Throwing the Perfect Festive Celebration with Loxleys
Wednesday, December 5th 2018 | By: Admin
At Loxleys, making our guests happy is the number one aim and that means getting everything from the food and wine to the welcome just right.
We might do it every day, but we understand that not everybody does, so with the help of Loxleys Head Chef Paul McCoombes and assistant manager Suzanne Lynch, we've put together some of our tried-and-tested tips to make sure everything goes smoothly with your festive celebration.
Fabulous food and drink tips from Loxleys head chef Paul McCoombes
Preparation is key - Plan ahead. Get your menus ready and have a checklist so you can tick off what you’ve done and what still needs tackling. When it comes to cooking a sit down meal get as much ready the day before as you can so you don’t have to deal with all those time-consuming little jobs.
Think about who you’re cooking for - Remember, not everyone can eat the same food. When you're cooking for large numbers, the chances are you'll have at least one person who's maybe vegetarian or can't eat certain things. Make sure you check everybody’s dietary requirements in advance so you can plan. Christmas is also a great time to cater for vegetarians - embrace things like chestnuts to keep the meat-free options festive.
It doesn't all have to be hot - Think about things you can do that aren't necessarily hot. Maybe some cold canapes ready for when your guests arrive, or a cold starter like a parfait or seafood. That way you're not trying to keep loads of courses hot.
It's not all about a big bird - If you're cooking for lots of people, think about cooking two smaller birds rather than one huge one. That way they're less likely to dry out. Also, invest in a meat probe, then you can make sure it’s cooked without overdoing it and making it dry.
Keep it traditional - It's always tempting to go off-piste, but the festive season is all about tradition so don’t be scared to stick to the old favourites. Roast turkey, veg, all the trimmings and Christmas pudding and brandy cream always go down a treat, so keep it simple.
Have fun - The most important thing is to enjoy it! If you’re stressed out, it will show in your food. So don’t panic, if something’s taking longer than you planned or you have a mini mishap, just pour your guests another glass of fizz and they won’t mind waiting that little bit longer.
Throwing the perfect party outside of the kitchen, with Loxleys assistant manager Suzanne Lynch
Plan your decorations in advance - Decide on the look you want. Classy? Fun? Simple? Extravagant? And then make sure you order everything you need in plenty of time. Decorating tables and the room itself can all be done in advance to limit any stress.
Pick the right music for the occasion - These days, playlists can all be made in advance, or you can find a readymade compilation for your occasion. Just make sure it fits with your plans. Nobody wants music to dance to while they're eating, and if you're hoping to get people dancing, you might not want to go for relaxing classical music.
People love to be welcomed with a glass of fizz - No matter where you are or what the occasion, fizz makes people feel special. At Loxleys we start our special meals and events with a glass of bubbles, and like to treat people celebrating a special occasion with a glass of fizz too. You can't go wrong.
Have a few extra pairs of hands - Whether it's handing out drinks, serving food or clearing up the plates, it's always handy to have some extra pairs of hands to help. It just makes things run that bit smoothly. We'd never try to do things single-handedly in the restaurant and it's no different at home, so make sure you have a few people on hand. After all, Santa has helpers so why shouldn’t you?
Make sure all your guests are happy - No matter what else happens, as long as people are in good spirits, your celebration will go without a hitch. Whether your oven packs up, your decorations fall off the wall or someone drops your spectacular dessert, as long as you have a fabulous festive atmosphere, it just won't matter. So make sure you have plenty of Christmas cheer and everything else will follow.
Loxleys is serving two and three-course set menus from now until Christmas, as well as a seven-course lunch or dinner, complete with canapes and fizz, on Christmas Day. Loxleys’ New Year’s Eve celebration includes a five-course gourmet food extravaganza, fizz, live music and a late bar. For more information or to enquire about availability, call 01789 292128.