Organising an event be it a wedding, party, anniversary celebration or dinner can be stressful. With a long list of things to think about it can all feel a little overwhelming but Oaktree Occasions make it as smooth and seamless as possible.
This autumn, I had the task of organising Newton St Cyres Young Farmers Club 82nd Annual Dinner and Dance. Knowing first hand the amazing food and service the Oaktree team provide, I was keen for them to cater for the dinner. And what better venue to host the evening than Harefield Barn near Exeter.
A beautiful barn venue, finished earlier this year where every detail is thought of, right down to the quirky toilets.
Deciding on a menu can often cause a few differing opinions amongst our young farmers members. Caroline designed a balanced autumnal menu, perfect to suit everyone’s tastes. It was, therefore, no surprise when it was agreed first time around with everyone commenting on how delicious it all sounded. With the venue and caterers booked I knew I was in safe hands, all that was left for me to do was follow the advice that Oaktree give to get everything organised.
The menu was published nice and early meaning that there was plenty of time for guests to send me their food choices, saving the last minute panic. As the orders came in, I collated them in a simple spreadsheet along with any dietary requirements. This meant that as soon as Oaktree requested the final numbers and food choices, I had them on hand ready.
Providing the Oaktree team with a table plan as soon as possible enables the team to get service plans organised to provide the usual efficient service. Alongside the table plan, place cards for each guest are essential along with an indication of their food choices. This allows the waiting staff to serve each course without disrupting guests’ conversations and prevents the dreaded “I can’t remember what I ordered” or “That looks nice, can I have that one please”.
On the day, Jo and Caroline arrived at Harefield with plenty of time to prepare the meal on site and get all the tables laid up. Our members spent the night prior beavering away making flower arrangements to form the table centre pieces. To reflect the farming community, each table was named after a tractor.
As guests arrived in their dresses and suits, they were lots of ‘wows’ when they walked into Harefield Barn; something which continued throughout the evening as each course was served.
We began with a choice of starters… butternut squash and sweet potato soup with creme fraiche and buttery crispy croutons…
…pork, juniper and thyme terrine with fig and apple chutney and granary toasts…
…or trio of melon with port and orange sauce. These all arrived to the table with baskets of artisan breads and Devon butter for us to help ourselves.
For main course, guests enjoyed roast topside of Devon beef with homemade Yorkshire puddings and a rich gravy…
…chicken supreme sourced from Creedy Carver near Crediton, with a leek mushroom and smoked bacon cream sauce or butternut squash, pecan nut and stilton wellington with a madeira sauce – a dish popular with vegetarians and meat eaters a like.
To accompany, we could help ourselves to dishes of roast potatoes, carrots, broccoli and braised red cabbage.
Finishing on a sweet note, we chose between individual pavlova with poached pear, apple compote and blackberry coulis…
…lemon and ginger cheesecake with lemon confit and raspberry coulis…
…or the most popular warm dark and white chocolate brownie with salted caramel sauce.
Finally, the Oaktree team poured steaming cups of fresh filter coffee or English breakfast tea to the table before we began our speeches with guest speaker Tich Scott from Proper Dartmoor Tours entertaining guests.
Following the dinner, with the help of a few members, team Oaktree team were quick to get the tables cleared allowing DJ Dan Grist to set up and get the music started.
I have not stopped receiving comments on how fantastic the food and efficient service was. Thank you to everyone at Team Oaktree for looking after me, the members and all our guests, we had a great night, one that you were a big part of!!
Comments from the evening: “It was such a lovely evening”… “Awesome setting, awesome food”… “The food was incredible”… “The soup was delicious” … “a wonderful venue with delicious food”…. just a few of the mountain of lovely comments.
If you would like the Oaktree team to provide stress free catering for your Devon event, please do get in touch.