Saturday's dinner was a success, despite some pastry disappointments and inadvertent cremations:
Nibble: Rocquefort pastry pinwheels (burnt to buggery, alas, but they still got eaten)
Starter: Pheasants' legs with a pigs' cheek, prune and chorizo stuffing, served on a cider, leek and mustard reduction, with a bit of green salad for prettiness.
Main: Top rump of Scotch beef slow-baked in a litre of red wine with onions and black peppercorns till the beef was alarmingly drunk and tender and the wine pretty much caramelised, served with leek and gorgonzola maris piper mash and baby chanterey carrots (no curly kale due to me carbonising the steamer).
Pudding: Should have been a millefeuille, but due to pastry shrinking faster than a city boy's bonus was a duo of fruit compotes - coxes poached in cider and cinnamon and blackberries cooked in vanilla-infused port, both with the juices reduced to unctuousness, served with vanilla mascarpone and a jaunty little cinnamon and pecan-topped puff pastry hat.
Should have taken photos but was I was too busy burning things and eating and boggling at the Alan Ayckbournish nature of much of the conversation.