Update, early Thursday: White House state dinner for Britain: Sweet nothings, across the pond


Mumford and Sons — the British folk-rock combo that’s said to be a favorite of David and Samantha Cameron — will entertain at tonight’s White House state dinner. So will John Legend, the all-American R&B crooner who is a perennial favorite for Democratic high-end event planners.

View Photo Gallery: President Obama and first lady welcome British prime minister David Cameron and wife for a state dinner at the White House.

That’s the early news on the big banquet in honor of the British prime minister, which will be held in a tent on the South Lawn, the White House announced Wednesday afternoon.

And some of the celebrity guest names are slipping out, thanks to Twitter: Golf superstar Rory McIlroy, “Downton Abbey” star Hugh Bonneville, and Wendell Pierce of “The Wire” and “Treme,” in addition to Damian Lewis of “Homeland.”

Table settings in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, March 14, 2012, ahead of the state dinner. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)

The decor, we’re told, follows an “America’s backyard” theme. (“Planters and centerpieces used at the dinner are intended to emulate nature and the flowing ‘landscape gardens’ that are common in England.”). And the menu “takes its inspiration” from the White House garden’s late winter harvest and early spring greens plucked just yesterday. (The garden uses plastic-shrouded “hoop houses” to grow greens through the winter.)White House executive chef Cristeta "Cris" Comerford unveils what's on the menu tonight when President Obama and Michelle Obama host British Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife Samantha. Guests will feast on warm Meyer lemon steamed pudding with Idaho huckleberry sauce.

First course: Crisped halibut with potato crust, shaved brussel sprouts, applewood smoked bacon.

Second course: Spring garden lettuces, shallot dressing, shaved breakfast radish, cucumbers and avocados.

Main course: Bison Wellington, red wine reduction, French beans, cipollini onion.

Dessert: Warm Meyer lemon steamed pudding with Idaho huckleberry sauce and Newtown Pippin apples.

More on the State Dinner:

British State Dinner guest list

Fashion at the White House state dinner for Britain (photos)

First look: Michelle Obama in Marchesa

Video: State Dinner theme, “America’s Backyard”

Video: Michelle Obama, Samantha Cameron stun at state dinner

Samantha Cameron: Fashion-forward first lady

Michelle Obama’s state dinner style

Read earlier: David Cameron at White House: ‘Official visit,’ but ‘state dinner’

President Obama welcomes British Prime Minister Cameron to White House for meetings, state dinner

In concert: Mumford & Sons at Merriweather Post Pavilion, 6/10/11