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Vanilla Catering & Events

Venues like London Buses

September is here, the nights are drawing in and the mornings are getting chilly, soon I will need my mittens as I cycle around but hopefully we can hang on to our so called summer for a little longer.

 We have catered at a couple of new venues in the past month. Firstly Old Arlesford House (

Old Alresford House is an historic Georgian mansion, set in 35 acres of gardens and parkland in beautiful rural Hampshire. Both house and gardens have been immaculately restored and renovated, with stunning contemporary additions alongside original 18th century design.

Most importantly, it’s private and ultra exclusive. They only host a few weddings a year for up to 120 dinner guests and 150 evening guests. You and up to 10 other house guests can enjoy a suite of wedding rooms, a floor of bedrooms and 35 acres of historic, beautiful gardens and grounds, complete with marquee - not just on your wedding day, but the day before as well.

My favourite part of the venue is an amazing pool they have in the grounds, it’s wonderful.

The bizarre thing is we had never catered at this venue before then we did two lovely weddings in a row, Hannah and Jon and Adriano and Emily.It was just like when I lived in London waiting for the number 38 bus back to Holborn after a night out, you wait ages then 2 come at once…

Talking of which another coincidence here in that I bumped into a very old friend from London who I have not seen for over 20 years, Juliet McKee who now has her own wedding photography business Check out her photos they are wonderful, it’s a small world

 Adriano and Emily had a wonderful beskpoke three course sit down , have a look at this


Grouper and spinach filled ravioli with crab meat sauce


Spinach and Rosary Goats cheese Ravioli in a San Marzano Tomato and Sage sauce

Main Courses

Guinea Fowl Wrapped with Smoked Bacon with Colcannon Potatoes, Sherry


Honey Roast Butternut and Sweet Potato Torte on a Broccoli Puree


Eton Mess Stack with Hampshire Berries


There are pictures  on  our face book page of the fresh Ravioli been prepared .

Our other new venue was Duncton Mill Fishery (

This is a family run business and they only hold a limited number of weddings beside the lakes each year, It is primarily a marquee reception site, and the  beautiful venue gives scope to create an original wedding.The evening can finish with fireworks across the lake - a wonderful sight watching the reflections of the fireworks in the water.

They also have a beautiful 14 ft wooden rowing boat decorated with bunting and pretty cushions. The boat is will be moored off the jetty beside the marquee, with tables, chairs and hay bales for additional outdoor seating allowing guests to enjoy the sun setting over the South Downs…..hopefully, we were indeed lucky last weekend with Richard and Stephanies day, the sun shone, the champagne flowed and nobody wanted to go home at the end of the night !

We also seemed to have been spending a lot of time at the Hamptworth Estate ( this great venue you have three choices of venues, the main house, the lodge or their own Tythe Barn. We are at all three this month our final finale at the end of the month catering in the Great Hall, told you the  london bus theory again ! 

Back at Vanilla HQ every day is different, that is the beauty of event catering.

We have lots of exciting news in that Joe, one of our chefs, has named the day for his own wedding, so has Gill, one of our event mangers. You see working at all these wonderful weddings you really want to do it all yourself, or perhaps they just want a Saturday of!!.....only joking guys

Lee, our head chef loves this time of year as the Southampton boat show starts tomorrow, so for the next 2 weeks he shouts cookie chaos every morning, Lee you know you love it really.

And even more exciting….peaches is getting bigger and bigger  watch this space !


Lovely thank you letters continue to flood in, we love getting these, a few recent ones are below , more new ones on the website too. 

 Thank you so much for the hugely significant and successful part you played in our wedding day. Right from the start you have been so helpful and really helped us with the mind boggling task of planning what is essentially a great big party! Your experience was totally invaluable and I felt so re-assured that you were there with the knowledge to guide us through it. The food that was served was superb, so delicious and we’ve had so much feedback about how much people enjoyed it so a huge thank you to the chefs and all those working behind the scenes who helped us achieve a day that we were really proud of. Relying on other people can be a huge risk, and we are truly grateful for the integrity with which the people that make up Vanilla work to bring a genuine service to their customers

 Hanna & Simon 3 course sit down, Horsebridge Station


Thank you all so much for the truly amazing job you did making the most wonderful food for our wedding.We have had so many comments from our guests about how much they all enjoyed the food you produced. You and all the team did such a fantastic job of making sure everyone was very well fed and you kept everything on time. Thank you so much for changing things round to fit in with our rain plan in the Piggery, it was perfect and lots of people have said it was one of the best parts of the wedding because it was so different from anything else they had been to.

Clare & James 3 course sit down, Marquee

Thank you to you and your outstanding team for all your efforts on the last of our Daughters Weddings. Somehow, it did not seem possible that you could attain the high standards that you set whilst catering for Elaine’s wedding. But it has been unanimously agreed that not only did you meet the standards, what’s more you exceeded them! We had so many compliments about the food. People remarking and questioning how such a feast could be prepared from relatively rudimentary facilities. The whole day was a simply grand succe4ss and no little thanks are due to you for the part Vanilla played. So thank you again for all the wonderful food served throughout the day and thanks also for the calm knowledgeable support you gave us behind the scenes. We almost wish we had more daughters so we could do it again.

Roy & Margaret 3 course multi-choice menu, Marquee


Thank you so much for everything you did to help make our wedding day go so perfectly. The food was all excellent and the service was fantastic. So many people said to us how much they enjoyed the meal, especially the vegan and vegetarian options, We had such a wonderful day and really appreciate all your hard work behind the scenes to keep it all running smoothly

 Claire & Michael 3 course sit down, Tithe Barn


Pick up a copy of this month’s Your Hampshire and Dorset wedding and you will see an article about us catering at the Tithe Barn in Petersfield.


As always don’t forget our Charity for 2012/3. facing the world ( Every wedding or party you book with us for a three course sit down we will donate 20p to our charity. Have a look at their website, everyone deserves the right to smile on their wedding day and Facing the World carry out amazing work helping children with severe disfigurements so that one day they too can do just that.

Lots more weddings still to do this month venues we are at include Tithe Barn, Farbridge barn, Hamptworth Lodge, Winchester Guildhall, Hill Place, Houghton Lodge and  the New Sea City Museum.

Have a good week for latest news, gossip and information follow us on twitter or face book, we have some great photos on face book of recent weddings, Spinach Ravioli and our unsung heroes our Sunday clear up team

 Sally P and the team

Thursday 13th September 2012

Venues like London Buses  Image