The Wild Fork at Henley Royal Regatta 2016

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The Henley Royal Regatta, celebrating over 160 years of sporting excellence is the optimum setting for entertaining and so naturally, we were over the moon last year when we heard we would have an enclosure during the 2016 Regatta. We brought our quintessential country style to Temple Island Meadows, flaunting our unique approach to British dining.

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We have to say, and of course we are not biased… our enclosure was the most beautiful on the river. With an optimum spot on the start line where rowing battles are often fought their hardest, we were set for a win from the word go. This coupled with our stunning stretch tent from 10×15 structures gave us sure confidence that with just an ounce of our contemporary British style our enclosure would wow.

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Guests could enjoy the river views from our outdoor space complete with modern, stylish seating, plenty of space for relaxing and a pretty cool wooden boat, just to finish off the look…

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Our team loved the wooden boat – the perfect spot for a Regatta selfie!

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Our relaxed country vibes oozed into the interior. Our long, social banqueting tables provided the optimum atmosphere for mingling, friends, couples and colleagues alike. With finishing touches like our garden bird table names and terracotta pots of deliciously scented herbs the place was brought to life.

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Who’s heard of the phrase, ‘Brunch without booze is just a sad breakfast?’ because this certainly became our mantra. Everybody was greeted with the option of Pimms or Bubbles before moving into our enclosure for a plethora of tasty brunch items.

As well as top ups of Pimms & Bubbles we had an array of fresh juices on offer.

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The brunch bar was teaming with artisan yoghurts and homemade granola, warm, flaky pastries and danishes and healthy smoothie shots to make up for the naughty drinks on circulation!

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Also being circulated were treats from our wood fired oven: our chefs fired up some baked gypsy eggs – the most popular breakfast choice of the week.

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On arrival, our guests chose which time they would like to be sat, and so after enjoying watching the rowing, chatting with their fellow colleagues and friends and taking in the beautiful setting, people sat down for their lunch.

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Our daily menu featured:

A selection of homemade Bread & Butter

The Wild Fork Duck Board: Duck Rillette, Home Smoked Duck Breast, Duck Liver Parfait, Pickles & Chutney

Homemade Channel Island Crab Quiche, Mixed Salad

Charred Lamb Shoulder, Grilled Spring Vegetables, Butterbeans, Salsa Verde, Tzatziki & Flat Breads

Wood Fired Oven Chicken & Heirloom Tomato Salad

A Selection of Classic English Desserts & a British Cheese Board

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And, as if that wasn’t enough – available from 4pm we had a selection of speciality teas, scones and tea time cakes.

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Throughout the day and into the evening our fully stocked, rustic bar offered Strawberry Daiquiris and Cucumber Collins along with a selection of premium spirits, locally brewed West Berkshire Brewery Ale, wine & soft drinks.

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It’s fair to say our guests were thoroughly spoilt, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. It really was the premium spot for client entertaining, or simply enjoying a British sporting event in the comfort of great hospitality and a relaxed but professional atmosphere. The feedback was incredible and we are already making plans for next year. See you there?

Tropical Wedding Theming

This year we’ve seen plenty of pineapples and palm leaves creeping their way onto the Wedding scene in the form of the Tropical Wedding theme.

There is an abundance of bright and beautiful tropic vibes on Rock My Wedding, with inspiration from both real Weddings and themed shoots.

It seems to be that, if you can’t have a destination Wedding, you bring the destination to you, which we think is a great idea! Bringing tropical fruits, luscious leaves and hibiscus plants into your Wedding day is sure to get your guests hula dancing the night away.

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This colourful pineapple table centrepiece is from a Bournemouth Beach Wedding Photographed by Paul Underhill Photography and featured on Boho Weddings‘ breathtaking blog. Painting pineapples gold brings glitz and glamour to the table and enhances those lovely coral and orange hues. Gold tableware also compliments your table arrangements and will brighten up your white linen, pairing nicely with the gold fruit.

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Pineapples aren’t just great for decorating your tropical paradise, but make the best tropical cocktails! With a wedge of pineapple and a squeeze of lime, your Wedding cocktail can whisk you away to the tropics with every gulp. (It’s also handy to have a guest with beautiful nails so you can have super photographs like this one from Heather & Jared Photography, also from Boho Weddings’ blog!)

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Pineapples aren’t the only fruit perfect for adding a tropical twist to your Wedding day. Citrus fruits, papaya and kiwi can all add to your day both visually and through taste!

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You can get tropical from the word go. Theming your Wedding invitations with botanical foliage is a great way to give your guests an idea of what is to come. Both of these botanical beauties are from Etsy, the first from TiedandTwo and the second from CitrusPressCo and are both equally gorgeous.

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As you’re starting on a tropical note, it’s great to end on one too. This Photo Booth Pack from Party Pieces is perfect for capturing some fun and creative images from your big day.

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Their cupcake toppers are also a fun finishing touch for simple pastel coloured cupcakes or slices of your Wedding cake.

We love the tropical theme and if you would like more inspiration and ideas or are interested in our services, please email jaz@thewildfork.co.uk.

A Valentine’s Night In

Have you left your Valentine’s plans a little late and found yourself struggling for reservations? There isn’t any need to panic, in fact, a quiet night in with the one you love is often a nicer option than battling the crowds on Valentine’s evening.

We’ve lovingly crafted the perfect Valentine’s menu, including an intimate sharing supper for two and a deliciously decadent cocktail certain to impress.

Impress on Arrival

There’s no time to spare, impress your loved one on arrival with a glass of Minted Berry Fizz. Your relationship is a celebration after all, and what is a celebration without bubbles? With fresh berries, zingy mint & lemon, this cocktail is sure to awaken the senses.

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Ingredients (per glass):

1/2 measure gin
1/2 measure berry liqueur (Chambord or Creme de Casis would work well)
1 tsp lemon juice
4-5 berries (raspberries, blueberries or strawberries)
Prosecco to top up
3 mint leaves
Crushed ice

Equipment

Method:

  1. Put berries, 2 mint leaves, lemon, gin & berry liqueur into a Boston shaker and muddle until a deep berry colour and all of the flavours are well mixed
  2. Add a small amount of crushed ice and shake well
  3. Using a hawthorn strainer, strain the mix into a tall glass
  4. Top up with prosecco and garnish with a mint leaf

The Main Event

Your dinner should be fit for a King or Queen, your King or Queen. A rich dish full of wow, pleasing both aesthetically and on the palette. Our Venison Wellington for Two is a warming and wholesome dish, ideal for a cosy evening by candle light, out of the February Frost.

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Ingredients:

500g trimmed venison loin

500g chesnut mushrooms
300ml double cream
1/2 glass port

250g plain flour
125ml milk
1 egg
sprig fresh thyme

1 sheet of good quality puff pastry
2 egg yolks
cling film
salt & pepper

Method:

For the mushroom duxelle

  1. Chop the chestnut mushrooms in a food processor
  2. Fry in a hot pan until dry
  3. Add the port and reduce to a syrup
  4. Add cream and reduce by half, season with salt and pepper and leave to cool

For the pancake

  1. Mix flour, 1 whole egg, milk, thyme and a pinch of salt into a batter
  2. In a lightly oiled frying pan make two pancakes as thin as possible

To assemble

  1. In a hot pan, seal the venison loin
  2. Overlap the pancakes on a strip of cling film and spread a thin layer of duxelle on top
  3. Lay the venison loin in the centre and using the edge of the cling film, roll into a tight cylinder and twist the ends to seal
  4. Lay the sheet of good quality puff pastry on a floured surface and brush with egg yolk
  5. Unwrap the pancake-wrapped venison from the clingfilm and place into the middle of the pastry sheet
  6. Wrap the pastry around the loin, creating a parcel, making sure all edges are covered and sealed
  7. Turn over seem side down leaving a nice tidy top to your venison wellington
  8. With the remaining egg yolk, brush the top of the wellington for a glaze
  9. Chill the wellington for at least 30 minutes before using the back of a knife to mark the pastry, being careful not to go all the way through
  10. Heat the oven to 220c/200c fan/gas 7
  11. Lightly oil a non-stick oven tray and heat
  12. Place the wellington seem-side down onto the hot tray and bake for 10 minutes
  13. Reduce temperature to 180c/160c fan/gas 5 and bake for a further 20 minutes for medium, 30 for well done
  14. Rest and serve with blanched seasonal greens and a rich red wine jus

In front of your favourite movie

You’ve done the impressing, it’s time to sit back and relax. This quick and easy dish can be prepared in advance, and so will only keep you in the kitchen for minutes leaving plenty of time to put your feet up on the sofa, in front of your favourite movie enjoying crisp meringues dipped in flavoured cream.

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Ingredients:

3 large egg whites (room temp)
175g caster sugar
Piping bags
250ml whipping cream
1 vanilla pod
200g berries
Fruit syrup or puree

Method:

  1. Whisk the egg whites with an electric whisk for one minute on a low setting, before increasing the speed to medium for a further 2-3 minutes until they form stiff peaks
  2. Add the sugar one tablespoon at a time whilst whisking
  3. Whisk for 5-10 minutes, until the mixture is stiff and glossy/shiny
  4. If you’d like to colour your meringue like ours, squeeze or paint strips of colour down the inside of your piping bag, spoon in the meringue, cut the tip and squeeze 3cm round blobs onto a parchment lined baking tray
  5. Dry the meringues out in an oven at 100c for 45 minutes to 1 hour. The meringue should be dry and crisp on the outside but still slightly chewy in the centre
  6. Take your meringues out of the oven and set aside to cool for 1 hour
  7. Slice down the centre of the vanilla pod and scrape the seeds into a bowl of the whipping cream
  8. Whip the cream and put into a serving bowl
  9. Dice the berries and put into a bowl with your syrup/puree, ensuring all berries are coated
  10. Assemble the DIY eton mess on a serving board with the bowl of cream, a pile of crunchy meringues and a bowl of the berry mixture. Decorate with extra berries and mint leaves

 

Time to get shopping!

Recipe | Yoghurt Panna Cotta, Strawberry Jelly

Our menu is constantly changing, and this year we see a new addition to our Charity Event menu, an addition perfect for the summer season. With a light and creamy base, topped with the jelly’s distinct summer flavour, this dish is vibrant both visually and in taste.

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If you’re entertaining this summer, why don’t you give the recipe a go?

Serves 8

For the Panna Cotta:

300g Whipping Cream
1 Vanilla Pod
150g Caster Sugar
3 Bronze Leaf Gelatine Leaves
300g Natural Yoghurt
300g Double Cream

For the Jelly

500g Strawberry Purée
3 Bronze Leaf Gelatine Leaves

For the Panna Cotta

1) Bring whipping cream, vanilla pod and sugar to the boil
2) Stir in pre-soaked gelatine
3) Pass through a fine sieve into natural yoghurt
4) Cool over an ice bath until cold, but not set
5) Semi-whip the double cream
6) Fold together and fill your moulds
7) Refrigerate until set

For the Jelly

1) Bring strawberry purée to a simmer
2) Add pre-soaked gelatine
3) Once yoghurt is set, pour jelly on top to fill your mould
4) Add garnish of your choice – honey comb, strawberries and mint works perfectly.

Keep your eyes peeled for more recipes!

Images from Shannon Robinson at SLR Photography

 

 

 

Great Ormond Street’s 18th Annual Charity Clay Pigeon Shoot

On the 9th September 2015 we catered for Great Ormond Street Hospital and Marie Curie’s 18th Annual Charity Clay Shoot at The Royal Berkshire Shooting School.

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The day began bright and early at 8am, where we served a hearty breakfast before the shoot. With bacon, sausage and egg rolls, sweet pastries and fresh fruit, everyone was geared up for an action-packed day.

Lunch guests joined the 25 teams at midday after shooting, for a canapé, cocktail and champagne reception back at the Shoot Lodge.

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With top-ups flowing, guests were escorted up to a viewing arena ready for the Black Cats and Red Arrows displays.

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After being entertained by the RAF Red Arrows the guests made their way into the marquee for lunch. Their dining experience began with our Smoked Salmon, Beetroot Remoulade and Sourdough Toast.

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For the main course they enjoyed Corn Fed Chicken Supreme, Crushed Violet Potatoes, Green Beans and Salsa Verde. Their luncheon ended with Lemon Posset and a Cheeseboard of Black Bomber and Quince Jelly.

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Once again we loved every minute of catering for such a fantastic cause and we are already looking forward to next year’s!

Wedding Inspiration | Beauty & The Beast – Halloween Elegance

With Halloween edging closer, we thought we would share the Beauty & The Beast themed Wedding Shoot we were lucky enough to be part of last year. It really is the perfect theme for Halloween, with no ghouls, ghosts or googley eyes in sight, simply Halloween elegance.

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Well Barn Shoot Lodge was the chosen venue, full of rustic wooden timbers, golden antique mirrors and walls adorned with taxidermy heads.

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Tables were adorned with deep red roses and dark, luscious foliage from Green Parlour and the most magnificent cake from Choccywoccydoodah you have ever seen.

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With eerie, melting candles, this cake screams Halloween like other.

For dinner, we served an array of wonderfully whimsical dishes that would wow any Wedding guest on your big day. All of these dishes had the fright factor, whilst still appearing mouthwateringly delicious.

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Our Pheasant Leg, Fondant Potato, Poached Pear and Savoy Cabbage was an exquisite accompaniment to the table.

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Our Faggot and Rack of Rabbit added an injection of traditional Halloween colour, with edible flowers on a black slate.

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Even the bride and groom flaunted that Halloween colour scheme with pumpkin hues and vintage lace.

It really was a fantastic Wedding shoot, and we’re sure it can be interpreted into the most elegant Halloween Wedding.

Click here for the 360 degree panorama backstage; http://nikreations.co.uk/indie360/beautyandbeast/

Food | The Wild Fork
Photographs | Shannon Robinson
Flowers | Green Parlour
Taxidermy | Death & Glory
Styling | Ruby Weddings
Cake | Choccywoccydoodah
The Beast | Shaun Hayes
Belle | Rachel Hirst
Make up & Hair | Zoe Campbell
Dress | Butterfly Bridal Boutique
Suit | Clements and Church
Organiser | Ruby and Stardust
Venue | Well Barn Estate

Citadel Festival Eats

Last weekend one of our event coordinators had the pleasure of attending Citadel Festival, and her tastebuds had the pleasure of trying some of the delicious festival eats they had on offer.

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Situated in Victoria Park, London, Ben Howard and Bombay Bicycle Club headlined the day, with some other great acts including Dan Croll, Rhodes and Nick Mulvey. All of whom provided the perfect soundtrack for a relaxing, sunny, Sunday in the park.

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Along with great musical treats, the day was full of interesting activities to take part in. From beautiful festival make overs to Wild Wellbeing’s group yoga sessions, cocktail making classes to debates from Sunday Papers Live, there really was something for everyone. That something for our event coordinator, Jasmine, was the food;

Naturally, working for The Wild Fork means you’re going to be a foodie; and Citadel was teaming with fantastic foodies looking to tantalise their tastebuds with some original flavours and ethnic street foods. As well as lots of street food vendors, Richard Turner hosted ‘Sunday Feasts’ in an extremely funky purpose built building for those who booked in advance. As executive chef of Hawksmoor and owner of Turner and George Artisan Butcher, Richard offered his guests a fantastic menu including a 7 Hour Slow Roast Shoulder of Lamb, Raw Summer Vegetable Salad and Mint Aioli. Unfortunately I didn’t get to experience the Sunday Feast, however I am sure the dishes were just as mouthwatering as the smells drifting from the building.

There was no lack of variation on the food front; every vendor had something completely different on offer. With The Saucy Chip Celebrating the Great British Chip, Santa Fe serving all things Tex Mex, La Di Da Cupcakes and their visually stunning treats, Cupp Bubble Tea offering a fresh outlook on tea, The Thoroughly Wild Meat Co introducing festival goers to their tender Salt Marsh Lamb, and Mama’s Jerk Station just to name a few, you can really see the diversity in dishes.

Being Mexican food mad, I started my food journey at Santa Fe Catering’s Mexican food van. Absolutely starving, with horrifically healthy bright green spinach smoothie in hand, I opted for a Burrito. It really did not disappoint. A generous helping of al dente rice, warm and incredibly meaty beef chilli and lashings of chilli sauce, Santa Fe really did create the perfect Burrito.

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After a lot of to-ing and fro-ing from stage to stage, my appetite peaked once again. For dessert, I opted for outrageously delicious Churros from Los Churros Amigos. Freshly made right in front of my eyes, their staff gave me an option of plain or cinnamon. After being smothered in a cinnamon sugar bath, my Churros were ready. I was handed a pot of belgian chocolate dipping sauce and was sent on my way, a very very happy customer.

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Without a cloud in the sky, the sun was shining all day long. A perfect excuse to have an ice-cream, no? Numerous traditional ice cream vans were scattered across the venue, but what caught my eye was a very cute and original ice-cream van, which belonged to Lickalix. Lickalix’ ice lolly menu was enormous, but the refreshing cocktail flavours were a winner for me. My pina colada lolly was the perfect accompaniment to Nick Mulvey’s soothing tones.

Ben Howard, my main reason for purchasing tickets was to be performing in half an hour, and I was desperate not to be the 5ft tall girl at the back of the crowd tiptoeing for the rest of the evening. But of course, after a long day and with the sun now setting, it had to be dinner time… We raced to a vendor I had noticed earlier on in the day, who’s menu looked exquisite, and who just happened to be right next to the stage that Ben would be performing on. What a happy coincidence. The Thoroughly Wild Meat Company seemed to have similar priorities to our own here at The Wild Fork; using delicious, local and high quality ingredients and only the best quality meats from local suppliers. Their Salt Marsh Lamb Tagine was brilliant. I was so impressed that even being one of their last customers for the day, the texture and tastes were still perfect.

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Citadel was a really lovely place for a foodie, and I will definitely be attending in 2016 for some more flavour sensations. Thanks to all!