First night nerves no more...
...as we hosted our first event on Friday and, even we say so ourselves, it all went really well (phew!) We had a ball...and more importantly our guests told us they did too!
It would be a lie to say we weren't a little nervous as we put the finishing touches to the place settings and checked that we had enough cutlery to go round (just!) but before we could change our minds there was the first knock on the door and the evening began!
Although the sun had disappeared by 7pm when people started to arrive, it was still just warm enough to enjoy the rhubarb and juniper bellini aperitif and a canapé or two in the garden. While our guests got acquainted we set about serving up the first course, a radish soup (credit to chef Tom Hunt for this recipe) served with home-baked caraway seed focaccia, followed by a lemon and rosemary risotto which was inspired by our holiday in Italy last year.
Next came the lamb which Tom smoked on the BBQ (he had to BBQ something) and then oven roasted before serving with a aubergine puree, jalapeño sauce and pickled kohlrabi (we went full on Ottolenghi for this one) with a side helping of home grown kale and yellow chard.
A little palate cleanser to follow; a gooseberry and pernod sorbet with a gooseberry gin gum. Then came what I think was most peoples' favourite of the evening, the chocolate fudge torte with thyme ice-cream. There was even a request for more - which we couldn't refuse, and handed the ice-cream round for seconds. At this point the photographers for Leeds Indie Food Festival @LIF19 had arrived and were taking shots of the evening. Credit to them for the shots of our dessert and cheese here - to be honest we were having such a good time we forgot to take many photos so really glad they came along!
Now I love cheese and was very excited when George and Joseph Cheesemongers said they would collaborate with us. They pulled out all the stops with an absolute mountain of cheese for our guests to try. Five cheeses in total, all from local producers, accompanied by tasting notes (note to self, bigger print next time!) and some olive oil and paprika crackers. The 'Little Mester' was the favourite of the night. A gooey cow's cheese made by Sophie Williamson from Sheffield who was given a 1 day cheesemaking course in 2016 and now makes cheese full-time - good decision we say!
We ended the evening with a coffee and an almond and orange blossom amaretti for those that could still manage something after all that cheese.
Huge thanks to our guests for taking a chance on our first night, it was great to meet everyone and thank you also for your encouragement to continue. By the end of the evening the nerves were well and truly gone and we already knew that we were thinking of the next event!
So watch this space for the next date...we hope to see you soon.