Expert advice about catering

Here is a selection of Q&As from Your Hampshire and Dorset Wedding magazine whether it be about flowers, hair and makeup, fashion, wedding themes, health & beauty, cakes, stationery, legal advice. If you would like your question answered by our experts, please email it to


Winter warmers

Winter warmers

Q. We want our wedding breakfast to reflect the season with lots of hearty dishes that are healthy too and cater for all our guests. What would you suggest?

A. Sally Pickles says: Sally says: Winter is the time when we look to comforting, warming food, but that doesn't have to mean it's not healthy. With continued demand for vegan and vegetarian options, wonderful dishes such as butternut, lentil and kale Wellington, fondant potato, honey parsnips, thyme carrots, shredded sprouts, celeriac and vegetarian gravy can all be included. Chicken Wellington is also proving a big hit as people increasingly try and avoid eating too much red meat.

It's the time of year when desserts come into their own too. You can't beat a sticky toffee pudding or even a winter warming trifle with a dash of amaretto or sherry.

Sally Pickles


Food, glorious food

Food, glorious food

Q. We've had to postpone our summer wedding and are getting married in the autumn instead. We're having to rethink our catering plans and I'm worried there won't be as many exciting options available.

A. Tony Beales says: Tony says: On the contrary, this time of year offers some of the most sensational produce, available right here on our Dorset doorstep. Some of my personal autumnal favourites include New Forest mushrooms, which our chefs use to create arancini; delightful stuffed rice balls with shaved parmesan, rocket and a truffle mayo.

You can get some incredibly tasty butternut squash from Sopley Farm, which we use in our colourful risotto, finished with Italian hard cheese, poached free-range egg and basil oil.

However, it's with desserts that you can really have fun with some of autumn's finest. Take the humble pear for example, beautifully crafted into a modern version of the traditional belle Hélène – perfectly poached and served with Chantilly cream, a warm chocolate sauce and toasted hazelnut granola; utterly delicious!

Tony Beales


Food, glorious food

Food, glorious food

Q. We're great foodies and don't want to skimp on the menu for our chilled al fresco wedding. What would you suggest that's less formal than the traditional three-course sit-down meal but still delicious?

A. Sally Ann Pickles says: An outdoor wedding is all about having fun with your friends and family, so forget formalities. Replace a starter with roving canapés or sharing platters from grazing stations. Swap the main course for vibrant, eclectic colourful salads boosted with a topper such as chargrilled halloumi or poached salmon; that way your guests get to choose their kind of protein. The perfect finale to outdoor grazing must be delightful mini pots of deliciousness. So everyone gets a bite-size taste of their favourite dessert, make sure your caterer covers the whole range from salted caramel and chocolate pots to Eton mess.

Of course an outdoor wedding is always perfect with sun, sea, sand and the rustic feel of the great outdoors and we're lucky enough to have all bases covered in this region.

Sally Ann Pickles

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