Since moving to our current address in 2006, my mum and I in particular have become quite active within our church. I was raised in one denomination or another from childhood, but now I’ve found a permanent home at a local Anglican church. Over the past year, we’ve put on a series of International-themed dinners; and the latest one (occurring a few weeks ago) was an English one!
Ever since we started our International Dinner series, I was eagerly awaiting this dinner. English food is the most comforting stuff in the world, and I was very excited to see what we could do with this dinner. Also, I’m always in charge of these dinners’ decor; so it was an appealing task to festoon the church hall with all manner of English decorations!
We cut up plastic tablecloths and laid them out like the St. George’s Cross on every table. The vases were filled with faux roses (inspired by the Tudor rose), and topped off with England’s Royal Banner
Our vicar collects international flags, and always supplies the appropriate one for our dinners
Our international dinners always feature plenty of travel posters– these were my mum’s idea, and they really give a beautiful, nostalgic feel to the surroundings. It’s always nice to see diners get up and peruse the posters before or after the meal.
Although I was in England a week before, seeing these alluring posters made me want to go back at once…
We also like to include some sort of informative and fun activities for the patrons of these dinners; for example, at our Italian Dinner last year we had photos of famous Italians, and the idea was to guess their names and occupations. At our English Dinner, we had photos of well-known landmarks for people to guess at.
Recognisable landmarks from all over England were pictured
But of course, the stand-out feature was the food! The very English menu consisted of steak and ale pie, mash and gravy, mushy peas, and sticky toffee pudding for dessert. Everything was homemade– my mum was absolutely tireless in rolling pastry and making puddings in the week leading up to the dinner!!
I could have been sitting in a pub instead of a church hall with food like this!
Sticky toffee pud is one of my favourite desserts, and we had people asking for the recipe to this one!
All in all, it was a delightful English evening; and it was also a successful fundraiser for our church! Now I’m just disappointed that we’ve already had an English dinner in our international series– I’d love to host another one quite soon, but I fear that our congregation may have had their fill of mushy peas for the time being!