Styling inspiration from the kitchen garden

Herb themed wedding

With green being the colour of the season it’s no wonder we have seen a surge in herbs. It’s a trend we love in event design. Not only do they provide a brilliant rustic background but they provide a wonderful scent in the venue. It’s such a shame when you see beautiful table centres created for ‘one night only’ impact, but the lovely thing about using ‘living herbs’ in your event is that they can be adopted afterwards by your guests.

Here is our top hit list of how to style with herbs.

  • Create cocktails with herbal inspiration. Whether it be sprigs of rosemary in your gin and tonics or lemon thyme topping to your soft spritzes.
  • Creating herb bars – we love a simple reclaimed palette front finished with living herb pots
  • Table centres with a difference, from terracotta pots to living turf runners there are so many options here.
  • Bunting – we saw a bride use herbs instead of floral bunting to add a natural look to a long stretch of wall. This one really sticks in our mind.
  • Herb breads! We love it when clients requests sharing menus. Herb breads to share are a great way to start off these relaxed suppers. It’s also a great wedding ice breaker!

As always our minds are full of ideas so we would love to put our creative minds to work alongside your event plans! Chat to our team today.

Vegan and raw wines | Fresh life for our wine list

Wedding Champagne - compCooks & Partners have seen a 30% rise in clients asking for vegan or raw wines amongst their bespoke events business.

Due to popular request the Bespoke events team at Cooks & Partners have created a ‘Vegetarian and vegan only’ wine list.  The new wine list follows the success of several plant based menus. Almir Se Souza, Events Head Chef, has been producing, by popular demand, a Whole Food menu; replacing afternoon biscuits for energy power balls, classic conference lunches for grain based salads and a demand to be offering plant based milk alternatives.

Cook & Partners, a boutique catering business known for strictly choosing its ingredients, have worked closely with their South West London wine merchant to demystify the unpoliced wine labels supplied by the majority of the industry.

Recent press has brought vegan wines to the fore front of people’s minds revealing that often ‘fining agents’, used to filter the wine, contain milk protein, egg whites, animal protein or fish bladder protein.  Many of today’s modern wine makers are using clay-based fining agents such as bentonite, which are particularly efficient at fining out unwanted proteins.  Their new wine list contains unfiltered wines too offering characterful wines for their smaller intimate dinners.

The team have been tasting several biodynamic and organic wines recently too. Although it’s not assumed that these a vegetarian or vegan, often these share similar values; their mission however is to grown the grapes in tune with their larger environment; using herbal preparations, lunar cycles and soil fertility to increase the wine characteristics.

Debbie Poulton, Head of Events and Business Development, said “We are really excited to be responding to the request of our clients, it’s important for us to offer a truly personal service”. 


Edible styling: Name places with a difference


Edible Name Cards

Wedding season is on the horizon, which means we are starting to hear about all the lovely details that our couples have been organising and even sometimes crafting. We take great pleasure in hearing all about the small touches. They make such a difference on the day and give us a real insight of the crowd in advance too. It’s a real honour to be allowed into all the secrets!

As devoted fans of anything edible (we know, obsessive) here is a quick re cap of favourites as a little inspiration for your day.

  1. De hydrated fruit
  2. Apple or pear crisps that sit on top of the napkin as guests enter. Simple card name places look great rested against these.
  3. Individual artisan breads This idea works great where you’re having family style service or feasting menus.
  4. A side plate with a wrapped artisan bread roll and sprig of herb.
  5. Edible paper Genius!
  6. Rice paper name places.
  7. Mini bottles These are lovely because if they are not used you will find they are often taken home.
  8. Little oil bottles to use with your salad course.
  9. Whole fruits This is great way to be introducing colour to the tablescape too.
  10. Hand lettering on whole fruit.

Breakfast meetings : Productive and inspirational

Breakfast meetings

A survey forecasted that 65 % of people found it easier to concentrate at a breakfast meeting – now that’s a statistic to capture the energy from.

Looking to capture the imagination and presence of your clients without allowing them the excuse of having a busy day? I think we all come across this hurdle once in a while. The hospitality industry, once evening-centric, has definitely seen the lucrative opportunities of sunrise!  Let’s face It we live in a capital that never sleeps, a city with a night tube and a world that, with caffeine, is at our fingertips.

With a new optimism for early mornings it’s no wonder that ‘pre work’ networking has risen over the last few years by 40% across our business.   If you are searching for ways to attract a new audience (beyond the familiar faces of your post work Champagne receptions) or you want to reward or entice a new client base who lives a family heavy work-life balance, then a breakfast meeting is for you.

Whatever your motivation, it’s with all of these in mind that we have joined forces with The View from the Shard, as one of their caterers, to create a package for breakfast events. The venue hire is from 8am – 9.30 (so perfect for the pre work crowd!) and offers a real pull to guests. The buildings reputation is still unexplored by a lot of Londoners and therefore contributes to a boosted acceptance rate. You can start your morning with a breakfast on Level 69 and inspire your guests with incredible views over London during sunrise.  You can go one step further too (for those more interactively inclined!), The View from the Shard provides the perfect setting for sky-high yoga classes for your team or group!!  The lessons are taught by leading yoga teachers Leo Lourdes and Mandy Jhamat of Yogasphere. “One of the UK’s Top Yoga Teachers” Marie Claire Magazine.

85% of event guests say eating breakfast increases their efficiency at work! So there’s another reason your guests will leave inspired: our ingredient obsessed breakfast menus.

To find out more


Edible petals and how to use them in your wedding menu

Edible PetalsWith wedding season soon approaching it’s no wonder that our mind is turning ‘pretty’! Throughout our menu consultation process with our wedding couples we hear the same thing, time after time:

Us: So tell us a little about how you would like your food to look and taste, are we going for rustic family style or fine dining elegance?

Bride and Groom: We would love to have something that everyone thinks is just delicious, not something they would have every day, and beyond all, for it to be beautiful presented.

Well, these are our kind of people. Beyond our precise plating, our use of colours across all of our ingredients, and indeed the plate choice itself, we have rave reviews about our edible flower choice. Our love for choosing the right petal goes beyond a viola on a dessert plate, we choose the bloom on its taste and how it will work with the rest of the dish.

Here are our top tastes to try at home:

For spicy notes:

Bergamot (Monardia didyma) – a strong spicy scent to compliment bacon, poultry, rice and pasta

For peppery notes:

Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus) – brightly-coloured, peppery flowers are good in salads and pasta dishes. The whole flower, leaves, and buds can be used or just the petals for a milder flavour

For sweet notes:

Elderflower (Sambucus nigra) – We often see this used to make wine and cordials. But we love to use, placed in a muslin bag, to flavour tarts and jellies. We of course remove before serving.

For citrus notes:

Hibiscus (H. rosa-sinensis) – distinctively tart flavor and stunning deep crimson color – flavoured tea is crowd pleaser here, it’s a great flavour combination with rosemary

And finally, when you want colour but a different texture: Great for drying

Pot marigold (Calendula officinalis) – intense colour and a peppery taste useful in soups, stews and puddings. Brilliantly these petals can be dried and used all season around.