I often get asked by organisers who are managing special parties, particularly Hen Parties but also extended family groups, if I can help with some of the catering. The simple answer is yes! From there the conversation can be wide ranging as are the questions. This is when the decisions need to start! 😉
Groups have different requirements and wishes though. Do you recognise yourself in these generalisations?
- Some guests want to make their life as simple as possible and spend as much time with their friends and relatives as possible. Money is no object.
- Some guests want to save themselves even more organising hassle by having the first evening meal or arrival drinks and canapes, supplied for them.
- Organised guests delegate to just one or two people to create the party experience – and share out the creation and idea implementation. They often use supermarket home delivery services.
- Others want the cheapest option but have the glitz and glam. Decoration is paramount and more alcohol!
- The last group want a true DIY experience and will prepare everything from scratch to save £20 but end up a bit frazzled. Often the selection can be disappointing.
It all depends on what you want or if there is a theme for your event – how this transposes to your party? You could be in several camps for this!…
One of the favourite options for the first evening of a stay – which is usually a Friday – is a simple meal eg a lasagne and salad and drinks so that everyone can settle in, relax after a long week’s work and get to know the other house guests in a chilled out atmosphere. The key for success here is simple to prepare and easy to eat.
By comparison the Hen party groups often want to have more of a canapes and bubbly event. This is where you may want some more help.
I can arrange for a variety of canapes to be prepared and delivered by a professional chef (menu and number of canapes per person to be agreed in advance). Canapes are “bite-size” morceau of deliciousness! They are ideal for groups as everyone can have a taste of everything vs choose one particular dinner and that is that. Plus, for larger groups you can move around the room and chat vs sit at the dining table which is more formal.
Dietary requirements can be allowed for without anyone feeling left out. Frequently those who are vegan or vegetarian or gluten-free or dairy-free do not get many options but with careful planning often their selection can be the most delicious of all!
Canapes are traditionally served on trays or large plates. They may or may not include other ways to serve them e.g placed onto chinese serving spoons or on blinis (mini pancakes) or even in lettuce boats etc. They can be mini traditional dinners such as roast beef and horseradish sauce in mini Yorkshire puddings or Japanese sushi. They could be “starters”, main courses or pudding offerings. Others are amazing one-off creations that blow your mind and taste buds!
The one stand-out characteristic is that they are fun, inspired by beautiful flavour combinations and often more filling than you think! They also take a long time to prepare as they are fiddly and have to be prepared freshly. As a result they are expensive to create in terms of time and money.
This is where you save by having them professionally prepared and waiting for you – all you need to do is supply the drink!
Talking of drink – this is where you can make the biggest savings. Making your own cocktails – whether alcoholic or non-alcoholic – can be part of the evening games. Buying in cases of wine or beer are easy to organise.
Note: I have created a cocktail recipe post – push this link button for more information. Zip along there now for some smashing ideas! Perfect for Hen parties.
Champagne or Prosecco traditionally go with canapes, as do cocktails. But – you can choose what you want! If you have a particular theme for the events then bear this in mind… colour or accessories make your party come alive. It could be a colour theme, or based on hearts or the time of year e.g Halloween.
What are your favourite canapes? Put in the post below… have you got some wacky combinations or do you stick to the regular options?
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Hopefully it has helped your party planning and if I and my professional teams can be of more service – let me know directly! Thank you.
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