Muddy meets: Devine Betty’s & Rockabilly Rose
The greatest wonder of the them all is that the stars of your dinner party could ever align. Why would the melee of choosing the right (and impressive) menu, co-ordinating cooking times, giving good front of house, floral arrangements AND keeping certain guests off the cooking sherry before 8pm cause any consternation – after all we are (Northants) British aren’t we? But listen…I’ve got the winning formula!
Step forward, the Ladies at Devine Betty’s and Rockabilly Rose; my new Fairy Godmothers, who together, bring you the dinner party with bells on! Emma and Liz from Devine Betty’s met over a spicy sausage….realised a shared love of food and a desire to offer a range of culinary services with a focus on quality, provenance and something a little bit different…and abracadabra, you have a delightful pair who specialise in creative, custom catering menus (people call them caterers, but there’s not a curled up egg mayo sarnie or mushroom vol au vant in sight).
No menu is too small or too big for these talented ladies, so I thought, why not have a wee shebang at Muddy Towers! In our busy times, when work hours or long but we still want to have fun, why save the caterers and florists for 50th Birthdays and weddings?
Speaking of flowers, Rockabilly Rose The Florist is a funky, girl about town, who offers vintage, floral chic. There may be a dozen of these gems in Hackney my dear reader, but in the heart of Northants, this florist sticks out like a perfumed, tea rose tattoo!
So a bit of background in this beautiful pairing! In my search for quirky, unique offerings in our Shire, I met these two businesses separately; but within minutes my Muddy cogs were whirring in how I could put them together and showcase their contemporary but vintage flavoured offerings. Cue, dinner at Muddy Towers, and bibbidi bobbidi boo; it came to be. The ladies cleverly chatted amongst themselves before our soiree and came up with an amazing Middle Eastern menu with complementig centre piece and flowers. I felt like I should have been having the coolest wedding of the year, but you’ll be glad to know I hadn’t paired them up with some trendy ordainer too (oooooh, a superb idea though)!
The night was amazing. Yes, I lost the hostess privilege of revealing my amazing culinary talents (errrrr, that’s usually Mr Muddy anyway), however, on the other hand, aren’t I clever for finding these lovelies and enjoying the company of my guests rather than serving up my best efforts, only to see all that hard work imbibed and gone after few mouthfuls?
The Devine Betty’s were beautifully pre-prepared, but also cooked some on site. Similar to Cat at Rockabilly Rose, who’d done a lot of the flowery creativity before hand, and just finalised the arrangement when she arrived. Once she’d scattered the hundreds of rose petals (I kid you not), I thrust a cold glass of Prosecco into her hand and we watched one Devine Betty (the other was caught in horrendous traffic), help put the magic together.
The food is, quite frankly, fabulous. It’s fresh, tasty and not what you’d expect – waaaaaay beyond a trawl of the dusty cook books – and at £20 plus a head (depending on menu and whether they stay to clear up afterwards), it’s really affordable considering what you can spend entertaining. We started with Perde pilaf, traditional Turkish wedding pie – yogurt dough filled with rice and shredded braised chicken thighs in ginger, saffron, cardamom and cumin, served with lavash bread and dips, esme, matbucha and cacik.
The main course was lamb shoulder cooked with plumbs and roses, green taboulah and tomato and orange fattoush (yes, it was amazing as it sounds)!
And pudding was keskul, ground pistachio and rose turkish delight (tell me you’re not salivating)!
The flowers were awesome, and totally suited the theme. There were Guilder Roses, Ranunculus, Tulips Succulents, Violas, Scabious, Eucalyptus…but they’re just names really aren’t they. Honestly? They were staggering, and at £30 up for a dinner party, you’d be a numpty not to give it a go for an ickle special occasion.
The whole thing was a joy; and hats off to two small, indie businesses rocking it up in Northamptonshire and making us feel very hip, if for one night only!
So here is the secret to a really good dinner party. Plan. Or don’t just plan. Plan to get Devine Betty’s and Rockabilly Rose around. Agree the menu and blooms – these girls are super flexible, super foody, and super flowery – so no challenge is too big, no menu too complicated. Let your Guests know how much you love their company by bringing in reinforcements from these gals, so that you can spend more time with them, rather than sweating over the stove. Beware though, the ladies are so personable that you may need to make three extra spaces around the table to accommodate them. We did, and the night was a rip-roaring, rockabilly success.