Drinks & Canapés for 190 at the Garden Museum

The season of late nights and early mornings continues. Summer is whizzing by and we are delighted to be invited to some of the best parties in town (even if we are on the wrong side of the bar to be having real fun)!

Last night, we were lucky enough to work at The Garden Museum, one of my favourite venues, which is tucked away next to Lambeth Palace, on the south side of the Thames.

Our clients were the Landscape Institute an educational charity promoting the art and science of landscape parties. They had invited 190 guests for drinks and canapes.

Palmstead Nurseries delivered an incredible display of trees (yes trees!) to decorate the already stunning museum interior – at 12 to 15ft high they were quite a spectacle!

The night was beautifully hot and although rain fell for a mercifully short, sharp spell, the warm, dry weather returned and guests were able to enjoy the  Garden Museum’s exquisite courtyard garden.

Unusually, I was working behind the bar, serving our delicious House Wine, Brockley Brewery Lager and Elderflower Bubbly from Luscombe Drinks.

At 6.30pm the guests arrived thick and fast, to be greeted by myself and the team with trays of chilled wine, glasses of beer and bubbly – suffice to say we were kept busy as everyone really was ready for a cool, refreshing drink on such a warm evening!

The food service team had a tough challenge, with 15 minutes to serve 380 canapés to our guests before the speeches began, but as always the staff did an amazing job and each and every one of the canapes was gratefully received by appreciative guests.

Our incredible and efficient kitchen team comprised of Jessica, Karen and Callum, who really enjoy working together and act with a hive mind, having plenty of fun and supporting each other along the way (surely the ultimate work goal). They served a selection of wonderful canapés, including some go my favourites; Wild Cultivated Mushroom Tartlets with Crème Fraiche and Thyme, Heritage Beetroot Arancini with Goats Cheese and Walnut Pesto and last but not least a Norfolk Crab Tartlet with Gruyere Cheese and a Lemon Crumb.

Our produce was from our always incredible suppliers, Minicrops based in Deptford, I.A. Harris in New Covent Garden, Southbank Fresh Fish based off the New Kent Road and the ever wonderful Rustic Cheese based in Bermondsey.

The speeches in the packed nave lasted for an hour, during which time we artfully topped up empty glasses with complete discretion.  After the speeches our crack team of Waiters and Waitresses served the remaining 790 delicious canapes for the final hour.  Our Kitchen Team, Waiting and Bar Team all proved their professionalism and we were profusely thanked by happy guests as they departed.

We received this lovely email from the client today:
“Just wanted to say thank you for last night. Appreciate the efforts from yourself and the whole team from the lead up to the event on the night. By far the best catering team I’ve come across yet and everyone on site was so helpful and didn’t say no to any request. Please pass on my thanks to James for such great management and leadership of the onsite team last night. The food was amazing and everyone loved it.

Many thanks again and hope to work with you again at our forthcoming events”.