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Recreate a Restaurant-Style Celebration at Home During Lockdown

Home > London > Dinner | Indoor
by Shikainah Champion-Samuel (subscribe)
A great believer in exploring the off beat, non-touristy things hidden inside every city. For my professional practice check
Published April 13th 2020
Fancy going out for dinner at home?
So it was hubby's birthday last weekend. With the whole world in lockdown, the girls in the house (namely yours truly and our daughters) decided to be a bit creative. We thought he might like a French-themed dinner (yes, French always seems synonymous with fancy doesn't it!).

We originally wanted to go in for the whole works - chef's hat, waitress uniforms and all, but after trying to order this online, we realised that these are deemed 'non essential' items and delivery companies would quite rightly put this at the bottom of their delivery lists. Same story with trying to order a sewing machine! So, we tried our hand at hand stitching these with the rag, tag and bobtail bits of cloth at home. But that proved to be quite a Herculean task and we had to finally abort that idea.

Anyway, that aside, we decided to concentrate on the menu. So, we had a kind of four course meal finally planned with one of us agreeing to lead on each course.

We printed out a menu at home. It helps that the hubby works from home in a study in the garden. It meant that he really couldn't see what the women in the house were up to.

We decorated the dining room with some fairy lights and a few flowers from the garden.

When hubby wound up for the day and reentered the house, he had a pleasant surprise (to put it mildly!).

Birthday boy surprised at the fancy menu !

Here are the photos from the evening. Considering the constraints of not being able to go out at whim and buy stuff and having to be creative with our resources, I would say I was really chuffed that it went down a treat!
The menu for the evening

Entree number 1- Prunes wrapped in bacon aka Devils on horseback

Entree number 2- Lemon and garlic grilled prawns

Starter- French onion soup with gruyere cheese and white bloomer

Mains- Duck in orange sauce with roast potatoes and grilled asparagus with lemon zest

Dessert- Chocolate cake with buttercream icing topped with honeycomb and fresh fruit (made by the youngest)

It does involve a fair bit of work but I would say, it is worth it! So, if you have a loved one's birthday coming up during this lockdown, feel free to lift off ideas from here and have a similar celebration chez vous (as the French would say). Oh, and don't forget to write about it on WeekendNotes!
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Cost: You can decide how fancy you want to make it!
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