Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Safari...

This weekend I hosted a Safari Dinner Party. You may have read about them recently in various London papers as one of the events that London's Bright Young Things now do…

Suffice to say, my friends and I are actually way ahead of the game on Safaris and have been doing them for a couple of years now. In fact we all consider that we have fine-tuned the Safari DP to such an extent that we are indisputably THE hostesses you want to be invited by to such an event.

For those not quite in the know though, I will elaborate.

The Safari DP basic premise originates from armed forces days gone-by. The stories I have heard from my mother of my parents' time abroad are of dazzling affairs in the mess most of the time, but as well as cocktail parties and so forth in the evening, the wives would also often host dinner parties. And, in true armed forces mentality, team work goes a long way in these things. One wife would host the canap├ęs and starter course for the group at the DP. The entire group would then move on the next (inevitably nearby) house where another wife would have prepared the main course. And after the main course, the entire group would again move on for coffees, dessert, cheese etc at another wife's house, again very nearby.

A few years ago, some of my friends adapted this into an amazingly successful formula, specifically aimed at the singles market in London. (I don't claim that similar DPs have never been done before, of course, but I do claim the superior nature of what my friends have fine-tuned over the last couple of years).

You have 3 houses, situated relatively close to each other, and 3 hostesses, 1 in each house.

Each hostess draws together a clutch of their most fabulous single friends, typically 4 or 5 males and 4 or 5 females. Each hostess also comes up with a sumptuous menu to impress, because let's face it, each hostess is going to be compared to each other and wants such comparisons to be favourable.

Each hostess essentially hosts an entire DP with the usual 3 or 4 courses at their own house. But. The key difference here is that the single boys rotate houses between each course.

You start with your own chaps. You ply them with plenty of wine, make sure they are looking dapper and talking splendid chat and then after starters are done you send them forth on to the next house (as pre-arranged) at the appointed time. You want your boys to be the ones that the other 2 houses of girls rave about. You hope that the other hostesses have sourced some fine young eligible men for your house, and as you have five minutes or so as the rotation occurs, the girls fluster around preparing for the next course, discuss the men that have just left and get excited about the impending arrivals. The men, no doubt, have some sort of locker room style talk en route to their next location.

Your second round of men arrive. You assess. You feed. You drink. You flirt. You probably play some dinner table games. You assess some more. You send them off on their way at the appointed time to their third and final house, and again, await your next and last round of chaps to arrive.

The same thing happens again. Post liqueur coffees or what-have-you, you all then descend en masse (again, pre-arranged) to a night-time haunt, where about 30 odd of you all congregate, consume more beverages, flirt more outrageously now that you have decided who are making a bee-line for out of the 12 to 15 chaps you might have met, and then dance the night away in some sort of debauched fashion.

And debauched is the word. I'm not talking Killing Kittens debauched (google it) but a more innocent and pure-booze related debauchery.

So. How did my Safari DP go?

AMAZINGLY.

My boys were adored by the other two houses of girls. My food was proclaimed outstanding by all 3 rounds of chaps (particularly my main course boys – I HAD cooked a 24 hour aromatic slow roast shoulder of pork – nicknamed Percival the Pig - it was heavenly). The single girls at my house were lauded by all the boys. By the time I was boogying in my normal, favourite cheesy-music-playing-South-West London nightclub I was ecstatic with the success of it all. And probably slightly tipsy.

In fact, the morning after, following some telephone calls to all and sundry to determine the precise level of success and glean all possible gossip from the evening, I drew together some vague statistics and commentary from the evening:

There was:
On average a 60-65% snoggage success rate from the evening;
On average an 8-10% sleepover success rate;
On average a 5% double-snog success rate (2 of my guests - well done chaps);
One too many bestiality stories involving marmite, dogs and willies (eugh);
One random chavtastic kiss of one Safari attendee with a hilarious looking white-tracksuit-bottomed and flip-flop wearing non-Safari attendee;
One girlfriend mysteriously turning up for one of the "single" Safari boys (naughty);
Many mind blanks (convenient);
One argument about the quality of MacDonalds chicken legend burgers;
Four late night venues across London visited in total by safari attendees;
2 after-parties;
4.5 kilos left of Percival the Pig;
AND there was a late night booty text sent (not successfully converted, but effort applauded).

Conclusion. Much fun had by all.

My only wish might be that I had contributed to some of the more-interesting sounding above statistics/commentary.

But, on this occasion, I quite enjoyed my role as match-maker extraordinaire. Just call me Emma Woodhouse or Flora Poste…

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