Wednesday, 23 December 2009


A year had flown by since the very first experimental cosmosoirée on the 20th of December 2008. I could barely have hoped that the events would become so popular and successful, and that this anniversary occasion would culminate in such a perfect model of my concept!
With the freezing temperatures and the pre-christmas timing it might have been complicated to draw in a good crowd… but somehow the numbers came in spot on with a full house of 60, and magically there was an even balance of 30/30 men and women! Of these 21 men and 14 women were new-comers, the rest being cosmo-repeats. There were 17 countries of origin present: a good handful from France, Germany, USA, GB, and Australia/New Zealand, a couple each from Holland, Italy and Austria, and one each from Finland, Poland, Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Trinidad and Tobago, Argentina and Bolivia. Not to mention a massive 21 local representatives from Spain/Catalunya!
In my quest to keep improving the events I invested in some new capital equipment: a freezer for mass production of ice, a giant ice bucket, new sangria bowls, and several super-sized salad bowls. Another novelty was the printed welcome cards to explain the evening’s proceedings, and I think that these developments helped to run things more smoothly with a little less work on the night. Still I always count on a couple of good friends to arrive early and help me out with those final touches, a big thanks to Brigitte and Anna!
For the buffet spread I tried a few new dishes – a cous-cous salad, lentil walnut salad, sesame brussel sprouts, as well some of the old staples - bok choy, tuna pasta, baked potatoes with aubergine dip, ham and veggie slice and a spinach tortilla. Thanks also to Brigitte, Anna and Ana for their delicious contributions to the buffet, a salad, quiche and samosas/pakoras respectively.
As somewhat of an experiment I offered a choice of main course this time, the usual chicken curry or chile con carne (sin carne version for vegetarians) and I have to say the chicken curry won hands down! So I will probably save myself the extra work in future and just stick to the old favorite. For dessert I prepared a fruit salad, honey crackles and a bigger-than-ever chocolate gateau complete with anniversary candle, which I delivered on the terrace to a spontaneous chorus of “happy birthday to you”:)
Speaking of the terrace, the unique characteristic of this party was the fact that it did NOT all happen out there! The freezing conditions would have normally been alleviated by the gas heater, but unfortunately the gas ran out quite early in the evening and almost everyone stayed indoors, only venturing out for the occasional cigarette. It was interesting to see a different, more interior and cosier party... and thankfully there was a lot less smokers’ mess to clean up the next day;)
The festive spirit was definitely in the air and we soiréed on until almost 3am. I wish everyone a happy holiday season and look forward to seeing you all in 2010!

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Nov 14 a memorable evening!

I had a feeling the november event would be a quiet affair… how wrong I was! It turned out to be the most popular cosmosoirée ever, a record 55 people confirmed on facebook alone (not all of them serious of course) and by thursday night I was already turning people down (sorry). The final guestlist of 67 was eventually cut down to 62 with the (still unacceptable) handful of no shows. There was a noticeable majority of women, with 36 as opposed to a mere 26 men. A good mix of 19 countries of origin were present, the more unusual ones including Bulgaria, Poland, Japan, Mexico and Peru. Just over half the guests were first timers and 29 were cosmo regulars.

I had felt it was finally time to branch out from my usual menu and I rather optimistically prepared a main course of chile con carne with condiments, instead of my diehard chicken curry (which I could make with my eyes closed) This rather complex procedure through me totally off schedule, not helped by my determination to finally add my famous tortilla española (two in fact) to the cosmo-buffet… and I entered panic mode by 6pm! Anyway it all turned out ok, and with the early arrival of Irma and Jamie to help me out with final touches all was ready on time and slowly but surely the party began.

Other highlights on the buffet table included salad and quiche from Brigitte and Marc, Sonja’s delicious lentil salad, Ana’s pakoras, and an amazing roast vegetable platter from Philippe, who was also my right-hand-man in the kitchen all evening. For dessert I prepared a fruit salad as well as my usual chocolate gateau, and we had a special treat with Jamie's world renowned choc-chip cookies.

When I finally escaped from kitchen duties around midnight I joined the happy crowd and saw for myself it was yet another incredibly successful and enjoyable evening for everyone. However I had had to put a damper on proceedings and steer people to the door by 2:30 am… unfortunately I had a work meeting for my elusive day job at 10:30 am Sunday, OUCH!

Thursday, 12 November 2009



Wednesday, 21 October 2009


Expectation was high after the long summer break and with the flourish of early RSVPs I braced myself for a big one. Indeed it looked like an overbooking, but thanks to a number of no-shows (still a no-no) and “facebook flakes” (as I lovingly call them ;) the final number was reduced to a manageable 57 people. There were 15 different countries of origin present, 31 women and 26 men, with 33 cosmo-pros and 24 rookies.
My wonderful friends Irma, Jamie and Brigitte arrived a little early to help with final preparations and all was in place by 9:15 when the surge through my front door began. It was a lovely October evening with the first signs of crisp autumn air... and an overloaded coat stand! To avoid the usual congestion on the terrace (where the only drinks service has always been located), I introduced a second bar area in the bathtub which served its purpose well.
The first course buffet spread of salads, slices, baked potatoes and pakoras obviously went down a treat before I served the hot main course. My chicken curry, basmati rice and cachumber salad were as delicious as ever, and we also had a vegetarian option, a delectable spicy curry made by Bill. For dessert we were treated to Mitsi’s famous brownies, as well as my chocolate gateau and honey crackles.
As usual the party atmosphere was really buzzing and happy with everyone mingling and making new friends. On this occasion I chose to ignore the hopeful hints at a salsa session or ABBA-mania, but guests still lingered till late… eventually I made a few hints of my own and everyone cleared out by about 3am. I felt really happy with another successful cosmosoirée but my bed was beckoning!

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Salut de Paris!

That's right, I am in the city of lights until the end of september, doing some serious research on parisian soirées;-)

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Photos june 27 from Marisa lopez

Monday, 29 June 2009


8:45pm and I was starting to panic, more than 60 people about to descend upon my doorstep… Thankfully help arrived in the angelic form of Hyon, soon followed by Amanda (guest of honour, my old friend all the way from Sydney), the ever-lovely Jamie and a spectacular Brigitte. Food was laid on the buffet table and last minute details were tended to before the onslaught of the masses.

I was somewhat concerned about the “over-booking” with 60+ confirmed, but in the end there were a few no-shows (which I consider very rude but in this case perhaps a blessing). The final total was 59 guests - 32 women and 27 men. Of these there were 33 first timers and 26 repeats including a hard core of regulars! The relatively limited number of nationalities present, a mere 15, I would have to blame on the local invasion, with 23 Spanish/Catalans it would seem they are trying to claim the cosmosoirée for their own;) There was also a healthy U.S. contingent of 10, and a sprinkling each from Australia, Italy, France, Britain and Germany. Holland, Denmark, Norway and Sweden managed to rustle up a representative or two, and I was particularly “encantada” to receive 3 latino americanos (además todos chicos guapos) from Venezuela, Peru and Argentina… bárbaro!

The highlights of the 1st course buffet were Hyon’s delectable oriental summer rolls with peanut sauce, wonderful salads by Jamie, Brigitte, Paolo and myself, Natalia’s mouthwatering meatballs and Maite’s exquisite quiche. Unfortunately my lovingly- prepared tabuleh salad remained neglected in the fridge behind a mountain of bottles, and I completely forgot to put it out! Oh well, it was very much enjoyed by my workmates on Monday.

With my kitchen overtaken by party animals I did as best I could to serve out my old faithful chicken curry in a civilised manner, and it went down a treat as ever. Then finally the dessert selection - fruit salad, chocolate torta, a special coca from Olot (thanks Jordi) and my childhood special honeycrackles (a little underdone, sorry) – and I think I managed to perfect the surprise spotlight dessert presentation on the terrace table amid gasps of appreciation.

At that point I was able to relax and enjoy the party, and what fun it was! The terrace was even more packed than usual with people enjoying the balmy summer evening. Later some ingenious guests cooled off by wading in the icy bathtub, and some crazy photos were taken (I want to see them!) There was salsa dancing and general mayhem till 3am... luckily my neighbours were away!

For the moment I’m not planning another event over the summer, at least not in my loft. But you never know, I might suddenly be inspired, or have a special event in a different venue. There will indeed be une petite soirée in September… and a welcome back authentic cosmosoirée in October. See you then!