The perfect dinner date

Tony Slater and Sir Tom FinneyTony Slater and Sir Tom Finney
Tony Slater and Sir Tom Finney
Who would be your dream guests at a dinner party? And what would be on the menu?

Author Tony Slater has released his latest version of RSVP: By Invitation Only, which offers tips on how to host the perfect dinner party, with mouth-watering menu ideas.Tony also reveals who would be on the guest list for dream dinner parties hosted by well-known figures in the world of politics, business, sport and entertainment, locally and nationally.The Fulwood writer gets tastebuds tingling by listing the delicacies that would be served, from traditional fish and chips and rice pudding to exotic soufflés and mango kulfi. Drinks range from traditional Lancashire ales to champagne.Among those who are featured in Tony’s fascinating book are Masterchef presenter Greg Wallace and former Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond. Preston’s favourite son, Sir Tom Finney, even made a contribution shortly before his death, serving up broth, traditional Lancashire hotpot and apple pie to guests who would include the Queen, former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and footballer Stanley Matthews.Tony said: “I’m over the moon with the fantastic response I have had to the book. The choices made by the celebrity contributors have been fascinating and really make you think about who you would include on your own guest list and what dishes you would tempt them with.”Tony has financed the book with the support of Edgar Wallace, from Preston Plastics, so the full purchase price will go to Derian House, St Catherine’s Hospice and Baby Beat.Georgina Cox, chief executive at Derian House, who would serve Barack Obama and Marie Antoinette lobster with frites and salad, said: “I’m delighted to be able to contribute to Tony’s wonderful book, and even more so that a third of the proceeds will go to Derian House. “I chose inspirational figures from history because they are an eclectic, articulate mix, who have all made a difference in the world and would make for a very lively and colourful evening.”Karen Entwistle, Baby Beat manager, said “We are enormously grateful to Tony’s for his hard work and determination in getting this book to fruition. Two of Baby Beat’s Patron’s Mark Lawrenson and Ranvir Singh have contributed with their ideal dinner guests.”Stephen Greenhalgh, chief executive of St Catherine’s Hospice – and one of the book’s contributors – said: “I was privileged to be asked to participate in such an innovative project alongside our patrons Bill Beaumont and Mark Lawrenson. I thoroughly enjoyed thinking about who I would invite to dinner and what we would eat. “The fact that proceeds from the book are being shared between St Catherine’s and two other very worthy local charities - Derian House and Baby Beat – is fantastic. It is thanks to the work and support of generous people like Tony which helps us be there for local people when it matters most, to provide specialist palliative and end-of-life care, offering people the best possible quality of life, and providing emotional and spiritual support to patients and their loved ones.”• RSVP: By Invitation Only is on sale for £12.99. To place an order, contact Tony on 01772 200181 or 07703475258. Copies are available at Derian House shops in Chorley, Leyland, Longton and Horwich and the Baby Beat Shop in the foyer of Sharoe Green Maternity Unit. People can also call Emma Jacovelli at St Catherine’s Hospice on 01772 629171; Karen at Baby Beat on 01772 524414; or John Rullo at Derian House on 01257 271271.