Top 5 summer salads

You can never go wrong with a salad! They are healthy and delicious. They are simple and easy to whip together which is perfect for a summer’s day when you’d rather not be slaving away in the kitchen. These are our top 5.

1. Smoked chicken, orange, fennel, spring onion & rocket
smoked chicken salad

2. Smoked salmon, avocado & rocket
salmon salad

3. Courgette, fennel & lemon salad

4. Butternut, feta & pine nut
butternut salad

5. Classic Caesar

What is your favourite salad for summer?

Until next time,

Healthy Does It – Strawberry Sandwich

Isn’t this an exciting new take on the normal sandwich?! You can enjoy this delicious snack for breakfast or lunch.

Take 2 slices of whole-grain bread and toast them. We like to remove the crusts as they can get too toasted making them a little more difficult to eat. Once toasted, top with 2 tablespoons of plain cream cheese and some sliced strawberries. Finally drizzle with about 1 teaspoon of honey and enjoy.

Until next time,

Healthy Does It – Grape Pops

A fruity snack that is perfect for during the work week or to bring out while you’re entertaining by the pool. These Grape Pops are sure to be a hit!

grape pops

Wash some fresh grapes and dry them completely by patting them with a dish towel. Spear each grape with a toothpick. Then hold the end of the toothpick and dip each grape in vanilla yoghurt (or any flavour you prefer). Allow excess coating to drip off. Then dip the same end of the grape into some finely chopped nuts (choose your favourite). Place the grapes on some wax paper and place in the freezer for about 30 minutes or under the yoghurt is frozen and hard.

Until next time,

Derby at Kyalami Equestrian Park

This past Sunday we created a winning lunch for the 800 VIP guests at the Kyalami Equestrian Park for the Derby Final. Somehow the Derby is always on the hottest day of the year but this did not detract from our guests having a fabulous time!

The theme was Gatsby Glitz and the VIP Marquee was the place to be seen (we spotted Edith Venter, Unathi from Idols, and Thomas from 5fm). The guests looked amazing in their fancy outfits! Prior to the main event starting, we served a lovely three course summer meal followed by High Tea goodies. The lunch menu included oysters, sides of salmon, gammon, and delicious summer salads. Dessert was an array of pretty lemon mousses.

The horse jumping event was a huge hit. At one point the guests were standing up out of their seats with excitement.

Did you know that The Derby is so prestigious because it is so difficult? Jumps are 1.50 to 1.60m height and normally 1.60 wide. The Derby is the longest track jumped in SA with more than 20 actual jumps in the course. It combines the solid obstacles with typical showjumping fences so horse and rider need to be extremely versatile and fit. In riding circles it is considered a honour to be on the starters list at The Derby. Getting through the finish is an accomplishment in itself.

Congratulations to Nicole Horwood who won for the second year in a row on her horse, Capital Don Cumarco. And thanks to Gary Loney for this awesome shot of Nicole.

nicole and DC

It was great day for us with many happy guests, and a wonderfully happy event co-ordinator and her client.

Until next time,

10 ideas for seating displays

When it comes to set seating, not only do you need to think about the place cards you’ll use at each place setting, you also need to think about how you will display the table plan showing which guest is at which table. You can stick to the standard printout on an easel with your guests listed in alphabetical order. Or you can incorporate your theme, get creative, or just be different with these ideas…

1. Ribbons
display 1

A super easy way to bring in your colour scheme. This idea works really well for outdoor functions where you can hang the ribbons from trees. If you’re having it indoors then you can also hang the ribbons from rafters or pin them to the ceiling. (Check with your venue first about their policies.) The only downside to the hanging ribbon idea would be a windy day.

2. Miniature trees
display 2

A new take on the normal card holders we’ve seen around town. These could also double as your gift to guests.

3. Easel
display 3

There is no need to be boring if you choose to use a board and easel. Print out individual cards and attach them to a board or mirror and add some embellishments here and there.

4. Stacked
display 4

A fabulous idea to use an old window shutter or room dividing screen. If you can only get your hands on an old wooden frame and you love this idea, then tie string or thin coloured ribbon horizontally across the frame. You can then display your cards by hanging them on the string or you can get small pegs and peg them to the string.

5. Trays
display 5

An interesting way to bring your theme or colour scheme through. Use large trays to hold sand, greenery or flowers and position your seating cards on top.

6. Paper
display 6

This works really well to display the table number while still being creative and different!

7. Mirror
display 7

Use a mirror or pane of glass at the venue and write on it with a temporary marker. Be sure to choose someone that has nice, legible handwriting and can copy your seating list letter for letter.

8. Flags
display 8

A variation on the ribbon idea which will work nicely around tree trunks or pillars, or strung near the venue to add a bit of carnival fun.

9. Chalkboards
display 9

Chalkboards are a big hit at the moment! With the advent of coloured chalkboard paint in various colours, this idea can incorporate your colour scheme and include an element of fun. If you do write out the names of guests, remember to choose someone with nice handwriting.

10. Pinecones
display 10

A fabulous idea that adds texture to your display. You can dip pinecones in coloured paint to add some colour. If pinecones are not your thing, consider using fruit or rock roses.

Until next time,

Healthy Does It – Peach Ricotta Croissant

Croissants are divine just on their own! With these additions you’ll turn a plain croissant into a piece of heaven.


Cut 1 croissant in half and spread each side with ricotta cheese. Top with a smearing of apricot jam and sliced peaches. Decorate with some mint leaves and enjoy.

Until next time,

Idea found here.

10 clever ideas for place cards

Planning a wedding or get together with set seating? Then place cards are essential!

Finalising the seating plan is one of the major headaches many of our brides have suffered through. Seating your guests can be slightly problematic because this friend no longer speaks to that friend, this aunt doesn’t get on with that uncle, or this guest is too quiet to be seated next to this other guest who will talk their ear off! Every guest list comes with it’s own politics. If you have chosen to seat your guests specifically and it is taking its toll, then have some fun with clever place cards. These are a great way to incorporate a theme without overdoing it.

1. Using a photo
place setting 1

Have fun finding a pic of yourself with your guest. Be sure to choose a pic that is complimentary so that your guest doesn’t feel embarrassed. If you are unable to find a good pic of the two of you, or if you have only recently met the guest, find a great solo pic of them.

2. Using leaves
place setting 2

A fabulous idea for a winter wedding if you want to incorporate autumn colours. Otherwise you can just as easily source some green leaves that won’t wilt too quickly. Simply write on the leaves with a permanent marker in any colour you choose.

3. Using plants
place setting 3

This is a great idea to combine a place setting and a gift to your guests. You can interpret this idea in many different ways: packets of seeds, mini bonsai trees, tiny pots of herbs. Get creative!

4. Using pinwheels
place setting 4

A whimsical option that would work well with any wedding where you’re wanting to add an element of fun!

5. Using origami
place setting 5

Origami skills are hard to master but this design is quite simple. Click here to see how it’s done. If you consider yourself an expert in origami, then there are a bunch of other ideas that could work too.

6. Using mini baguette
place setting 6

The perfect place setting detail when your starter course is a platter including cold meats and dips, or a soup. You can wrap the baguette with brown paper, tie it with colourful string and write your guest’s name by hand on the paper. Or you can just use some ribbon and print your guest’s name on a little tag.

7. Using pebbles
place setting 7

A perfect way to keep everything simple. If budget allows, a great alternative to writing on a pebble would be to engrave the guest’s name.

8. Using doilies
place setting 8

Use a plain white doily under a clear round baseplate for a simple and inexpensive place setting.

9. Using ribbon & tags
place setting 9

It’s back to basics with this idea. Get some ribbon in the colour palette of your wedding, a paper tag with your guest’s name and tie it around your cutlery or napkin for a simple yet elegant finishing touch.

10. Using wine glass hangers
place setting 10

These paper cut-outs are awesome because you don’t have to worry about making a tight fold so they’ll stay standing. There are a number of wonderful shops around that stock these types of place cards.

Until next time,

FNB: 175 years young

We had such fun last week at FNB’s 175th birthday on 19 September hosted at their offices in town. Although it was quite a feat, we enjoyed the challenge of making 10,000 cupcakes for all the guests that attended.

We thought this was a very clever way of displaying a cake fit for a 175 year old! It was made entirely from balloons and towered above the guests.

Massive helium balloons adorned some of the lampposts in the FNB colours.

Boxes upon boxes, rows upon rows of cupcakes!

We saw James’ aerial pic of the setup before the guests arrived and just had to feature it.

Thanks FNB for asking us to help you celebrate in style!

Until next time,

Wedding: Gia & Sepanta

We were so thrilled to be involved with Gia and Sepanta’s wedding hosted at Katy’s Palace Bar this past Saturday for 110 of their close family and friends. They are a glamorous South African couple living in the United States. We just loved creating magic with them and couldn’t have asked for a more friendly, warm couple.

The wedding ceremony gave all the guests a wonderful view of our green city.
wedding ceremony

An overview of the reception layout. All hiring came from Hire Society. We really love the concept of using different kinds of crockery to add some “Shabby Chic” to the overall feel.
table overview

How beautiful and simple is the decor! We just loved what Natasha Stone put together.
table decor

We received this wonderful message that we just had to share:

I am back in the USA – it was all such a whirlwind that I never had a chance to thank you personally for the incredible wedding food. We have had nothing but compliments from all our guests and probably unlike most couples, we actually ate our food and enjoyed every bite!

Thanks for being so flexible, professional and helpful. It was such a pleasure working with you and Ashley.

I hope that our paths cross somewhere in the world again.

Take care and all the best,
Gia and Sepanta x

Until next time,

Just a Soupçon – 5 summer soups

The weather is getting warmer and soon we’ll be spending more time outside catching up with family and friends. We’ve found these fabulous summer soup recipes so there is no need to pack away your soup spoons!

1. Summer Squash Soup
summer squash soup

This delicious soup is topped with a parsley-mint pistou, which is a herb sauce similar to pesto. By stirring a spoonful of this into each bowl, the soup creates layers of flavours to tantalise and tease.

2. Green Pea Soup
green pea soup

Whether you use frozen or fresh peas, serve it warm or chilled, this fabulous soup will get your taste buds talking.

3. Chilled Yoghurt Soup
chilled yoghurt soup

This creamy yoghurt soup is perfect for that hot summer day when you’d rather be outside than slaving away in the kitchen. As it has similar flavours to tzatziki, this soup would be a perfect accompaniment to a salad or wrap.

4. Roasted Basil Tomato Soup
roasted basil tomato soup

This classic soup could also be called the health soup considering it would be the perfect medicine for any summer colds. Using fresh tomatoes and basil and topped off with toasted cheese croutons, this soup will definitely be a hit!

5. Summer Minestrone Soup
summer minestrone soup

We’ve saved the best for last because this is a healthy, hearty soup that can easily be adapted for any season! Stick to the ingredients list or be adventurous and add on a few of your favourite veggies.

Until next time,