A Tale of Two Suppers

Two social events on consecutive evenings this week, both thoroughly organic and both highlighting some real achievements. Monday night saw Rachel’s Dairy celebrating their 25th  birthday with a reception on their stand at the Hampton Court Flower Festival, of which they are the principal sponsor ( www.rhs.org.uk/Hamptoncourt ). The day saw a wide variety of weather but by the time my riverboat docked at the Hampton Court jetty the sun was shining. By having their party the same night as the black-tie Gala dinner the cunning marketeers at Rachel’s ensured that at least their male guests were all wearing the Rachel’s colours of black and white. The champagne flowed freely, interrupted only by a short but effective speech from MD Neil Burchell that payed tribute to founders Rachel and Gareth Rowlands and looked forwards to the next 25 years. A diverse but entertaining mix of the Rachel’s team, friends in the media and some key customers then dined, danced and were totally unsuccessful in the raffle. How event organisers FBA managed to lay on a rainbow for the evening is a mystery but must surely indicate a good working relationship at the very highest level.

Tuesday night saw me attending the penultimate evening of Mrs Paisley’s Lashings ( www.mrspaisleyslashings.com ). This very of the moment pop-up restaurant saw organic beauty queen Jo Wood host a series of dinners in her Kingston Hill house. The menu was overseen by Arthur Potts Dawson (Acorn House) and was organic, sustainable, locally-sourced and very yummy. With a proportion of profits going to the Soil Association’s Food For Life Partnership  ( www.foodforlife.org.uk ) this was an evening both enjoyable and virtuous. The delicious organic Mojitos were served in jam jars and the baby beetroot was to die for. Again a highly eclectic bunch of diners – The Mighty Boosh were at the next table, Kate Moss was due but was so fashionably late that we missed her completely. My going home present was a tiny bottle of Tyrells potato vodka (UK produced, naturally) which my daughter said looked like “the bottle in Alice that said Drink Me” which sums up this slightly fantastic evening very nicely.

(That’s enough parties. Ed)