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When hosting the most recent Cotswold Allure dinner party, at Manor by the Lake in Cheltenham, we had the pleasure of reviewing the Chef at Home service, La Belle Assiette (translated as: The Beautiful Plate) and enjoying specially matched wine by new player on the block, When in Rome Wine.

Anyone who has ever had to host a dinner party at home will rejoice in the ease and cost effective way in which they work. Essentially a review and book site, La Belle Assiette have vetted hundreds of chefs across the UK allowing the user to set a budget, review menus and book directly from the website.

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This all inclusive service (not even a dish to wash up afterwards!) allows you to rediscover the pleasure of entertaining at home. Impress your guests with amazing food for the price of restaurant meal. Menus start from £39 per guest and cater to a range of cuisines and dietary requirements.  

Our menu for the evening included scallops, honey partridge and hangar steak, prepared lovingly by Chef James Benson. His dishes inhabit all the creativity and flavour combinations of fine dining, using seasonal ingredients sourced from his favourite local suppliers.

Every great dinner party undoubtedly needs a great wine and what better accompaniment to our menu than a Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso provided by When in Rome Wine. This superb Venetian wine, with notes of plum, almond and raspberry, complemented both the partridge and hangar steak beautifully. Soft tannins and an almost buttery mouthfeel made for a very drinkable wine that surprised and delighted our guests as it came out of a box!  The stigma surrounding box wine goes right out the window when the product is of such superb quality and comes in beautiful contemporary packaging with a flip top decanting bottle (to make table service easier!)

Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso provided by When in Rome Wine

In the manner of craft beers, their range of wine comes from small producers and boxes are filled straight from the casks. (available in 2 sizes) It is then transported by train and delivered straight to your door. It uses considerably less packaging and wine stays fresh for up to 6 weeks, making this the more economical and ecological choice.

If space is a problem for hosting a dinner party at home, the solution is elegantly addressed by finding a ‘home away from home‘ in the way of our very own Manor House. Manor by the Lake in Cheltenham provided the striking and inviting setting for this occasion. An exquisitely restored Victorian manor house, there is a wealth of interior detail, large open fire places and plush carpeting. The variety  of spaces and rooms on offer, means they can accommodate anything from 8 to 250 people.

Eat, drink and be merry.  As the proof lies in the tasting, the consensus around the table was unanimous – great food, great wine and hosts who can spend time with their guests, made for a very successful dinner party.

To book your next dinner party or find out more about their service, please visit:

To get your festive season wine order in or find out more about the rest of the varieties check out:

To enquire about the variety of occasions Manor by the Lake can be used visit:

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