EXPERT ADVICE

FAQs and expert advice about catering

Here is a selection of Q&As from Your Bristol and Somerset Wedding magazine whether it be about flowers, hair and makeup, fashion, wedding themes, health & beauty, cakes, stationery, legal advice. If you would like your question answered by our experts, please email it to editor@yourbristolsomerset.wedding

A Magical Menu

A Magical Menu

Q What is your advice on creating a winter wonderland wedding?
A Chef James Brown says: Winter weddings are a fabulous time for food lovers! There are endless options for you to choose from to create a magical winter menu, from hearty traditional fare to middle eastern-inspired dishes that warm guests from the inside out. Here are my signature dishes, perfect for a winter wedding.

•Welcome drinks
Spiced elderflower prosecco and warm mulled apple cider.

•Canapés
Fish'n'chip cones, rare roast beef Yorkshire pudding, mini Cornish pasties, and cherry tomato and lemon pesto bruschetta.

•Starter
Spiced beetroot, pomegranate, baby leek and gorgonzola salad with walnut dressing.

•Main course
Traditional beef Wellington with roasted root vegetables and Bordeaux jus. Alernatively, try sharing boards of butterflied shoulder of lamb marinated in our special aromatic rub of smoked ancho chillies, fresh oregano, smoked paprika and pink peppercorns accompanied by flavoursome warm salads such as roasted butternut squash with rocket, pine nuts, labneh and green breans with cumin, capers, red papper and fresh herbs served with Turkish flatbreads.

•Dessert
Cinnamon and nutmeg apple tart with cardamom Chantilly cream.

Chef James Brown, Paxton & Brown Caterers

Winter Warmers

Winter Warmers

Q What is your advice on creating a winter wonderland wedding?
A Florence Fillot says: We love the winter season and its heart-warming perks. We dress and brighten up our stall with winter-themed decorations and lights for festive weddings, and really dress up for the occasion! We also love to serve our seasonal menu specials such as cinnamon crepes, spiced ginger tea and mulled wine – delicious and warming.

Florence Fillot, La Bonne Crepe

Going Local

Going Local

Q Tell us how to plan a wedding sustainably
A Jo Cranston says: My advice is to make sustainability a part of your conversation with potential caterers from your first contact and don't be shy to ask specific questions. Those, like us, with a strong sustainability policy will be able to tell you how they'll reduce the environmental impact of your wedding food.

Ensure that they'll be using local produce and that their menus take seasonality into account. Consider a higher proportion of plant-based dishes and ask how any meat or fish is sourced. Salmon is a traditional wedding menu ingredient, but you won't find it on any of our menus due to sustainability issues. Trout is even more versatile and delicious, and is certified with the MSC blue tick. A good question to ask is how many of your caterer's dishes are made from scratch. We don't buy in anything pre-made, so we have much more control over using local ingredients.

Ask your caterer's advice on creating a waste strategy for your event and find out how they'll take responsibility for the food waste. What can be reused, recycled or composted? At Queen & Whippet we minimise food waste by creating dishes from what might otherwise be discarded, such as our fish skin crackling canapés. Also, bear in mind that no modern caterer should be using disposable plastic serviceware, so if you're having a buffet or evening food, ask about their compostable or reusable options.

Jo Cranston, Queen and Whippet

The season's finest

The season's finest

Q How do you inject your wedding days with the spirit of spring?
A Tamsin Hewer says: With so much amazing, fresh produce available, spring nuptials provide the opportunity to create an imaginative, seasonal wedding menu. Rather than a heavier three-course meal, consider lighter sharing picnic-style food displayed on boards and platters, which is a perfect way to celebrate the best of seasonal British produce.

Fresh and light spring dishes such as delicate asparagus tarts, new potatoes with mint and a host of salads including watercress, broad beans, radishes, and pea shoots are a great way to use seasonal ingredients. As the weather isn't yet too hot, salmon is always popular at this time of year, whether it's a bite-sized canapé, a hot smoked salmon salad or smoked salmon pâte.

Beautiful desserts made with British rhubarb and strawberries are a fantastic way to finish, whether it's a light rhubarb tart or simply strawberries and clotted cream.

Choosing the right food and drink options to celebrate the season is essential to pulling together your vision for your dream wedding day. With a whole host of options available and flowers beginning to bloom, there's plenty to choose from for the ideal spring wedding table.

Tamsin Hewer, The Wild Picnic Company

Just desserts

Just desserts

Q We want a showstopping big-day bake to wow our guests. Do you have any suggestions?
A Sarah Churchill says: Why not go all-out to impress your guests with a dessert table – an artistic display of sweet treats, all decorated to match your wedding palette and theme? Treat your loved ones to delicious royal-iced biscuits, wonderfully light macarons, chocolate-covered cakesicles, buttercream-topped cupcakes, fluffy meringues, mini morsels of cake pops, sweet lollies, chocolate-dipped marshmallows and even miniature pots of flavoured jellies. Taking centre stage will be your wonderful wedding cake, making it the focal point of your wedding reception.

Sarah Churchill, Sarah's Sugarcraft

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