The Foodie Bugle Lunch Party

Many cheeses

I love that my work affords me the flexibility to spend an entire Friday afternoon immersed in the most epic lunch of all time.

And so it was: The Foodie Bugle lunch party for contributors to the magazine, held at the venerable Silvana de Soisson‘s picturesque country home in deepest Wilshire.

Of all the times in my life I’ve ever wished I hadn’t driven to an event, this was it.

The party started with drinks in the parlour where Silvana actually had – I kid you not – a negroni table. But in retrospect, I’m glad I didn’t have an excuse to tie one on, because then I would risk forgetting (or embarrassing myself in front of) all of the lovely people I met. I’ve never met a more sociable group of people.

The Foodie Bugle Lunch Party

As I nursed my small glass of champagne and Campari, I got to know “official barman” Martin Yarnit (@martinyarnit) of Taste for Bologna, Ben Vear (@benjaminvear) of Winstones Ices ice cream, Dan Vaux Nobes (@essexeating) of the popular Essex Eating blog and Montpelier Basement supperclub in Bristol and Emma Bond (@emmmab) of Bath Garden Design and Bath Gardening School. I also caught up with my friend and colleague Rachel Demuth (@demuths) of Demuths Restaurant and Vegetarian Cookery School, and that was all before lunch was actually served.

Dan the man

So let’s talk about that lunch. We started with a beautiful “the end of summer and the beginning of Autumn” tomato and butternut squash soup served with Silvana’s delicious focaccia and crostini. The rest was a communal food fest, with plenty for vegetarians and fans of “dead barnyard animals and birds” alike.

Tomato and butternut squash soup

Fagioli all uccelletto was my favourite dish, made with haricot, butter and borlotti beans cooked with garlic, chilli, tomatoes, cavolo nero and rosemary (Silvana as generously shared the recipe with me which I shall share in a separate post):

Fagioli all uccelletto

Also up for grabs were a green salad with fregola, nasturtiums and pinenuts and Silvana’s famous beetroots cooked with apples, red onions and toasted hazelnuts

Animals and birds included lamb shanks cooked in Manzanilla sherry and fennel; peposo – shin of beef with garlic and black pepper cooked in Chianti; saffron scottiglia game hunter’s stew; and chicken liver pate on crostini

I quite liked this Languedoc white Torta di Capri – chocolate and almond cake Rose

Soup Winstone Ices Ice Cream After the feat

My dinner neighbours included Charlie Lee-Potter (@eggsontheroof) of Eggs on the Roof and Urvashi Roe (@BotanicalBaker) of Great British Bake Off fame and the Botanical Baker blog. Lots of chat about food, photography, journalism, blogging, baking, and, well, just the sort of topics you’d expect amongst a group of food-obsessives. I was also introduced to Pascale Cumberbatch (@extrarelish) who takes phenomenal pictures of food and has a beautiful blog called Extra Relish.

The Foodie Bugle Lunch Party

Dessert was a meal onto itself:

  • Pistacchio Cake
  • Apple, raisin and Amaretto di Saronno cake
  • Torta di Capri – chocolate and almond cake
  • Quinces roasted in a lemon zest, vanilla seed and thyme sugar syrup
  • Honey and coconut kisses
  • Lemon biscuits and mini meringues
  • Winstones Ices Ice creams

Plus about 12 different cheeses from Quayles of Tetbury, Paxton and Whitfield, Woefuldane Organic, Legges of Bromyard and Trethowans Dairy. Heaven for a cheese lover.

Pistachio cake

Many cheeses

Honey & coconut kisses

The afternoon ended as well as it begin, gathering quinces from Silvana’s bountiful tree. I took home a few handfuls and have great plans for roast quinces and quince sorbet. The Foodie Bugle lunch lives on!

Gathering quinces

There were quite a few other people who I didn’t get to talk to as much as I would have liked – Rebecca Bernstein, Francoise Murat, Tory MecTernan, Cinead McTernan of The English Garden, Mark Glynne-Jones of Jump To, Camilla Wilson of Daylesford Organic, Georgie Newbery of Common Farm Flowers, Pam Lloyd, Sofie Boddy, Sir William and Lady Ali Hanham of Deans Court – it was a big party. All the more reason to look forward to next time.

With the quinces and the food and the people and the party, well, it probably goes without saying that Silvana is one of the most generous people you will ever meet. She’s also a damn fine chef and keeps a gorgeous house. It’s the foodie dream, which I continue to chase, along with her quinces.

View all of my photos from The Foodie Bugle lunch on Flickr.

7 thoughts on “The Foodie Bugle Lunch Party

  1. georgie newbery

    You’re right about everything. Being at Silvana’s lunch was like being in a film: beautiful house, beautiful food, cheery people! I could tell by the noise coming from the drawing room as I crunched through the gravel (an hour and a half late) that this was a party that had got off to a flying start. I’m just sad that I didn’t get there in time for the Negronis before lunch and had to leave before the quince shaking festival – we don’t have a quince tree here at which is a lack I intend to remedy this winter. Oh how I hope there is a second @TheFoodieBugle luncheon and that I’ve not blotted my copy book too badly by my tardiness/early leaving to be denied an invitation to the next one.

  2. Monica Post author

    Nice to hear from you, Georgie – you’re one of the folks I didn’t get to chat with nearly as much as I would have liked! Further reason for there to be a second luncheon, and soon! Perhaps this could become a Foodie Bugle rotating lunch, where different buglers host throughout the year. Silvana has set a very high bar, though. The thought of trying to match it is VERY intimidating. I’m sure your tardiness/early leaving was all for good reason – next time we’ll take it easy with negronis and numerous trips to the dessert table. =)

    1. Silvana de Soissons

      Georgie and Monica, I hope to see you both at the 2012 Foodie Bugle lunch. I am so glad you had a good time, I certainly enjoyed seeing everyone there. What a lovely group of people. Thank-you for coming and for my amazing presents. All good wishes, Silvana

  3. Emma Bond

    Wonderful post and photos Monica! It was such a memorable day, and everything about Silvana’s organisation, choice of people, food, drink and especially cake was amazing. x


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