The question when not drinking in January is “What effect will this have on my social life?”. The thought that a drink is an essential accompaniment to a conversation is a bit sad, but it’s amazing how quickly it takes hold, and socialising is one of the five main reasons that people drink. To show that it’s quite possible to have a sparkling evening without alcohol, Brita offered us a dinner party catered by a private chef. As our flat is too small for six to sit round a table, we borrowed a friend’s, and invited three more guests.
We started the evening with a mocktail – coconut and elderflower syrups, lemon juice and Brita filtered water. Garnish with lemon, or maybe some mint? Sharp and refreshing – the amount of lemon juice was the critical judgement – it was surprising how drinking a non-alcoholic drink from a nice glass improves the experience, which was also true for drinking water during our meal. Presentation matters.
The great luxury of the evening was that our dinner party was cooked in its entirety by Gareth Thomas from Saffron Caterers. We don’t have “staff” (no, really!), so it was a real treat to be eating in a convivial, known, environment, but not have to do it all ourselves. The big advantage is that with someone in the kitchen through the whole evening, he can – and did – produce wonderful food, of the lots-of-things-happening-at-the-last-minute, restaurant, type, which isn’t really compatible with keeping your guests happy, talking to them and actually sitting down with them to eat. The essential dilemma of dinner party menu planning was solved.
The evening passed very quickly, and as the comments from guests show, we all thought that it was a great success to the extent that it was a surprise to remember at the end of the evening that we hadn’t actually been drinking and there was no impediment to driving. Evenings like this show that the social life doesn’t have to go on hold during dry January.
An alcohol free invitation to dinner at a friend of a friend’s flat in town, what a novelty, I’d no idea what to expect. The most ingenious mobile chef from Saffron was about to cook 3 superb courses of fresh fusion cuisine, accompanied by fragrant alcohol free fruit cocktails, coffee and chocolates. I’d love a repeat performance.
Thank you for the wonderful dinner party the other night. At first I wasn’t sure about dinner without wine but the coconut/lemon mocktails were such a revelation I didn’t think about wine once and at the end of the eve I suddenly realised I could give my friend a lift home as I hadn’t been drinking, saving a £15 minicab. How cool is that?!
What a brilliant evening! Delicious food and delightful company. Very refreshing, too, not to have any hint of a hangover yesterday morning.
Fuss Free Flavours has been taking part in the dry January challenge this month. Brita arranged and gave us the dinner party. All opinions are our own. Many thanks to Brita and to Gareth for a splendid evening.