Well I'm sorry Warner Bros., but some of my guests insisted on coming dressed up as Harry Potter characters for my Generic Wizard night at The Underground Restaurant. We had a Golden Snitch, a Dementor, Professor Quirrel, and three girls with signs around their necks: 'Generic Owl', 'Generic Bertie Botts Every Flavour Jelly Beans' and 'Generic Wizard'. We even had Harry Potter himself.
The Menu was adjusted slightly; I dispensed with Cauldron cakes and made Treacle Tart, an old English recipe which features heavily in the books. Here is the final menu:
Sherbet Lemons and Mint Humbugs
Pumpkin soup served in pumpkins
Treacle Tart with cream
Miraculin powder with lime and lemon sorbet
Recipe for Butterbeer:
500ml Bottle of Hobgoblin ale
Swig of butterscotch Schnapps
an egg yolk
A couple of cloves
5 All Spice
60 g brown sugar
50g of unsalted butter
Courtesy of @m2comms on Twitter I made the Butterscotch Schnapps in the dishwasher. Break up Daim/Dime bars in a bottle of vodka, give it two cycles.
Pumpkins were everywhere...I ordered 65 small ones to eat the soup in and 5 large ones to carve up for the soup. My hand was about to fall off from the pain and I went to sleep still dreaming of cutting up pumpkins.
I scattered a certain eminent wizard's favourite sweets over the tables...
I prepared the 'perpendicular passage' with the help of my friend Bellaphon.
Guests had pumpkin pasties and drank hot butterbeer from a kettle steaming with dry ice.
Larger ladies at the door required a password...
Plating up the soup, garnishing with yoghurt and roasted pumpkin seeds. The sight of 30 pumpkins on tables in the room gave it a cartoon fairy tale feel.
Then they ate the gorgeous fish pie cooked by food writer Catherine Phipps, my little inspiration was to add green pickled peppercorns...
Treacle tarts and cream for afters...
A spontaneous pumpkin carving competition broke out, prize for the best was a Hobgoblin Ale T-shirt.
The amazing @bluedoorbakery cooked these cupcakes for everyone on the first night...a smiley Sorting Hat, Gryffindor cakes and Bertie's Jellybean cakes...
A gorgeous Halloween print on a guest's skirt.
The piece de resistance...a spoonful of Miraculin powder from the Miracle Berry which transforms sour foods into sweet and an unsweetened lime and lemon granita...
Some of the ladies swallowed rather than savoured the Miraculin powder. It works better if you wait a couple of minutes. I asked people to taste the sourness of the granita, melt the Miraculin in their mouth, then taste it again. People were amazed by the transformation. One girl said to me that her wine tasted like sherry.
Bethea Jenner, some say she looks rather like Professor Trelawney from the books (but rather more efficient we hope) was the psychic in the shed.
My mum and dad who helped out on the first night...
Thanks to everyone who helped out especially my parents, my sister, my daughter, Catherine Phipps, Alyssia (for, amongst other things, making my bed on Saturday, probably the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me), Bellaphon, Blue Door Bakery, Hobgoblin beer, John Houghton at New Covent Garden, Miracle UK, Tony Carey, Angie Ma (for talking me off the ledge on Thursday), Bethea Jenner, Mary Bowman, Caroline Simpson and all my wonderful fun guests...