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Caterers for housewarming party? Any fab ideas/recommendations (South London)?

(26 Posts)
franch Sat 18-Apr-09 18:20:17

We're planning a house re-warming party (we had to move out for 6 months as it was flooded) and would like to let ourselves off the hook catering-wise on this occasion.

We'd like to give people something nice and filling. Space is limited.

The most successful we've experienced at friends' parties have been a hog roast, and curry. Would love to do a hog roast as it would be done outdoors and is nice and simple, but have too many Muslims/non-pig-eaters in the family. So Indian may be the thing - am thinking maybe with the help of a mini marquee/canopy thing, trestle tables and patio heaters, that could be set up outside too?

Any other inspiration?

Any local recommendations would be especially appreciated.

Littlefish Sat 18-Apr-09 18:53:23

We used these people for our 40th birthday party.

They were asbolutely fantastic. We had the pig roast, but I know that they will do whole spring lamb, joints of beef etc. as well as huge paella.

They're in Worcestershire though - not sure how far they travel.

I really couldn't fault them. The best thing we did was to ask them to provide all the china which meant that there was no washing up!

My other top tip would be to pay a couple of tame teenagers to come and act as waiters/dink & plate clearers. We used our next door neighbours teenagers and it meant that we didn't have to spend all our time topping up people's drinks and clearing plates, so we really enjoyed ourselves.

ActivityApple Sat 18-Apr-09 19:06:53

Message withdrawn

franch Sun 19-Apr-09 13:35:49

They both look great LF and AA - many thanks

franch Sun 19-Apr-09 14:50:55

A gazebo is what I meant by "a mini marquee/canopy thing" blush

BecauseImWorthIt Sun 19-Apr-09 15:10:39

We live in SW19. For DH's 50th last year, I used Mirch Masala

They were brilliant. We had chicken tikka and paneer tikka to start, then a lamb curry, a chicken curry, a spinach curry and a chick pea curry, with pilau rice, salad and naan bread.

There was loads of food, and I think they only charged something like £10.50 per head.

Can highly recommend them.

We used Rayners

for the crockery, glassware and cutlery

They are also local - but they do a fab service where you don't need to wash anything up - they will collect everything dirty!

And then for the marquee we used this company.

Our garden is tiny, but they managed to fit a marquee into it - which was essential as DH's birthday was in March, so we did need full coverage and a heater!

BecauseImWorthIt Sun 19-Apr-09 15:11:26

Oh, and Brooks also supply tables and any seating that you might want.

franch Sun 19-Apr-09 16:14:49

Brilliant - thanks BIWI

searchingforananswer Sun 19-Apr-09 16:34:03

My other half may be able to help you. You will find his contact details at

franch Sun 19-Apr-09 17:15:11

Thanks searching - will have a look

franch Wed 22-Apr-09 19:14:34

Littlefish - I've got some info from Smokey Jack's and they look great. Did you get any additional dishes from them, e.g. canapes / salads / desserts? Any recommendations?

franch Thu 30-Apr-09 19:41:59

Just sent you a message Littlefish - also wanted to ask you how many people you had at your party? We'll probably have about 100 and they're saying if we wanted spit-roast lamb, we'd have to have three 7x4ft spits set up - which we don't really have room for. So they're recommending BBQ'd lamb plus a big-pan paella - which sounds ok but would def have less wow-factor than a spit roast.

Please tell me more about your party if you have a minute! They've been a bit erratic about getting back to me but otherwise look great.

Thanks LF

Littlefish Thu 30-Apr-09 22:19:10

Hi Franch

I think we had about 60 adults and 30 children. We had a whole pig and about 5 different salads. They charged us £850.00 I think. They provided the china and cutlery too. We didn't have any of the canapes. The salads were delicious - really fresh, as were the bread rolls.

They also brought along some quiches, sausages and chicken for the children (quiches were vegetarian). I mentioned that I might have a friend coming who neede gluten free stuff and they made sure that they brought some gluten free bread which was really great.

They arrived and were set up in about 20 minutes. They brought their own tables, table clothes etc. and laid the food out beautifully. They phoned me just before they were leaving to find out if we needed any ice etc.

When everyone had finished eating, Smokey Jacks put all the leftovers in silver foil trays to go into our fridge.

The feedback from our guests was excellent.

Our party started at about 2.00pm and we ate at about 5.00pm. The children left (including dd) at about 7.30 and then some people came back after the babysitters arrived, and we kept going until about 3.00am! We got the leftovers out at about midnight and had pork rolls and salad. Delicious!

Littlefish Thu 30-Apr-09 22:20:09

They were recommended to me by another friend who used them for her ds and dd's christening and was really pleased with them.

Littlefish Thu 30-Apr-09 22:21:16

Re. deserts. I spoke to 12 of my closest friends who were coming and asked if they would each make their favourite desert. We ended up with a fantastic selection of gorgeous puddings. smile

franch Thu 07-May-09 09:59:39

Thanks for all the advice LF, and for the email. I was really keen on Smokey Jacks but they have been absolutely terrible at communicating with me - I have to keep chasing them and the last email I sent was nearly a week ago. The party date's fast approaching so I've booked with another (more eager!) caterer.

But thanks again

Littlefish Thu 07-May-09 17:00:08

Oh that's such a shame Franch. They were great when we used them - perhaps they've got too busy all of a sudden hmm. No excuse for bad communication, is there.

Have a great party!

BecauseImWorthIt Thu 07-May-09 17:10:01

Who did you go with in the end, Franch? I have my birthday coming up soon and we're going to have a catered party.

franch Thu 07-May-09 18:21:52

Thanks LF

We went with Nyama in the end BIWI. They were recommended to us and have been a joy to deal with so far and exactly what we were looking for. Good value too.

franch Thu 07-May-09 18:22:59

We'll def bear Mirch Masala in mind for when we go Indian BIWI - hopefully next time

BecauseImWorthIt Thu 07-May-09 20:46:14

Oooh they look good! How soon is your party, so that you can give me some feedback?

My only worry is that my birthday (50 - eek!) falls on the summer bank holiday weekend, and so we may end up with fewer guests than planned, which may mean that a hog roast is very wasteful.

franch Thu 07-May-09 22:36:33

Ours is about 6 weeks away. Are you looking at Aug? Can def give you feedback well before then.

We're going for whole lambs which I think serve fewer than a hog? You could always go for the BBQ if it looks like your guest list is smallish.

Have you sent out a 'save the date' text?

BecauseImWorthIt Fri 08-May-09 17:45:49

I haven't even written a list yet!

But that's a really good idea. I will make sure I do that. DH's 50th was last Easter weekend, and it really cut down the numbers as so many were away.

franch Tue 23-Jun-09 10:32:28

Nyama were brilliant BIWI - can thoroughly recommend them. Loads of compliments from our guests

CountessDracula Tue 23-Jun-09 10:36:03

Ottolenghi do fabulous catering and it is a bit different
I have had at several parties

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