Sunday, 15 August 2010


SAS. London is teeming with them. Successful Attractive but Single women on a mission to find a man. But the big smoke is a pretty huge place… and after countless Saturday nights of glammed-up girly cocktails and clubbing, you realise that no matter what you do it’s not always easy to hunt one down.

But savvy single ladies have discovered how to rein these stray cats in… by way of the ‘Safari Party.’ If this hot new trend is new to your ears then let me explain. In essence, it’s a mixture between speed dating and a dinner party. Sounds fun? It is.

Here’s how to start. Group together an equal number of single guys and gals, and then divide this number by however many lodges can host a dinner party. For example, if you’ve got 30 guests and 3 lodges, then each lodge gets 10 guests. But here’s the catch... After each of the 3 courses, the girls stay put while the boys prowl to the next destination where they’re greeted by whole load of fresh meat. By the end of supper everyone has had a chance to eye up their prey. When you’re all thrown into the wild at the end of the night, it’s the aim of the game to corner your target and go in for the kill.

So the Safari Party uses the traditional format and role of the dinner party for an ulterior motive. But the question is, what role does food play in this jazzed up speed date?

The leaders of the SAS pack have a lot on their plate. It’s their responsibility to create an environment that will nurture the first seedlings of romance, so it’s super important to get the menu and mood right. After all, in this SAS-rich, time-poor game it’s make or break for first impressions.

The ambiance has to be conducive to courting but also keep the party beat up… Do you go Chris de Burgh or Chris Martin? Candles and fairy lights, or disco ball?

As for the menu, garlic or red onion is a no-go. Rather chewing gum all round please. Spag bowl isn’t the prettiest thing to eat when you’re trying to impress potential pulls. Any sort of tomato sauce proves disastrous if it get’s on your killer outfit. And getting oregano stuck in your teeth is a sure way to send your predator packing.

So do you go for the aphrodisiacs? The right wine and fodder to fuel their carnal instincts… Champagne and oysters followed by chocolate covered strawberries. Or is that too cringingly obvious that you’d blush as red as a berry as you tried to seductively devour your pudding? More likely dribble it down your front. Sexy.

Perhaps the food is in fact made redundant. Although it’s used as the vehicle to bring these singletons together, is the haute cuisine eclipsed by the human feast before them? And for some wild cats it may be an eating is cheating scenario. The wallflowers need a bit of Dutch courage to make the pulling pounce.

There’s also the element of competition amongst the Safari hostesses. Who’s the big cat of the kitchen? As species of social Darwinism we’re all smitten for a good cook. The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach and all that.

To make life easier, here’s a suggestion for a summer Safari Party menu; something scrummy to feed those predatory appetites.


Nibbles - Sweet potato dips with crème fraiche and sweet chilli sauce dip, and a lettuce with shredded chicken and ginger wraps

Starter - Antipasti style, ham, Parma ham, salami, mozzarella, manchego, houmous, rye bread/sour dough

Main – Roast chicken, Ottolenghi salad, couscous with feta and roasted peppers

Pudding - Elderflower and vodka granita with a lemon and basil sorbet and a choc brownie bite

It’s a good idea to pre-prepare the food so that you’re free to flirt easy on the night. You can pull out all the foodie stops, or make it very simple. To be honest I think the party goers are more worried about saving a piece of gum and what they’re shotting later than eating anything gourmet. A good old lasagne and ice cream wouldn't go a miss!

So get your claws out. Find your pack and hit the wild. Remember that as hostess no one can get in the way of your tactical seating plan. And who knows? Maybe you’ll get lured back to a Lion’s den…

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