Mark Best, AEG Ambassador and acclaimed chef (formerly of Marque Restaurant), has shared his favourite long summer lunch menu which is sure to impress your guests.

Menu
Cucumber with cream cheese and miso
Crab and celeriac tacos
Tiger prawns and mayonnaise
Salad of beetroots

Dessert
Caramelised pineapple tart

To drink
Martini with watermelon and olives


Mark’s tips for hosting a memorable long summer lunch at home


Guest list

  • Once you have decided how many people to include, stick to it! Look at each occasion separately and choose guests who will get along and may share interests.


Food

  • Make sure everything is ready in good time so that you can have a shower, dress and chill before the guests arrive. They are there to see you, not watch you work!
  • Preferably, I like to spread the work load over two days. Go shopping two days in advance and spend the day or morning preparing. That way you will only need to cook and plate up once guests arrive.


Drinks 

  • I love a big jug of martini with watermelon and olives on clear ice. Also, jugs of classic martini are perfect for a lazy afternoon as guests can help themselves, maximising your time at the table and not spent mixing drinks! 
  • I like to provide an array of drinks. Boutique beers, champagne and a good crisp white wine are always on the menu.
  • For non-drinkers, I would have some home-made kombucha made with Chinese tea and apple juice.


Styling/table settings

  • Simple and understated is best. Let the food do the talking.
  • I like to use a beautiful old ice bucket filled with boutique beers – not only do they dress the table, your guests (or you) don’t have to get up to go to the fridge once they’re empty!

Ambience

  • If your summer luncheon starts to move into the evening, add some ambiance by setting up fairy lights prior and don't forget the mozzie coils in summer.
  • Don’t overlook the power of music, I just hit play on my curated Spotify playlist; anything from Patti Smith to The Smiths to Fleet Foxes. I'm a sucker for great lyrics & a great melody. I’ve got 50 hours so plenty of good vibes for a summer luncheon.