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Apr 18, 2010 08:39 AM

need suggestions for British themed get together....

I'm hosting my book club in May and we're reading "Great Expectations." I'd like to offer a British themed menu. Any suggestions, welcome but I won't cook kidneys. Maybe a hunk of Stilton and bread (or Welsh rarebit) as an appetizer, but I'm drawing a blank after that. Any other suggestions welcome.

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  1. I would suggest shepherd's pie and, for dessert, a trifle.

    1. You could also go the high tea route. I had one for the church lady get together one time and everyone loved it. Buy a couple of china teapots if you don't have any (from goodwill or thrift stores). I offered several types of tea, crumpets, finger sandwiches etc.

      1. Thinking of hearty Victorian food...look up Mrs Beeton. Could start with a welsh rarebit, perhaps oysters or a nice soup. For main a steak and ale pie or a roast stuffed chicken with a selection of vegetables. For dessert anything with custard (creme anglais) bread and butter pudding, syrup pudding, jam roly poly, bakewell tart, ginger sponge - take your pick.

        1. For all food things British : Meyers of Keswick. Here's their Yelp link:

          1 Reply
          1. re: bobjbkln

            thank you everybody. Since I am, like many people, low on funds, I must forego the oysters. I like the idea of shepherd's pie, though....thank you, all....

          2. "Maybe a hunk of Stilton and bread (or Welsh rarebit) as an appetizer".

            No - either would be at the end of a meal. Welsh rarebit often figures amongst the desserts on restaurant menus these days but is, more traditionally, a savoury. But, certainly, it'd be a good way to finish the meal.

            As you're short of funds (and presume you're not in the UK), then you may find minced beef to be cheaper than minced lamb - in which case cottage not shepherds pie.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Harters

              I remember a scene in a scrupulously-researched movie where the cook, preparing alternate dishes for a pushy American vegetarian, says she'll do a "Welsh rabbit for the game course." It was set in the 30s, though. Fascinating that y'all would have it at the end of a meal when I think of it as an open-faced grilled cheese! :)

              1. re: LauraGrace

                Aww, that's a great story. As you obviously know, "rabbit" is the original name for this, but much more usually called "rarebit" nowadays. I guess people have been eating cheese on toast as long as there's been cheese and bread. It comes from the very odd way in which traditional British meals (by which I mean Victorian and Edwardian) were constructed - with cheese coming after the main course, then dessert, and the meal ending with a savoury. Other than the rarebit, it's very rare to see a savoury on menus - there are some really good ones about - like Scotch Woodcock or angels on horseback.