The Engage!19 London Experience opened on 28 October with a money-can’t-buy medieval feast at Tower of London.
Sarah Haywood, Sarah Haywood Weddings & Celebrations
“I cannot think how we could have opened the social events in a more spectacular way. The dramatic entrance to the Tower and then once inside the walls the beautiful adventure unfolded. Wow! Congratulations and thank you to everyone on this fantastic team.”
Fit for a king or queen
A feast fit for medieval royalty met modern haute cuisine as Blue Strawberry showed why they are known for sensational food and exceptional events. Inspired by the venue’s fascinating story and unusual historic ingredients, the menus took guests – with their modern discerning palates – on an unforgettable journey.
Welcoming guests to the UK’s capital city with a real wow factor, Blue Strawberry and leading industry event partners enthralled the high profile international crowd, attendees of the world’s foremost luxury weddings and events summit.
The warmest of welcomes
Following a regal fanfare, a breathtaking fire show set to the popular ‘Game of Thrones’ theme tune and a tour of the Crown Jewels, welcome receptions were held in the White Tower and Medieval Palace.
Blue Strawberry’s imaginative chefs crafted a bespoke medieval menu for the evening which showcased artisan produce and an abundance of ethically sourced ingredients.
Immersing guests in the Middle Ages, beautifully styled staff greeted the crowd with medieval inspired canapés including Warm mousse of barley and onion ‘soup’ and Soused herring, fennel toast, smoked yoghurt and caviar accompanied by cocktails such as ‘Honey Mead’ (Bourbon, honey, mead, peach and lemon) and ‘Beet of the Drum’ (Rum, Sherry, Falernum, black cherry and beetroot purée).
Key focal points at each of the receptions, Blue Strawberry’s rustic market barrows featured authentically dressed chefs serving ‘meat-fruit’ rillettes and parfaits, which looked intriguingly like fresh fruit, alongside chargrilled sourdough toasts.
Opulent medieval feast
The evening continued in the New Armories with the dramatic reveal of an enchanting medieval feast, set under a magnificent canopy of Autumnal florals. The opulent table was adorned with decorative game pies with accompaniments such as Fire pit root vegetables, baked Cheddar and pickled walnuts and Salt and hay baked heritage carrots with granola, birch syrup and crispy sage.
Adding to the theatrical experience, chefs carved Roasted Gloucester Old Spot infused with Somerset cider, Rare roasted dry aged beef with horseradish, parmesan and apple salsa and Pot roast purple cauliflower cheese, mustard and onion sauce.
A regal conclusion
A dedicated cheese station included a whole wheel of Vintage Cheddar with grapes, figs, oatcakes and smoked apple jam, individual Banbury cakes and Tunworth and beetroot caramel on sourdough toasts. Guests with a sweet tooth enjoyed desserts such as ‘Quaking Pudding’ – Nutmeg and cinnamon panna cotta with sour apple, Mandarin and Douglas fir pine bavarois, pine nut sablé and Griottine cherry trifle with saffron custard and Sherry syllabub with violets.
Find out more about how we can help you create a regal medieval feast, or any other creative concepts for memorable events by contacting our knowledgeable team on 020 7733 3151 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Venue: Tower of London, Historic Royal Palaces | Event Creative Director, Planning & Production: Sarah Haywood Weddings | Technical Production & Set Design: Wise Productions | Floral Design: WildAbout | Music Producer/Entertainment: ALR Music | Signage, Branding, Stationery: TPD Design House | Metal Worker: Julian Carter Designs | Historical Entertainment: Past Pleasures
Photography credit – John Cain
Giving guests the warmest of welcomes with exquisite canapés and a chilled flute of Champagne is the ideal way to begin a wedding breakfast.
Why offer canapés?
Chosen with care, the canapés set the tone and provide a wonderful opportunity for couples to inject some fun – and a little more of their personality into their day.
From a practical point of view, a canapé reception staves off hunger pangs until the feasting begins in earnest and helps to avoid the danger of guests getting too tipsy!
How to choose?
Couples often worry about pleasing everyone and ask how they can make the right decision. We always advise them to start with what THEY like as a couple.
Uncle Jeremy might hate shellfish, cousin Caroline loves Mexican food and the maid of honour is a clean-eating vegan. It is YOUR DAY, go with what YOU like, just make sure that there is enough variety to cover the main dietary requirements.
How many canapés?
We are always happy to advise but in most circumstances, this would generally be dictated by the duration of the reception and whether you would like canapés that are ultra delicate or slightly more substantial. If it’s just 45 minutes let’s say, then 3 canapes per person will usually be adequate.
If you are looking at a two hour wait before guests are sitting for starters, you may want to consider more generous options such as 6-8 canapes per person, or some couples decide to provide a food station (again giving a chance to build on a theme), mini-meals or perhaps a miniature afternoon tea.
Our pick of seasonal canapés
Summer – Linseed cracker, smoked sour cream and caviar; Scallop ceviche with strawberry and tomato sauce vierge; Compressed melon, smoked oil, mint and chilli (v) Parmesan cone with burrata ice cream, tomato and strawberry jam, basil puree (v).
Autumn – Squid ink puff, smoked trout mousse, avocado; Tunworth aero, raspberry vinegar and Thai basil (v); Cannon of lamb, smokey aubergine, strained yoghurt and fresh mint; Seabass ceviche, radish, grains and ponzu.
Winter – Padron peppers, roast corn and nduja; Short rib puff, chives and truffle mayonnaise; Pork ciccioli, 5 spiced cracker, jalapeno and gherkin slaw, apple pickle; Roast potato, sour cream, lardo and caviar.
Spring – Thai style aubergine, mint and lime leaf salad, slow cooked egg yolk (v); Chargrilled beef Ssamjang with jalapeno and truffle mayonnaise; Almond tuille, foie gras terrine, sauternes pate de fruit and passion fruit caramel; ‘The Hawaiian’ – Chargrilled sour dough, bellota ham, pickled pineapple, basil and candied tomato.
The demand for eco-friendly wedding suppliers has never been higher and minimising waste will always be a key priority for wedding caterers.
Once the couple has shared insight into their guests and the format for the day, they should allow the caterer to guide them as to how much food is likely to be required. As wedding and event caterers, we create incredible experiences every day and are well practised at gauging required levels (whilst ensuring there are always back-up options).
We would never advise cutting back on the welcome reception – we never have canapés leftover at weddings – guests are usually pretty hungry at this point in the day! If couples want to cut back, we often guide them away from providing lots of late night snacks, as this is most often where avoidable wastage can occur.
Allergies and other dietary considerations
Careful management in this area is part and parcel of what we do every day, and an element of our work that has significantly grown over the last five years.
In terms of canapés, we would always guide couples to select options that they love but that also work for a variety of dietaries. Wait staff are well trained to assist guests with allergies – this is obviously something we take very seriously.
We would love to hear from you, and to discuss how we can help you to create the wedding day of your dreams. Contact our knowledgeable team of wedding experts on 020 7733 3151 or at email@example.com
Photo credit: William Reavell
The world’s foremost luxury weddings and events summit, Engage! arrives in London this Autumn, kicking off with a spectacular welcome party at Tower of London with Blue Strawberry. Working closely with the Historic Royal Palaces team and wedding industry luminary, Sarah Haywood, the Blue Strawberry team are planning an extravagent experience for guests, taking inspiration from the party’s iconic setting.
Milan Thakrar, Business Development Manager at Historic Royal Palaces
“We are thrilled to be welcoming the Engage!19 Summit to London and to be opening the doors of our iconic palaces to industry leaders from all over the world. Recognised as Crown Accredited suppliers due to their extensive expertise and outstanding offer, Blue Strawberry were the ideal choice to welcome delegates on the opening night – setting the tone perfectly to begin this high profile symposium, for a renowned global audience.”
The Enage!19 London Experience will take place between 28-31 October, across Historic Royal Palaces’ portfolio, alongside Rosewood London, and in association with Sarah Haywood Weddings. The sold-out summit invites attendees from around the world to gain key insights from leading events, wedding, and business innovators, in addition to offering networking opportunities within London’s awe-inspiring palaces.
Rebecca Grinnals and Kathryn Arce of Engage! Summits
“We are beyond delighted to be partnering with Historic Royal Palaces to showcase some of the most legendary palaces in the world to our global audience of top luxury wedding and special event planners, designers, media and other influencers. The anticipation and buzz among the entire industry is beyond our wildest expectations and we look forward to planning an extraordinary three days and nights with a dream team of top British talent.”
Stuart Jenkins, Managing Director at Blue Strawberry and Table Talk
“Being hand-picked to represent not only Historic Royal Palaces, but also London and the wider UK, to make that vital first impression – at such an esteemed global event – is incredibly exciting for the whole team. The party will echo the drama and magnificence of the iconic Tower of London setting whilst providing a unique ‘money can’t buy’ experience that our esteemed guests will never forget.”
Stay tuned for more as this spectacular event unfolds this Autumn…