You'll have sussed out how this works by now, and this one marked the end of the current round as Liability and Comb-Over hosted the main course and chose the theme of the evening which was "Film and Musical Titles".
The Safari-ers were one Dong short of a naughty movie as he'd got a better offer elsewhere. Well - given the option of swanning around Millbrook with a well known bunch of inebriates or swanning around Cyprus with some Greek inebriates at a Big Fat Greek Wedding, what would you do?
Anyway, on with the narrative. Mrs The Millbrooker and I had the honour of teeing off with a short round of slurpables and finger food, loosely (very loosely) themed around the dreadful Tom Cruise vehicle Cocktail:
In the shot above, enjoying a Kir or a Cardinal cocktail, (L-R): Mrs The Millbrooker, Liability Meeson, Shazzerooneypoos, The Sump and La Sumpetta. On the table two small ramekins of cocktail olives and a bowl of "Prescotts" (AKA cocktail sausages).
We served two starters (my oh my, aren't we the swish ones?) First up... ...yep, everyone got an empty plate. It took them a moment or two to work out that this represented Steve McQueen's 2008 offering about Long Kesh and the troubles - Hunger.
Soon, though, some actual food was forthcoming and there was a short guessing game about what film we were doing this time. Comb-Over kindly demonstrated from the head of the table how he got his blog-name before being the clever clogs who guessed right with Duck Soup:
Truth be told, the soup was plodding along in the middle lane towards bland - not one of me best, but you can't get it right all the time and I'd already seriously jazzed up the original recipe. Ho hum.
Onwards and upwards - we strapped on the crampons and toiled our way to Comb-Over Cottage perched on its precarious ledge above Millbrook for mains. Bet you can't guess what film Liability had in mind:Hmm - let's see, a hunk of lamb with a flag saying "Shhhh". Bit of clue there. There were also Jersey Royal potatoes (The Jersey Boys) and condiments served on a Carousel. Not only did Liability manage to get a load of film references into her catering, it was bloomin' yummy too.
The main course has also, of course, become the traditional time and place on these evenings for the toast to Millbrook's best known first-cousin-once-removed: Auntie Jean. Here's the moment that glasses were raised in her honour:'Ere long, though 'twas time to abseil bravely down the south face of Maker and visit Sump Towers for puds:Safely inside the Sump-tuous dining room, the scrummy pudding appeared in the shape of an American Pie, made using Bananaz. This was very nicely complemented by some bottles of jolly decent pudding wine, and then supplemented by an enormous second helping and some more pudding wine............you get the idea. The third deadly sin might have been committed by one or two of Millbrook's glitterati. This might have included me.Crampons back on, we had to clamber back upwards to Shazzerooneypoos' abode high in the foothills of Maker for cheese and more wine and port and Armagnac...With apologies to Little Lush Lewis, I'd had a sufficient quantity of slurpables to make me almost entirely forget the filmic thems that she'd worked out for her spread of dairy products and choccies. I have very vague memories of Brie-f Encounter and there being some Grapes of Wrath on the cheese board, but things are too hazy to recount the rest.
Eventually I decided it was time to ask the relatively sober Mrs The Millbrooker to take me home before I was tempted to try another HUGE port or even to slip a splash or three of Armagnac into my petit ballon. I might have wobbled slightly en-route homeward. Mrs The Millbrooker was most obliging and made me have a cup of minty tea before collapsing in a heap to help avoid a throbbing bonce in the morning.
Thanks, of course, to everyone who made such huge efforts and cooked up such yummy treats. We had a great time, as always; here's to next time (have we decided on the barbie idea?).