Be our guest, be our guest, put our dinner to the test! Here is our guide to throwing the ultimate Beauty and the Beast dinner party.
With the Beauty and the Beast remake finally opening in Australian cinemas this week we decided to throw a little dinner party for our nearest and dearest: three courses, all themed around different story points in the animated film.
While we toyed with the idea of simply sticking googly-eyes on our furniture we ultimately decided to take a different approach. In addition to the Enchanted Rose centrepiece we made, we wanted the table to include references to some of the characters Belle meets in the castle; Cogsworth (the clock), Lumiere (the candelabra), Mrs Potts (the teapot) and Chip (the little teacup).
I searched op shops and $2 Stores until we had what we needed. We carefully smashed a little ‘chip’ out of the tea cup (not that carefully, actually, I ended up needing to glue him back together!)
We then spray painted them solid gold, to make a uniform collection.
We also painted the base of some candles. We placed them upside down and sprayed a thick layer on the base, so that there would be drips up the side. When they’re all lit the flames catch the gold glimmer at the base and sides, glittering along the table.
To set the table, we lay down a length of navy blue satin. We then piled up stacks of books along the centre of the table, and placed our objects, rose and candles along the length. Make the piles of books different heights in relation to the height of your objects so that it is balanced.
Light your candles and voila – an enchanted table worthy of the finest guest!
‘A Provincial Life’
Cheese platter, baguettes, and frosé
Just like Belle starting her story by walking through her little town, we start our meal with provincial French classics – cheese, bread, and fruit. We cut up a couple of fresh baguettes and served it with a plate of blue, brie, and sharp cheddar cheese, some black grapes and fresh figs from one of our guest’s backyards (so lucky!). We also had a little jar of chilli jam to give it some bite.
While our guests were munching away we brought out some glasses of frosé. We wanted to drink rosé as a cheeky nod to the Enchanted Rose, but given that summer simply will not quit in Melbourne (seriously, these muggy nights have long outstayed their welcome!) we decided to cool off with the frozen version. Pour a bottle of rosé into a plastic container and freeze over night, then blend with more ice, lemon juice, and some seasonal fruit. We like this recipe which uses raspberries and peaches. Its a fruity grown up slushy that will whisk away any summer blues!
‘There’s Something There‘
When I was kid I found the scene where Beast tries to eat porridge like a gentleman ridiculously funny, and was caught on more than one occasion trying to sip my food from the bowl like they do in the film – I can assure you, it is just as messy!
Anyway, we knew that we wanted to incorporate porridge into our dinner and decided to make it our main course. Savoury porridge may seem like a kooky idea, but give it a go! Its very similar to congee or risotto, but with a pleasing nutty flavour. We flavoured ours with mushrooms and thyme, and topped it with brussels sprouts, garlicky breadcrumbs and a poached egg. It was simply delicious, and will definitely feature in my winter breakfasts as well as future dinners!
‘Tale As Old As Time‘
Belle’s Saint Honoré
Ah, the romantic happy ending! We ended our meal with a dessert inspired by the ending of the film – a decadent, sweet, delightfully-French concoction inspired by Belle and the blooming Enchanted Rose.
This 19th century dessert is named after the patron saint of bakers and pastry chefs. We decided to tweak the recipe somewhat, filling the choux pastry with rose, raspberry, and pistachio flavoured creams.
Its an over-the-top, indulgent crown of sugary delights – a fairytale ending to our dinner party.