I spent this past weekend doing exactly what one should do on weekends, hanging out with friends and relaxing! Saturday was not only the start of The Quintessentially English Jane Austen Book Club but an evening I've been looking forward to for the past month, Cluedo Night!
Cluedo (or Clue as it's known in America) is the perfect murder mystery board game, therefore making it the perfect theme for a murder mystery dinner. I had sent out invitations at the end of April, including randomly selected character descriptions I'd compiled from Wikipedia. With our outfits (I was Miss Scarlett, Luke Col. Mustard) purchased weeks ago from charity shops and the groceries purchased earlier in the week, preparations on the day were relatively relaxed.
In fact all we really had to do on the day was prepare the food and get ourselves ready. We decided to have our menu based on the naff party food you used to get in the 70s here in England but with little twists.
- Pineapple & Cheese on Toothpicks
- Stilton-stuffed Dates wrapped in Streaky Bacon
- Jamie Oliver's Prawn Cocktail (from Jamie's Great Britain)
- Roast Duck with cherry jus, potatoes, and asparagus
- Eton Mess Trifle
Unfortunately one couple had to cancel last minute, which meant that Mrs Peacock and Professor Plum were unable to attend the evening. However the evening was a huge success even without the two suspects. Our guests, or should I say Dr Black's guests (known as Mr Boddy in America) were Mrs 'Nadia' White, Reverend 'James' Green, and Buddy the dog. The food was a hit and we all had a great laugh playing our characters during the game. I can now exclusively reveal that in the end it was Reverend Green, in the kitchen, with the revolver! He accused himself in the end, but only after Colonel 'Luke' Mustard accused him with the wrong weapon. Reverend 'James' Green must have known we were close on his heals!
|Full English Breakfast by Antonio Ruiz García (Creative Common|
The next morning we all woke early, some more willingly than others, and sat around watching Top Gear before sitting down to a full English breakfast (sausage, bacon, black pudding, eggs, beans, and mushrooms). After we were all pleasantly stuffed and Buddy could not take the torment of staying inside with the smell of cooked breakfast no longer we headed out for a walk in the countryside.
Dawning our wellies we headed across the fields next to our property and headed to Whaddon, the village on the other side. In Whaddon is a lovely pub called The Lowndes Arms with a beer garden that looks over the fields. On this particular occasion this field was full of cows and one rather amorous bull. With us watching he proceeded to take a keen interest in one of the cows in particular. They went on a date together (i.e. ate grass right next to each other) and he began shall we say paying attention to a certain area on her. I know it's immature, but there is something funny about animals mating in front of you. Or perhaps it was the little boy next to us that piped up "Daddy what is that bull doing to that cow?" that left us in hysterics.
After our guests had left, I spent a lazy afternoon in bed reading Sense and Sensibility as part of #JaneAustenBookClub. I'm only a few chapters in but already have a hatred for Mrs John Dashwood! She's a witch with a capital B to be sure. Perhaps she will redeem herself by the end, you never known with Jane Austen!
Hope everyone else had a good weekend! Happy Monday and happy reading Quintessentially English Jane Austen Book Club members! And non-members it's not too late to join in! You can read all about it in my blog post The Jane Austen Book Club.