Well there’s a question…who would I invite to my dream dinner party? Actually, there’s another question too – what would I serve them? And what Italian villa would I choose to entertain them in? Aaaaggghh! Where to start? Well, I can think of a million and one ideas as lets face it 1) I love food and 2) I love Italy! Planning events is also something I love to do, I always have. This could be fun.
Emozionante – I don’t really speak Italian, I googled that 😉 It means “exciting”!
I’m going out on a bit of whim here and writing something unplanned and spontaneous. An email dropped in my inbox today from Clickstay, who yes I have worked with before, but this was something different… a competition! I never enter competitions purely because I never bloomin win – ever! But I just ate a big slice of cake, had a coffee and I fancied having a little bash at it. Plus it’s the taking part that counts remember.
First question, where would I host this dinner and lets be honest here, I do love a good cocktail and a bottle of fizz – so a good boozy dinner it will be!
Ta-da! This place… swoon. It’s in Sorrento, the gateway to the much-drooled-over Amalfi Coast, and a place I’ve always wanted to go.
The views are outstanding and it kind of looks like a home away from home – if that makes sense? I like to feel like I can really relax and the perfect villa should encourage you to do that. Too modern and I fear we may break something, too pokey and we end up living in each other’s pockets. This villa however, this villa would be a dream.
We’d eat our amazing dinner here…
Have our after dinner cocktails here…
Your imagining it already aren’t you? I know I am. Add some twinkly lights, some candles and the perfect music and you’ve got yourself the perfect dinner venue.
Now, this is the hard part. There’s one part of me that wants to go full on cheese and pick my closest friends and family. I love them, they are funny. But nahh.. we spend enough time together, we go away each year and it’s amazing, so they’ve kind of already fulfilled my ‘realistic’ dream dinner option. Lets be a bit more creative…
Ok. Let’s try to narrow this down. Who, if I could choose absolutely anyone, would I have to dinner? As I’m mainly interested in baking and food in general, I suppose I need to include some people who have played a great part in it or who I’ve admired.
I don’t want too many guests as that would just be far too stressful… too little may be too awkward so I’m going to aim for a nice round table of 6! Yes, 6 sounds perfect. Plus me and my boyfriend Steve. I know I said no friends or family, but I’ll need him for moral support I think. Plus he makes a mean coffee and I know he’d be pretty peeved if he doesn’t get to meet my guests. Ha.. my guests – I think I need to keep reminding myself “This isn’t real”!
Firstly, because this dinner party is ‘make believe’, it means I can invite anyone that I want, but I feel like I need to set a few rules and make it a tad more challenging. Firstly, there needs to be be a mix of men and women. They all have to be real people (dead or alive) so no fiction or Disney characters. Also, I figure that if I choose famous people they may get jealous of each other, so nobody so famous that they need their own body guards and security team. Sorry Beyonce and Jay-Z, you’re off my list! You would hog the limelight way too much 😉
And probably the most important rule yet – they need to be people whose work or reason for being who they are makes the world a better place. Ahhh, I like that one.
I really did end up spending an inordinate amount of time thinking about this!
Guest No.1 – Leonardo Dicaprio
Yes really… don’t leave yet, hear me out and let me explain this one. Leo is cool. He makes amazing films, is a fab actor and of course he’s pretty hot too. Plus, can you imagine what he would be like after a few Aperol Spritz’s? Exactly, now you’re back! On a more serious note I admire Leo because of the Foundation he created which is dedicated to the long-term health and well being of all Earth’s inhabitants. He’s vegan (I can work with that), one of the most notorious environmental activists of our time and he makes speeches about preserving our Oceans, talks politics on TV and totally gets climate change. He’s somebody that uses his celebrity status in a positive way.
Guest No.2 – Mary Berry
Mary Berry is the Queen of baking in the UK if you ask me. She’s the lady you all want to share a slice of cake with and she’s classy. I imagine Mary is pretty jolly too as have you noticed the little winks and jokes she made when on the Bake Off? Plus, I reckon she wouldn’t mind helping in the kitchen if something goes wrong. I also reckon Mary would be interesting and the conversation would flow quite easily, plus she’s always happy and everyone loves a happy person. Mary has made baking ‘cool’ and has motivated so many people to get in their kitchen and bake more – we love her!
Guest No.3 – Russell Brand
I know he’s a bit ‘marmite’ and he’s only invited on the promise to keep his hair at a safe distance from the food, but he is funny! He has strong beliefs and I love watching his True News (Trews) channel on YouTube. He’s an actor and comedian but he’s also an activist and listening to his take on media as it appears in newspapers or on television is really eye-opening!
Guest No.4 – Ashley Graham
Now if you don’t know who Ashley Graham is – google her. Not right now, but after reading my post. She’s a supermodel! And not the usual type of person I would admire, but she’s different. She’s a Model, Designer, Author and Body Activist and regularly campaigns on about body image, self-acceptance and female empowerment. She makes my list 100%.
Guest No.5 – Aziz Ansari
I first came across Aziz when watching Parks and Recreation with Steve and found him hysterical. He’s also incredibly witty, honest and I pretty much always agree with what comes out of his mouth. I’ve also recently realised he is obsessed with food… totally obsessed! I found some quotes… this is why he made the list.
“It was quicker for my dad to find a wife than it is for me to decide where to eat dinner.”
“I’m kind of obsessed with food. I like to eat. When I tour, it’s like, well, like a food tour as much as a comedy tour.”
Guest No.6 – Stevie Nicks
Stevie is the lead singer for UK band, Fleetwood Mac. Wind back a couple of years ago and I wasn’t really a big fan of Fleetwood Mac but then I re-listened to the Rumours album and strangely now love them! Plus Stevie is a rock star, let me repeat that – a Rock Star! Ha. But overall from what I’ve seen she’s sophisticated, has strong feminist beliefs and is ruthlessly honest.
There, its done! I’m pretty sure our dinner would be full of gossip, discovery and fun. What do you think? Would they get along?
The food and drink
I’ve two’d and fro’d with this one. Obviously. It was difficult enough choosing my guests, but choosing food is even worse! So. I’m just going to go all out but stay traditionally Italian, and I promise to keep this part short as I’ve 100% written way too much already – who’d have known this would be so much fun!
Since Italians are renowned for taking great pleasure in their food, wine and the company of their friends dinners can often go on for hours, so rather than serve a traditional three-course meal I would have around six-eight small dishes. I believe this is known as portate!
Antipasto – purposely keeping it simple so we don’t crowd out the main meal I’m choosing artichoke hearts served with crackers and Camembert cheese, chopped tomatoes marinated in Italian dressing, served with garlic-stuffed green olives and last but not least, roasted red and yellow peppers, garlic hummus and pita bread. (Leo can skip the cheese)
Are you hungry now? I am. (Still reminding myself this isn’t real)
Moving on…I’d have our chef knock up some amazing creamy risotto, aubergine Parmesan, tender gnocchi and a butternut squash pappardelle. And yes you read that right, I did say Chef.. there’s no way I’m cooking at this dinner!
We’d have champagne, actually scrap that. We’ll have Bellinis on tap, our own ‘make your own’ cocktail stand and of course a few traditional ice-cold Limoncellos.
That’s it! I’m done. How about you? Who would you invite and why? It never hurts to dream.