Winner's Dinners

I had dinner at Michael Winner's house the other night. This kind of stuff occasionally happens to me - occasionally - and it's always so surreal when it does that I tend to forget all about it. But I remembered just now that I had been because I was thinking about dinner parties.

I had better be discreet about Michael Winner's house because I'd want some shitty half-arsed blogger to be disscreet about mine but I can definitely say that it was extremely grand with a lovely garden. As you'd expect. And Michael Winner is a very charming person and Geraldine is a hoot. But I've always thought that. People think that Michael Winner is some kind of monster because his columns are a bit brisk but they don't understand that he's only joking. There was another guest at dinner who did an outrageous impersonation of Michael pretty much all evening and Michael seemed to think it was funny. Or at least didn't mind, which I think speaks volumes.

The really interesting thing about the dinner was the dinner. There is, thanks to programmes I guess like Masterchef and Come Dine With Me, to attempt to make dinner at one's house like a restaurant experience. And I really thought that was what would happen at Winner Towers.

But actually what we got was the definition of a kitchen supper, which is all any of us ought to aspire to when making dinner for friends in our own home. There were some fantastic canapes, (mini spanakopita, thai pork somethingorother wrapped in lettuce, roast beef on crostini etc) and some really good smoked salmon as a starter.

THEN there was a choice of chicken in a kind of tarragonny cream sauce or beef stroganoff with salad and either white or brown rice. And you were allowed to help yourself!! There is nothing more terrifying or kind of un-jolly than someone else deciding how much you want for dinner. Then there was some cheesecake so amazing that I still regret not taking the leftovers home. But I didn't know if Michael was joking or not when he said that I could.

I hope you don't think I'm bragging telling you about this. I don't mean to. I just thought it was interesting and instructive that what Michael Winner wants to eat is moreish canapes, excellent smoked salmon and a good honest plate of stroganoff with rice.

So next time you're sitting there going "fuck, fuck, fuck" at the prospect of cooking for six people, just bear this in mind. People aren't coming to a restaurant, they're coming to your house. Don't even bother with something as elaborate as a roast.

Keep it simple and everyone will be happy; someone might even impersonate you for the whole evening. Imagine that.  

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