An introduction to Entertaining Lives

A new book that has hit our shelves just in time to be an entertaining talking point for your next dinner party.  Entertaining Lives by Jane Churchill with Emily Astor.

This book is all about the lives of Nancy Astor & Nancy Lancaster, 'the two Nancy's' who were infamous, stylish, sophisticated and inspirational when it came to cooking for company. This pair of American born cousins became known for throwing exclusive British society parties of the twentieth century.

Their descendants Jane and Emily, use stories from their childhood and previously undisclosed family documents to share elegant table settings, flower arrangements, interior design and recipes that will make your inner host very envious. 

All recipes are remastered for a modern kitchen with new photographs that show how the spark of each concept is retained by using original china and decor as well as being shot in the family country homes.

Nancy Astor wrote of her childhood and youth in Virginia, ‘I think we were very sensibly fed, with good plain food and plenty of it.’ Hosting at this level was just their daily reoutine and they did it very well.

Some of the recipes use just a few ingredients but the combinations, presentation and tradition makes each dish sing of substance. Whether you are looking for a 5 course meal or just a few new dishes to add to your bow, there are 75 recipes to dig your teeth in to amongst its pages. You will gain insight and begin to appreciate the style in which they entertained whilst hopefully being inspired to do a little of your own.


Incase you need a little more convincing here's a tasty teaser recipe to wet your appetites. 

Stewed  Creole Tomatoes

Serves 4-6

Preparation time:  30 minutes

Cooking time:  1 hour

The way these were traditionally cooked at Mirador was to stew down for hours and then bottle the ‘sugo’ (which it essentially was, but without the addition of garlic or olive oil).  This version is a combination with fresh tomatoes, and baked in the oven.  It is a perfect vegan dish, if you substitute the buttered breadcrumbs with olive oil.


3 ripe medium-large Creole/Beef or other large ripe tomatoes

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large white onion, quartered and cut into slices

1-14.5 oz/400g  tin chopped tomatoes with juice

1 stalk celery with leaves, diced

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon sugar (or more if you like sweet stewed tomatoes)

1 teaspoon fresh basil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or 1 clove fresh garlic, crushed

Black pepper to taste

2 tablespoons melted butter

125g/1/2 cup breadcrumbs



Pre-heat oven to 180 c/350 F degrees. Oil a 9×9″ oven dish.

To blanch and peel tomatoes, first run a sharp knife around the circumference of each tomato, just piercing the skin, then boil a kettle and pour the hot water into a large bowl. Add the tomatoes. Occasionally turn them to make sure all sides of tomatoes are submerged. After about 20 minutes run cold water into the bowl. When cool enough to handle, remove skins — they should slide off. Set tomatoes aside.

Add oil to a frying pan and heat to medium high. Add onion slices, stir and sauté for about 5 minutes until onions begin to turn translucent. Remove from heat and set aside.

Add the tinned tomatoes, sautéed onions, celery, fresh parsley  to the dish and stir.

Add Worcestershire sauce, sugar, dried basil, salt, garlic and black pepper  and stir to combine.

Remove the cores of blanched, peeled tomatoes. Cut the tomatoes in eighths. Add and stir to .

Cover tightly with aluminium foil. Bake in the oven for 1 hour.

Remove the dish from the oven and remove foil. Combine the melted butter and bread crumbs. Spread over the tomato mixture.

Return the dish to the oven, uncovered, and bake 15 additional minutes.


Order your copy of this engaging book now >> We have a limited number so don't wait too long.


Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published