Now that you have the party outfit (see how cleverly I am checking whether you read this newsletter regularly…), what about organising a party? Between June and October, the weather is usually good enough to go al fresco and this is the nicest way to host in my view.
So first invest in a barbecue! We used to be young and crazy and choose our barbecues solely based on how well the colour matched our house… I am not joking… Now we are wiser and after a bit on research on the John Lewis website (a very good way to check which brands to buy for appliances), it seems that Weber is a reliable brand. The Weber barbecues come in all shapes and sizes, with or without plancha, and many work on gas. But do not think that you will be able to buy a gas bottle in a petrol station like you do in France, that would be far too easy! Based on our and our friends’ extensive searches once our respective barbecues arrived, internet is best – we use the Calor website.
Then stock your fridge! I refer you to previous (most ever read!) posts on the website for where to go to buy meat and fish. If you’re not keen on extensive cooking, both Waitrose and Marks&Spencer have a very decent selection of party foods (canapes, rolls, cakes), which can be either delivered or collected in store. You just need to be slightly organised and order one to two weeks in advance. Ocado also stocks frozen foods from Picard so that’s another option.
If you’d rather have someone cook for you, traiteurs do exist in London too! For our next party, we will be using Delisserie, so I’ll keep you posted on how that goes… Friends have also used and recommended to me Ottolenghi and Tasting Plates.
Lastly for drinks, most large drink retailers, such as Oddbins and Majestic Wines, will lend you glasses when you order a large enough quantity of bottles for a party, making your life much easier. But being unpractical and proudly French, we prefer to buy our wine and champagne from France, drive it all the way back to London and buy (many many many) cheap wine and champagne glasses, which take a lot of cupboard space… Oh well…
So enjoy your forthcoming party! And invite me if you fancy!