Following in the footsteps of our recent global dinner party odyssey, it was the turn of the St. Francis Street gallery in Hong Kong to revive the lost art of hosting…and bring something a little bit different to the table.It was an intimate affair on a perfect November evening, where people arrived as guests and left as friends. A delectable four course meal was about to be served ‘safari style’, with each course served in a different setting in the gallery, and each reflecting one of our four dinner party themes; from Showstopper to Fun Formal, Casual & Hearty and Spontaneous Sharing.
The crowd of eight was a varied mix – which always makes for the best dinner party conversation. VIP customers were joined by Jacqueline Kot from Hong Kong Tatler and Stephanie Ip from the South China Morning Post.
Part I: The Showstopper
The evening began on the ground floor of the three storey gallery, where glasses of champagne and canapes broke the ice as everyone got to know each other. The first theme – Showstopper – included oyster shooters served in a shot glass from an ice-filled vintage trophy. One of the guests had brought a bottle of wine to the dinner and there was a wonderful relaxed feeling of hosting dinner at home. The atmosphere was an intimate one and it was easy to forget we were actually in the gallery.
Part II: Spontaneous Sharing
Talented singer Miriam Ma and her guitarist Chris performed some soulful numbers as the guests made their way up to the first floor for the Spontaneous Sharing part of the evening – our next theme. Upstairs, the Axel table was adorned with fresh red roses and rustic wooden platters, mouth-wateringly covered with cured meats, seafood and amazing homemade nut bread. Guests piled their plates high and sat down to relax and chat together in the comfort of the Viscount William sofa.
Part III: Casual & Hearty
With conversation in mid-flow, suddenly the jazzy notes from Miriam and Chris could be heard again upstairs and everyone was curious to see what the next leg of the evening had in store for them. Up on the third floor, we were greeted by the third theme – a Casual & Hearty setting. The Museum dining table was invitingly filled with the scent of fresh rosemary and the sparkle of candles, while place settings were marked with fresh fruit. After a cheery toast to the lost art of hosting, everyone tucked into succulent roast beef, carved at the table by chef Arron. More wine, more laughs, more convivial chat – from the street looking up we must have looked like a group of friends who had known each other for ages.
Part IV: Fun Formal
After a delectable dessert of lime and coconut mousse, berries and crumbly shortbread – all served in a Baby Cham glass – we were on the move downstairs for the next treat, this time in the spirit of the Fun Formal theme. As the music continued to play, there were the oohs and ahhs as the cheeseboard was revealed – flown in especially from France. In between mouthfuls of creamy brie and tangy chutney, we talked travel, family and plans for next year. We could have easily stayed much longer but the midnight oil was burning and it was time to go home, all be it with a few new numbers saved in our phones.