Posts Tagged sunshine

Historical setting

Saturday took us the the magnificent Hampden House in Buckinghamshire. In the heart of the beautiful Chiltern Hills, this quintessentially English country house provided the perfect setting for Sian & Richard’s wedding day.

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They arrived to a champagne and canapé reception in the great hall and as the October sunshine set across the Chiltern Hills the guests took their drinks outside to enjoy the views and to have photographs take. Who would of thought that possible on October 25th!

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Wedding Breakfast announced, the guests made their way through to the dining room. The menu consisted of Chicken Liver Pate, spiced red onion chutney, cornichons, ciabatta, rocket leaves, followed by chicken breast, champ potato, warm salad of chorizo, green beans and roasted butternut, Madeira jus. Dessert was sticky toffee pudding, salted toffee sauce and clotted cream.

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The guests then moved back into the great hall to cut the cheese cake, the bar was opened and the ceilidh band started playing. Cheese and coffee were served in the brick parlour.
The guests could enjoy all the wonderful rooms here, being overlooked by great paintings of historic royalty! Lovely day enjoyed by all, we hope to return.

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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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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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It’s the finishing touches that make the day!

Another 3 events completed on Saturday with once again over 600 guests catered for, this is becoming a bit if a habit! A large Charity 3 course dinner at Edgegrove School in Radlett for Dan and the kitchen team, a wedding for me in Olney for 180 guests and another wedding for Ian and team in Chesham.

When I arrived in Olney on Saturday morning, I was blown away by the attention to detail Ros & Mike had applied to their marquee, from bunting & lighting, haybales to Lavendar & wild flowers to Alice in Wonderland style drinking vials, to signposts & postboxes! It looked every bit a country wedding set in the glorious surroundings of Snelsons Farm.

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They feasted on a buffet style menu of lemon Roasted Salmon Fillets, braised blade of beef, root vegetables, red wine & rosemary, breast of chicken, cream, tarragon, field mushrooms & sherry accompanied by Classic Caesar salad, buttered baby new potatoes and lemon & garlic green beans. This was followed by cakes made by friends and family and they then danced ceidligh in the warm summers evening! Beautiful couple, beautiful day!

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Ian and his team catered for Nick & Jess’s wedding in Amersham, they had stunning Tipis in the family garden where they said their own personally written vows to each other in front of family and friends under a beautifully decorated arch. They then dined on hog roast and salads, homemade wedding cake and even an ice cream van visited to complete the meal.
They decorated the Tipis with a 1000 origami cranes folded individually by the family which hung from the beams with fishing wire, the effect was stunning! It is a Japanese legend, that promises to bring eternal good luck for the couple. It takes months and months to do, that’s dedication!

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MJ did Kingfisher proud by cooking up 100 portions of spicy chicken & vegetable noodle boxes from the family kitchen. The smells from the kitchen had peoples mouthwatering and the queue kept growing longer and longer!
The band and following disco kept the guests dancing well into small hours. What a great day!

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Looking at the time both our couples spent planning and decorating their venues made both completely different but still both looking so unique and very special. The whole Kingfisher team worked very hard once again to carry through the commitment that had been months in the planning for our couples. Well done to all! Another successful weekend!

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Triple Weekend! And not a wedding in sight!

Saturday saw a very busy day for the KF team, with 3 different events and over 600 clients to feed, organising everything was a small feat in itself! But once again with the help of a very professional team it went without a hitch!
So Jodie, Holly and Josh helped make Jeremy and Shelia’s joint birthday and ruby wedding anniversary a success at the Holly Bush in St Albans, with MJ cooking the barbecue and serving canapés to 60 guests in the beautiful garden. The perfect warm summers evening was filled with laughter and funny gifts including a blow up Zimmer frame, everyone seemed relaxed and enjoyed the food and the celebration.

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Bruschetta, Vine Tomato, Rocket Pesto canapé
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Dan, along with our newbies to the kitchen, Ian & Rosie served a 3 course meal at a charity event in Stevenage. The marquee looked beautiful and the food delicious. Lots of money was raised for Cancer Research.

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Ian said afterwards “It was a pleasure for rosie and I do ” do something different ” maybe, but I want you back front of house with me next week thankyou!

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Lastly, John and I went to the delightful Samantha & Sean’s beautiful house in Radlett to serve canapés, drinks and bowl food to 120 friends and family celebrating Samantha’s 40th Birthday. We have catered for them before, always lovely to be asked back, makes us sure we are doing it right!
Marquee in the garden complete with cocktail bar, Samantha in a stunning gold dress, sun shining, and my team of 10 fantastic waiters and waitresses, made for a great combination.
Bowl food always a tricky one with lots of prep and hands on for John, but Tom, Joel and Ollie made light work of being sous chefs for the evening! Champagne flowed, the band rocked and everyone enjoyed the celebrations into the early hours!
Of all the mini bowls we served; Sirloin of Beef, Parmentier potatoes, bernaise sauce or Slow cooked Lamb Shoulder, Greek Salad Tzatziki, or Thai Green Curry with sticky coconut rice, always, always the Haddock, homemade chunky chips and tartare sauce is by far the most popular! We had them coming back and back to the kitchen for more until there wasn’t a chip left!

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So another busy week ahead, charity dinner for over 400 this Saturday with a team of 35 front of house staff for me to look after! The bigger the challenge, the higher we jump! Thankyou to everyone who made last Saturday the success it was, let do it all again this week!

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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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Beautiful County Wedding!

Saturday we had the pleasure of catering for Alison & Chris’s Wedding at the beautiful Shenley Walled Garden near St Albans. The marquee looked stunning with a country flower theme running through complete with hessian table runners and painted wooden orange crates. Alison had been collecting bits for ages and it showed, her attention to detail shone through.

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In the warm afternoon sunshine the guests arrived to glasses of chilled Prosecco and canapés which we served in the beautiful gardens. John & MJ fired up the barbecue and cooked in view of the guests. The smells from the Lamb, Mint & Feta Burgers, Pork & Apple Sausages and the Honey, Seasame and Soy Salmon was divine! We served all of this on platters to each table and with the accompanying salads and potatoes it looked like a delicious feast.

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The meal was completed with a Lemon Tart & Summer Berry Coulis. All washed down with wine and champagne and of course tea, coffee and biscuits!

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After all that eating the guests made there way outside to a barn dance in the amphitheater, great fun way to get all the guests moving again! After a DJ got the whole marquee dancing the night away! Lovely day, great for us to be part of it!

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