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Hanging upside-down off the back of a wildly bobbing boat is not the best time to do the grocery shopping. Eye-to-eye contact is, I'm told, a key to successful bartering but, like keeping my breakfast down, I'm finding it hard to maintain.
Whether you’re mixing a martini or serving it with tonic, ice and a slice, you need the right bottle for the job...
Ingredients to serve 4
Serves 6-8 as a starter
Our reviewer heads to freshly MBE'd Anna Hansen's The Modern Pantry
Mini dishes – or small or sharing plates as they are increasingly referred to these days – are a kind of international tapas, and they are much more interesting than your average canapés. Not so long ago I made a casual dinner at home for about 15 people and served 10 courses of mini dishes including some Asian, British and Italian plates and it was not only informal but great fun for all my dinner guests. You may well think that churning out 10 courses for just 15 people sounds like a nightmare, but with some clever forward planning you can make things considerably easier on yourself. If you're planning to have people over to celebrate New Year's Eve tonight, then the mini-dish recipes I have given you here are sure to impress. You can also try to re-create your favourite dishes and miniaturise them, or you could serve a range of classic mini dishes such as bangers and mash and mini fish and chips with mushy peas, and so on.
Serves 4 as a starter
Salads can so often be deadly dull without any thought being put into them. But having a few simple, well thought out salads on the table for people to share is always welcome and means that you can help yourself to as much or as little as you like. So this week I am giving you recipes for delicious, simple, late-summer salads that you can get ready in advance and then assemble with the dressing just before serving. The key is to make sure you have really good-quality ingredients. A long, relaxed, drawn-out summery lunch is hard to beat, especially when the weather behaves and you can sit outside in the sunshine.