As some of you may know, I used to co-own a hotel and am a trained chef. Not many things give me more pleasure than entertaining friends: in the past Linda and I threw some legendary soirees, for up to a dozen people. As we've grown older, we've finally realised that true friends can be numbered on the fingers of two hands, so these days we prefer to invite round people with whom we feel really comfortable and relaxed.
Tonight our good friends Sue and Peter are coming over for supper: since both enjoy a glass of wine (and are extremely knowledgeable!) I've decided to steer clear of the clarets tonight and offer a journey southwards down the Rhone Valley from Beaujolais / Chablis to Nimes and Languedoc.
The menu I've come up with is robust and Mediterranean in style: crab mousse served on the half-shell, herby 'meatballs' in a rich tomato, pepper and garlic sauce, with rosemary-roasted potatoes and some fabulous breads. Pudding is a chocolate ganache tarte with French fruits and cheeses.