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Ideas for a garden party lunch for 30 guests please

(15 Posts)
Holymoly321 Sat 20-Jun-09 21:05:05

We are having a naming ceremony for our two DS's next month in our back garden (kind of like a christening) and we will be doing food for the guests afterwards. The food will be served about 1pmish. We are on a budget so will be doing the catering ourselves, but want it to look and taste quite swish! Any suggestions for things we can make the night before and keep in the fridge till the lunch? Ideally things that won't need reheating or serving hot as neither DH or I want to be running around on the day, we just want to do all the prep before and enjoy the party on the day. smile

spicemonster Sat 20-Jun-09 21:18:05

Why don't you do lots of individual things and salads? So little tarts (red onion and goats cheese, asparagus and pancetta, mini quiche lorraines) a couple of lovely cheese and cold meat boards, salads and nice breads. You could have trifle for pudding (if you want one) and a big bowl of berries.

Not sure that's very swish but it'd be nice.

Holymoly321 Sat 20-Jun-09 21:23:59

interesting sm - would the tarts have to be served warm or could they come straight from the fridge?

Onlyaphase Sat 20-Jun-09 21:24:08

I think if you want things to look swish and glamorous, then presentation is the key. I agree with spicemonster that a cheese board is a great idea, and the cold meat board too, with salads and breads. Think of the way hotels serve buffets - great big dishes with lots of tiered height to them, so a big platter, then a smaller one on top, then a smaller one on that as well. A cold salmon always looks good, or a big ham.

Also, do you know anyone who will come and refill glasses and clear plates for you, maybe hand round nibbles? Even if it is just a younger relative, it will be so much easier for you if you have someone on hand to help.

spicemonster Sat 20-Jun-09 21:33:08

You could do serve them cold as long as it's not straight from the fridge - all food tastes dreadful straight from the fridge. But cold tartlets can be lovely - what about picnics or those little portuguese custard tarts? Yum.

Oh yes - as onlyaphase said - a whole salmon is lovely. My friend's christening was largely cold food but they did have people to serve it. A couple of teenagers can do the job well I reckon

brokenspacebar Sat 20-Jun-09 21:41:32

I am looking for ideas too, we are having a retirement party for my Mum, so far I am thinking about doing a ham (Mary Berry recipe, it is cooked in Guinness, serves 15-20... but I have never tried it before), there may be a curry, I will make a quiche, roasted peppers and for the children/fussy eaters I am thinking bbq with sausages....

There will hopefully be soup, my friend did courgette with goats cheese at the last party, was really lovely... lovely bread... fruit, local pick your own strawberries, ice cream....

PavlovtheForgetfulCat Sat 20-Jun-09 21:44:40

cheese board/meat board as suggested.

But you must remember cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches with crusts cut off, and Pimms. Whatever else, you must have these at a Garden Party, followed by a cream tea.

PavlovtheForgetfulCat Sat 20-Jun-09 21:44:54


Holymoly321 Sat 20-Jun-09 21:57:02

Would sandwiches last overnight in the fridge?

6inchnipples Sat 20-Jun-09 21:59:00

Great thread!! Sorry to gatecrash but i'm planning my wedding and thought that doing a cold buffet would be do-able ourselves.

Should be around 40 to 50 guests.

Do you guys think this is do-able??

Was thinking cold meats, cheese board, nice breads, salads, fruit platter, cake, tea and lots of alcohol grin

My mum is already panicing saying just get caterers in!!

6inchnipples Sat 20-Jun-09 22:01:27

Hi holy

I think sandwiches ok overnight but if possible would be better if you could have fillings in fridge ready to go and pop filling in the bread on the morning of the do just to keep bread fluffy and nice.

What fillings are you thinking of??

meltedmarsbars Sat 20-Jun-09 22:19:45

6inch, we had cold buffet at our wedding - whole salmon, hams, roast beef etc, (but done by caterers) It was VERY nice.

I do a regular summer party and do quiche, poached salmon, ham, and salads.

Puddings are VERY important - choc mousse, tarts, lovely ice-creams, profiteroles....

Holymoly321 Sat 20-Jun-09 22:25:12

6inch, was thinking of the usual, ham, cheese, tuna mayo, chicken - some with salad some without... whaddya reckon? Could any of thse be made night before?

6inchnipples Sat 20-Jun-09 23:38:00

I'd have the fillings made but load sarnies on the day otherwise bread goes a bit hard in fridge.
Good luck! Don't forget coronation chicken sandwiches ... yum!

janeite Sat 20-Jun-09 23:45:05

No to sarnies overnight methinks.

I don't like sandwiches anyway, so would be v happy with a plate of buttered rolls and the wherewithal to make my own sandwiches!

How about meringues, strawberries and cream? You could get the strawberries ready in the morning and whip the cream, then assemble just before serving - or even let guests assemble for themselves. Or scones with strawberries and cream - ditto.

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