Last Sunday we were invited to prepare lunch for Kate’s 30th birthday to be held in her parents beautiful garden in Morningside. Once canapés were served and everyone had champagne in their hands, guest were asked to walk to a lower lawn level.

The 2 boards were covered until everyone got there.

They unveiled the boards and the surprise was out – they were getting married.

Everyone could not believe it! It was such a perfect thing for them to do! The groom had told his brothers on Sunday morning but his parents had no idea! It was gorgeous!
Vicki had enough cheese to quickly throw together a cheesecake which looked so lovely!
What a lovely day.

The bride sent us a message a few days later

“I have spent 3 days answering a lot of questions about exactly what a surprise wedding is. Clearly we are more original than we thought we were!

Thank you so much for being part of our day, and for taking so much of the admin and logistics and so many details off of our hands that we could just enjoy it- leading up to it, and on the day. I am almost a little sad our secret is out I was so enjoying day dreaming about all the different reactions people may have. Our day was perfect, and EXACTLY what we wanted. We know we threw you in the deep end a bit, but we wanted a celebration, not a wedding- and we got it!

As you can imagine, I got hardly any lunch, but what I did find time to eat quickly was delicious. Everybody has been raving about the food so I know it was as good as the other events of yours I have been to. Thank you so much, we really appreciate all your help from menu choices, to décor, flowers, bunting etc! I hadn’t even got round to thinking about chairs and tables and umbrellas, so thank goodness we had the meeting in the garden!

I am so glad you were there for the ‘big reveal’ and were part of our day

Love Kate”

All the pictures are courtesy of Charles Johnstone Photography

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Chicken is one of those meats that is quite easy to tire of. It seems like everything has been done before! This recipe is fantastic. For one, it uses the brown meat as the main attraction, and it’s so easy to do. The prep time is a couple of minutes at most. It works brilliantly as a mid-week supper, or part of a bigger weekend lunch. Because it is so full of flavour it really doesn’t need many sides, so here we’ve paired it with a gorgeous Spring salad.

Hope you enjoy!

Chicken Thighs

8 x chicken thighs

2 x rounds of feta

1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped

1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

1 tbsp fresh basil, chopped

2 x cloves fresh garlic, thinly sliced

3 x leeks, sliced vertically in half

Pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 180°C

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Mix the feta, herbs and black pepper with a fork until crumbly. Lift the skin from the thighs and put a dessert spoon of feta mix under the skin of each.

Place the leeks in an oven proof dish and the chicken thighs on top, skin side up. Grind salt and pepper over them and drizzle some olive oil over.

Place the thighs in the oven and bake for 30-45 minutes, until golden brown

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Spring Salad

300g asparagus, trimmed
200g french beans
300g mange tout/snow peas
50g baby spinach leaves
1 spring onion, peeled and very thinly sliced
1 red chilli, finely diced
½ tsp sesame oil
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
Salt

Steam the asparagus, green beans and mange tout for a few minutes then run cold water over.

Put all the greens in a large bowl and add all the remaining ingredients and half a teaspoon of salt. Stir gently, taste, add more salt if you like, and serve at once.

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When Fresh started 11 years ago we knew we wanted to offer incomparable quality in both our events and food. After 3 moves (and a restaurant) our business continues to grow from strength to strength. Definitely time for a Fresh look!

What better time for a new look than Spring? We are very excited to announce our new website and blog. Here you can expect great recipes and tips for your next party or event. We’ll be keeping it updated with all our latest work, and you can sign up for our monthly mail so you don’t miss anything.

Thank you, so much, to everyone who has been with us over the years. Let’s see what the next 11 bring!

 

It’s nearly spring and no-one is more excited than us! As celebration we are using the last of the winter veggies, and spring lamb. This recipe is a definite one for the arsenal. Cooked over 5 hours once the first bit is done you just pop in the oven. Perfect for Sundays when you feel like a roast but not all the chopping.

1 x large leg lamb – 2kg on the bone

Salt and pepper

6 rashers streaky bacon cubed

3 red onions quartered

3 cloves garlic – peeled, sliced

2 handfuls fresh herbs thyme, rosemary, bay, parsley

1 celeriac peeled and cut into chunks

6 large carrots, peeled and sliced in big chunks

3 parsnips cut in half lengthways

1 bottle white wine – dry white

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Brown the lamb in olive oil

Add the bacon, onion and garlic

Add the herbs, veg and wine

Add 750ml of water

Bring to the boil

Cover with foil and lid

Bake at 150 for 5 hours

Check liquid level and add more wine / water if necessary

Using a spoon, pull the meat away from the leg bone and serve with all the veggies and lots of sauce and chunky bread to mop up the juices

1TIPS:

Leave the potato out and then serve the dish on Mash potato

Add parsnips or celeriac to the mash for interest.

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If you’ve ever thrown any sort of party then you know how important the right venue is.  Getting the right venue can mean the difference between a memorable or forgettable occasion. Sometimes a place with perfect view isn’t able to accommodate all of your needs.

If you are new to looking for a venue, or you have a special occasion coming up make sure you ask these questions and avoid despair later.

How many people does it hold?

Everybody has heard the horror story of a bride having to un-invite guests. Some venues can only take a very limited capacity – you don’t want guests to be standing at a sit down dinner. Make sure you ask exactly how many the venue can hold, and whether that is round tables, long tables or a cocktail set-up (with everyone standing). Remember, the venue organisers know how many people will comfortably fit. Don’t try to sneak in more than they recommend – this can pose a myriad of health and safety problems.

Can I bring in my own caterer?

There are venues that have very strict rules about bringing in caterers. They might prefer you to use their in-house service or one of their preferred suppliers who know the venue and has worked there before. If you have your heart set on a specific caterer find out before you sign if this will be ok. Most venues charge a deposit to book and you’ll end up losing money if you cancel.

Who supplies chairs and tables? Is linen included? Are there any hidden costs?

Some venues come just as they are and it’s up to you to supply everything that makes the function happen. In your first meeting get a written list of exactly what the venue will supply and what you will need to bring in. If they supply linen – tablecloths and napkins – ask what colours these come in, or are you limited to white? Check if there are any surcharges for bringing in the caterers you want, doing your own flowers or finishing late.

Which brings us to our next question…

What time do I have to be out of here?

Most places will have a strict guideline about what time you need to be in and out of there. Make sure you check exactly what these are, and if you can extend if you would like to. Ask about supplier delivery and collection times. Be sure to factor in your supplier’s set-up and break down period. For a simple event not much time is needed, but for more elaborate ones (like a wedding) your suppliers will want to have early access to get the set-up perfect for you.

Your venue will contribute to the success of your party or event. It’s very important not to overlook the smaller details.

Are there any questions we missed out here? Let us know in the comments below.

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