The Ultimate Guide to London’s Caterers

By a woman smiling holding a drink in black and white Emily Gray |
30th March 2015

Forget the music, forget the entertainment, the atmosphere – often when it comes to parties what you really remember is the food. We’ve all been there when the canapés consist of a few crisps – who cares if Beyonce is playing, you want a decent canapé.  Equally though, if the food is spot on then it doesn’t matter if the electricity went and you’re eating in the dark because hey they nailed those goats cheese tarts. From exploding jelly to dishes for our canine friends, choose one of these top London caterers and you’re event will be a success – here is our pick:  

Table Talk

Founded in 1992, Table Talk is one of London’s finest party and event caterers. They create exceptional events in London’s most prestigious venues,  that said they can create events anywhere, no matter where the location may be. As operations manager Simon Youngman told us, they were once asked to organise a party on a floating ice pack in Greenland which would have included a semi-permanent building on the ice – unfortunately the organiser got cold feet!

Simon’s Top Tip: The best event organisers are list fanatics and for good reason!  Plan, plan and plan some more to ensure that when the unexpected happens you have all plenty of time to find a solution.
What makes them unique: They are genuine, charming and flexible, they’ll create the most fantastic party for you, but you will also really enjoy working with them – they take as much pride in that as delivering the perfect event.

www.tabletalk.co.uk

GlassesTable

Chilli Bees

Ask Ellie Short of Chilli Bees catering what their must unusual request is and you’ll be in for a treat, ‘We were once asked to cater for a canapé party.. for dogs! Unfortunately we were fully booked but we could have really pleased the clients’ canine friends!’  They’re top caterers for birthdays, anniversaries, reunions, weddings and even romantic dinners for two – don’t tell your date you did the cooking otherwise they’ll be expecting it every time. Their motto? Gorgeous food with sublime taste!

Ellie’s Top Tip: Leave the caterers do what they do best so you can relax and actually enjoy your own party. It’s never good when hosts are too busy to talk to their guests. We understand that and are always aiming to make everyone as comfortable and content as possible.

What makes them unique: They use only extremely professional and happy staff, which compliments the food greatly. Meaning that not only is their food is outstanding, but their service is too!

www.chillibeescatering.co.uk

ChilliBees

EventOracle

If you’re after a beautiful event that looks spontaneous, effortless but has every little detail scrupulously planned then you need to call up EventOracle. They thrive on making parties look wonderful and know the importance of good food and it’s presentation, however odd it may be as Sernior Events Manger Kerry Carmichael explains a  Groom-to-be ‘asked us to use a mould of his fiancé’s breasts for the shaping of a desert, which was to be served to 150 friends and family’ Cheeky.   

Kerry’s Top Tip: Try to take at least 30 minutes before the event begins to have some time to yourself – with a glass of champagne! So that when guests start to arrive you are composed and ready to meet them as the wonderful host/hostess! 

What makes them unique: The might be a small team but they are mighty, the team has been put together with people who have varied skills and talents, so they can cover any requests.

www.eventoracle.com

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Top Hat Catering

You know you’re in safe hands with Top Hat Catering, why? Well they’re resourceful for starts – ‘At one event where we catered for 400 guests the fuse went on the whole building 30 minutes before the guests arrived.  Lucky for iPhone torches and cold canapés – we could at least serve some food when people arrived’ explains founder  Hattie Mauleverer –Jones. Secondly they don’t bat an eyelid to some of the oddest requests – 100 shaped teddy bear sandwiches and meter high fruit towers just for show? Not a problem.  

Hattie’s Top Tip: Menus, timings, drinks – it doesn’t matter if you don’t stick to the plans but having a guide helps to keep you on track and helps to maintain a budget.

What makes them unique:  They don’t have an ego. They’re just as happy cooking for a family event as they are for Jimmy Choo and US ambassadors.

www.tophatcatering.co.uk

Top Hat-88 resizedBlue Strawberry

Blue Strawberry know that when it comes to your event there are no dress rehearsals , people will remember a great party and the atmosphere, as Sales and Marketing Director  Ruth Lawton Owen points out, spend time on the table plan, which is why for them it’s all about having a great team to oversee everything.  When it comes to the catering, they source their ingredients from all over the British Isle and make sure they imaginatively present it – you’re hardly going to forget a giant exploding jelly are you? That’s what E4 requested by the way.

Ruth’s Top Tip: Don’t over think it – if you offer too much choice guests will inevitably miss something and be left with a feeling of missing out – simplicity is the key plus it allows for flawless execution, which is what will be remembered.
What makes them unique: Their team – they have the most fantastic team of planners, chefs and logistics who come together to create incredible experiences for their clients. They are the ultimate professionals but always ensure that there is a large element of fun in everything they do.

www.bluestrawberry.co.uk

BlueStrawberry

Urban Caprice

Want to throw a party that will make you the envy of all the other party throwers? Call in Urban Caprice. They’re secret is to fully understand their clients’ needs and requirements and make sure they work to it – ‘We were asked to organise a rave for a 30th birthday party on an island over three days and we had to co-ordinate the sunrise and sunset on each day with the party intinerary’ says managing director Lucy Verner. The key to a good party? Excellent food and drinks freely flowing in a space that has been thoughtfully lit and styled with a great soundtrack is all you need.

Lucy’s Top Tip: Always have a plan B for everything…If you are organising an event outside of London research the area in advance for suppliers you might need in an emergency, i.e. if your clients drink the bar dry and you need more stock.
What makes them unique: They have access to the restaurants within the Caprice Holdings group (The Ivy, Scott’s and Le Caprice) should a client want them to produce a branded dining experience for their guests.

www.urbancaprice.co.uk

UrbanCaprice

Social Pantry

Run by the charming and entrepreneurial Alex (she set up a sandwich business at 15), Social Pantry brings together everything she loves: great food, fine wine, flawless service and beautiful events. So beautiful that once at a garden party they turned round to find themselves amongst a flock of flamingos!  They also have a café in Battersea just incase you aren’t having an event.  

Alex’s Top Tip: It’s all in the planning and the detail. Clients remember the detail…and the disasters too! Prevent disasters with great planning, check lists for checklists and you will be able to enjoy a smooth event. Pay attention to the detail, the client definitely will, and remember, it’s the thought that counts.

What makes them unique: Totally bespoke catering. They add personality to any event with their innovative catering and no two menus are the same.  If you think you’ve got a tricky brief, they’re the caterers to crack it!

www.socialpantry.co.uk

SocialPantry

The Hampstead Kitchen

Founded by Saima, this Hampstead based caterers (as the name suggests) is perfect for intimate weddings, banquets, canapés and lunches with friends when you just don’t want to cook. To create their menus they use quality seasonal produce and unconventional ingredients to make every event unique. And it’s certainly impresses, at one party an A –lister made an appearance, tried their food and then flew them out to LA to cater for his family. Impressive stuff.

Saima’s Top Tip: Prepare & organise as much as you can before guests arrive and never try complicated recipes on the day of your event.

What makes them unique: Every guest – and host – is left a little more enriched, after their events. Saima gives a little of herself to every single event, no matter the size of the guest list or the budget. The energy, the essence, the love are all unique ingredients which put this company onto a higher tier of service. 

www.thehampsteadkitchen.com

HampsteadKitchen

Check out all our suppliers here!

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