Posts Tagged Pimms

Marquee on Stlits!!

Another great wedding reception on Saturday for Nerissa & Phil in Narissa’s parents garden. On visiting the site I did wonder how they would site a marquee as the garden sloped away at quite a steep angle! I have never seen this before, what a great sight the marquee had been set in stilts!

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From inside you would have never known, unless like me vertigo set in as you looked down at the end of the marquee!

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Narissa & Phil were greeted by family and friends in the garden with champagne, Pimms and Bucks Fizz accompanied by a selection of canapés and finger foods made by John and MJ. The Thai style fish cakes with sweet chilli dipping sauce and the Lamb Kofte with saffron yogurt were a big hit amongst the guests.

After photographs they came into the marquee for a buffet style feast of Beef Bourgiugnon, Thai red vegetable curry and coconut rice and smoked haddock, salmon and prawn pie with Gruyere and spring onion mash, accompanied by bowls of lemon and garlic green beans, buttered carrots, roasted courgettes, peppers and red onions, and baby new potatoes. Delicious. They finished with a selection of mini desserts and coffee.

After the speeches Narissa’s & Phil surprised their guests with the most awesome first dance, starting off as a traditional waltz the music tempo changed and they went into a medley of disco dance moves including Michael Jackson’s Thriller!! They must have been practising for months, no one expected that!

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The evening entertainment got under way led by the fantastic buzz lightweight band. They had everyone dancing the night away and the marquee rocked! Quite literally! But the stilts held and everyone had a great evening! We left as the Irish songs started to be sung,I’m sure they kept on going until the early hours!

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Wedfest 2014!

Saturday we were at the beautiful Sandridgebury Farm for Georgia & Andrew’s Wedfest! The marquee was set out with long bench tables, a huge central bar and flags and bunting outside. Place names were marked with a polaroid picture of each guest with Georgia or Andrew, lovely touch.

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The guests arrived to Champagne and Pimms and were greeted by their guests throwing red rose petals over them as they walked down the carpet to the marquee. Red was the theme with Georgia looking a stunning bride in a beautiful red dress. Rather than canapes they had mini burgers in boxes; cheeseburgers, pulled pork & redslaw and cajan chicken with guacamole, Yum! These went down very well with the guests.


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The wedding breakfast followed with Roasted Sirloin of Beef served whole on a carving board for the guests to share. We put chefs hats on nominated guests to be the carvers. This was hilarious as some took it very seriously sharpening their knives beforehand and carving the perfect slices! Some did end up like doorsteps though! We served this with sides of hand cooked chips, homemade coleslaw, rocket, parmesan and pine nut salad and a vine tomato, boccocini, red onion and rocket pesto salad.

For dessert they had asked all their guests to bring a dessert, this Georgia and Andrew served to them with a little help from KF staff!

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The bar opened, the band played and they danced the night away. A great day had by all.

I must mention our very hard working staff, most of them will leave for uni soon, we will miss them, they have worked so hard over the summer for us, we hope to see you all back at Christmas and next summer! Thanks guys!

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Weren’t they lucky!

Our lovely couples on Saturday! Rain and storms Friday dampened the set ups and today washed out the clear up, but Saturday the sun shone all day with not a spot of rain! Someone was watching over them, they were all so delightful that they deserved the perfect day!

MJ & I went to Sandridgebury Farm for Kathryn & Chris’s reception. The marquee looked stunning with so many flower arrangements that her Mum and friend had made, with potted herbs as favours it looked and smelt fantastic!

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They arrived to chilled glasses of Prosecco and afternoon tea canapés shortly followed by their Lady Toast Master, Joyce Goodwin expertly setting up their receiving line, she politely told them that everyone will want to stand and chat for ages, but we have a feast to eat! So shake hands and pass them along the line, like passing a rugby ball! Couldn’t of said it better myself! Delightful lady, was a pleasure to work alongside her.

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They had a traditional three course wedding breakfast with a choice of Chicken Liver Pate, Spiced Red Onion Chutney, Cornichons, Ciabatta, Rocket Leaves or Bruschetta of Cherry Vine Tomatoes, Garlic, Olive Oil, Shaved Parmesan, Rocket Pesto, that was just for starters!

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Then for main course they had a hog roast, complete with stuffing and crackling accompanied by buttered baby new potatoes and salads of Rocket, Mixed Baby Leaves, Parmesan Shavings, Lime Dressing; Roasted Med Vegetables, Garlic, Lemon and Olive Oil; and Vine Tomato, Feta, Cucumber Black Olives and Rocket Pesto.

But MJ did save the best till last a choice of Eton Mess or Tiramisu, even all the staff’s mouths were drawling! It looked divine and not a bit was left by anyone!

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Dancing followed and a very happy couple started with a dance they had obviously been practising! Very sweet. Evening food of cheeseboards and wedding cake completed the feast! Joyce was right to get them in and moving so quickly! Lovely family, we all enjoyed being part of such a special occasion.

Dan & Ian were at Haileybury School for Lisa & Andy’s reception. Andy went to school here, so it seemed fitting to hold the ceremony there. After getting married in the schools chapel the bride and groom came down a red carpet with their friends and family to be greeted by chilled champagne and Kingfisher canapés in front of the marquee. The marquee sides were pulled back for the start of speeches to allow the sunshine to flood in.

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Another 3 course wedding breakfast was served with a choice once again over the courses. Busy prep week for the kitchen! Well done team and with JV sunning himself it can’t of been a easy week!
They started with Roasted Butternut, Rocket, Sun Blushed Tomato and Devon Blue Cheese Tart, Roasted Pepper Tapenade, Herb Salad or Poached Salmon and Tiger Prawn Tian, Lemon and Parsley Mayonnaise, Bloody Mary Dressing or Ham Hock and Parsley Terrine, Walnut Bread ,Spiced Apple Chutney, Pea Shoots.
Followed by a main course of either Roasted Breast of Corn Fed Chicken, Champ Potato, Warm Salad of Chorizo, Green Beans, Peas and Butternut, Madeira Jus or Rump of English Lamb, coleannon mash, asparagus and baby carrots and mint hollandaise or Black Olive Polenta, Roasted Vegetables and Mizuna Pesto.

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Lastly another Trio of Desserts of Pimms, Mint & Strawberry Trifle, Sticky Toffee Pudding, Salted Toffee Sauce, Clotted Cream & Lemon Posset, Raspberries, Ginger Biscuit! Delicious!

With the bar open and the sun cascading into the marquee, it was only a matter of time before everyone was dancing the night away to an amazing DJ.
With carriages arranged for midnight, the bride and groom and many friends and family made their way to their local hotels to continue their celebrations into the small hours!

So well done to all Kingfisher staff again! a huge effort this week by everyone involved! Here’s onto next week! Cheers!

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A Beautiful summer wedding!

Saturday saw the KF team in Amersham at Rebecca & James wedding reception, held in a marquee in James’s parents stunning garden. Mum Jenny had spent hours tending to the garden and it certainly paid off, it was the perfect setting.

We arrived on Friday to an empty marquee, here are the girls starting the lay up with a blank canvass to work with, it always transforms from glasses being added and once the flowers are set.

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Saturday began with arrival drinks and canapés in the garden, the bride and groom looked stunning, arriving in an old Bentley, to greet their friends and family. The bridesmaids looked beautiful in navy with bouquets matching the flowers decorations in the marquee, every last detail had been thought about.

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Speeches in the marquee followed by a buffet feast of Honey & Orange glazed ham, Broccoli & Blue cheese quiche, Poached Salmon a Fillets, lime Hollandaise and the couples favourite Coronation Chicken. This was accompanied by Greek Salad, Penne, roasted courgette, aubergine, red peppers, capers, salsa verde and Green beans, peas, rocket, sugar snaps, balsamic oil dressing with buttered new potatoes! Almost every table came back for seconds, some even thirds!

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This was followed by a KF speciality, a trio of desserts consisting if a Treacle tart, Eton mess and a Pimms, mint & Strawberry Trifle. one of our Jodie’s favourites!

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A delightful Jazz band played through the evening, the champagne kept flowing. Our wonderful Tom & Ian kept the bar stocked and pulled many a pint of real ale for the guests. A delightful family and another successful event for team KF, well done all!

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Sunshine & Showers!

Saturday saw the KF team back at 2 beautiful venues for 2 very different weddings! We managed to dodge the downpours and lay up, by the time the guest arrived the sun made that all important appearance!

Firstly Ian, Dan and the team went to North Hill Farm in Chorleywood for Kristeen & Daniel’s international themed wedding. Guests travelled from far and wide to attend and Portuguese beer was served from behind the bar by Rosie and Francis!

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The 120 guests feasted on Rustic style Bruschetta with vine tomatoes to start followed by Roasted Supreme of Chicken with Honey, Thyme & lemon, Roasted a Parsnips and sweet potato and salsa verde. Finished with a trio of desserts of dark chocolate and candied hazelnut torte, sticky toffee pudding, butterscotch sauce & clotted cream, and Eton mess, blossom honey, strawberry shortbread. Delicious!

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They danced the night away to a live band and enjoyed the evening nibbles of bacon & sausage baps and chips! great day!

Team 2 with me, John & MJ found ourselves at the stunning Holly Bush pub in St Albans for Amy & David’s wedding celebrations. Amy looked stunning in her organza style gown and with David’s vivid blue suit they certainly made a striking pair!

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The wedding breakfast was served buffet style to them at the tables, so they could help themselves, carve their own venison and pass bits around. It’s a great way if making sure all your guests get chatting early on!
The food looked and smelt gorgeous, it was something a bit different but was devoured by all 160 guests!
So for starters they had;
English Asparagus Spears, Hot Lemon Butter Beetroot, Childwickbury Goats Cheese and Watercress, and Proscuitto Crudo, Smoked Duck Breast, Smoked Pigeon Breast, Cornichons, Marinated Vegetables, and Redbournbury Mill Breads & Balsamic Oil
Main Course was Flaked Sea Trout, Samphire, Dill Hollandaise Roasted Venison Haunch
, and Buttered English New Potatoes, and Roasted Butternut and Courgette, Raspberry Balsamic, Oregano and Shaved Parmesan, and Sun-Blushed Tomato, Caramelised Onion and Gruyere Tartlets.
For dessert they had a big bowl of Hawkswick Lodge Farm Fruit and Pimms Trifle.
Everyone enjoyed the food and after their speeches they cut their doughnut wedding cake! Always great to have something different! The band rocked the night away, the drinks flowed and a great time was had by all.

They even managed to eat all the fish and chips served here by the lovely Joel!

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Top tips for our couples to be! Tip No 1!

Tip 1; Personalise your big day

Through the wedding season we cater at a wedding almost every weekend, and over the years I can honestly say that no two are the same! Or even remotely similar!

Making it personal, with little touches of your life together makes it much more special and given the freedom of having your wedding in a marquee or tipi allows you to start with that blank sheet.

So, let your personality shine through on your wedding day with these tried and tested ideas;

1. Decorate an area of your reception with pictures of you both growing up. It will make a fanstastic talking point, lots of couples do this, it works very well.

2. Personalise your wedding day menu! Perhaps use local produce to where you’re getting married or choose cuisine that has a personal memory tied to it. Met at a beach party in Thailand? Serve fish and chips and Thai noodles in boxes, Got engaged in Italy? Then serve a delicious pasta dish. We have plenty of menu choices and can tailor make that menu to suit you perfectly.

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3. Welcome drinks can also symbolise you both, we had a couple from New Zealand who flew in authentic New Zealand beers and a couple who got married in the late Autumn and collected old jam jars to serve ginger beer cocktails, these were dispensed from big glass jars, which were placed on upturned logs and decorated with apples, looked fab!

4. Name your tables after places that are special to you, such as the place where you first met or where the magic proposal occurred. Or use photos of the two of you in the special places to decorate the tables.

5. Hand-written place names will add a personal touch to your day. While you’re in the handwriting mood, take the time to write a special few guests a thank-you note for all their help in the lead-up to your special day. A couple last year had an envelope with a thank-you for each guest hung on rope with pegs, this also doubled up as their table plan and seating arrangements.

6. Incorporate something that’s special to you both, one of our couples played in a drumming band, Batala, it was a fantastic sound and very noisy, set the pace for the day!

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7. Run the theme throughout the day, Katie & Dan got married in a village hall, decorated it with bunting, arrived in a camper van and had desserts supplied by friends and family of Apple pies, cheesecakes, fairy cakes.

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8. Another good idea to incorporate your guests is what James & Hayley did by getting their guests to write wish messages for them on a big board, they even make this very personal quirky sign!

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9. Recruit talented friends and family – maybe one could sing while you sign the register and another could make your cake.

10. Finally this should really be at number 1! As this is by far my personal best! Last summer one of our grooms Ed stole the show with a 1000 origami paper cranes folded individually by himself which he hung from the tent with fishing wire, the effect was stunning! It is a Japanese legend, that promises to bring eternal good luck for the couple. It took him almost a year to make them! That’s dedication!

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I hope that’s given you a few ideas, I’m sure there will be more great personal touches over this summer, I can’t wait to see them!

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Champagne for arrival drinks? or something a bit different?

This time of the year we meet our couples and their family’s who are putting together the final details for their special day next summer They come for a tasting at our kitchens to finalise their menus and it gives us a chance to go through timings and specifics of the day. One of the things we always discuss is alcohol arrangements! Traditionally guests have always been met with a glass of champagne on arrival, but is that what they really want on a hot summers day after being in church and chased around by the photographer? In my experience everyone is gasping for a longer drink and hungry for food, so I would always suggest something more thirst quenching, rather than a small flute of champagne, and of course some of our delicious canapés!
This year we have mixed many a cocktail and the feedback is always welcoming, so if you are having that relaxed, outdoors, tipis or marquee wedding, go with something like the following, it just suits the day so well! A long cocktail, filled with fruit and ice, served from big glass decanters makes a unique change from the traditional!

Here are my top 6 arrival drinks for that chilled out reception;

1. Pimms, of course, a lovely summer refreshing drink, made with lots of ice and strawberries, cucumber & mint and lashings of ice cold lemonade.
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2. Mojito, another classic, mint sprigs with sugar, lemon and lime juices poured over ice, add rum and club soda to finish, very refreshing!
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3. Alcoholic pink lemonade, this not only looks but tastes great! Vodka based mixed with Pink Lemonade and ice, topped with mint and a strawberry!
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4. Alcoholic ginger beer. Rather than brewing your own, mix vodka or gin with shop bought ginger beer and top with lime wedges, mint and ice. You can also make this with whiskey.
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5 & 6. These have to be the two created by Dan & Katie for their wedding in Henham. Both cocktails were created by the bride & groom to show their individual style. So Dan’s ‘The Big Apple’ was made from Apple & cinnamon infused whiskey, pressed apple juice & ginger beer. And Katie’ ‘Henham Hedgerow’, vodka with fresh blackberries, elderflower, mint & soda.
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You can buy these drinks dispensers from many outlets including http://www.drinkstuff.com

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