Hot on the heels of our newly updated suppliers list, we felt it was important to give an insight into our favourite wedding contributors. Over the cosy Winter period, we will be posting 'chats' with our favourite suppliers to better inform our bridal couples about the service offered by these fantastic companies.
Firstly, our thoughts turned to food, and Coombe Trenchard's favoured caterer: Oaktree Occasions. We are huge fans of Oaktree Occasions here at Coombe Trenchard: they offer exacting, friendly professionalism and ensure each and every morsel of food served is a delight. Caroline and Jo are also incredibly efficient and wonderful to work with, and we do so enjoy welcoming them to Coombe Trenchard.
How would you describe your business?
Catering Specialists for every and any event, delivering stunning, handmade locally sourced food, chosen by our clients to their exact specifications, served to you in an exceptionally professional way with a unique eye for detail in every area of our business.
What is your favourite thing about being involved in the wedding industry?
Every week, every client, menu and location, being different!
The excitement of meeting a prospective client, especially those with a challenge or conundrum that needs solving, be that menu choices to please everyone, which style of service to have-sharing-informal-plated, resolve any timing issues and advise how to best plan your day. Generally being able to pass on all our invaluable knowledge and ability to problem solve to give our clients the best solutions and ensure a hassle free flawless day to remember, ending with an open and honest relationship between us ,which is as it should be when we are trusted to look after clients on one of the most important days of there lives!
Can you describe Coombe Trenchard in three words?
Endless Delightful Possibilities
What meal do you feel best fits Coombe Trenchard’s unique atmosphere?
We would always advise using the seasons to guide you and honestly we have such a wide range of menus and styles of service, with careful styling and Coombe Trenchard’s unique locations pretty much anything is a possibility!
What advice would you offer bridal couples when choosing their caterer?
Do your homework first! Professional wedding and event caterers will normally adhere to a set of standards which are clear to see.
Always try and meet face to face at their premises if you can: you should be able to gauge straight away their professionalism, and whether they are everything they proclaim to be. Have a rough idea of timings (any experienced wedding caterer should be able to assist you with this) and put some thought to your whole wedding party and the needs of the group as a whole, for example Grandma may not like your favourite spicy treat that you would love to have!
Tell your caterer everything about your special day and how you envisage it to be, your dreams, your worries and anything unique that may affect the caterers, (such as disappearing on horseback for two hours for photographs after the ceremony)
The quotation should be clear, concise and as transparent as possible based on the information given. This will ensure there are no hidden costs to you. Your caterer will be an important part of your day, we would expect to have a reasonable dialogue with any bride and groom before the day, so you also need to be comfortable with your caterer.
Tastings should always be available to help make those final decisions, remember it is also a business transaction so ask for terms and conditions, how to secure your booking (you don’t want your caterer to double book you), and payment terms...sorry.... but it is easy to get swept up in the occasion.
Finally any reputable wedding caterer of any standing should have a wealth of testimonials, Google reviews and social media reviews, these are a good way to get an insight into their business and give you peace of mind.
What is your favourite thing to cook/serve to bridal couples?
It’s not necessarily a particular dish (although the delight when guests are offered a delicious canapé with a glass of Pimms or bubbles is always a pleasure to behold) what will always be the most important is that we have executed all areas of our cuisine, drinks and food service to our exacting high standards, and that each and every one of our couples is happy with their own particular menu, executed by us to them and their guests.
How should bridal couples choose from the amazing options on your menus?
Pretty much anything goes these days; we have to offer lots of styles of food and service which can be daunting! A lot of couples may start with their favourite dishes and we can build a menu around these. If you are having lots of photos in the fabulous gardens your guests will gratefully receive drinks and canapés on the Terrace whilst you capture your special day.
Think of the style of service you would like- is sharing your thing, or would you feel awkward and rather be served individually?
Do you like traditional English food or something a little different? Think about the time of your ceremony; will your guests have had lunch or missed lunch?
How will the food slot in and not impinge on any evening celebrations...and unfortunately, as we have already said, you do have to consider all of your guests tastes but we can always find a way of keeping everyone happy with the wealth of knowledge and experience we have, and can guide you through this process with ease.
Do you get involved in serving drinks at all?
We can serve your arrival drinks of your choice, garnished accordingly, normally on the Terrace or in the house if the weather is inclement and can provide staff to run a bar for you along with placing your choice of wine on the tables during your meal and serving your toasting drink.
What size catering marquee/kitchen space to you require?
This totally depends on the size of your wedding party, if you are an intimate group we may have access to the kitchen in the main house, however this would depend on your menu choices, number of courses, cooking facilities required etc.
If you choose the marquee site we would require a minimum of 6x6metres for 100 guests, rising to 6x9metres for over 100 guests, this can easily be supplied by your marquee company.
Finally, what excites you most about your job?
The anticipation of service on the special day, after all the months of planning and the exceptional feeling of contentment and a job well done when we quietly depart and drive off in the distance...often with the sound of laughter and music drifting after us!
Thank you so much for chatting with us Oaktree Occasions, we look forward to seeing you in December for a cosy, intimate mid-week wedding. You can find out more about the exceptional service offered by Jo & Caroline on their website.