Diary of a Boho Bride – Rachel and Philip, Entry 4: Extreme Afternoon Tea

Today we are talking food with Boho Bride Rachel. Last time we met with Rachel she was telling us all about her hunt for the perfect dress . Today Rachel is talking us through her wedding day menus choices and how she is intending to cater the wedding herself!….(Brave women!)

boho bride

 (Photo credit www.tuxandtalesphoto.co.uk)


I’ll pass the Blog over to Rachel so she can tell you all about the plans she has for her wedding food………….

Phil and I never much fancied a ‘proper’ wedding breakfast at our wedding. Finding something that 150 guests will all enjoy is obviously impossible, and we didn’t quite fancy the formal vibe of the three course meal. Our mutual appreciation of pork made a hog roast an easy choice for the evening, but what of the main meal of the day?

At my sister’s wedding, there was a fabulous buffet, and that was the direction our minds first turned in. Then, inspired by wedding blogs and possibly temporary insanity, I declared that we should have afternoon tea, and that I would cater it myself. Phil was immediately on board, ‘as long as there’s quiche!’, and in the blink of an eye we were the proud owners of forty two-tier cake stands from Tiger. They worked out cheaper than hiring, and, remarkably, cheaper than the cardboard cake stands which seem to be all over the place at the moment.

From repeated experience of catering for buffets in the past (though never for so many people), I knew that just cake wouldn’t cut it. It’s always the savoury things that get munched up first, which I think must be a sign that we’re officially grown-ups. Some things were immediately obvious – plain scones with homemade jam and clotted cream, my mum’s carrot cake, chocolate brownies from Nigella’s How To Be A Domestic Goddess (if there’s no brownies, there’s no party), savoury mini muffins and cheese scones.

On the homemade jam front, I have a whole cupboard full of jars in my utility room at the moment. We’ve got a mixture of blackberry and apple and plain blackberry and despite me bubbling one batch all over my range cooker, it’s very tasty. Who knows, maybe exploding your jam helps add flavour?

wedding food - homemade jam Rachel’s home-made jam

The plan is to have one savoury cake stand and one sweet cake stand per table, and to have all sorts of lovely different things for people to nibble at. We’re going to do a cheese board with some delicious local cheeses (Lincolnshire Poacher, Red Leicester, Stilton… my tummy is grumbling at the thought!), and my mother in law to be has whipped up some of her very delicious chutney.

The internet has been fertile ground for all sorts of yummy sounding savouries to add to our collection of yummies. I’ve been pinning away on Pinterest and am getting excited about trying out some of the new recipes soon. I’m particularly excited at the prospect of crispy ravioli nibbles and chunks of homemade focaccia.


wedding food  - sweet

Photo credits and full recipes for each item 1) Mini Victoria sponge cakes  2) Nigella’s Brownies   3) Lemon bars  4) Blueberry, lemon and mint drizzle cake  5) Bakewell tart 6) Gluten Free Scones   7) Chocolate and rose cookies



wedding food  - savoury

Photo credits and full recipes for each item 1) Smoked salmon and saffron pasties 2) Olive and rosemary focaccia  3) Ham, cheese and mustard muffins  4) Stilton & poppy seed sablés  5) Fluffy topped cheese and onion tarts  6) Crispy Ravioli Nibbles  7)  Tomato vol-au-vents 


Of course, this is going to be a bit of a mission. We’re on the hunt for a chest freezer on Freecycle and eBay at the moment, so we can fill it with things that can be frozen in advance, and there will be three days of baking prior to the wedding to get everything else done. It’s going to be a little bit frantic, but there’s nothing I like better than spending hours on end in the kitchen creating tasty morsels, so it sounds like the perfect run up to the wedding to me!

wedding food - homemade scones and jam Rachels’s homemade scones and jam


I’d love to hear about any particularly tasty nibbly recipes you might have up your sleeve – especially if they’re gluten-free or vegan. Would you ever cater for your own wedding breakfast, or do you think I’m utterly insane?  


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    Carolyn Bavister

    Yum! Great cake stands too and for that price a total bargain!

    Just a bit of info which may help is that we put 3 cake stands out per table, 1 of sandwiches, 1 of hot savouries and 1 of cakes/sweet treats and replenish them around 3 times. For 150 guests we would have around 6 serving staff replenishing and also topping up teapots etc.

    Best of luck and cannot wait to read more of your wedding plans!


    Thanks Sarah – that is very helpful! I’m just glad we have CostCo membership because we’re going to be getting through a LOT of flour!


    Thanks Carolyn – that’s great advice! Definitely worth bearing in mind. Each of our tables is going to have a tea monitor :)


    There’s a great recipe that both my mum and I use, I think you can find it on the Guardian website, for Ginger macaroons.

    Basically just ground almonds, egg whites, sugar and ginger – proper nice and gooey.

    I’ve also made a nice choco cake with ground nuts and flour at some point (unknown recipe, must be able to find online) which is another good gluten free one. Very difficult to make gluten free without nuts or dariy, so I hope there’s not anyone with lots of intolerances…I’ve made a polenta cake once upon a time, but quite difficult not to get dry?

    Vegan wise…maybe a fridge cake?

    Jill Hanby

    Wow Rachel, that sounds like such a lovely idea – what a way to treat your guests and make it your day!! Good luck with all the baking and making, it sounds like a gorgeous feast! X


    Wow! This sounds so delicious and so much fun for your guests to be a part of. Hope it all goes well x

    Chris Hutson


    I’m not brave enough to cater for that many people myself. We are getting caterers in. I am vegetarian and my step daughter is vegan so will look with interest to see what you find. One caterer we looked at had cheese or salad not inspiring at all :-(


    You could ask all the guests to bring a cake with them? Then they could have little labels on them saying who’d made them and what sort of cake they are… Or I know someone who got all her guests to bring a different chutney for the cheeses! It could take at least a little bit of the pressure off you!

    Also how about mini yorkshire puddings with cocktail sausages / beef inside? I made these once and they were really cute! Maybe investigate how well they freeze?! I’ve frozen yorkshire puddings before and that works quite well!


    Looks fab! On the gluten-free front, I’ve been making lots of yummy Hummingbird Bakery cupcakes this year with gluten-free self-raising flour and baking powder (you can look up the gluten free explanations of the recipes online) and they are great. Best of luck with it all, we are doing our own afternoon tea for our wedding too so loved reading about your plans!


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