In case you didn’t already know, we absolutely love autumn at The Chopping Block.
Cosy jumpers, hearty stews, kicking dry leaves along the path and, oh go on then, just one more glass of red wine – what’s not to love?
Bonfire Night, in our humble opinion, is the most exciting evening of the season. It’s a busy time around these parts with the Winter Droving, Halloween and Guy Fawkes Night all crammed into a couple of weeks. But if there was ever an excuse to layer up and traipse in the dark to your local park, then surely hot dogs and fireworks is it!
If you’re planning on keeping it intimate and staying closer to home though, here’s our tips for throwing the Ultimate Bonfire Night Get Together…
It wouldn’t be Bonfire Night without traditional Yorkshire Parkin. This sticky, ginger delicacy is lip-smackingly good – we serve ours warm with Cartmel Sticky Toffee sauce for extra decadence.
If you’re not the biggest hot dog lover (though if you can’t have a Cumberland Ring roasted with a sticky Mango Chutney on 5th November, when can you?) then piping hot individual pies are definitely the way forward. The joy of them is you don’t even need a plate – just keep your gloves on and nibble away while you watch the Catherine Wheels whizz.
As the evening wears on and the flames start to die, it’s time to get the Marshmallows out. Forget the sad tasteless puffs of air you get in bags – why not make your own! Pop on the end of a skewer, toast away until it’s perfectly gooey and sandwich between Chocolate Digestives for a cheats s’more.
Bonfire Night is all about a snug atmosphere where everyone can relax with a mug of Mulled Cider. So if you don’t have room for a giant bonfire, treat yourself to a Fire Pit to huddle around. You need a focal point and as it quietens down later on, gives you something to get lost in as the conversation lulls.
Any excuse to string glamorous festoon lights from trees and we’re there – the more the merrier – and make sure you have plenty of blankets on standby just in case. Think winter log cabin in the woods and aim for that!
You’ll need something to keep the kids occupied between the fireworks and sparklers. Apple Bobbing is our go to. Just make sure you tell everyone to bring a spare t-shirt, there’s nothing worse than standing in the cold in soggy clothes.
Once the kids are tucked in front of the TV watching a film and munching freshly popped corn, it’s time for our fave part of the evening… the Cocktail Competition. Raid your cabinet, make sure you have some fruit for the garnishes and put on your best Tom Cruise in Cocktail face!
If you’re going the whole hog with a spectacular display of whizzes and bangs, make sure you have buckets of water to hand and a safety line everyone knows not to cross.
Make sure you check your bonfire for Hedgehogs before you set it alight – it’s their favourite snuggly place to hide – and perhaps let the non-drinker be in charge of the matches (drunken burns are never fun to deal with).