New Year’s Eve with Ravinder Bhogal

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It was an intimate family party for 40, but every detail was picked with a connoisseur’s eye – from the baroque platinum drinking goblets, to the best Cuban cigars served at a perfect 70% humidity.

A stylish Raj tent lit with twinkling lanterns and strewn with rose petals was the backdrop for an event that spirited guests out of London to the Orient, to the sounds of sitar, tabla and Bhangra. But the talking point was, without doubt, the food.

‘Ravinder Bhogal was a breath of fresh air to us,’ says MD Julian Saipe. ‘She brought new ideas, and clear ideas.’ Ravinder rolled up her sleeves and spent three days in the kitchen with Zafferano chefs. The results included such delectable dishes as –

‘Mumbai Shots’ – shot glasses of tamarind water topped with a semolina puri filled with potatoes, chickpeas, shallots and sweet yogurt

‘Meen Moilee’ – fragrant South Indian monkfish and prawn curry cooked with mustard seeds, curry leaves, coconut milk and tamarind

‘Bhaigare Baingan’ – battered and fried baby aubergines in a nut and tamarind paste sauce

Rose Kulfi with pistachio praline;

Pistachio & Almond Rose Doughnuts

The finishing touches – all requested by the client – were a ‘learning curve’ even for Julian! Vintage Perrier Jouet, Chateau La Mission Haut Brion… the Remy Martin Louis XIII Cognac worked out at an eye-popping £1550 per bottle. Cohiba Bhike 52 cigars all carefully sourced from Sautters of Mayfair – along with the essential humidification process.

‘Couldn’t have been better’ was the verdict. Exit, one very relieved party planner!