The Builders’ Barbecue

Image of the party-goers in the garden

We threw a barbecue party at the weekend for everyone who has worked on our house over the past few years. Believe me, they earned it.

We’re about two-thirds of the way round what is a very beautiful but somewhat neglected 16th century house. Now we only have the old doctors’ surgery to strip out and repair.

Yes, the old surgery is still there, in spite of the fact that the practice moved to a new building in a nearby village donkeys’ years ago. We still have the receptionist’s window and a rather fetching collage on the wall of ducks in sou’westers. There was even a bed in the consulting room when we first moved in.

I’d show you a picture but it’s wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling with our books at the moment. Still in boxes. Yup.

Image of Portly HQ

Portly HQ – looking spiffing

But Phase Three has been completed. Our builders, James and Mick (gentlemen, I salute you) finished a day ahead of what was a very tight schedule. They worked phenomenally hard and did a fantastic job. If anyone reading this has a decrepit listed building in Suffolk in need of repair, I can supply references on request.

Image of builders James and Mick

James and Mick – this one dates from Phase Two last year

We also invited our friends and neighbours Paul and Rindy and their family, without whom none of this would have been possible. Thank you, all. The least we could do to show our appreciation was to invite them all over for a meal. This is what we ate.

Home made beefburgers

Chicken with fennel, lemon and garlic (a lovely recipe from Dhruv Baker)

Paneer tikka kebabs, adapted from Geeta Seth’s recipe here

Image of paneer tikka on the barbecue

Sausages (you have to have sausages at a barbecue)

Courgette frittata

Sabrina Ghayor’s delicious bulgur wheat salad from her book Persiana

Image of bulgar wheat salad

Potato salad with capers and sweet pickled cucumber

The special family coleslaw

Tomato and herb salad from the garden

And to nibble on while things were cooking, tricolore salad on a stick.

We rounded it all off with summer pudding and we drank Pimm’s, chilled white wine and for the designated drivers, home made elderflower cordial mixed with lots of lemon juice. Oh, and ginger beer. James is very fond of ginger beer. Just a tip in case you ever want to hire him. 😉


6 thoughts on “The Builders’ Barbecue

  1. Might well take you up on that!
    We are having ‘your’ salmon with the lemon and herb butter sauce for dinner again this evening. We’ve got peas, broad beans and potatoes ready in the garden, so it should all be delicious!

    • Nothing beats fresh veg from your own garden. Enjoy!
      And seriously, you’d be very welcome to visit whenever you’re in Suffolk, it’d be lovely to meet you. xx

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