Unbeknownst to me, my family decided to bring my birthday forward a week and surprise me! I walked into a quiet room – most unusual when there are six children under six running around and causing havoc – for the doors to be thrown open to reveal cake, prosecco, balloons and a very loud chorus (thanks to my nieces and nephews…) of ‘Happy Birthday!’
As a special treat, we brought in Chef Fiona Were to cook dinner for us. As there’s so many of us, cooking a meal usually means either a big chile con carne, and helping yourself to a vat of the stuff. Maybe about half an hour of eating before the need for a mass-washing-up ensues!
We donned our best dresses, and all gathered in the beautiful living room at Tregulland for some champagne to start the evening’s festivities…
Meanwhile, Rachel who accompanied Fiona, did a lovely job of setting flowers and glasses out on the table, along with a board of bread, oils and dukka (an Egyptian blend of spices), all with beautiful touches such as little sprigs of rosemary laid out, each place set with our menus…
The room was lit up by a warm glow from the woodburner firing away in the corner.
Now, let’s get in to the good stuff!
For dinner, we’d already pre-selected our menus. We were amazed at how helpful Fiona was, catering to everybody’s different tastes without a problem at all, with nothing being too much trouble.
For the starters, there was; maple cured smoked terras farm duck breast, beetroot, pickled carrot, walnuts , watercress and pomegranate (which is what I opted for, and I was not disappointed!) or some opted for Cadgwith Cove crab and lobster salad, creme fraiche, avocado, pink grapefruit, coriander and pomegranate, or Colliers Goats’ cheese, apple, walnuts, mint, matcha … It was all, honestly, pure heaven.
Then, for the main, Fiona used 28 day matured Angus Beef, in a perfectly cooked wellington – the beef itself was cooked to perfection and encased in the most beautiful pastry, on thyme-roasted vegetables and the most heavenly creamed potatoes, all tied together with shallot and red wine sauce.
And then, oh then came desert. . . We were all stuffed, but when Fiona brought plates with chocolate and damson gin delice, white chocolate mousse, rhubarb, honeycomb and meringue on. I can’t even think how to describe this food – it was all so amazing!
But the treat wasn’t over yet, as Fiona left, she presented us with a box of salted caramel brownies. We were so full, but the next day we put on a pot of tea and completely indulged. I’ve never tasted such a heavenly brownie in all my life!
The wine flowed long in to the night, as we laughed, debated politics (of all things!), recounted old memories and cheers-ed to how lucky we were to have each other.
Fiona did an absolutely outstanding job on the food. Every course was utter perfection (and we’re a tough bunch to please!) – each last detail was executed to a tee… It made for the most wonderful birthday evening – and one I won’t be forgetting any time soon!
The perfect birthday celebration.