About an hour to go before Bath beat Leicester at rugby, so I thought I'd sneak a blog post in.
We get asked to recommend caterers all of the time and in the West Country we're spoilt for choice both in terms of caterers and the wonderful local produce they work with (meat, cheese, seafood, bread, the list goes on). We've worked with many of them and this list certainly isn't exhaustive, it's just a selection we can highly recommend.
Thyme After Time (Stalbridge)
Our nearest and dearest! Margot not only caters for events but she also has a very successful cafe and food shop at Spire hill farm just off the A357 between Sturminster Newton and Stalbridge which holds regular events itself (so you can go and check them out covertly!). Margot has great vision and excels at creating menus that are personal to her customers. Highly recommended.
Claire's Catering (Yeovil)
We met Claire at one of the first wedding jobs we ever did where she provided a proper wedding breakfast i.e. eggs benedict, smoked salmon, traditional full English etc (because the wedding was at 11.30am) followed by a succulent hog roast in the evening. Claire also runs the Orchard Food & Coffee Shop in Yeovil at the top of town opposite HSBC.
Rebecca Green (Piddletrenthide)
I met Rebecca because she was worried her catering tent might blow away (September 2011 at the top of a hill near Evershot on a VERY windy day). Off I went and I'm glad I did: free venison dinner for Timbo (perfectly cooked) and washed down with Belvoir sparkling ginger beer (love that stuff) followed by her famous honeycomb ice cream. Wow. I always make the effort to attend weddings she's cooking at, including one at Mapperton House where the venison made another appearance following a sharing platter of local meats and other goodies. Double wow. I've often thought I should just give up on buying food over the summer and just drift from event to event....
The Olive Bowl (Gillingham)
We regularly see our friends from the Olive Bowl on the event battlefield, particularly at Chaffeymoor Grange in Bourton where we are both preferred suppliers. They offer an extremely varied and exceptional service at good prices.
Dine In (Bournemouth)
Roberto is a lovely guy who works tirelessly to exceed expectations. One of the preferred suppliers at Sherborne Castle, his prices are very reasonable and he also has an extensive list of hire equipment (glasses, crockery, cutlery, kitchen equipment etc).
Rabbit and Rose
R&R are a very professionally run outfit. We see them a lot over the course of the year, the last time was at Lulworth Castle where they served an evening selection of fish and chips and the BEST cheese toasties in christendom. In reality, they offer far more than cheese toasties (I'm obviously quite easily pleased) and every customer who has engaged us both for their job has sung their praises afterwards.
Victoria Blashford-Snell (Wincanton)
Victoria is one of the finest event caterers in the business. She is also an acclaimed author.
Finally, how about mixing it up with some English wine at your event? "What?!" I hear you cry in disbelief. Yes, I did say English wine, and despite what you may think there is some great stuff around (part of Sussex has the same chalk soil as the Champagne region don't you know). Most local is English Oak Vineyard near Poole but my personal favourite is a little further away in East Anglia - Wyken Vineyard who produce a sparkling wine called 'Wyken Moonshine' - really worth a try. Then of course there's Ridgeview and Hush Heath who have recently out-champagned Champagne in international competitions. See, not such a bad idea after all. Give your guests a real talking point!
Happy weekend and keep eating and drinking my friends!