21 Dec 2010

Wishing You An Abundant Christmas

from Julie, Andrew, Benita, David , Tony, Jade, Laura, Dave, Gerry, Solenne, Aini, Lucy and Mickey

“The poulterers' shops were still half open, and the fruiterers' were radiant in their glory. There were great, round, pot-bellied baskets of chestnuts, shaped like the waistcoats of jolly old gentlemen, lolling at the doors, and tumbling out into the street in their apoplectic opulence. There were ruddy, brown-faced, broad-girthed Spanish Onions, shining in the fatness of their growth like Spanish Friars, and winking from their shelves in wanton slyness at the girls as they went by, and glanced demurely at the hung-up mistletoe. There were pears and apples, clustered high in blooming pyramids; there were bunches of grapes, made, in the shopkeepers' benevolence to dangle from conspicuous hooks, that people's mouths might water gratis as they passed; there were piles of filberts, mossy and brown, recalling, in their fragrance, ancient walks among the woods, and pleasant shufflings ankle deep through withered leaves; there were Norfolk Biffins, squab and swarthy, setting off the yellow of the oranges and lemons, and, in the great compactness of their juicy persons, urgently entreating and beseeching to be carried home in paper bags and eaten after dinner.”

Charles Dicken's description of Christmas Day market as Scrooge wanders London with the Ghost of Christmas Present in "A Christmas Carol".

20 Dec 2010

Cocktail Recipe: Beefeater Winter Gin Punch

As served by Bovingdons at last weeks Beefeater Gin Club annual dinner.
A little something to warm your cockles...

50ml Beefeater Winter Gin
100ml Madeira
10ml lemon juice
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 pinch cinnamon (ground)
1 pinch nutmeg (ground)
1 Clove
Lemon and lemon twists

Gently heat all ingredients in a saucepan. Do not let it boil.
Once warm, decant into teacups or toddy glass.

19 Dec 2010

Review of 2010

The snow has given me the opportunity to sit and review. Wher has the year gone? What have we been doing? What have we been eating?

The Bovingdons team have agreed that we've actually had a lot of fun despite the overtones of doom and gloom from the media. This year has yielded a bumper crop of wonderful memories as well as new clients, new ideas and a new feeling of momentum and change in the world of food and events. In fact, I can think of at least one high point in every month.

An early start to the year with a 100% vegetarian banquet for a wedding at Stationers Hall on the 2nd Januaruy - bank holiday, what bank holiday? Tea marbled quail’s eggs, a rich tagine with apricots and dates, orange and pistachios... delicious! click here to see the menu.

The wonderful Jade Tombs joined our team from Bovey Castle and quickly became our Wedding Queen.

We were able to take some clients for a sneak peak of the refurbised Leighton House Museum and started making preperations for it's official reopening by HRH The Prince of Wales reopened click here to see the photo.

Thrilling news from Fulham Palace when, after an understandably rigourous tender proccess, they awarded Bovingdons with a place on their approved caterers list click here for the full story

Lights! Camera! Action! The busy season started with gallons of Chickychicky Chowchows at a pre-Cannes cocktail party for Channel 4 at The Orangery, Holland Park click here to see a photo.

A favourite moment was offering welcome refreshments to the House of Lords tug-of-war team and Macmillan at Westminster Abbey. Always an event with such a great atmosphere, i recommend buying tickets for next year, click here to find out how.

Our best team were based inside the College Gardens at Westminster Abbey an exclusive venue only open for eight weeks in the year. They were joined by Dave, our fabulous new chef, just in time to deliver a month of showcase events.

A comparitively relaxed summer month of refined weddings, corporate team days and summer balls... the month flew by. Top dish?

Memorable for waiters in hard hats wielding chisels at the topping out party at National Martine Museum (don't even ask about the Health and Safety we had to go through!)

Showed us just how utterly unique weddings could be. On the one hand we were asked for something with Victorian Gothic undertones at The Kew Bridge Steam Museum for a steampunk style reception. At the other end of the scale, we created dazzling white luxury and picture perfect elegance at Fulham Palace for a wedding magazine style editor's wedding. The photos speak for themselves.

400 special guests at the launch of Westminster City College after a three year refurbishment. A huge party to vcelebrate a huge project and a huge success all round.

My favourite (so far at least) was a private party in Surrey. 80 guests at home, cocktails, ice bars (literally!), sushi and grazing stations, full lighting, candles and colour. Thanks to being "snowed in", we were still going strong until the wee small hours!

Olympics, Royal Weddings, film premieres, who knows...

1 Dec 2010

December Big Picture

The whole Bovingdons team enjoying ice skating at Somerset House.