The busiest night of the year

When the lead news story was that Friday would be the busiest night of the year as Christmas party goers packed out bars and restaurants with their party poppers and silly string I was glad I'd taken the decision to move our meal for ten to a new exclusive restaurant, which offered a five-course meal for £5. Actually, I'd left it a bit late to book, by a couple of months, it would seem as there was definitely no room at any inn. So the executive decision was that I'd cook it myself and charge £5 to cover costs.

The Cafe Gnarlen Stripen opened for one night only. Named after the Maitre d', who is leaving his job and heading out to Switzerland where he will train as a ski instructor and grow a fluffy chin beard known as a gnarl stripe, the exclusive cafe also entertainment from the resident cat. We had a bran tub, bring a gift, get a gift, with Helen playing Santa, which we all thought she did rather well!

As usual with all matters catering, the whole volume and quantity thing was a bit of a challenge. But, as they say, every cloud……We've enjoyed turkey for the past two days and I've just made five litres of stock. Mmmm, I wonder what we'll have tomorrow?

Kir Royale



Chilled melon with mango and vodka coulis


Roast Norfolk turkey with orange and rosemary and bacon spikes

Crispy lemon-roast potatoes

Honey-glazed roast parsnips

Brussels sprouts with pancetta

Wine-braised red cabbage

Fresh sage and onion stuffing

Cranberry and roast Clementine sauce


Figgy pudding with Cointreau ice cream

Champagne jelly with raspberries and cream


Yorkshire cheeseboard

Coffee and mints

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