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Its a nice day for a White Wedding, in the Undercroft

Those of you who are old enough will remember the song it’s a nice day for a white wedding……..

Well is certainly was a white wedding day last Friday when we were catering for Sam and Grahams big day. This was our first wedding of 2013 and we will not forget in a hurry.

Graham and Sam had split their venue for their big day. Canapés, mulled wine and champers were to be served in The Undercroft In Southampton and the main meal was at The Tudor Merchants Hall down the road so it was not going to be an easy day even in perfect weather !

The Undercroft is an early C14 ground floor room of a medieval house thought to have been built by a stone mason from Beaulieu Abbey. Built of stone rubble with arched doorcase down 8 steps……very slippy in snowy weather. Three windows (no glass window panes though……very draughty in snowy weather are you getting my point here) The undercroft was originally a shop and there was living accommodation above. Stone hooded fireplace (no roaring fire on Friday, shame ). Above the undercroft are a pair of brick council houses built in 1902, the first in Southampton, not of any special architectural interest, however probably snuggy and warm on Friday, let us in please !!  This undercroft is the most elaborate of the surviving stone vaulted undercrofts of Southampton. Scheduled as an ancient monument.

However before we dealt with all these ancient problems the Undercroft posed we had a rather major one, how do we get there ? The road outside our premises on the Hamble was completely impassable. I foolishly had cycled to my local pool that morning, only to have to walk all the way back so I knew how bad the roads were.( had a great work out though!)  

The chefs packed the vans with all our delicious goodies, then we waited. The traffic was not moving but we thought hey ho lets go for it. Snow chains were donned on the vans and off we set. The problem was no one else had snow chains so the road was littered with vehicles all over the place. Only one thing to, do push them all up the hill out of our way so we could get on. Have to admit great fun was had by all, pushing, pulling. falling in the snow trying to make wayto our wedding venue.

Thanks to all the lovely local people who helped us. We all fell over, Emily several times, she was drenched, Kit nearly ran Ben over reversing, we slipped and skidded in old Southampton for most of the day, however we did get to park outside the venues without worrying about been on double yellows as no one could see them !

Graham and Sam had picked a multichoice menu as below. I was proud off my team, they produced an amazing meal on time under very difficult conditions

Sam and Grahams Wedding Breakfast


Red onion tart tatin, Golden Cross goat's cheese with rocket & pine nut salad and balsamic syrup

Scottish scallops wrapped in smoked bacon on a lemon grass skewer with celeriac pureé and micro cress

Confit of duck thigh on a salad of beef tomato, ruby grapefruit & wild rocket with hazelnut vinaigrette  

Main Course

Sesame & prawn crusted monkfish loin on wilted spinach with a thermador sauce

Roasted loin of New Forest Venison with parsnip purée, haggis bon bon potato, buttered spinach and juniper and port wine sauce

Guinea fowl breast wrapped with sage & smoked bacon on a wild mushroom & marsala ragout


White, praline and dark chocolate mousse chocolate mirror with coffee bean anglaise & nougatine shards

Lychee & honey verrine with passion fruit gel, frosted mint dragon fruit doiles & chocolate spoon

Warm spiced ginger sponge with lemon curd ice cream, white chocolate custard and orange syrup


So the meal was over , did we all make it home  that night well that’s for my next blog ……….. 


This weekend we have Burns Night celebrations at Winchester Guildhall , get your haggis out 

We will also be at the Tithe Barn open day on Saturday 26, if you are thinking of booking this venue then do come along and have a chat with the barn staff and meet the Vanilla team, we will l have lost of samples available for you taste.

Don’t forget If you book your wedding or banquet with us you are helping 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. Or you can sponsor me for the Great North swim, No walls, no chlorine just the great outdoors . I am swimming this in aid of Frank water, check out my fundraising page and many thanks to my very generous anonymous donor !

For latest news, gossip and information follow us on twitter or face book, we have some great photos on face book of snow , snow, and our new delicious menus,

More soon

Sally P and the team

Wednesday 23rd January 2013

Its a nice day for a White Wedding, in the Undercroft  Image