A couple of Fridays ago now, we hosted the very first dinner party in our new home and it’s pretty safe to say that it was no ordinary dinner party. No meal prepping, no last minute dash to the supermarket to grab forgotten ingredients, no stressing about burning the food using a gas oven which we’re not used to yet. Basically the whole night from beginning to end was completely and utterly stress free and how often can you truly say that when it comes to hosting guests?
The reason for this was due to a wonderful company called La Belle Assiette getting in touch and asking whether I’d like to host a dinner party from the comfort of my own home with a private chef. As a new homeowner I absolutely fell in love with the concept as so far we’d put off having many guests around as the house wasn’t anywhere near finished (and also partly due to the distinct lack of a dining room table) but this opportunity was far too good to refuse!
About a week prior to the event I was put in touch with my chef, Georgi who ran me through his proposed menu and asked if I’d like to make any suggestions or amendments to which I replied, “no thank you, you’re the chef. I trust you.” And I’m SO glad that I did!
Turning up on the evening about an hour and a half before my guests were due to arrive Chef Georgi set to work, navigating our tiny kitchen with ease. Apart from a couple of questions about our (pretty poor) equipment selection we barely heard a peep which made the evening feel extremely private and not at all awkward.
My only real job for the evening was to dress the table which I took great pride in and even picked up some new crockery for the occasion. I chose to layer up two round dinner plates from Søstrene Grene and top with these super cute napkins from H&M Home which I fell in love with. Our Gold Cutlery added the perfect finishing touch to the place settings and made the whole thing feel pulled together and maybe even a touch luxurious?!
After mingling with our guests for about fifteen minutes and popping open a bottle of bubbly to celebrate the occasion, Chef Georgi asked us to be seated as the starters were almost ready. We were presented with a bread board and oils to give us just a taste of what was to come that evening.
Shortly after, our goats cheese and roasted beetroot starter was popped in front of us, the presentation was immaculate and resembled something that you’d expect to find in a fancy five star restaurant. Now I’m the first one to admit that I find goats cheese a little hit and miss, feta I LOVE but sometimes the smell of goats cheese is just a little too much for me. On this occasion I surprised myself as I savoured every single bite. The rich, creamy flavour paired with the sharp beetroot was a match made in heaven and it was a resounding opinion right across the table.
Collecting our plates and dissappearing back into the kitchen it wasn’t long before the incredible scents of the main course were drifting into the dining room and sparking our interest. From my seat I had a great view and it was amazing to see Chef Georgi at work, producing incredible food in our far from restaurant standard kitchen (please ignore the ugly blue walls!).
We didn’t have to wait long until it was time for the mains and on the menu was chicken breast with lentils a la Francaise. On paper this course didn’t really stand out to me too much. I’m not the biggest meat eater and usually tend to opt for a vegetarian meal if out in a restaurant but I reserved my judgement especially after tasting the surprising goats cheese starter.
I was right to go with my gut as the chicken was gorgeously tender, the lentils delicious and the celeriac mash a real added bonus. Something that most of us hadn’t tried before and failed to guess the key ingredient when questioned by Chef Georgi but it was incredibly creamy and indulgent tasting.
And finally, from the owner of a particularly large sweet tooth came the course I’d been looking forward to the most, dessert! Out came the dark chocolate delice with coffee ice cream and my oh my. I’m not sure there are sufficient words to describe how incredible it was. I never wanted it to end, the crunchy hazelnut base teamed with the rich chocolate mouse was just amazing and we’ve barely been able to stop talking about it since!
Upon clearing the plates we sat about chatting with our guests, repeatedly praising Chef Georgi’s amazing work and a short time after he was on his way, leaving a beautifully clean kitchen behind him with the dishes washed, dishwasher stacked and tea towels left in the washing machine in anticipation.
Overall the night really was one to remember, it was lovely to be able to enjoy real quality time with our guests without having to repeatedly run in and out of the kitchen and have the worry over our cooking abilities. It’s safe to say Adam and I have a lot to live up to next time we invite our guests around for dinner…
Do you find hosting dinner parties at home stressful? Would you consider hiring a private chef?
Disclaimer: We received the La Belle Assiette experience complimentary but all thoughts, opinions and mouth watering my own!
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Photography: Rhys Herbert