One afternoon in August we descended on founder Edward’s house for a very unseasonal Christmas party, all under the pretext of taking photos for our Christmas menu. We draped twinkly lights, did fancy table settings, and generally felt like a career in wedding planning beckoned. here's what we learnt:
- All parties must twinkle. Be it fairy lights, tea lights or candles, twinkling is absolutely essential.
- Our new Mini Mac Cheese Canapés are amazing – a mouthful of cheesy, creamy bliss to soak up the booze.
- Why sip when you can lick? Our Ice Kitchen cocktails-on-a-stick are not to be missed: Irish Bourbon Cream; Peach Bellini; Cosmopolitan and Mojito.
- A good cocktail sausage is hard to find… but find them we have – little UK porkers with a pinch of paprika to give them a lovely smoky flavour.
- A warm, soft, savoury mini-muffin, straight from the oven, is to die for. Wow your guests with Goat’s Cheese & Caramelised Onion or Fig & Stilton.
- As a vessel for imbibing there is much to recommend the humble jam jar. A bit of Prohibition-era chic crossed with Worzel Gummidge.
- Little Quiche Lorraines mean a mouthful of loveliness. Our favourite quiche is now in a filo basket just for the festive season.
- Banishing the kids to bed is a bit bah humbug*. Yes, you’ll need to watch out for them mine-sweeping the cocktails but they’ll love mixing with the grown-ups - and the opportunity for free waiting staff shouldn’t be overlooked. *surly teenagers / bawling babies excepted
- Hangovers are worse the older you get. Fact.
Here are some of the little crafty things we did to make the dinner table look super festive:
1. We finally found a use for pine cones: they make great name holders for a table setting. (The lovely border design for our menus and place settings can be downloaded here and printed at home).
2. Spray-painted tins make very pretty flower pots. See how to make them here
3. Jam jars have various uses - a vessel for drinking cocktails, and very cute tea light holders. See how to make them here