FOOD FOR FRIENDS

Homes & Gardens - - CONTENTS - Recipes and food styling Ma­rina Filip­pelli styling ali Brown pho­to­graphs emma lee

Recipes and in­spi­ra­tion for au­tumn al­fresco din­ing.

Whether en­joy­ing the last of sum­mer’s warmth or the early days of au­tumn proper, we cel­e­brate the op­por­tu­nity to eat al­fresco. A menu that can be cooked on the fire or in the oven, de­pend­ing on how the mood – or weather – takes you, is a lovely, adapt­able way to en­ter­tain

En­ter­tain­ing out­doors at this time of year comes with risks… So, to en­sure the per­fect gath­er­ing against a cold or driz­zly day, our menu can be cooked en­tirely in­doors. Hav­ing said that, it re­ally is worth grilling some el­e­ments on a firepit or bar­be­cue; such as the sour­dough for the soup, or the pump­kin. The re­sult­ing smok­i­ness will make the meal even more de­li­cious.

To start, a fen­nel and bean soup will warm ev­ery­one up, leav­ing plenty of ap­petite and an­tic­i­pa­tion for the hearty main and sides. An Ital­ian-in­spired rolled belly of pork roasted with ap­ples and onions, gor­geous girolle mush­rooms pan-fried with pota­toes, grilled pump­kin slices with a vibrant dress­ing and that most colour­ful of greens – rain­bow chard. Woody sage, thyme, rose­mary and bay add their aro­mas to the earthy flavours.

For dessert, del­i­cate honey- and bay-poached pears, sweet, nutty frangi­pane and flaky, but­tery pas­try make a tri­umphant fruit tart. Plus, we’ve used the fra­grant pear-poach­ing syrup in a warming tip­ple to help you linger out­side for a lit­tle longer, as the light fades and the tem­per­a­ture be­gins to drop.

This elegant pale oak ta­ble is com­ple­mented by a mod­ern take on coun­try chairs. Dress with the sim­plest linens and ter­ra­cotta, hand-thrown, snowyglazed plates and dishes, and re­cy­cled or hand-blown glass – and don’t for­get a mix of out­door lanterns and twinkly can­dle­light. And should the weather take a turn for the worse, this whole set­ting works equally hap­pily in­doors.

With a re­laxed, sim­ple ta­ble set­ting even small el­e­ments of ex­tra dec­o­ra­tive de­tail will go a long way – th­ese beau­ti­ful hand-blocked nap­kins add a lively layer of pat­tern set against the plain fab­rics, and the hand-wo­ven rush nap­kin rings each have an in­ter­wo­ven sprig of dried buds, mak­ing them unique.

Flame fire­bowl, £249, Sk­agerak atSkandium. Cooking tri­pod, £31.95, Wild Stoves. Gal­vanised me­tal bucket, £3.99, King­fisher atSe­lec­tions. Sal­combe recharge­able gar­den lantern, £98, Red Lilly at No­ton­the­high­street.com. Bi­mala brass lanterns, large, £36.95; medium, £24.95, Nkuku.Vo­tives, stylist’s own.

RIGHT Hand Thrown din­ner plate (at back),£30, Nom Liv­ing. Leach Pot­tery medium gen­eral pur­pose bowl (on right), £27, David Mellor. Ter­ra­cotta plat­ter (at front), £76, Reiko Kaneko at SCP. Otto ce­real bowl (at front), £8; Stella ce­real bowl (at back), £8, both Habi­tat. BE­LOW Round plat­ter, small, £12; Hand Thrown din­ner plate, £30; condi­ment bowl, £6, all Nom Liv­ing. Char­coal nap­kin, £45 for six, The BlockHut. Felic­ity Irons rush nap­kin ring, £13, David Mellor. Brighton cut­lery in Pewter fin­ish, £110 for 24 pieces, Habi­tat. Lali mini ter­ra­cotta pot, £6; Hansa ter­ra­cotta pinch pots, £3 each,all Rowen & Wren. herby Fen­nel and can­nellini bean soup with ricotta

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