Flexitarian? Vegan? Vegetarian? Carnivore? Pescatarian? Planning a party menu for a gathering of your nearest and dearest might seem fraught with peril.
But, by taking inspiration from the menus of some of London’s top hospitality venues and their seasonal menus, you and your party planner are sure to serve up gastronomic delights that tickle everyone’s tastebuds.
Read time: 3 — 5 minutes
- Seasonal party menu inspiration to help you cater to vegans and carnivores and more besides
- Starters, main courses and dessert party menu ideas to help ensure your winter celebration is as delicious as it is opulent
Whether you’re planning a festive party or intimate dinner with friends, here’s our guide to some mouth-watering morsels that will help make for a memorable winter event.
Welcome your guests: Amuse Bouche
Parsnip Velouté —A delectable bite, the velouté on the Christmas menu at The Collins Room at The Berkeley, in Knightsbridge comprises a truffle chestnut mousse, pickled shallots, and crispy artichoke crumble.
The Collins Room is a firm favourite with food-lovers and the fashion forward alike.
Party menu: Starters
Alpine Charcuterie Selection — This season, the menu at The Winter Garden at The Corinthia London is an alpine-inspired affair. This delectable selection includes wild boar, speck and salami, which are served with remoulade and pickles.
Baked Beetroot Salad – Also found on the menu at The Corinthia London, this salad comprises compressed pear, goat’s curd and hazelnut – this option could become a vegan-friendly option by replacing the curd with a tangy, creamy raw cashew alternative.
Burrata — Amaranto Restaurant at The Four Seasons Park Lane offers a sumptuous plate of burrata, plump heritage tomatoes and balsamic pearls. Replacing the burrata with a vegan version is a good option.
Tomato Soup — Rich in colour and flavour, this warming winter staple is pepped up by fresh basil and a crisp parmesan tuile. And this Amaranto Restaurant offering is also perfect for vegetarians.
Hispi Cabbage — Served with pumpkin seed pistou, this is one of many vegetarian and vegan-friendly starters or small plates found on the menu at Acme Fire Cult. It’s hardly surprising because at this new live-fire concept restaurant in Dalston, vegetables take centre stage.
Treacle-Cured Scottish Salmon and Oscietra Caviar — Also on the Christmas menu at The Collins Room, in Knightsbridge, this superb dish marries together stunning seasonal flavours and ingredients including, caramelised orange jelly, pickled cucumber, avocado and baby chard.
Party Menu: Main courses
Koji Chicken — Featured on the autumn menu at the innovative Japanese restaurant, Aqua Kyoto, on Regent Street, this chicken dish is brought to life with carrot yuzu purrée and shichimi teriyaki.
Grills — Including Native Breed Rib Eye, New York Strip and Suffolk Wagyu Rib Eye are on offer with a myriad of sauce options from whipped bérnaise, green peppercorn, red wine bordelaise, café de paris snails and blue cheese.
But what else would you expect from the exquisite team at the American-Parisian inspired La Magritte Bar & Terrace, The Beaumont, in Mayfair?
Coal Roast Celeriac — With mushroom kelp XO and white bean miso, this hearty dish makes a grand appearance on the menu at Acme Fire Cult, where inspiration is pulled from around the world.
Aubergine ‘Steak’ — Sourdough molé and hazelnut dukkah beautifully compliment the smoky flavours of the aubergine. This slow-cooked dish, also courtesy of Acme Fire Club, is sure to appeal to gourmand vegetarians and flexitarians alike.
Wild Seabass — on the Christmas Day menu at Dalloway Terrace this year, this delicate fish dish brings together clams, leeks, chard salsify and Périgourd black truffle. The terrace is adjoined to The Bloomsbury Hotel on Great Russell Street.
Mushroom and Chestnut Wellington — served with glazed heritage carrots, cranberry and gravy is perfect for most dietary preferences, and is also found on the Christmas Day menu at the Dalloway Terrace.
Orecchiette Pasta — Blending wellness and fun, Lilly’s Café in Covent Garden is serving this pasta dish with charred broccoli, lemon cream and peas.
Party Menu: Desserts
Passion Fruit and Ginger Cheesecake –– Warming and striking notes of heat and sour, those clever types at in the Japanese kitchen Aqua Kyoto are offering this delicious dessert on its restaurant menu.
Forest Floor — Staying with the menu at Aqua Kyoto, why not take inspiration from this intriguingly named dessert which features a tonka panna cotta, chocolate brownie, matcha crumble and raspberry sorbet.
Chocolate Mousse with Orange Confit Centre — accompanied by a mandarin sorbet, this is a rich, popular flavour combo served up by The Berkley.
Dark chocolate fondant and caramelized hazelnut tart– In the heart of the City, fine dining restaurant Coq d’Argent is offering this decadent dessert on it New Year’s Eve menu.
Vanilla Poached Pineapple — The Festive Vegan menu at Coq D’Argent at 1 Poultry, includes this tasty little number that’s accompanied by mango, passion fruit espuma and mango sorbet.
Apple Tarte Tatin — with vanilla cream, crumble and yuzu ice cream features on the menu at Amaranto Restaurant at The Four Seasons on Park Lane.
Party planning and design
While you might have seasonal party menu designing down to a fine art, and your tablescapes might feature the finest Hermes, Maison Margaux, Saint Louis, Herend or Ginori, remember that creating an atmosphere of seasonal beauty, fun and elegance means catering to all the senses:
Take your décor cues from the couture houses and interior design trends of the season – Over the rainbow glamour, Gloriously global and homespun, and Darkly romantic.
Specialist lighting and sound effects — Finely tune your lighting and music to help shape and direct your party.
Projection mapping — Tell a story by projecting dramatic illumination onto buildings, walls and surfaces.
Live action immersive theatre – Consider using perfectly timed and choreographed storytelling and actors to bring momentum and drama to your evening.
Find out how we can help
If you’re looking for more inspiration for your next social or celebratory event (including your party menu) or would like to book a consultation, visit our blog or speak to one of our dedicated event planners.
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