Only two days' notice! This morning an invitation to some party in honour of the birthday of Queen Margerethe II of Denmark. I know, what?
Oh! It's because she is an artist...
There will be lots of lobster and clam chowder finished off with an Eton Mess**, traditionally served at the school on the 4th June for parents' visiting day.
The dress code is lounge suits, so what do girls wear?
And now I am watching Tom Parker Bowles (Camilla's son) at the Rowlands tuck shop* at Eton where he went to school, of course.
He is a food writer now.
*No English school experience is complete without the requisite tuck shop. Students flock to the nearest with their pocket change to buy absolute junk food: bacon rolls, doughnuts, marshmallows, chocolate bars and so on.
**Recipes differ slightly, but it goes something like this:
450g (1 lb) - Strawberries (and some raspberries?)
375ml (12 fl oz) - Double or Whipping cream (or Greek yoghurt)
6 - Meringues
75 ml (2½ fl oz) - Kirsch (or Cointreau or Grand Marnier)
A few sprigs Mint (optional)
Place in a bowl and add the kirsch, cover and chill for 2-3 hours.
Whip the cream until it forms soft peaks, fold in the strawberries and juices
Crush the meringues and fold into the mixture
Spoon into small sundae dishes or wine glasses, decorate with the reserved strawberries (some raspberries) and a sprig of mint.
Speaking of food, I have too many teas for one person:
1) Brooke Bond Choicest Blend (so strong I can use one bag twice)
2) Fortnum & Mason Orange Pekoe (so perfectly translucent it deserves bone china)
3) Twinings "& Rose" (boring)
4) Twinings Lady Grey (going off it)
5) Betty's of Harrogate tea with rose petals (thirst-quenchingly delicate)
6) Ayurvedic lime and aloe vera Detox (necessary evil)
7) Jasmine leaf & petal tea (unbelievably fragrant, from a shop lined with drawers and jars)
8) Chinese gunpowder green tea (in a box I cannot read)
9) Birt & Tang Ginger with clove and apple (haven't tried it yet)
10) Marks & Spencer Chamomile, Limeflower and Lavender (makes me go mmmmm...)