Night I served Joanie an exploding egg...
Regular readers may remember that a few weeks ago, after meeting at a Tory Party do, I invited Joan Collins to dinner — prompting near panic when she accepted about what on earth a hostess should serve for a Hollywood goddess.
And so she came. Joan Collins. To dinner. At my house. Walked up my garden path in her leopard-print dress and leather jacket, and spent the entire evening being fabulous.
Joan (pictured) drank small amounts of white wine with ice, explained why Elizabeth Taylor got the role of Cleopatra instead of her (‘I wasn’t prepared to sleep with who I needed to sleep with, darling’) and was sweet to my ill-behaved children.
All this despite the fact the evening was, in hostessing terms, a bit of a fiasco. In no particular order:
1.The quails’ eggs. I thought I’d be frightfully swish and sophisticated and do quails’ eggs.
I boiled them as per the instructions, then put them in a pretty bowl with celery salt and a matching bowl for the shells.
Luckily, Joan was not the first to try one — if she had it would have exploded and run down her front.
After much apologising, I put them back to boil, but no one dared touch them. Later, the dog ate them all. He hasn’t stopped breaking wind since.
2.The placement. Always check, when you do your seating plan, that the guest of honour hasn’t got stuck with a table leg in the way. Joan was very nice about it.
3.Discourage your son from telling legendary actresses: ‘I thought you were very good in the Snickers advert.’
4.If you're going to have a dinner party, try to have grown-up things such as matching knives and glasses. And plates. And napkins. In fact, matching anything, really.
5.Finally, always listen to the advice of Daily Mail readers. Several of you wrote in advising me to keep it light, and one suggested I just do cheese and crackers.
Well, you were right. She ate very little of anything except the cheese, which she tucked into with gusto!