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Vanilla Catering & Events

Catering for Royalty, Celebrities and the Odd Sir


It's been a busy summer so many events ranging from weddings corporate dinners, military dinners, proms, parties you name it we have done it, so  it's hard to pick just one event to talk about but here I go with one of the most challenging, rewarding, stressful, exhausting and enjoyable events I have ever done in my 30 years in the event industry.
It involved working 73 hours over 5 days and walking over 77 km I met three members of the Royal family, including our future king, numerous Olympic athletes, several celebrities past and present.

The Background : Last Xmas as preferred caterers on board HMS Victory we were privileged to cater for Sir Ben Ainslie’s staff Xmas party. Working on HMS Victory is always a pleasure and to cater for Sir Ben was a great honour.

The Pitch : So fast forward to the spring when we were asked to pitch for the corporate catering at his new, very snazzy HQ in Old Portsmouth for the first leg of the Americas Cup Challenge

Success: We were lucky enough to be successful in this pitch beating London caterers and other local event companies. We never doubt our ability/quality at Vanilla but to be chosen over high profile London caterers is always great feeling. We do have one advantage over these London caterers in that we are truly passionate about using local suppliers from Hampshire. 

Our Advantage : All our food is hand made bespoke using local produce. We source our eggs, oils, fish, meat everything we can from our doorstep. We smoke our own meats and fish, make our own breads with local flours and we source local beverages both alcoholic and non alcoholic

Lets just do it : So job and menu all we had to do was get on and do it.

The Main Event : The hospitality kicked off with a gala dinner in aid of the ASSF. -

Royalty: It was a delight to work with Amy and Ann from the foundation and the gala dinner was to cater for 220 with a few very VIP guests including of course Sir Ben Ainslie. There were numerous names from the sailing industry including, Alex Thomson, Shirley Roberston and Geoff Holt to name a few. The Princess Royal was guest of honour. This was to be the third time the Princess royal had attended an event we were catering at this year so we were getting to know her and her Royal Protection team rather well !  The evening was a great success and ended in an auction raising funds for the charity.

Feeding the Team: The America cup started on the Friday it was to be three days of racing with the Saturday and Sunday the important race this meant three days of preparing delicious brunch canapés and a luncheon for the VIP guests.  We also fed the team dinner each night which really was an honour knowing the team were running on our delicious bespoke food. 

The weather:  was not kind at all on the Friday and we quickly learned to negotiate the spiral staircase under wet and windy conditions with great expertise . Saturday faired well but the final day dawned very wet and very windy and the decision was made to cancel the racing, fortunately not the catering. 

The Duke and Dutchess of Cambridge: The Sunday was also the day we fed the  Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, how many caterers can say they have fed their future king lunch ? …not many but we now add this to our list of achievements  The day finished with a wrap party for the team and family and friends. The DJ for the night was Rob Da Bank of Bestival fame  

 A great week that we will not forget in a hurry, how do we top that one ?

Watch this space ... Sally p and the  team !





Monday 14th September 2015

Catering for Royalty, Celebrities and the Odd Sir  Image