vanilla in allseasons

Surprise Silver Wedding Anniversary for the Heaths

Friends of Vanilla in Allseasons, Margaret and Mick Heath were recently thrown a surprise party to celebrate their silver wedding anniversary.

Mick and Margaret

The Heaths are the owners of beautiful bespoke Heaton House Farm and dedicated events company Heaton House Events. They have been now united in matrimony for 25 years. A real inspiration to the couples who they have helped to celebrate their own special day.

Mick and Margaret

It was a real honour to be asked to cater for this very special event and we were thrilled to receive the following thank you note from the Heath’s daughter, and manager of Heaton House Events, Sarah:

A MASSIVE ‘thank you’ for providing such a wonderful array of food at my parents’ surprise silver wedding anniversary.

When I first dreamed up the idea of a surprise event for them at home, you were the first company that sprung to mind as you are all so easy to work with and creative with food – perfect for this event. However, as my family and yourselves work regularly and closely together, I knew it wouldn’t be easy keeping it a surprise – but you did, and pulled it off to perfection.

Drinks Table

Lizzie was brilliant at the start by making sure the drinks table and venue were set up to perfection. The guests loved the variety of canapés; the mini fish and chip baskets were to die for!

We had a quick group photograph and as soon as it was taken, Simon had all the items ready for barbecuing – this timing was impeccable.

VinA Catering

The quality of food was amazing, and I’ve never seen steaks so big in all my life!

The dessert tier looked fabulous and I’ve never heard so many ‘yums’ from people as they took their first bite as I did in that five minutes. My cousins particularly enjoyed the brownies so much they took a bundle home with them!

VinA Catering

Everyone enjoyed the food and commented on how friendly and attentive the staff were.

Thank you to you all for keeping it secret, and also making the event absolutely perfect!

Sarah Heath

We are extremely pleased that they were impressed with our service, it was a privilege to be involved in this exceptionally special occasion.

PHOTO CREDIT: Chelsea Shoesmith Photography

Dinner Party Decoration

When it comes to hosting a dinner party, preparing and cooking the food is only half the battle. Serving the food in a way that keeps it fresh, hot or cold, and easy access to guests can be tricky.

Today we take a look at how to create the perfect dinner party.

Rearrange the Furniture


Don’t be afraid to rearrange the furniture before the party. If you’ve gone out of your way to invite friends over for a nice meal at your home, make it as comfortable as possible. The more space there is the better but remember to make sure there is space for everyone to sit down. This may mean removing some items and storing them in the garage or another room.

Depending on how your hosting your dinner party, it can be a good idea to create different food stations to stop everyone congregating in one spot. One area could be for drinks, another for desserts, whilst one area can be used to serve the main meal.

Break Out the Good China


If you own a specially bought set of crockery, don’t be afraid to use it. Sometimes people are afraid of it breaking and not being able to replace it but wow your guests with your display pieces. If you don’t have matching sets. embrace it. Mixing and matching styles and colours can bring a unique element to your dinner party.

Scouring vintage shops and car boots can be a great place to find individually crafted items that would make for interesting table fodder.

Set the Mood


The simplest and still effective way to create a lighting atmosphere is by using candles. Nobody will complain about there being too many candles. Using white Christmas lights can make a dramatic impact. They can be used for mood lighting and as a backlight by hiding them away on kitchen cabinets, behind a sofa or tucked behind a food table.

We mentioned rearranging the furniture, this doesn’t stop when it comes to lighting. That soft lamp you adore from your bedroom could be introduced into the dining room and no-one will be any the wiser.

Au Naturale

Au Naturale

Embrace a bit of mother nature into the dining experience. The obvious way is by including fresh flowers but don’t overdo it. If you buy a big bouquet, break it down into small bunches to stop them from getting in your way. They can also stop people from seeing each other if you keep them together.

Go with what the season is offering. If you have a herb garden, sprigs can add a pleasing scent. Another way is to have open containers of various herbs and spices on the table for people to use. It looks nice and adds some freshness to the room.

Height and Texture

Tiered Stand
Photo Credit: Mark R Williamson Photography

Add some height and texture to the table. The easiest way to do this is by buying some cake stands or tiered servers. If you can’t get your hands on these a neat trick is to turn bowls and trays upside and cover with a tablecloth or sheet. For texture, get hold of hygienic materials like some slate or wooden boards.

Don’t forget to arrange the easy to handle foods in the middle of the table and the harder ones on the edges of the table. Leave some space for guests to put their wine down too!

What tips do you have to create a luxury dinner party? Share your ideas over on our Facebook page.

Thank You

We catered for a wedding for Chloe and Steve this weekend. They sent us a message to express their gratitude:

Thank You

Vanilla in Allseasons Team,

We’d like to say thank you for everything on Saturday. Your staff were amazing and so many people commented on the fantastic service and wonderful food.

We would especially like to mention Jo who waited on our table. She was brilliant! Very approachable and helpful and she made things run incredibly smoothly.

Thank you,

Chloe and Steve

Many thanks for letting us help you.

If you have any questions or queries, feel free to contact us.

A Thank You From The Rushgroves

We recently featured a spectacular wedding on our blog that was located in the beautiful Whitmore Hall.

Whitmore Hall Marquee

With the venue only hosting four weddings a year it was a truly unique ceremony that we were grateful to cater for. We are even more overwhelmed by this message we received from the newlyweds:

Thank You Note

“Alexis and myself had a fabulous wedding day and we would particularly like to thank yourself and your team of staff for the excellent food and service. We have subsequently received praise from a number of guests on the quality of the canapés, meal and your staff. We thoroughly enjoyed the food too! For my own part, I would also like to express my gratitude for your assistance with the cheese cake and advice with my speech. Both of which were outside of your remit but very much appreciated!

Thanks to your team.

With kind regards,

Nick and Alexis Rushgrove”

We thoroughly enjoyed the day and would like to thank everyone that was involved in the special day.

A Little Thanks…

We recently catered for a Baby Grow charity ball at Chester Polo Club. It was a privilege to be asked to cater for the charity event and we were even more overwhelmed by the thanks we received from them:

Thank you Note

I would like to say a big thank you to Vanilla in Allseasons for the fantastic catering at my recent charity ball. The food was delicious and many guests commented on how good it was.

As the organiser of the event, I was incredibly grateful for the exceptional service. Nothing was too much trouble for Adam and his team. Although I had lots of last minute additions to the event, all these were calmly accommodated. At one point Adam even stepped in to help put with an electrical problem the band had!

I can wholeheartedly recommend Vanilla in Allseasons for their excellent food and exceptional.

Event Organiser

We just want to say a huge thank you and well done to everyone involved in the event.

A Little Indulgence

Everyone knows that good things come in small packages. Somehow, any dish introduced in miniature form becomes twice as irresistible. Desserts are something that particularly benefit from this.

Some dessert recipes can leave you feeling too full but these smaller versions of classics are a great way to complete a meal or include in a buffet at events. Ranging from dinky pies to tiny tarts and bite-size cakes, why not bring these mini dessert dishes to the table?

We’ve rounded up five petite plates – including peanut butter and chocolate cheese cake, golden Victoria sponges and pear, vanilla and smoke cakes – that are sure to take your fancy as well satisfy that sweet tooth.

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cheesecakes

Mini Cakes - Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cheesecakes

Chocolate can be quite overwhelming (but very, very enjoyable!) in dessert recipes. This cheesecake recipe – combining roasted peanuts, caramel, peanut butter and chocolate – provides a mouthwatering idea for desserts that just melts in the mouth.

Golden Victoria Sponges

Mini Cakes - Victoria Sponges

This British favourite looks even more appetising with the cream and jam bursting from the sides. What a great idea to accompany your afternoon tea, don’t you agree?

Mini Guinness Desserts

Mini Cakes - Guinness Desserts

A healthy twist on the Italian Tiramisu, this delectable coffee and chocolate dessert is accompanied with a fresh, creamy yoghurt top.

Pear, Vanilla and Smoke Cakes

Mini Cakes - Pear, Vanilla and Smoke Cakes

Another small indulgence, that will tantalise those tastebuds: “The smokiness is balanced by the aromatic freshness of the pear, and the nutty dark chocolate pulls these contrasting flavours together”.

Trio of Desserts

Mini Cakes - Dessert Trio

Why not indulge in more than one dessert? Here, at Vanilla in Allseasons, we offer three miniature versions of your favourite dishes, including lemon tart, meringue with fruit and chocolate brownie.

If these don’t tickle those tastebuds, we can tailor make to match your preferences. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any queries.

New Menus for 2013

Recently we compiled a full, comprehensive menu to allow our clients and potential customers to view our menu collections.

With photography from Chelsea Shoesmith and design by ADOmedia, the new menu’s not only look fantastic but also give a full and detailed narrative of our service, style, ethos, ideas and prices.

You will be able to download your copy via the website very soon.

Watch this space, we’ll let you know as soon as they are ready to view.

Murder Mystery Dinner at Upper House Hayfield

Last week we were lucky enough to cater for a fantastic event at a very beautiful venue, Upper House Hayfield. The stunning Grade II listed former hunting lodge provided the perfect setting for this wonderful event.

Think roaring fires, vast wall mounted antlers and fine medieval timbers re-used from a church, in the ceiling and on the walls.

The beautifully dressed tables complimented the wonderfully dressed murder mystery characters.

No murder mystery is complete without a delicious dinner, and that’s where Vanilla in Allseasons came in! We served an array of canapes to get the taste buds tingling and followed with this menu-

Anti Pasto slate
Carpaccio of beef with Parmesan and rocket
Hand cured gravadlax
Chorizo in red wine
Baked Camembert with garlic and white wine
Roast peppers with garlic and thyme on a roasted bread

Duo of beef
Fillet of Cheshire beef , with a Maderia jus
Braised beef and mushroom pie

Punch Romaine,
Fizz, white wine, crushed ice candid peel

To Finish
Miniature trio
Lemon tart with a raspberry crush
Raspberry crème brulee with a citrus shortbread
Chocolate brownie with a hazelnut crumble

Selection of handmade artisan breads made on the day

An absolutely fantastic time was had by all. A wonderful dinner in a stunning venue. We can’t to work with Upper House Hayfield again.

Brilliant photography provided by Rob Whitrow.

Some 5 Star Feedback!

Recently, we catered for the wedding of a lovely couple, Louise and Paul. They sent some fantastic feedback-

“I wanted to say a huge thank you for such an amazing wedding. It was so personal and all our friends have said that it was a stunning venue. You have such a fantastic team. Everyone was raving about the caterers, they were absolutely fantastic. Someone even compared the meal to a Michelin star!”

Thanks Louise and Paul! We really enjoyed being a part of your fantastic wedding and we are thrilled that you and your guests were so impressed by our food.

Example Menus