Sarasota friends and family of Rob and Angela Smithson did not have far to go to celebrate the wedding of HRH William Arthur Philip Louis Windsor and Catherine Elizabeth Middleton. They had only to pop on their best millinery and pop out to the Smithsons’ extraordinary lakeside home in east Central Sarasota to enjoy what the invitation billed as “pomp, balcony appearance and hearty fayre.”
The Smithsons normally share cooking duties, but he’s the Brit, and this party was his show. The menu he selected and prepared focused on British specialties but covered the entire United Kingdom. He did virtually all the cooking himself, starting with the Highland Scotch eggs. Smithson’s spread was somewhat heartier than that of the queen’s lunchtime reception for the newlyweds, which was largely cold canapés and small sweets.
The Smithson household is ever a merry one. The couple have two sons: Robbi, 12, and Keith, who will be 11 in June. There are often guests in residence. They flew his mom, Rosemary Smithson, from England so the family could be together for the big occasion. London born and raised Vince Fraser, the digital-design guru behind the Sarasota Film Festival logos, among other things, is visiting for a month. Wedding party guests numbered about 75; see more about the party in Black Tie & Tales.
There was room for all on the Smithson’s approximately 3.5-acre property. The house was built in 2006.
“It started out to be French country,” Rob Smithson says. “Then it went Tuscan, and then British … ”
The end result is an eclectic Euro-hybrid fitted out with an amazing assortment of antique furniture and accessories acquired on Rob Smithson’s frequent travels abroad. It was all decorated to the hilt to maximize everyone’s enjoyment of the royal wedding … no air miles required!
Royal Wedding Party Menu
• Highland Scotch eggs with House of Parliament sauce
• Buckingham Palace cucumber, cream cheese and mint tea sandwiches
• Roasted Cornish hen salad sandwiches
• Traditional eggs and cress sandwiches
• King salmon and bibb lettuce fingers
• English jellied pork pie with hot mustard
• Cheese and pickled onion hedgehog
• Humpty Dumpty sausage rolls
• Welsh leek and true cheddar tart
• Bacon, egg and tomato quiche
• Irish Dublin Bay potted shrimp
• Scones with clotted cream and jam
• English sherry trifle
• Chocolate biscuit cake
• Raspberry ribbon cake
• Lemon bars … and additional sweet treats
Highland Scotch eggs
Yield: 16 appetizer servings
1 pound pork sausage
4 hard-boiled eggs, shell removed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 quart vegetable oil for frying
1. Mix together sausage, Worcestershire sauce, flour, salt and pepper.
2. Equally divide mixture into four separate parts, and use hands to flatten out to approximately 1/4-inch thickness, then wrap around hard-boiled egg until egg is completely covered. Dip each ball into beaten egg and roll in bread crumbs until coated.
3. Using deep-fat fryer, heat oil to 350 degrees. Gently lower eggs into hot oil and fry for five to eight minutes until golden brown.
4. Once eggs are cool, cut lengthways into quarters and serve with House of Parliament sauce.
*HP sauce, also known as House of Parliament sauce, is a steak sauce available in the ethnic section of large supermarkets or British specialty shops such as Tastefully British (2236 Gulf Gate Drive) and Scots Corner (3452 17th St.). Hot mustard is an alternative accompaniment.