Canapes Over Courses: London Catering Companies Say Planning is Key

The wedding reception of Prince William and Kate Middleton was, in the strictest sense, unique. As it turned out, nobody sat down (figuratively speaking) during the event. Plates and utensils were set aside for wine glasses and fingers in a reception with 650 world VIPs as guests. Meat and vegetable entrees, as well as desserts, were nowhere to be found. Instead, guests were treated to canapés– bite-sized sandwiches normally served at cocktails.

henry VIII didnt write this royal wedding menu

The menu and arrangement were considered odd, even by Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia, who had been invited to several royal weddings in the past. As an article in The New York Times quotes him:

“It sounds very strange. From what I remember at all the other royal weddings I went to, we were served the best lunch possible.”

Cornish crab, Scottish salmon, Yorkshire pudding; everything the Royal Kitchen could think of was put into small pieces of bread. Can you picture what “Scottish langoustines with lemon mayonnaise pressed confit of pork belly with crayfish and crackling” looks like? That sounds like too much going on for food the size of a golf ball.

The rather unusual reception was said to be the product of logistical challenges, political imagery, and the couple’s lifestyle. The Royal Kitchen had their work cut out for them, better equipped as they were to prepare food for only around 150 guests, working during a period of economic troubles, and with a young couple obviously not too keen in stuffing their guests. Practicality was the order of that historic day.

Certainly, protocol was observed throughout the royal wedding affair, including informing the guests that the reception was cocktail-only–something which wedding resource TheKnot.com says is very important.

However, serving nothing but canapés for such a high-profile event can be just as challenging to a caterer as serving a five course dinner for 100 guests. To reputable catering companies in London like Caiger and Co., the amount of planning and preparation needed to make either one a success are comparable. After all, these caterers are after the satisfaction of their clients regardless of their choices.

Organizing a cocktail-only party also gives more reason to plan variety. Striking a balance of meat, vegetables, sweets, and fish, over the recommended eight canapé selection for cocktails is a challenge that even the most creative London caterers relish. The important thing is for hosts to carefully select a bespoke caterer who can provide personalised menus and services, to ensure their events turn out to be a success.

(Source: Henry VIII Didn’t Write This Royal Wedding Menu, The New York Times)

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