Saltire Hospitality

Food for thought – treat your guests to inspirational wedding food

Weddings which resemble pre-pandemic celebrations are back on the menu and with that, the chance to treat your friends and families to a proper festive feast.

Katie Bletcher finds out just what’s on trend and what you should be serving up.

Food is so often at the very heart of life’s great celebrations.

Imagine Christmas without a proper spread or Easter without the eggs.

But in the immediate aftermath of the initial lockdown the first couples to wed weren’t able to share a meal with friends, and even when guestlist numbers crept up, Covid restrictions put paid to the popular family style feasts and sharing platters.

Now that the measures have all but disappeared, you’re free to treat your guests to the proper slap-up wedding breakfast you’ve always dreamed of.

So just what should be on the menu to ensure your well-fed guests are talking about your food and drink for years to come?

Clachan by Ballintaggart AM Baxter
Clachan by Ballintaggart PHOTO | A.M Baxter

Eat your heart out

“Maximalism” is a term we’re hearing a lot of this year and when it comes to wedding food it’s become something of a byword for being a bit more extravagant with your menu.

Couples, whether they had to postpone their wedding or not, are taking the opportunity to enjoy that extra course or to upgrade to Champagne instead of Prosecco.

“I get a lot of couples asking for a palate cleanser or choosing from our Premium Selection so I do think, especially with postponed weddings, couples are really pushing the boat out!” says Kate Dobson, wedding planner for Saltire Hospitality (images below).

A swing towards providing your wedding guests with the very best is a trend Rachel Rowley of destination events catering and the cook school by Ballintaggart is also seeing, even if it means sticking to smaller numbers.

The company prides itself on providing restaurant quality fare to real food lovers and instead of doing set menus offers different options, ranging from a three-course wedding breakfast all the way up to an elevated tasting menu of six or seven courses, though those indulgent feasts tend to be reserved for weddings of 10 – 15 people.

“We are definitely seeing a trend where people’s budget hasn’t changed that drastically but their thoughts on numbers have,” explains Rachel.

“Instead of 120 they are having 60 or 70 so they are then having lobster instead of prawns.”

(Clachan by Ballintaggart images below by A.M Baxter.)

Treating a smaller more exclusive guest list to really superb food is also the ethos behind the new Wine and Dine Weddings concept espoused by Edinburgh’s McLarens on the Corner.

These intimate weddings are for couples who want to enjoy quality time with family and friends over delicious food.

Siobhan Leith of McLarens says, “It’s now ok for food to sit front and centre.”

Season’s eating

Saltire Hospitality

Seasonality and provenance have become of paramount importance for couples and caterers alike in recent years with more and more to-be-weds concerned with the wider impact of their wedding menu.

“Using local suppliers and seasonality of the food is always a huge thing couples mention to me when they are looking at our brochure,” says Kate.

“Provenance is so importance to us here at Saltire Hospitality.

“We work really closely with all our suppliers. We are lucky that in Scotland we have access to so many incredible food suppliers.

Our culinary director Bran Jankovic personally hand-picks our suppliers and our wedding couples love to hear about this.”

Ballintaggart has recently teamed up with the Blair Atholl estate to create Clachan by Ballintaggart.

The new three-night wedding package for more intimate weddings, will revolve around an old 18th-century farmhouse barn with a strong emphasis on high quality food which takes full advantage of the Perthshire and wider Scottish larder.

“People who go to Clachan by Ballintaggart want a beautiful venue and they can have beautiful wild venison, they can have salmon cured with local whisky and they get beautiful Perthshire berries,” says Rachel.

Not that you’ll find a strawberry on the Clachan by Ballintaggart menu in September when they simply “don’t taste good!”

And while seasonality and provenance have been growing in importance in recent years, Rachel reckons lockdown encouraged more people to think locally and shop locally.

Clachan by Ballintaggart PHOTO A.M Baxter

Family style

I remember in December 2020 while preparing for the government-stipulated Christmas dinner with only one other household, listening to debates on the radio about the most Covid-secure ways of serving the festive feast.

People were encouraged to bring their own cutlery and portion everything individually.

The family-style shared platters that pre-pandemic had become such a joy at wedding breakfasts had almost overnight become a relic of the past.

But now Kate says engaged couples are relishing the idea of a return to the good old days, “Our wedding couples are just super-excited to be finally celebrating their big day with their friends and families and food is such a big part of the wedding day, the family style or sharing meats and sides is hugely popular right now!”

Writer Claire visited Ballintaggart earlier in the summer

Head to our social to check out all her gorgeous pics from her stay – prepare for some major food envy

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