For me, when we have lots of family or friends coming round, I like to do a cold spread of food that you can pick at, leave and come back to. And there must be cheese and biscuits and puddings, lots of them. I think it takes the stress out of panicking that the food will all go cold before it reaches the table and trying to summon everyone to get there at once. This way everyone can enjoy food at their leisure, with an alcoholic drink in hand.

Trifle always goes down well to make up one of the desserts, and can be made the day before. I always love to make one that my Dad and I liked to make together- Cheats Chocolate and Cherry Trifle from good old Delia. The sponge layer is make up of double chocolate chip, American style muffins, which we spread with Morello cherry jam. We then layered this with pitted Morello cherries out of the jar, which had been laced with rum or kirsch the night before, which soaked into the muffins beneath. Then mascarpone was folded and combined with pre-made fresh custard and layered on top of the cherries. The trifle was finished with whipped double cream and a generous amount of grated dark chocolate shavings. An easy treat to make and full of creamy, chocolatey, cherry goodness! L xx

Myself and Faye were lucky enough to visit Sri Lanka last year and a definite highlight was the food! The key ingredients used in Sri Lankan cooking are rice, coconut and especially spices, reflecting the island’s history as a spice producer. One of the dishes that really stood out for me whilst I was there was the Sri Lankan dhal, which was always bought to the table to accompany your curry. I was never really overly keen on dhal as I had tasted a lot of very bland ones, but I was most impressed with the Sri Lankan dhal which has much more to it in. On Friday to celebrate the start of the long weekend, I hosted our first Sackett siblings and partners dinner party. I decided that a Sri Lankan curry feast would be perfect occasion to let everyone else sample some of the delights Faye and me had whilst visiting there. We had no set started and main, I just laid everything on the table all at once and let everyone dig in and help themselves as they pleased, which is great if you want a less formal atmosphere and it allows you to enjoy a drink and pick at the food as you please. We had papadums with chutneys, naan bread (although the Sri Lankans did’t eat a great deal of naan), Sri Lankan chicken curry, dhal and potatoes. H xx

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My perfect bank holiday food has to include cake. There is nothing more special than having a sweet treat in my eyes. Get the fine china out, the 3 tier cake stand and set yourself up for afternoon tea. Why have lunch and dinner when you can fill yourself up with tea, sandwiches and cake in between!

Bottom tier: a selection of miniature sandwiches, egg mayonnaise and cress, cheese and chutney, cream cheese and cucumber, and ham. Even cut the crusts off to give it that extra special dainty touch.

Middle tier: my favourite tier, the cake selection. I always believe you should have different heights and sizes when doing cakes for afternoon tea. Have a nice tall wedge of cake, a good old traditional Victoria sponge perhaps. A small and colourful macaroon next to it. And then a wonderfully designed cupcake that tastes as good as it looks.

Top tier: afternoon tea wouldn’t be quite right with out a scone. And don’t worry about your daily calories, get the jam and cream on there too!

I do believe that it’s a perfect way to get the family together over bank holiday and have something special to eat (it also makes you feel exceptionally civilised). And following tradition, spend the evening playing lots of board games and get the whole family involved. F xx




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