Food and drink for your special day

PUBLISHED: 10:28 11 June 2013 | UPDATED: 10:28 11 June 2013

One of Abby Riley's glass bottle plates

One of Abby Riley's glass bottle plates

© 2010 Adam Rowley Images Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

My baby brother got married over the bank holiday weekend in glorious sunshine in the church next to Windsor Castle. We were very lucky be able to celebrate with fizz and canapes in a sunny walled garden, and enjoyed baked salmon and beef with delicious salads – perfect for a warm day.

Planning a wedding does tend to become all-encompassing and most couples quickly become experts in what is available to them in the local area. I have been meaning to tell you about a small local chocolate company Pistachio Square for ages now, and this seemed a perfect time to mention them – if you are planning a wedding, corporate event or party, you might like to consider Pistachio Square for gifts for guests.

I met Emma Geurts who runs the company from her small premises on Holywell Hill. Emma worked in the City for 16 years, and left to pursue her passion for chocolate, taking courses in chocolate and patisserie, with plenty of tasting trips to artisan chocolatiers in the UK and Belgium.

Emma’s husband is Belgian which gives the family lots of excuses for tasting trips. You can choose from Marc de Champagne, Salted Caramel, Raspberry and Rose, and Fresh Mint as well as many other flavours.

Each chocolate is decorated with beautiful painted swirls and Emma can customise the boxes to suit your event, changing the box colour, ribbon, and adding a personal message from you for your guests. Prices start at £2.95 per box of three chocolates.

Emma’s plans for the future include creating her own range for Pistachio Square. Her recipes for popping candy chocolates and cranberry and pistachio sound lovely, as do the mini chocolate bars with cocoa nibs.

You won’t find a shop at the moment, as Emma’s main business is through bespoke orders, which might be a blessing in disguise for me! If you would like to discuss an event with Emma, call her on 07766564825 or email emma@pistachiosquare.co.uk.

Glass art

Local artist Abby Reilly has developed a beautiful range of recycled glass items that would make a fun and quirky wedding or special birthday gift.

The idea is that you keep a bottle of your favourite wine, and Abby bakes it in her kiln to create a flat wall hanging or cheese plate – a fab idea. How about the Champagne you served, or a special bottle of wine or spirits you remember from your honeymoon?

A bottle plate would be an excellent gift for parents, a best man or bridesmaid and cost just £15. I also like the cufflinks and necklaces she makes with upcycled glass.

Abby also paints, and her work can be seen at Cellar Door, the independent wine shop in St Albans. To contact Abby email info@abbyreilly.co.uk or call 07909 545509.

Unusual ideas

I think it is also worth mentioning Jelley’s butchers in Southdown again as they do fantastic hog roasts and real cheese cakes, both great ideas for a more unusual wedding feast idea.

Over the road, Jay’s deli has a terrific selection of game and pork pies; perfect if you are organising the food yourself.

If your event is later in the year, you may also be able to buy from The Pudding Stop’s new shop, planned for Verulam Road, St Albans. Johnny and his van are hugely popular at St Albans City train station (next to platform 4) and I am sure his new bakery will be just as successful. More on that nearer the time! Whatever summer event you are planning, have a fantastic time.


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