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Small & impromtu events / meals

Outside the programme of monthly parties, there seems to be growing interest in small group gatherings, quizes, film nights  board / card games nights and lunch or suppers without clothes.

For many, a message on the WhatsApp or Telegram groups that they have a free evening and 'wanna come round?' might be enough. When you know people better then a message between you or a small group of friends can work as well. 

An idea we first devised before Covid is  'Come Dine with me - Naked' and we now feel it is time to develop this. It is not competitive but a shared meal in preparation and contribution.

It is simplest to keep the ‘bring’ and 'Pot Luck' principle we use at the main parties but in a more structured way. The idea is to keep the cost similar to the amount many spend when bringing wine and party buffet contributions ('typically around £10 - £12 a head – but two could club together for something more expensive). Gian & Fran will host the veggie / vegan meals (6 max) in Ealing for starters and Chris / Sebastian will host the wider food range in Highgate (8 max). Any dislikes / cultural prohibitions / animal wellfare issues (for the omnivore meals) or allergies need to be advised to host who will co-ordinate the 'Pots' and for others what they get is the 'Luck'.

 

The host(s) will probably take the lead with the main course, particularly if it needs some pre-preparation or doubling up as it may be the most expensive part. Others will be nominated to bring pre meal drinks, wine, sweet or starter that need minimal preparation or, ideaaly just 'opening up' or plating.

 

Timing could be a weekend lunch / brunch and in the summer a BBQ For a supper there is always the possibly (if time allows) for some film or card games after. For weeknight suppers it could simply be a less ambitious pizza and pud for a smaller number. Friday nights could be more elaborate.

 

Here are some ideas for the component parts:

 

Welcome drinks (2 combine for this, perhaps):

Prosecco and fruit juice / cordials – 2 bottles and juices (around £20)

Gin & Tonic (basic gin and bottles of tonic around £20 - £24)

Pimms No 1 and trimmings (summer)

Bloody Mary (Vodka and Big Tom tomato juice mix)

 

Starter:

Soups (3 x 600 ml for 8 - + sourdough bread or part baked baguettes)

Smoked Salmon on rocket salad

Bhajis / Samosas + crisps and nibbles

Spring rolls + crisps and nibbles

Ravioli (cheese or meat filling)

 

Main:

Chilli con carne & rice

Roast Chicken and trimmings / veg (2 to combine for this – 2 birds needed for 8)

Vegetable chilli or Provençale Veg stew (Ratatouille) and rice

Lasagne & salad

Pasta and meat or vegetable sauce

Moussaka (could be veggie version) and salad

Always a pizza option (but we have so many at parties)

 

Sweet:

Baked bramley apples & ice cream* (or syrup for vegans)

Tart tatin and cream or ice cream*

Cheesecake

Tart au citron and cream or ice cream*

Crème Brulee

Eton Mess

Fresh fruit salad and cream or ice cream (*vegan ice cream possible)

 

If any of those are a bit short of spend, then some After 8’s or similar could top up.

 

It would really mess things up if there were no shows, so the idea needs a degree of commitment to a suggested date / time / place / food type (allowing for force majeure) and  what part you are contributing. A check that things are not incompatible might be a good precaution! We think this will work best if friendship groups get together for this rather than a broadcast invitation.

 

We have experimented with a WhatsApp group in a pre-launch trial event and that works for co-ordinating dishes and drinks.

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