Travel & Life Digest

Fête Champêtre at the Hurlingham Club, London

Excitement was building up in the car, driving up to the Hurlingham Club last Saturday evening;
glimpses of everybody walking around Parson's Green in tuxedos and evening dresses... carrying all kinds of Tupperware, cool bags and food trays.
A special night around Parsons Green that takes place once a year; we were so lucky to take part, thanks to our friend Natasha, who offered us spare tickets.
Tickets for the Club's Fête Champêtre are through members only and since you cannot even apply for membership to the Club any more - the waiting list was so long, they actually had to close it down - count on kind friends to get you a glimpse of this wonderful London summer event.

The lawns, the grounds, the Clubhouse, all so well-maintained! It's the epitome of London summer season.
Firstly, we walked straight into the Ballroom to find our table.
This is how it all works: not only you can bring your own food and drinks to the  Fête, but also your own tableware and decorations too!
In other words, you could tell a lot about the occupants of each table by the way it was set up: some tables looked so well co-ordinated, others were pilled high with bread and all kinds of charcuterie, one was sporting the American flag on all kinds of paper plates, napkins and the rest of it.

Ours was a great mix&match of snacks and delicious starters along-side piles of cool-bags full of champagne and wine. What can I say, we don't like running out of juice.
Sorry, I meant booze!

But wait, we also had blinis with beetroot salad and pee-mint puree, smoked salmon on toast, jerk chicken, which got greedily wrapped in tortillas and demolished and a whopping 48 of my olive & feta palmiers, that went down a treat right at the beginning, alongside Champers.

Olive & Feta Palmiers

One sheet of puff pastry
Olive tapenade
Feta, crumbled
Olive Oil
Pepper (no salt, the feta will take care of this job)

Unroll the puff pastry onto the parchment paper that it comes in, it will make it easier to roll again later. 
Spread the olive tapenade all over the puff pastry, evenly, avoiding lumps.
Crumble the feta with a fork in a bowl and mix in the olive oil.
Scatter the feta all over the puff pastry sheet, evenly. Pepper all over generously.

Facing the long side of the pastry start rolling it in towards the middle, making sure you don't squish it too much, it needs space to puff up later in the oven.
Stop rolling when you reach the middle.
Roll in the other side of the pastry too, until you reach the middle. Press the two sides gently together to make sure they are stuck on to each other.
Wrap up the roll with the parchment paper and put it in the fridge for 10 minutes, it firms up and is much easier to cut.

Put the oven on 200C.
With a sharp knife cut 2cm slices and lay them flat onto a baking sheet. No need to grease the baking sheet, there's already so much butter in the puff pastry!
Don't worry if the palmiers look a bit square-ish at his stage, they'll sort themselves out in the oven. And if they don't, call them "rustic".

Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, or until they turn golden-brown.
Serve with a gorgeous smile and a sparkling attitude! ;)

At 7 o'clock sharp we were called outside, at the front lawn for the classic car show.
Such a buzzing, fun atmosphere.

Some of the car owners had that oldy-worldy swagger, such a joy to watch.
They were all emerging from their cars in spotless tuxedos with a bottle of Champers and two glasses at hand.
One particularly suave fellow, got out of the car, balanced the champagne glass on his Jag's immaculate bonnet, fixed his bow tie, picked up his glass and walked off...all so smoothly, while hundreds of people were watching.

I guess it's the kind of confidence that comes with age...and a gorgeous classic car off course.

And then there was so much choice that we hardly found time to do it all.
There was live music in the Ballroom, where a funny and wonderful mixture of older and younger couples were demonstrating their moves.

Men in white tuxes waiving their walking sticks (or is it a fashion statement now?) in the air, ladies breaking out jumping routines from Grease and I... got elbowed on the head, tripped onto some gentleman's shoe and got splashed with champagne, all within seconds, while I was trying to get out in the garden.
A bit too much excitement people?

In-between twisting and boogying, we popped into all of the funfair rides;
the merry-go-round was well-maintained enough to make Marry Poppins proud!
When the ride ended - too soon for my liking - I must have sighed so evidently that the lady right next to me said, "don't worry darling, you can go again, it's free!"

Then came a ride on Twister, which looked harmless enough, but left me looking like a plucked chicken, with my hair flying in all directions. 
Oh well, it was fun and everyone was merry enough, not to notice at that point!

ps: we thankfully discovered our smoked salmon bagels at the bottom of the cool bag, hidden under all the champagne, which proved to be a lifesaver at the end of the night, when everyone was starving!

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