What is the best way to ring in the weekend? Cocktails or wine after work, a long drive into the countryside, kick your shoes off and sink onto the sofa? Well, yes, all of the above really. I guess it all depends on the time of the year, the weather and my mood. It's fairly rare, however, that I get to do several things in one before the weekend has even started.
Friday afternoon then was one of these occasions: I was lucky enough to be able indulge in pre-weekend summer entertaining: cocktails, string music, beautiful gardens, fabulous food. Along with other lovely bloggers and friends, I had been invited to The White Company's summer party at Eltham Palace. Whilst it wasn't exactly summery warm (I had wisely decided to wear a lightweight coat), the sun did make an appearance, even if occasionally obscured by clouds, which meant that we were able to sit outside fully enjoying the amazing food that had been prepared by Tim Maddams from River Cottage and cocktails by 31Dover. The Eltham Palace head gardener took us on a tour of the beautiful gardens and Luke from The White Company gave us an informative little talk about their fab new range and table settings.
For me, the food obviously played a big part in the afternoon. Prepared on coals, we were served the most tender asparagus, succulent pollack, foraged herb salad, flatbread drizzled with fennel oil, olive oil shortbread, strawberries and more. It was such a joy to watch the passion for food that went into getting each component just right that I could have stood there by the grill all afternoon trying to extract trade secrets from the chefs but left at some point for fear of looking like a deranged stalker.
That's not to say that any of the other things were less interesting. On the contrary! I really love the pared-back range of glass, china and linen we were introduced to. As somebody who doesn't really do overly 'frilly', this kind of simplicity is just what I am drawn to and I can see each piece working beautifully in combination with any of the handmade and vintage items I own. Now this might give me an idea for the two gorgeous glasses I received from their range. Stay tuned to see what I mean...