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In the

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MARIELLA
FROSTRUP: A WINTRY DINNER PARTY

The busy journalist and broadcaster shares her passion for simple, seasonal cooking and easy entertaining.

In the Moment: with Mariella Frostrup

One of the things that's really nice to do when I don't have to be at work full-pace is to hang round the kitchen with my children (Molly, 9, and Dan, 8) and cook. I'm certainly not a domestic goddess and I don't think I'll ever win a Michelin star, but I like to give it a go. Molly loves baking and is much better at it than me - I'm hopeless at sweet treats; the only thing I'm any good at is crumble. I firmly believe that you need to be prepared for failure in the kitchen!

I love having friends around - I think a dinner party is a really nice, relaxed environment where you can have a chat and a proper catch up. It's always a bit of a scrum in our house, so I like to keep things simple.

I wouldn't really make a starter - it might just be as simple as a dish of roasted peppers in the centre of the table. I'll prepare a lovely big main course rather than a structured meal. I like the Italian approach to food: really good

ingredients but simple recipes. Living in the country, in Somerset, two-thirds of the time, I've become a lot more seasonal with my cooking. Now winter is here, that means pumpkins, squash and big stews bubbling on the hob.

I'm really impressed by people who have dinner parties and come to the door looking immaculate with their hair done and heels on. I always mean to have had a shower but run out of time and just slap a bit more make-up on top of what I applied that morning. I don't really like to dress up at home - one of the great advantages of entertaining at home is that you don't have to.

It's really depressing when you have friends to dinner and everyone leaves exactly two hours after they arrived. My idea of a successful night is when you're kicking people out at one thirty in the morning - you feel exhausted but quite smug because you know you've done a good job.

“Now WINTER is here, that means big stews bubbling on the hob.”

SIMPLY ELEGANT: A RELAXED EVENING AT HOME

Using great-quality, seasonal produce, Mariella prepares for a convivial dinner with friends.

Country Style
With classical music as the soothing kitchen soundtrack, Mariella wraps up in cosy M&S cashmere, turns to her favourite cookbook and plans a rustic wintertime feast.

Mariella’s
entertaining cues

  • THE TIME
    Friday evening - there's something so relaxed about that night of the week.
  • THE LIGHTING
    Lots of candles. I love candlelight - especially the older I get!
  • THE MUSIC
    Deep in the heart of winter I like to play Tracy Chapman - you need to build ambience that goes with the food.
  • THE FLOWERS
    Small, seasonal blooms in little vases - I don't like big displays you can't see over.
  • THE TABLE SETTING
    Pretty, but not immaculate: crisp white plates and matching cutlery paired with crumpled linen napkins.
  • THE DRINKS
    A big, full-bodied red that really knocks your block off.
  • THE SIGNATURE DISH
    Lamb fricassee from Anna Del Conte's not-well-known-enough The Gastronomy of Italy. So simple, yet so tasty.
  • THE OUTFIT
    I don't believe you should have to dress up at home, so comfy trousers and a jumper. Even slippers if you wish!

In the detail

BE INSPIRED BY HER STYLE

Turn to simple tablewear and great basics for a chic and timeless result. Shop now

PURE COLOUR

Plain white dishes showcase fresh produce to lively effect.Shop now

Clear cut

Serve your wintry red in smart stemware. Shop now

STAY SPLASH FREE

Bold Striped ApronShop now

RUSTIC CHIC

Oak Salad BowlShop now

style inspiration

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