The Royal Wedding Nosh

So, I bet you’re wondering what I actually served for MY Royal wedding watching party, right? Considering what a fuss I made about it, anyway. Well, you’re in luck – here’s my write up!
Whole table 6

So here’s the overview of the mammoth table of buffet food – we had about 20 people in all, so we didn’t want anyone to go home hungry! We nearly ran out of sandwiches, but other than that, we beat the stomachs and ended up eating leftovers for a couple of days…
Whole table 5

As you can see, the sandwiches were cut correctly into finger shapes (mwah hah hah) ala The Ritz – corner shapes are fine, but crustless finger sandwiches are the only option for a posh spread.
Whole table 2

We had a variety of sandwiches – smoked salmon and cream cheese, Belgian ham and dijon mustard with salad and baby tomatoes, caramelised onion chutney and cheese, egg mayonnaise, and of course, cucumber (boring). I love a good sandwich!
Mackerel pate 1

We also made Jamie Oliver’s mackerel pate from his British Picnic menu from 30 Minute Meals. People went nuts for this, but I really wasn’t keen. I thought I’d love it, but it sort of made me squeamish!
Heston trifle side

We also bagged Heston’s special royal trifle from Waitrose. It was incredibly pricey, and wasn’t a real trifle. All in all, it was a bit of a miss for me – vastly overshadowed by a family classic called Rennie’s Pudding, which I’ll talk about in a minute.
Heston trifle close

Heston’s trifle was really pretty though! Caramelised nuts, freeze dried strawberries, rose petals – lovely! Only trouble is, because it was topped with meringue, sitting on cream, it was pretty much destroyed as soon as you tried to take a spoonful.

Anyway, here’s the star pudding – in my humble opinion:
Rennie's pudding top

I don’t know where this pudding came from, but we’ve always had it in our family and it’s blimming delicious – and so simple! It’s just fresh fruit, covered with cream, and then topped with sugar caramel.
Rennie's pudding side

It is seriously gorgeous! Very easy, too.
Gin and tonic jelly side

I also made a gin and tonic jelly from the delicious Nigella Lawson – how English can you get, right? I’d never made jelly before, although I have made panna cotta, so it was an interesting experience. But it uses a remarkable amount of gelatine – more leaves than they even sell in one pack from the supermarket I shop at. Wowza. Maybe because it contains A QUARTER OF A LITRE OF GIN? That’s right! That’s a lot, I think. This jelly also made me realise I actually do like gin and tonic as well. But I’ll always be a Pimm’s girl at heart…
Gin and tonic jelly top down

It looks very innocent, but you should not attempt to drive or operate heavy machinery after eating this jelly…

Now onto the cake.
Victoria sponge side

Sitting proudly on top of the most expensive cake stand I have ever, and hopefully will ever, buy in my life is a Victoria sponge – a real classic. It was spruced up with some chantilly cream and blueberries and strawberries, just to give it patriotic colours. To be honest, we could have done without it, because it’s sort of, shall we say, restrained, compared to some of the outrageous puddings on offer, but I HAD to use my cake stand. This sucker cost me about £50! I’ve had my eye on one ever since I saw it on a blog somewhere – I think it was Bakerella’s, maybe. But I recently suffered a tragic loss in my life after every single damn cake stand I owned fell off the top of the fridge and smashed. I was gutted. The whole collection, gone at once. So I had to replace them, and this cake stand will hopefully last longer. I spent the whole day before the party, and the day of, shrieking at people ‘DON’T BREAK THE CAKE STAND. DO NOT TOUCH IT. IT WAS VERY EXPENSIVE’. It didn’t really create the atmosphere of relaxed, casual and classy hosting that I wanted to project, but you know, it’s still in one piece, so it was worth it.
Top of Victoria sponge

I also dusted icing sugar over the top in the shape of a doily, because, you know, it’s ENGLISH. Somehow.
Cake stand 2

This was also a new purchase just for this party (I know, ridiculous – I am still literally paying this off) – a cute cake stand from Cake Stand Heaven. You may remember me drooling over these before – LOVE them! I bought this one in green to match my nan’s china, which I inherited from her last year. Unfortunately, I also had to shout at people about this too, as you are expressly NOT supposed to pick it up using the handle on the top, as it can smash the china plates – it’s not a weight bearing handle. So of course, anytime anyone wanted to move this baby around, they used the handle on the top. Tsk.
Cake stand with flowers

My mum added these beautiful flowers to the cup right before we ate – a really nice touch! She’s also responsible for the pretty flower display on the table, she did an awesome job!

So, that was our buffet! Do you guys have any memories, photos or blog posts to share to do with your Royal Wedding party?

I’m in Cake Stand Heaven!

If there’s one thing your royal wedding watching party (or afternoon tea) should be, it’s stylish. Think sundappled table settings, gorgeous china sets, dainty cakes and even dantier sandwiches. If you’re like me, you probably only dream of owning a proper tea set, and one look at retailers like John Lewis, where they sell aforementioned ‘proper’ tea services, will probably push that dream even further away. It’s actually surprisingly difficult to find really nice tea sets (unless you have mega bucks, in which case EVERYTHING’S easy) as I discovered once I started actually looking for some. But then, I found it… Cake Stand Heaven

Green and Yellow Art Deco Tea Set

This gorgeous website specialises in selling really beautiful china sets in quirky colour schemes and styles. Last year, I inherited a pretty partial set of glade green china from my nan, and was at a bit of a loss to know what to do with it, until I saw this, a beautiful set of gold and green mismatched china which pulls together the gilt and green elements of my nan’s beautiful set. Alas, that one has already been sold, but here’s a similar one:

Vintage Mixed China Tea Set with Lustreware Teapot

By simply picking a couple of colours out of your favourite china trio, you could built up your own – or purchase one ready made at the reasonable price of around £95 for the entire set.

Whoever styles these and puts them together is my new guru of the art of afternoon tea. Check out this amazing Mad Hatter’s Tea Party set:

Mad Tea Party Vintage Mixed Tea Set

I just love their range of quirky cake stands which come topped with cups, milk jugs and even teapots!

Pale Blue and Gold Vintage Tiered Cake Stand

Can you imagine that top cup filled with some pretty country cottage flowers to compliment the colour scheme? I certainly can…

Cake Stand Heaven even offers a bespoke service to find products in your colour scheme, but there’s so many delightful sets on their site you’ll probably more than enough to browse through… And, if you check out their site and follow them on Facebook, you could even win your own cake stand! Now, that’s pretty neat!

www.cakestandheaven.com

A quick Jamie Oliver menu idea for your royal wedding party

The custom of afternoon tea and scones has its...

Image via Wikipedia

For my wedding watching party, I’m thinking classic English tea party – cucumber sandwiches, Victoria sponge, scones and a great big teapot full of tea! But there’s a great menu in Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals which would be perfect for adapting to a wedding watch party; his British Picnic, which features sausage rolls, mackerel pate, asparagus crunch salad and Pimm’s Eton Mess. In fact, I might steal some of these dishes for myself… they sound awesome! The sausage rolls have fennel seeds and sesame seeds added to them, the pate features horseradish sauce along with the mackerel, lemon and cream cheese, and the crunch salad has watercress, pickled onions and pear… Interesting! It’s on page 252, if you’re up for it…

Kate and William: planning your wedding watch!

Distracted (what did you expect?) away from my Jamie project, I’m anticipating Kate and William’s wedding on 29 April – an excuse for a nosh-up if ever I heard one. I’m an unashamed royalist and can’t wait to throw an English themed tea party to celebrate, so expect plenty of planning posts as the day grows nearer…

Meanwhile, in anticipation, I present to you some important party-related details: nails and earrings.

It seems as though there are plenty of Kate and William related products out there for people to snap up – most of it is tacky, but I’m loving this nail varnish from Butter London, available to pre-order for £12 from their site: http://www.butterlondon.com/collections/no-more-waity-katie/no-more-waity-katie-0. Check out the hilarious name – not so funny if you’re Kate Middleton, I guess…

I also reckon you need themed earrings… I’m thinking crownsOr crowns with pearls, even more classy…

Or, to score extra bonus points, combine crowns with pearls and sapphires (Kate’s engagement ring stone):

Or, Accessorize has some pretty English-country-garden style stud sets here. And, let’s face it, you can’t go wrong with plain, simple pearl studs… Got to stay classy!

More planning tips later, including decorations, menus and party games!