fire pit on the deck or under the branches of the olive tree in the Provence garden. Last night the scent of jasmine and orange blossom was heavenly as friends who had never met sat outside sipping champagne and making new friends. I love nothing more than connecting people, sharing my friends and in the process laughing so hard I cried and nearly peed my pants! And yes that’s me in a beautiful floral crown – that’s was so fab and made me feel so good it won’t be the first time I dress as a Snapchat filter!
Who’s on the A-list?
Creating a good guest list takes a little time to get just right. For last night’s Rosé Corner I wanted true good friends, pure and simple. People who want the best in others and people who are there for the good times and the bad. Many were busy and couldn’t come – birthday’s, work and other commitments – but that’s okay, this is the first of many and hopefully they can be there for the next one. I raised a glass to absent friends and know that I will see you, with or without crown very soon.
I created a little invitation at Paperless Post using an illustration I did – There I am popping out of a rose gold envelope!
What to Cook?
Cooking for between 20 -30 people sounds terrifying to most people and if you don’t plan ahead it is. Breath, shop cleverly and play to your strengths. Here is my menu from last night:
Caviar, crème fraîche on blinis I was so busy I forgot to put out chips – not that they were needed!
Sweet Chili Pistachios – I didn’t make these nuts – I bought them – made by Wonderful!
Cheese platter – my favorite cheddar cheese at the moment is Barbers 1833 that you can buy at Gelsons – made in Somerset (near where I was born) they have been making cheddar for 200 years – go to the website to see the beautiful cows – and you really can taste the difference. I also served a Camembert and a D’Affinois triple cream cheese alongside sweet fat delicious red grapes, baguette from McCalls and crackers, including the delicious Parmesan Crisps for any gluten free fuss pots!
Tomatoes, basil, olive oil, salt and pepper
Little Gems, asparagus, radishes cucumber and herbs salad inspired by Nancy Silverton (- a variation of the Labneh salad I made recently)
Roast Chicken – I used the Poulet en Cocotte recipe and squeezed two chickens in to one pot! It took a little longer to cook but boy was it worth it – I placed pieces on a plate and then guest picked at these and then went back to the pot for more! Nothing like eating with your fingers to bring out the best in the food.
Lucy’s Quick Italian Mess – think trifle without the custard or Eton mess without the meringue – instead I layered fresh raspberries, strawberries, blackberries and blueberries with Chantilly cream and little amaretti biscuits – I topped it off with freeze dried raspberries (from Trader Joes) for a fancy fast and fabulous pink dessert. I think I like the amaretti more than the meringues – definitely one of those in the moment-I-don’t-have-time-to-bake-meringue decisions that resulted in a heavenly sweet treat.
I have a vast collection of vintage plates – some, like the one below, from a brocante in Provence, some similar ones from Vintageweave and some from purchases along the way. Yes I have a plate problem – as I’ve got older it’s creeping up to the shoe problem – what can I say? I like pretty plates and designer shoes! Don’t you?
Flowers – A Host of Golden Daffodils
I kept things really simple and used lots of bunches of daffodils from Trader Joes – the pop of yellow makes me so happy – this is Spring in Devon but here in LA. These glass decanters were found at the Pompom at home warehouse sale – they make the perfect round ball of daffodils.
What to Drink?
Why Rosé of course! Last night I served pink Verve Cliquot – but other favorites are Billecarte Salmon Rosé or Laurent Perrier Rosé – and when that ran out I swtiched to a good pink bubbles that I got from World Market. Place all the bottles in a nice big bucket like mine from Vintageweave and cover with lots of ice.
For the guests who prefer rosé without the bubbles I served Whispering Angel but other favorites include Minuty, Chateau Leoube, the Jolie-Pitt Miraval, Domaines Ott and the holy grail for us is Domain de la Citadel Les Artemes from Menerbes – the rosé that started rosé corner all those years ago in the Luberon. Last year we bought so many cases we drank the Citadel dry – now that’s a lot of Rosé! And for the guests who were driving or not drinking I served Belvoir Elderflower and Rose lemonade – what I like about this is that it’s natural and organic and not boring for those not drinking rosé and no one needs to know – it looks like pink Champagne!
What’s your favorite rosé? Let me know and perhaps we can share a glass or two sometime soon.
There’s only one way to sip rosé – from crystal cut glasses. So last night I christened my new Soho Home crystal coupes, of course! Supplemented with my coupes from Vintageweave, crystal from the flea market in Provence and then for water and soft drinks I used Villeroy and Boch stemless crystal goblets. With only one broken glass, and that was a coupe from Vintageweave, we didn’t do too badly!
What to Wear?
As the host I like to be comfortable and flats are the order of the day when making sure everyone has a drink, a friend, a bite and a good conversation. Last night my red sparkle Marc Jacob mice were perfect – I thought they were cats but they are definitely mice – still nice! I wore a Ted Baker plaid black skirt with a bow at the back that is an instant win in terms of making the outfit dressy. On top I wore a black t-shirt, some Asprey jewels, my favorite Van Cleef and Arpels necklace and of course my crown – MY CROWN – I can’t tell you how great it was to wear a crown! Not only did it cover up my dirty hair it was like having a Snap chat filter all night! I was glowing! Shakespeare wrote in Henry IV “uneasy is the head that wears the crown” but last night that couldn’t be further from the truth – it lifted me up and as we discussed at the end of the night – wearing it meant there was no need for filters, lipstick or drugs to get me high – I was on cloud nine!
Going Home Gifts
I made Beeswax Travel Candles and matches for people – some left before I’d remembered to give them out – next time I will delegate this task – perhaps Rémy or Minty could do this for me.
About Last Night – just look at all these treasures from my talented friends –
My floral crown made by Clementine from Claudia and Shelly. Art Cook brought me her beautiful book, Draw, Eat Cook. Cindy wowed everyone with her chocolate caramels (uninfused) and her child proof goodie pack of (marijuana infused) edibles and miracle cream, from her company Lord Jones, Valerie brought a beautiful box tied up with a pink bow filled with fondant fancies topped with a pale petal – perfection. Caroline brought me a pot of pink tulips and my new neighbor Eilat brought a magnum of Barolo. Hilde brought me a bowl of clementines from her tree and Ilse and Alissa brought me eggs from their chickens – and someone bought me pink salts in a pink bag – was it you? Please let me know so I can thank you!
And today as I live in the after glow of a wonderful evening I worked from my bed and ate delicious treats – like pink Pussy cookies from The Village Bakery (eat cookies and feel good knowing they are raising money for the ACLU) and then chocolate caramels from Lord Jones – without the infusion – and then a fondant fancy from Valerie that was beyond.
I am so grateful and lucky to surround myself with these fabulous friends. THANK YOU!
They say you should find a way to work doing what you love – Steve Jobs put it this way:
“The only way to do great work is to love what you do.
If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking, don’t settle.
As with all matters of the heart you’ll know when you find it.”