You don't need to live in the Alps - or, indeed the 1970s - to enjoy the fun of a fondue. Our gathering this month have reinvented this unfairly ridiculed dish into a pretty classy looking supper party. Fancy having a go yourself? John Lewis has a cast iron fondue set. And here's the recipe for a classic version:
Cheese fondue (for 4)
800 g cheese (Gruyère, Comté, Appenzeller, Beaufort)
250 ml white wine
1⁄2 garlic clove, peeled and halved
1 teaspoon cornflour
1. Cut the skin off the cheese and grate it.
2. Using the cut side of the garlic clove, rub the bottom and side of the fondue pot. Pour the wine into the fondue pot and warm over a medium heat until the wine starts to simmer.
3. Turn down the heat and add the cheese step by step, stirring constantly (drawing an eight pattern)*. When all the cheese has melted and the texture is smooth, mix the cornflour to a paste with a little water and then add to the pot. Stir well. Remove from the heat and place the fondue pot on top of the burner on the table. Serve with cubes of good quality bread.
* If your cheese starts to curdle just add extra warm white wine.