In February, Hall & Co Event Design hosted a Home Entertaining blogger event and I was delighted to be one of the four bloggers invited, along with Soph Hearts, Chloe Jo Bletsoe and Sophie Kate Blogs. Hall & Co are not only an award-winning bespoke wedding & events company they also own fantastic café Little Acre Kitchen and run Gather Grow Connect, a physical and digital space for creatives. All three places are in St Ives, in the same building or right next door. What a wonderful hub of beauty, deliciousness and creativity in this little corner of Cambridgeshire!
I’ve been to Little Acre Kitchen many times – it’s one of my favourite cafes. However, I didn’t know that Hall & Co Event Design’s showroom sits at the back of the building. The interior comprises of two rooms with original architectural features: the light-filled prop shop where they display their gorgeous furniture, tableware, signs, lighting, cushions, throws, mirrors etc for hire as well as an intimate, opulent dining room where clients sample their event menus.
The whole blogger event was impeccably organised, a testament to Hall & Co’s planning expertise and welcoming service. As soon as we stepped into the dining room, with its warm tones, ambient lighting, wooden table, fur throws and stunning fireplace, we were made to feel special. The place settings included our name card, personalised message, information pack and Hall & Co’s very own honeysuckle & elderflower scented candles in a little sack (a gift for us to take home).
The table was beautifully set with plates, glasses, cutlery, napkins, candles and vases of fresh flowers. The whole room really reflected the essence of Hall & Co Event Design’s Home Entertaining Guide, which features useful sections on planning, hosting, drinks, cooking, flowers and styling – all ways to create warmth, thoughtfulness and an enticing event. We got a sneak peek at the guide but it’s now available to download.
The order of the day was created by Frankie of Bewilderly, a wedding stationer specialising in bespoke event signage and calligraphy. We mingled, nibbled, made cocktails, learned to create a floral bouquet and ate a delicious feast to showcase Hall & Co Event Design’s new Easter Feast service.
A cocktail class led by Kerry, event manager and resident mixologist, was a refreshing start to the day. We made two simple but elegant cocktails – Cucumber & Elderflower Gimlet and an alcohol-free Spritz version. Both these recipes appear in the Home Entertaining Guide, another reason to download your copy.
We worked up an appetite after all that cocktail shaking so we were presented with an antipasti grazing box to share, an unexpected introduction to Little Acre Kitchen’s grazing box service launching this spring. The box was brimming with fresh, delicious nibbles… Brie, focaccia, cured meats, sun blushed tomatoes, olives, falafel, gherkins, balsamic pickled onions, almonds, pumpkin seeds, feta stuffed peppers, hummus and more.
Visually appealing, tasty, easy-to-share food all nicely laid out in a practical box is a great idea, especially for picnics or punt rides so follow Little Acre Kitchen for more information on the variety of options available.
The Simple & Effective Flower Arranging workshop was a new activity for me as the blogger events I attend are always food and drink focused. Hall & Co Event Design’s talented in-house florists and stylists Jo S (Meadow and Bloom) and Lisa (Wonder in the Wild) taught us how to create our own bouquet of pretty flowers and foliage, such as ranunculus, avalanche adore roses and eucalyptus.
The workshop was educational and challenging – I came away with a whole new appreciation for the artistry, knowledge and skill involved in creating floral arrangements and styling an occasion.
Then it was time to retreat to the dining room where the table looked even more magnificent with all the tantalising dishes laid out on it. It was a lovely representation of Hall & Co Event Design’s complete Easter Feast package, from tablescape and tableware hiring to a seasonal menu with all the trimmings and wine pairings.
A pick up dinner service made easy, the food is provided in recyclable tins and packaging. If tableware is hired it doesn’t need to be washed before returning it. Doesn’t that sound like a stress-free Easter dinner? And it all takes place in the comfort of your own home.
Our meal, created and prepared by owner and head chef Dom Hall, was phenomenal. I particularly loved the flavoursome chicken, which was brined in Earl Grey tea bags, rosemary, lemon and salt for several hours prior to roasting. The Moroccan spiced lamb was excellent too – it was slow cooked so the meat was fall-apart tender.
I like the fact that the Easter menu has no starter and is divided into Meats, Potatoes, Sides, Sauces and Pudding. We feasted on these mouth-watering dishes:
- Free range garlic & lemon chicken stuffed with lemons & sage
- Moroccan spiced Suffolk lamb shoulder with honey and rosemary glaze with a mint, caper & red onion salsa
- Maris piper roast potatoes with duck fat
- Applewood cheddar & confit garlic mashed potatoes
- Maple pecan roasted root vegetables
- Cranberry & orange Port braised red cabbage
- Garlic shallot buttered seasonal greens with crispy shallot
- Yorkshire puddings
- Johnson’s farm house sausage stuffing with apricots, chestnuts & sage
- Red wine gravy
- Shallot & thyme sauce
- Bread sauce
- Baked custard tart, Calvados soaked prunes, pistachio & maple granola
- Rhubarb, pecan & buttermilk pudding
There were two wines sourced from Cambridge Wine Merchants: Esk Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2017 from Marlborough, New Zealand and Domaine de Viranel Trilogie Rosé 2017 (Pays d’Oc) from France’s Languedoc-Roussillon region. The Trilogie (an equal blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsault and Syrah) may just be my new favourite rosé with its aromas and flavours of strawberry, peach, orange and red berries.
Owner Elizabeth Hall then spoke about the Home Entertaining Guide and answered any questions we had about their services. I was so impressed with their business creativity. Hall & Co Event Design really do offer the whole package: catering, planning, styling, flowers and prop shop for private dining, weddings, corporate gatherings and pretty much any bespoke occasion.
I was equally impressed with the Hall & Co team who I’m sure put in a lot of work to pull off this successful blogger event. Jo W, marketing & communications co-ordinator, stylist and all-round creative marvel, spent the day photographing and filming the event then put together this wonderful video of the day.
I’d like to thank Hall & Co Event Design for the invitation to mingle, eat and create with their team and my fellow bloggers. It was a wonderful opportunity to visit the premises and experience first-hand all that Hall & Co have to offer. Now I just need to find an excuse to throw a party!
Hall & Co Event Design invited me to attend the Home Entertaining blogger event. Although the food, drinks and workshops were complimentary, all views are my own. I did not receive compensation for my blog post.
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