Tag Archives: Hart’s Bakery

Rocking Dog’s Alternative Wedding Snaps

Let The Feast Begin!,Rocking Dog

Let The Feast Begin!

Sorry to anyone wanting to see photo’s of the bride, bridesmaids, knickerbockered page boys and a murder of monstrous hats. Alas, there is no such frippery in this post….it’s all about the food! Rocking Dog came out of catering retirement (yet again) to provide a feast for a family friends wedding. I was given free rein with the menu, the only request came from the groom asking for chocolate brownie and hot salted caramel sauce. You wish will be granted young sir!

Rocking Dog came up with a cunning plan a while ago and bought back a wonderful stash of salami’s and Pecorino (plain, with truffle and with red peppercorns) from Umbria. These were sliced and put on rustic boards together with truffle flavoured crisps, parmesan biscuits and olives to eat on arrival in the garden. Bubbly was flowing and the boards were offered to some spectacularly dressed guests.

The sun tried to shine and the guests truly marvelled at the gloriously verdant garden. After an encounter with a drone taking overhead film of the waving crowd it was time to venture into the beautiful guy roped marquee. The sides of the marquee were jubilantly up and there were wonderful views of the gardens very own lake.

The feast kicked off with a mezze plate, it was rather strange to be eating my own food, for today I was a guest as well as being the cook and chief bottle washer! Delicious sourdough bread from Harts was served in Rocking Dog hessian sacks and there was no buffet line up, everything was put on the table. It was all very relaxing and sociable. The majority of the food on the mezze plate came from recipes in Skye Gyngell’s book “A Year in My Kitchen”. Thank you Skye I love this particular book.

Moving on to the main event I turned to Yotam Ottolenghi and did recipes from “Jerusalem” and “Plenty”. I was trying to think of a way of serving the spice rubbed slow cooked lamb and accompaniments. Just a few days before the wedding I had a light bulb moment and decided to serve it takeaway style in foil boxes atop a rustic wooden board. The large flat breads from “Bristol Sweetmart” were given sewn paper bags made from M&S Adventures in Food. Guests seemed to love the informality of the presentation.

The piece de resistance were the eleven brown card pudding boxes which were each magically frou’d by Rocking Dog. The flat pack boxes were bought in Ikea and then given tops of artificial grapes, vegetables, ribbons, bird houses, pom poms and the like. Very scarily I had to buy nothing, all the frou was scavenged within the kennel. The boxes were packed with three types of meringue, local strawberries, a tub of clotted cream, brownie and mini kilner jar’d rosewater & cardamom panna cotta’s. There was also cheese and biscuits as well as a baby milk bottle of Liv’ made salted caramel sauce. Oh! I forgot to mention each box was lit by fairy lights and the lid had a calligraphy’d “Raindrops & Roses, whiskers on kittens etc..” verse stuck on the underside of the lid. Kitsch or what!

Finally there was coffee and Rocking Dog chocolate salami.

It really was a wonderful day. The bride looked absolutely amazing in a completely unembellished, un-blingy dress. Understated classy elegance. Beautiful, as were the flowers.

“My” trusted team were really Trojan-ly wonderful, Liv’s app showed she had walked 8 grassy km going to and fro from kitchen to marquee. Thank you to you all from the bottom of my rusty old heart. I missed being with you all but I was tied to the chair under strict instructions to be a guest for the day!

We left the reception leaving the bride and groom together with young friends happily dancing in the rain. Magical.

The fall out of the day still resides in my kitchen with washing up still to do and china to sort, organise and put away. Yes, I now vaguely remember why I gave up wedding catering!

Have a wonderful week and thank you for tuning in.

Love Rocking Dog x

Ps For the record there were no knickerbockered pageboys, murders of hats or indeed bridesmaids!

Starter Menu,Rocking Dog

Starter Menu

The Feast Kicks Off,Rocking Dog

The Feast Kicks Off

The Main Event,Rocking Dog

The Main Event

Wedding Takeaway,Rocking Dog

Wedding Takeaway

The Aubergine,Rocking Dog

The Aubergine

The Rice,Rocking Dog

The Rice

The Tomato & Lemon,Rocking Dog

The Tomato & Lemon

Bread Wrapper,Rocking Dog

Bread Wrapper

Piece De Resistance,Rocking Dog

Piece De Resistance

Boxes To Delight,Rocking Dog

Boxes To Delight

Rocking Dog Frou,Rocking Dog

Rocking Dog Frou

Grooms Food Of Choice!,Rocking Dog

Grooms Food Of Choice!

Signed, Sealed & Well & Truly Delivered!

Smiles & Confetti, Rocking Dog

Smiles & Confetti

I was hoping that on Sunday i’d be compos mentis enough to construct some sort of blog post. Monday came with a day of washing up and putting away (just what do you do with 3ft high lanterns!?). I finally sat down at 9pm to watch The Great British Sewing Bee. There was little chance of me stringing a sentence together, even less stringing together a fitted stretch lace bra!! Tuesday, I am numb with tiredness but determined to write a blog to reflect the truly wonderful day we all enjoyed celebrating Alex & Kylie’s wedding day.

Cooking right up to the line, the girls and I made canape size arancini (saffron and mozzarella risotto balls), baby buttermilk scones and we chopped components for salads. There was bread to collect from Harts (thanks Pete) and a trip to the tipi 35 minutes away before we could get back to the kennel and put our glad rags and war paint on!

Finally, there really was no time left but to get ourselves to the darling little church at Bathampton. The church was full of friends and family, flowers, and a sense of anticipation. Finally it was time for Kylie to walk down the aisle and she looked stunning in a gorgeous Jessica Charleston dress with beautiful lace edged veil. Alex looked pretty dapper too in a Scottish sort of way, with Ancient Ferguson kilt and bespoke tweed jacket and waistcoat. The service was meaningful, and whilst the register was signed good friend Laura sang Etta James’s “At Last”. There were a few damp eyes in the house.

Bells were rung joyously as the couple left the church and then Kylie and guests were given the surprise of 20 or so pipers and drummers spilling into the churchyard playing “Highland Cathedral”. Rose petal confetti rained down on the couple together with happy greetings as they left the church. A short walk over the canal followed to where the Tipi awaited them.

Pimms was served in tiny milk bottles whilst guests enjoyed basking in the late May sunshine. Arancini, baby scones complete with strawberries and clotted cream, and dinky Melton Mowbray pies delighted the guests. Entertaining alfresco speeches followed. There was a lovely melt your heart speech from Kylie’s dad, heartfelt one from Alex and then one from each of the best men. Andyman based his speech on Alex’s injuries over the years and he presented Kylie with a comprehensive First Aid Kit and a baton, saying he was handing over the baton of responsibility to her now! Phil, a school friend of Alex’s completed the quartet of speeches, and I have to say it was remarkably clean!

Food followed – Italy meets England.

Starter: tree trunk boards with a selection of salami’s and Lonza from Italy, Pecorino, Fresh pesto, aged balsamic, “our” olive oil, sun blush tomatoes, olives and buffalo mozzarella. Hart’s sourdough with olives, and raisins & fennel.

Main: Chicken Cacciatore (Hunter’s Chicken), Farro salad with roast Mediterranean veg and fresh herbs, Panzanella (Tuscan tomato & bread salad), Jersey Royal baby potato salad with fresh asparagus and peas with creme fraiche and fried shallots.

Woodland dessert table: Black Forest Gateaux, Salted caramel and chocolate ganache mini kilner jars, Baroque meringues with gold leaf and crystallised violets, Lime and ginger cheesecakes, vanilla panna cotta’s in porcelain cups, white & dark chocolate brownie, Billionaire bars, British strawberries, rhubarb in dessert wine.

Coffee: Coffee & Tea table with soft sour cherry amaretti, Italian nougat and ricciarelli

The lovely Commonwealth long jumper medallist Jazmin Sawyers sang and played guitar whilst we ate. That girl is truly multi talented!

Food eaten, evening guests arrived, cake cut (Fruit tier, Carrot cake tier and Lime and Pistachio all encased in a zingy lemon buttercream) it was now time to dance the night away! The motown band (whose name currently eludes me!) were amazing and I am so pleased that Lionel didn’t turn up. However, I cannot believe that Gary Barlow did a “pop up” in Bristol’s Cabot Circus at the weekend…. I should have asked Gary!!!

The free bar and dancing continued until midnight in the atmospheric fairylit tipi. It was all very magical… but over all too quickly!

It really was a Perfect Day. Now that it is signed, sealed and truly delivered it’s time to say Enough, enough now!

Oscar Style Thank you’s.
A million thanks to all those who helped in any way before, during and after the big day. Thank you to retired vicar Canon Richard Hunt who led the marriage service and made Alex and Kylie “Mr and Mrs”. Rob, thank you for reading 1 Corinthians 13 so eloquently. Thanks to Ushers, Best Men and Bridesmaids together with Jovan, the cutest of kilted page boys who carried out their roles so beautifully. Further thanks to all those who sang, played or did both so brilliantly at the service, in the churchyard, and in the tipi. Music really does help to make wedding memories, together with wearing out shoe leather on the dance floor!

Special thanks to Dom, Jess and Lorraine, you were all simply amazing. More thanks go to the gorgeous waiting and bar staff, and all those folk who helped set up, and more depressingly clear up. Steve’s special recipe burgers certainly helped with the “final push”!

Thank you to suppliers who dealt with Kylie and Alex. Buffalo Tipis were brilliant – friendly, flexible and accommodating as were the staff at The King Edward’s Pavilion. Thank you. Prestige, Alex particularly appreciated the cutlery… the cutlery-phobe that he is! Hart’s, all the individual Umbrian producers, Bristol Fruit and Vegetable market and the lovely Keith at Costco thank you for your delicious produce. Thanks for the fig and vine leaves reaped from your walled garden Graeme and Scott- those little details made all the difference!

My girls Sorrel and Liv’, were culinary mega-stars, as was my lovely friend Sian. How civilised Sian to encourage us to take regular tea breaks and a proper lunch break! We whipped, whisked, chopped, roasted, simmered and planned the food for the 120 guests. It was quite a feat.

There are more who helped with the gorgeous table plan, invitations and a range of other wedding paraphernalia, thank you so much for your creativity. The florist who traded flower power for hair do’s did a great job, getting up in amongst those tipi posts must have been somewhat ladder teetering! Thank you to my friend Steph who lent me her dressmakers dummy, I felt you at my shoulder willing me on with the baffling task of coat making. I love you. Talking of creativity, thank you to Paige Courtney who took over 2,000 photo’s so unobtrusively throughout the wedding day and evening. How lovely not to have had a two hour photo session before muscling in on the canapes! You were great!

Thank you to guests who came to celebrate the nuptials and enjoy the after party. Weddings are expensive to attend, especially where long journeys, hen and stag do’s (!) and accommodation (together with a pair of Manolo’s) are involved. We appreciate your being there for Kylie and Alex.

Big thanks go to Debi and Steve who really moved heaven and earth to realise the couples vision for their wedding and post ceremony party. Enjoy your well deserved holiday in the knowledge that we all did good!!

As all those teary Oscar style thank you’s go, i’m sorry if i’ve left anyone out… it’s certainly not intentional. Lastly, the final thank you has got to go to the sun….you were truly warm and amazing… your glowing brilliant outfit was definitely the red carpet showstopper! X

Flower Boys! The Ushers, Rocking Dog

Flower Boys! The Ushers

Bridal Party, Rocking Dog

Bridal Party

Cute Kilted Page, Rocking Dog

Cute Kilted Page

Surprise Pipes & Drums, Rocking Dog

Surprise Pipes & Drums

The Speeches, Rocking Dog

The Speeches

Antipasti, Rocking Dog

Antipasti

Woodland Cake Table, Rocking Dog

Woodland Cake Table

Happy Times, Rocking Dog

Happy Times

On The Dance Floor, Rocking Dog

On The Dance Floor