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Vanilla Catering & Events

Tree Houses and Delicious Desserts !

We have had another busy weekend here at vanilla.

The week commenced with our first Delicious Desserts Masterclasses where our team of professional chefs demonstrated  how to make our bespoke desserts at home. It was a roaring success and below is an e mail we received the  day after from a couple of satisfied customers

Katy and I just wanted to say a BIG THANKYOU for last night's masterclass. We had a lot of fun and your staff were absolutely lovely- such good ambassadors for your company,

 Any future classes you might hold please let me know- we will be there!

 Best wishes,

 Jolie & Katy

We have our next class tonight so lets hope it’s as successful On July 25th we will be also be at Winchester Guildhall for the food and Produce show. It’s free admission and we will have lots of goodies for you to taste and you can even win one of our hampers.

This weekend saw Venetia and Julian tie the knot at West stoke Farm , Katherine and Jim were at Rookesby Park School and Naomi and Paul held their reception in a tree house at Beaulieu. Three very different locations.

 As an aside did you know ?

Tree house

Tree houses, treehouses, or tree forts, are buildings constructed among the branches, around or next to the trunk of one or more mature trees, and are raised above the ground. Tree houses can be used for recreation, work space, habitation or as temporary retreats.

Tree houses are an option for building eco-friendly facilities in remote forest areas, because they do not require a clearing of a certain area of forest. The wildlife, climate and illumination on ground level in areas of dense close-canopy forest is not well suited for human habitation. In some parts of the tropics, ordinary houses are built in trees or elevated on stilts to keep the living quarters above hazards at ground level, and to keep the occupants and any stored food out of reach of scavenging animals.

Many areas of the world have no specific planning laws for treehouses, so the legal issues can be confusing to both the builder and the local planning departments. Treehouses can be exempt, partially regulated or fully regulated .

The tree house has been central to various environmental protest communities around the world, in a technique known as tree sitting. This method may be used in protests against proposed road building or old growth forestry operations. Tree houses are used as a method of defence from which it is difficult and costly to safely evict the protesters and begin work. Julia Butterfly Hill is a particularly well known tree sitter who occupied a Californian Redwood for 738 days, saving the tree and others in the immediate area. Her accommodation consisted of two 3m2 (29 sq ft) platforms 60 m (200 ft) above the ground.[5]

Our lovely Emma, who has worked at Vanilla for the past four years  took the lead at this event and she has written a short piece about working in this unusual venue.

Vanilla has worked in some fantastic venues over the years; boats, barns and castles to name a few, but this weekend is the first time we have ever worked in a treehouse! Naomi and Paul were very lucky to have their wedding reception at the New Forest Treehouse Study Centre in Beaulieu. It is a beautiful and unique venue complete with a viewing tower with amazing treetop views (in the photo below on the right hand side) and a swinging rope bridge, which connects the two treehouses. We served their lovely buffet menu on the veranda of the main treehouse including some gorgeous salads made by our chefs, Li and Dan, perfect food for perfect weather! The roasted vegetable and halumi salad was a particular favourite of the guests, and our rustic courgette, pine nut and ricotta tart also went down brilliantly.

David Bridges, the father of the bride, is also the director of the Countryside Education Trust, who built the centre. He told me all about the centre and what it is used for. Unfortunately, not only for us, but also any future brides and grooms, Naomi and Paul’s wedding will be the first and last held in the treehouse, as any usage of the centre is required to be educational. David had to twist Lord Montagu’s arm a little bit to use it for his daughter’s wedding! The centre is mainly used by school groups, and other groups of young people, who are given the opportunity to take part in day courses on topics such as food and farming.

It really is a fascinating venue though, one of the most interesting aspects being the attention given to protecting the environment. Since working at the treehouse I have done some research on the centre and found out that it was built using sustainable wood, it is heated by a boiler which is fired using scrap wood, solar panels provide the lighting, and the toilets are flushed with harvested rain water. If you would like to find out more about the centre, its history and the Countryside Education Trust, then you can do so here There is also a great video of the centre being opened by Alan Titchmarsh, who has also experienced Vanilla’s catering in the past!

So there you go a first and last for Vanilla !!

If you are wondering why to book Vanilla then here are a few of our recent testimonials from happy customers, more can be found on our testimonials page.

Apologies that this has taken so long to write. Nick and I wanted to say an absolutely massive thankyou for the amazing catering you provided on 3rd April. It was a truly amazing day. Polite, unobtrusive service with brilliant smiles. Our guests all appreciated the hog and commented on the whole spread. Super canapes, lovely salads, all just right- relaxed and chilled out-perfect. Thank you all very much, we will pass on your details to all who will listen.

Nick and Helen April 2010

Thank you for helping make our wedding so wonderful. The food was lovely absence and everyone commented about how delicious it all was. The staff couldn't have been more helpful and attentive and kept us all well hydrated!

Kate and Phiilip,Marquee, June 2010

Good Morning

I was fortunate enough to be a quest at the Dalton wedding @ Blackdown Farm on Saturday. Known Phillip since he was a baby.

Having used your services in the past & attended several other functions that you have catered for once again I was impressed with not only the quality of the food but the attentive & professionalism of your staff.

They were  polite & courteous at all times & nothing was too much trouble for them.

Jo,Val, Phillip & Kate were very pleased.

A huge thank you to you and your team for such a wonderful day on Saturday. The food was absolutely wonderful and the compliments were flying - but it wasn't just the food that was so great, it was all your help and support beforehand.  I fear that we were the clients from hell, and having both the bride and groom on the other side of the world was a logistical nightmare that you managed to minimise with enormous skill and tact.

All the food was sensational but the duck  in particular was a total triumph and SO many people were completely bowled over by being served such a perfectly pink treat.

Jenn and Katherine ,Private Marquee, June 2010

Just wanted to send you a quick email to thank you and all the others at Vanilla for helping to make our wedding the best day of our life. The food was excellent and so many of our friends and family commented on how much they enjoyed the food and also on how friendly and helpful all of your staff were. We found the service from Vanilla on the day to be brilliant. Helen and I particularly enjoyed the canapés and the Eton mess desert. We cannot speak highly enough of how good the food, staff and the all round service from Vanilla was. Thank you Martin for all your help organising everything, particularly the day before when setting up and the day itself. A number of people also commented on the great service they received at the bar and the excellent range of drinks it stocked at such reasonable prices.

Overall a great experience and we would definitely recommend Vanilla.

Karl and Helen,Winslowe,May 2010


Don’t forget that for every wedding we cater for, we donate 20p per head to our nominated charity Frank Water (  So the more guests you invite to your wedding the more money we donate. As a result of this we have donated approx £430 to Frank water since April. Every Pound raised for Frank Water Projects gives one person access to clean water for life, by the end of the summer this should equate to a lot of people but I will keep you informed on a monthly basis.

Have a great  week and pop back next week to see what’s happening in the world of Vanilla.

Sally and the team



Wednesday 14th July 2010

Tree Houses and Delicious Desserts !  Image