Feast menu for a summer birthday

It was my mother’s 60th birthday recently and I made her a dinner for 16 people to celebrate. I wanted it to be relaxed and for each course to be sufficiently light that three courses (plus cheese) could be eaten comfortably. This menu was also designed to be easy to prepare and serve (albeit with a day spent cooking!). 

The starter required no last minute cooking apart from making the toast, the main dish was all cooked during the day apart from the pork, which had a good 45 minute rest before serving, and as there’s no bone, just needed slicing, and the pudding just needed assembly, as the peaches were grilled then roasted during the day, and the almond crumb was baked during the day too.


Salad of raw, lightly smoked haddock dressed with lemon and olive oil (the fish came from Maximus Sustainable in Suffolk), charred red peppers and rocket

Grilled sourdough bread 


Fennel and garlic stuffed loin of pork (a 5kg piece!) with crackling

Chickpeas with chard


Green salad


Grilled and roasted peaches

Almond crumb

Creme fraiche


Aged goat gouda 



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