DIY dinner party with Silver Bell

I love hosting dinner parties, and generally cooking and preparing food, whether it’s for myself or for friends. But I’ll admit, sometimes it can be a bit tiring. Thinking about what to make, buying the ingredients, preparing things ahead of time, lining up all the dishes… it takes a fair amount of planning. I’ve done some simple ones (like the quick 3-course meal) as well as elaborate affairs (like the Weekend of Food), but unfortunately not everybody can invest the time and effort into making such events happen!

Enter Silver Bell. They take the stress out of dinner party preparation by sending you all the ingredients, 80% prepared, with detailed instructions on how to finish each one. Dinner can then be ready in under an hour (even half an hour, depending on which dishes you choose)!

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I was intrigued, so I decided to try it out. The best thing about Silver Bell was the service – from the time I ordered (there’s a live chat on the site) to the handwritten labels, I felt truly taken care of every step of the way. I love that they sent me my own personalised menu, and that they also included an overview of the entire meal prep, customised to what I had ordered.

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To get the most out of our night, my flatmate and I chose two different starters, mains, and desserts. The portions were incredibly generous, and we were stuffed at the end of it all! I thought each dish was very well thought out, and the flavour combinations were wonderful. But then again, this entire thing was created by acclaimed chef Chris Honor, which is why each plate had a restaurant-like quality to it.

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Cured salmon starter with bee pollen – I was amazed

It’s not for complete beginners, but nothing was too difficult to put together. It does help to have a good eye though, particularly if you’re serving guests and want the dishes to look pretty.

Sweet potato with lentil salad and crispy flatbread

Sweet potato with lentil salad and crispy flatbread, on top of avocado hummus

There were a few snags – I thought they provided a bit too much red onion for the salmon, and the sticky toffee pudding needed more than 20 minutes in the oven, so it actually ended up being too doughy. But all in all, the instructions were impeccable, and the food was marvellous. In particular, the duck and lamb mains were absolutely outstanding – as the meat was cooked sous vide before delivery, all it needed was two minutes in the pan and a bit of time in the oven to be gorgeously tender.

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After the first bite, my flatmate exclaimed that this was better than the lunch we’d had at Hix earlier this year – a bold statement, but one I completely agree with!

Lamb of destiny - a generous portion and more than enough for two

Lamb of destiny with quinoa salad – a generous portion and more than enough for two

Duck, duck, mash

Duck, duck, mash

The sticky toffee pudding was a bit of a flop, as the designated 20 minutes in the oven weren’t enough to cook it through, but the chocolate and fruit compote was to die for. If only I had ordered two…

Less skilled assembly

Less skilled assembly

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Stunning

Silver Bell’s services are definitely a little pricy, as the total cost of our meal was £52 (with free delivery), and it took around 45 minutes to prepare everything. I enjoyed it for a quiet night in with my flatmate, but if I were hosting an actual dinner party, my personal preference would be to plan and make everything from scratch. However, it’s a great service for those of you who have busy schedules, but want to entertain people at home nonetheless, and don’t mind spending a little more on quality ingredients. The service and personalisation are definitely worth shelling out for!

I received a free sample dinner from Silver Bell, but as always, all views are my own.

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