cocktail parties – the food


People tend to drink less if they are not hungry, and food is cheaper than booze.

A Cocktail Party should be more than just drinks with bowls of peanuts and potato crisps. On offer should be some delectable eats, which might make dinner near redundant.

In the 80s, Lorna Wing started serving mini Fish & Chips in small cornets made from pages of The Financial Times. They were instantly copied by every catering company. Since then, there have been mini burgers, mini Yorkshire puddings, mini…

No need to serve expensive food, but make sure it looks utterly beautiful. Presentation is vital since 90% of the appreciation of food is how it looks. Use your imagination – baskets, terracotta pots, old tiles, can make very attractive and original trays.

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simple slate tile (available from

Here are some food ideas, super easy to prepare and easy to eat:

Bruschettas, my favourites. The perfect finger food. Just toast the base, pile up the toppings and serve at room temperature.


Pre heat the oven 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6

Slice ciabattas or French baguettes into 2cm thick slices, brush each side with a little extra virgin olive oil and lay on roasting tin. Place in the oven for 10 minutes.

9 Easy Peasy Tasty Toppings:


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1. Mushy peas and feta cheese 2. Smoked salmon, cream cheese and dill 3. Camembert and smoked trout 4. Tuna and olives 5. Blue cheese and red onion relish 6. Goats cheese and herbs 7. Chilli Prawns 8. Onion chutney in red wine 9. Pesto and prawns 

give it a go, see how easy it is to put together and I promise you there won’t be any leftovers!

I also like to serve mini cups of soup – heart warming in winter, cold and refreshing in summer:

tomato and orange (see recipe)

pea and mint

hot bloody mary (see recipe)

Another simple, and always appreciated eat is Honey and Mustard Mini Sausages (see recipe)

A large plate of assorted charcuterie, or cheeses, can be another option, with an accompaniment of rustic breads, olives and cornichons.

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honey & mustard sausages (see recipe) and prunes and bacon

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wrapping paper will jazz up any old tray

Bon Appétit!