Spring is coming

The afternoons are already getting lighter by the day and whilst it’s still a frosty start in the morning the sun has a delicious hint of warmth when it does break through! It’s hard to think of warm, relaxed social days just yet but I feel this year will be back to full throttle after a couple of hit and miss years. For most of us 2022 holds the promise of a return to more normal activities and although the weather may still challenge outdoor events hopefully we can confidently plan and have the parties we have been missing.

Last year smaller gatherings became the way to party, and I for one welcomed the change for more intimate, select groups allowing a more playful approach to food. Frequently lead times were shorter, allowing a more spontaneous creation of a menu and what I felt like cooking that week rather than planning a menu a year in advance!

That said, I have lots of lovely bigger events already in the pipeline for this year which we are all really looking forward to. Family style sharing platters are still a favorite and I am in love with the colorful, big flavored Persian food which I can’t get enough of.


Christmas is coming!

Christmas canapés


Devils on horseback

Gruyere cheese puffs (V)

Fillet beef with stilton and port pickled onions

Prawn cocktail

Slow cooked beef in Yorkshire puds with horseradish crème fraiche

Chicken liver parfait with spiced peaches

Chestnut sausage rolls

Black ash goat’s cheese with truffle honey on walnut toast (V)

Venison with pickled blackberries

Gorgonzola, pear relish and chicory (V)

Smoked salmon with sour cream and caviar

Honey and fennel seed sausages

Roast butternut squash and feta filo parcel (V)

Pork and stilton sausage rolls

Baby beef wellington

Mini salmon en croute

Duck and Armagnac pate with spiced pear chutney

Camembert and onion marmalade filo “crackers” (V)


Sticky toffee pudding

Pecan Pies

Mini apple strudel

Gingerbread baked Alaska

Mince pies with streusel topping and brandy cream

Mini black forest gateaux

Hazelnut meringues with chocolate cream and caramelised hazelnut

Chocolate profiterole with prune and Armagnac cream

Nutmeg panna cotta with mulled wine jelly

Clementine meringue pies Pear and Roquefort ice cream mini sundae


I love the anticipation at this time of year! What is coming round the corner, the new people I will meet and the ideas we will share makes me very impatient!

Themes are fun for everyone involved, from the party hosts to the guests. There really is something to be said about hunting down the perfect venue and choosing the right menu to fit your chosen theme. A tipi tent camp might be the perfect setting for a relaxed festival themed significant birthday. Likewise a pretty village hall might be the perfect place for a vintage inspired wedding. You can even go for a non-traditional theme like Christmas in July or a medieval themed picnic party held at a Shakespeare Festival. It’s your event and reflects your personality, the most important thing is to have fun!

Some of my favorite parties from last year included a Thai/ Dutch themed outdoor wedding, risky but so much fun! A Mamma Mai party with the full Greek taverna experience and many fabulous dancing Queens! A perfect 40th birthday pool party with street food stalls. A totally brilliant Sunday lunch after 130 people walked their dogs up Pewsey’s white horse.

Family style
This continues to be a most popular way of feeding a crowd with the emphasis strongly on sharing. This type of arrangement satisfies the need for family, community and friendship. Magnificent Beef Wellington carved at the table by an honoured guest brings people closer together in the shared serving of the meal. Tapas, mezze, sharing platters can be a wonderful way of starting a sit down meal and gets everyone talking passing food back and forth, a great ice breaker!


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I think the lovely Vintage theme is set to continue, why not it’s a perfect wedding theme but also great for summer garden parties with it’s relaxed laid back feel. Little ideas like mix and match crockery with flowers in jam jars, champagne in tea cups, homemade jams and preserves as favours, a giant 7 tiered “naked” cake, homemade bunting and family favourite foods, whats not to enjoy?WES_629

Miniature desserts and small but beautiful wedding cakes for each table. Celebrate all our traditions from afternoon tea to Pimms and strawberries to a good pie and mash. Butlers would be great fun serving small bowls of great British grub! This theme is so versatile and so easily made personal with small touches.

Bowl food
This an alternative way to encourage sharing and variety and can easily be incorporated into your theme. Several bites up in size from a canape these are more substantial but just as beautiful and a great talking point. A much more informal approach to feeding your guests as these are perfect for standing and eating at the same time.

Speciality stations
Whilst I don’t have a food truck (yet!) I actually think this allows me more room for creativity, I can literally do anything you like!! From sultry Moroccan tagines to colourful paellas, stacks of delicious pies or ice cream sundaes, what type of speciality station to have at your event is only limited by your imagination. In fact, depending on your theme, you could do the whole evening with street food themed stalls.



Cocktails seem to be making a comeback served as a first drink or for the after dinner party. Earl grey tea and gin makes a good twist on a “G and T” and could be served in tea cups! Big kilner jars filled with a Mojito mix add a bit of fun to the bar.

The dessert table gains more ground. Guests love the idea of getting up when they’re ready and picking out one or two special treats. Thoughtful hosts love being able to offer everyone’s favorite with this option. Miniature meringues, single-serve banoffee pies and three bite trifles all fit the bill and satisfy the sweet tooth. Believe me no one will be watching the calories!

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