Project Food Blog

40th Birthday Dinner Party

No, not mine, my dear friend Ben's. His friends David and Fiona own Northcott House, near Bude, in Cornwall – recently featured in a magazine as one of the top 10 villa hideaways in the world. Leaving London at 5.30pm on Friday, in a journey that involved bike, vespa, train, taxi and hire car, plus a few wrong turns thanks to the satnav, we finally arrived at 10.45pm. Thankfully, the rest of the guests were already settled in, and were busy nibbling on sweet chilli prawns and supping champagne before the main event.

David owns a herd of longhorn cattle, and we were treated to a fantastic rib of beef, served with roasted vegetables, mashed celeriac and Jude's special gravy. After the main course, we gave the birthday boy his presents, then moved on to pudding - 40 cakes topped with icing, cherries and skinny gold and silver candles. Truly elegant and not too girly.

Ben owns an events and production company called Drive (strapline 'Everything is an Event') and so this was no low key affair. Guests dressed in vintage 40s dresses and black ties, speeches were made, lots of good red wine was drunk and we danced until dawn.

The severe weather warning and the fact that we could not stand outside on the beach without being blown over did not deter us. It was a fantastic weekend. After breakfasting on leftover birthday cake and some of David's homemade sausages served with celeriac potato cakes, we hotfooted it back to London for a well-deserved takeaway from The Good Earth.

This week, it's back to lentil soup and hot water and lemon juice!


  1. I think rib of beef is possibly my favourite lunch ever! What a treat.

  2. And I have the perfect recipe for you!