From 1858 to 1947, the British occupation of India created a new dining culture when the flavors and table customs of both countries collided. The March issue of Elle Magazine pays homage to this crossover with a British Raj style dinner party hosted by Allison Sarofim for the creators of the Marchesa fashion label.
Inspired by and in celebration of the Marchesa 2008 Spring line, Sarofim says, "I wanted that Victorian English-meets-India fantasy feel." Champagne served in an eclectic array of glasses adds a vaguely aristocratic vibe to an otherwise common Indian curry menu. (Photos by Ditte Isager for Elle Magazine).
Indian influences appear in many of the dresses from the Marchesa Spring line, which in turn inspired the meal and decor.
While Sarofim choose to be her own chef, I would personally go with takeout. (The dish above is Chicken Curry with Basamati Rice). Carlos Mota set the table with orchids, silver candlesticks, garlands draped over Chivari chairs, and elephant place cards from Mrs. Strong (which I know is also a favorite of Courtney).
For the rest of the article and more photos, pick up a copy of Elle Magazine. For more on the "culinary landscape" of the British Raj, Elle recommends David Burton's The Raj at Table: A Culinary History of the British in India, which is a cult-classic among history buffs and foodies alike.