Grazing Platters….the latest in catering trends

So excited to introduce to all our clients our new menu option…grazing platters, the latest trend in event catering, and one of the best yet in our opinion! Our creations provide a wonderful decorative feast and the perfect centrepiece for any event. Delicious charcuterie boards, decorated with fresh herbs and berries. A selection of cheese and crackers with fresh fruit and chutney. Homemade humous, baba-ganoush and roasted red pepper sauce, served with crudité and a selection of delicious breads. Bowls of olives. Falafel. Antipasti skewers with vine ripened cherry tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella. All presented beautifully on our wooden boards, slates, and fabulous vintage china.

Our team will arrive to your venue in plenty of time to set-up your grazing platters and create a beautiful display that your guests will be wowed by. We can leave you to your feast, or stay to help with drinks and clear up. And if you fancy a sweet treat to accompany your savoury grazing platters we can provide that too.

Corporate Catering

Corporate events are always an absolute pleasure to cater for. We’ve been to many offices and venues across Manchester and Cheshire providing delicious food that has the ‘WOW’ effect. Yesterday we were lucky enough to be at the head office of They booked us to provide afternoon tea for 200 employees to celebrate the royal wedding. We took over the cafeteria with all our gorgeous vintage china and more cake and scones than even I have ever seen. Our tea-lady team spent the afternoon filling cake stands with all our home baked goodies and pouring tea in to our pretty teacups. We knew it was going well when the first guests walked in to the room and squealed with delight! We had numerous guests popping in to the kitchen to say thank-you to us and to compliment us on our cake….we even had one chap ask who the baker was and then came over for a hug! Total success. Here’s a little clip from the afternoon…

If you are interested in booking us to come and cater for your corporate event just get in touch. We can work in pretty much any space you have available, anywhere across Manchester, Cheshire and the surrounding areas, and to any dietary or other requirements you might have. We serve delicious home baked food that is about as far from the beige buffet as you can imagine. Our customer service is 5* and that is reflected in our reviews (check out our Facebook page Look forward to seeing you soon!

Dessert and Cake Tables

Planning a wedding or celebration? What a way to provide pudding for your guests!! We home bake lots of delicious cakes, puds and sweet treats, deliver them to your venue, display them on gorgeous vintage cake stands, add some accessories and decorations, provide tea-plates and cake forks for your guests to use, and then come back to do all the washing and clearing up.

Vintage Cake Table


An amazing centre piece for your room, and a great way to offer your guests lots of choice. You can even add on a tea and coffee station for your guests to get hot drinks…and tea-ladies to serve and keep everywhere tidy We love it!

Get in touch to book yours:

Beautiful wedding at Hope Mill

Hope MillThought this fabulous wedding was worth a little write up. Dinosaurs and afternoon tea…what a combo!! We love it. This gorgeous venue is one of our all time favourites, Hope Mill Theatre in Manchester. It’s situated in the ground floor of a former cotton mill, now a grade 2 listed building. The space is SO unique. Super high ceilings, two large spaces that both feel cosy, fab staff, flexibility to create the wedding you want in the space, AND they are not a wedding factory.

We were beyond delighted to be selected to provide a vintage afternoon tea for the wedding of our clients Lauren and Chris. Booked 12 months before their wedding we were counting down the days. It was a complete honour to be catering for them in Hope Mill. vintage afternoon tea

With 130 guests at the wedding we had a lot to do. We baked lots and lots of cake, 150 scones, and made over 1300 yummy sarnies. The guest list included 16 vegetarians, two vegans and 17 children. The menu catered for them all. We had eight different sandwich fillings on the menu, and 14 different types of cake.


The room was set-up with the most gorgeous solid wood trestle tables (on hire from, vintage books and dinosaurs on the tables, and the most beautiful floristry from Eden Floral Styling (our vintage china to complete the look). Set-up and smooth running of the day managed by the fabulous Stef from Alternative Weddings Manchester.

floralsRun up to the big day was busy, the day itself beginning with room set-up. The empty space soon filled and looking great. Then back to our base to make all those sandwiches. We were using a mix of rolls, thinly cut wraps, seeded, wholemeal and white bread. All the sandwiches and scones were served to guests at the tables, along with lots of hot loose leaf tea. The cakes were presented on a beautiful table for guests to help themselves. This was a great option for our clients, they were keen to keep the wedding informal with lots of opportunity for guests to mingle. It also meant guests had lots of choice of what they ate!

Cakes included our best sellers Lemon Drizzle (with a fresh lemon curd filling), Carrot Cake and Nan’s Chocolate Fudge Biscuit, one of my Nan’s recipes. It wasn’t long beforevintagecakes guests were filling their plates. Our tea-lady team were on hand to keep the cake table tidy and topped up, teapots full and everyone happy. Once food, tea and speeches were finished our team cleared the tables and helped prepare the space for the evening of entertainment. We all had a fab time, tea-ladies and guests alike. So much LOVE in that room!!


If you want to know a bit more about the day, or about what we could do for you, just get in touch…

A few more images from the day…

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Village Hall Weddings

Couples looking to tie the knot have SO many options when it comes to venues these days…just google ‘wedding venue Manchester’ for a start…the options are almost endless. Over the six years we have been in business there has been a definite increase in the number of couples choosing village or church halls for their wedding celebration venue. Many moons ago this is where many wedding celebrations would take place, they are making a come back big time and we LOVE them.

Village Hall Wedding

They can offer a huge amount of flexibility at a very very low cost. Have you had a search in your local area? Many of the buildings are beautiful with great amenities and catering space. We have been in many that have gorgeous flooring, high ceilings, beautiful windows and great outdoor space. And all at a low cost. There isn’t normally a restriction on which suppliers you commission to provide your food and entertainment, leaving you to create the wedding of your dreams. You can source your own suppliers, those who you hand pick to match exactly what you need and want. You can decorate the space with pretty much anything you like. Arrange a bar that suits your style and guests. Get the food in that you really wanted on your wedding day. So many positives.

And what about the downsides…are there any? We’ve struggled to come up with any that can’t be fixed…perhaps just a couple of things to keep in mind…

Staff – a village hall does not normally come with its own team to run your day for you. You need to consider who is going to switch the lights on, let your guests in and serve them a welcome drink and nibbles, light the candles, turn your tables around for the evening, clear up any rubbish and leave the venue tidy.

This is where we have seen a big increase in the work that we do. Our fab team of lovely tea-ladies (and a couple of gents) can take on any of these tasks (and lots of others too). We don’t just serve the afternoon tea, we do all of the above plus lots more…often staying until the wedding ends to make sure it all runs smoothly. Its a great way to take the pressure off friends and family and leave all your guests to enjoy their day. Get in touch to find out more!

Venue dressing – a village hall can be a large space and the task of dressing it can seem daunting. Many clients underestimate the work that can be involved and some spend hours the day before their wedding getting it right. Its worth making a detailed plan early on about how you will manage that…and it IS manageable. Careful planning and talking to those that have done it many times is well worth the time investment. It might be worth considering getting the help of a professional venue dresser (not as expensive as you might think), or at least getting your friends and family to help you out. We work with some amazing venue dressers and will happily recommend them to you.


Wedding planning – if you are booking a hotel wedding you will be assigned a planner or coordinator…a village hall won’t come with one of those. If you haven’t planned a wedding or event before this might unnerve you. There is quite a bit to think about and organise. At Alice’s Vintage Pantry we have catered for and managed lots and lots of weddings, we are happy to help with the planning and can offer lots of advice. Just get in touch and ask away!!

Happy wedding planning lovely people!


Baking the perfect scone…

Scones come in all shapes and sizes, a wealth of recipes are available from savoury to sweet, fruit or cherry filled, milk, buttermilk or cream. Then there is the shape – drop scones, triangle, square or the more commonly used round scone. Topped with butter, jam, fresh cream or cream everyone has their favourite scone.

Scones and Cream

At Alice’s Vintage Pantry we have tried lots of different recipes and make different scones for different occasions. No matter what your favourite type is or what recipe you are using, if you are baking your own follow our scone tips to get your perfect scone.


  • Don’t spend too long rubbing the butter in to the flour – the quicker you do it the lighter your scone will be;
  • No matter what your recipe says, make sure your butter is at room temperature, if it’s too cold it will take too long to rub in to the flour and will result in a heavier scone;
  • Roll out your dough to a depth of no less than 2 cm’s. This will seem deep but it will give you a greater height to your scone;
  • Make sure you apply even pressure to the rolling pin, to get an even rise to your scone the best way to start is an even dough;
  • Dip your scone cutter in a little flour prior to cutting, it will prevent the dough sticking to the cutter and will help give a more even rise;
  • Once you have cut your scones, place them upside down on the baking sheet, again this helps them to rise more evenly;
  • If you want a softer top to your scone, cool them on a wire rack and place a slightly damp clean tea towel over the top;
  • Whilst scones do freeze well, they are always best baked fresh and served the same day.
  • And of course make sure you serve them on a tiered vintage cake stand with a cuppa served in a dainty vintage teacup!

Vintage Cake Table

Try these tips with Delia Smith’s basic scone recipe…

225g self-raising flour

40g butter, at room temperature

1½ tablespoons caster sugar

a pinch of salt

150ml milk

Preheat the oven to gas mark 7 (220c). Grease a baking sheet.

Sift the flour into a large bowl and rub the butter in rapidly using your fingertips. Stir in the sugar and salt, take a knife to mix in the milk little by little. Knead the mixture to a soft dough.

Turn the dough out on to a pastry board and roll it out using a floured rolling pin. Cut the scones out using a 4-5 cm cutter and place on the baking sheet. Dust each one with a little flour. Bake near the top of the oven for 12 minutes or until golden brown.

Enjoy with good quality jam and clotted cream.

Featured Wedding…bath tubs and bubbles!

Really delighted that one of the weddings we catered for last summer has been featured on the fabulous Rock My Wedding website today! Massive congratulations to Rebecca and Rob for organising such a fantastic and unique wedding…all held on their friends farm in Smallwood, Cheshire. Stunning photography by Steve Bridgewood Photography! Click here to see more…



Creating the Perfect Vintage Tea Party

Afternoon tea anyone? Fresh baked scones, plenty of hot tea, finger sandwiches and delicious cakes. Who doesn’t like it? Given the recent rise in popularity of afternoon teas I think the answer is not many! It seems to go down well with all ages, and works for almost any occasion….from weddings, to baby showers, birthday parties and christenings.  I’m lucky enough to spend lots of time at vintage tea parties. With enquiries flooding in at the moment I thought it might be a good time to share a few tips on how to go about creating a vintage tea party.


  • Take it as far as you like. Just stick to the beautiful china and finger sandwiches or go for it with a vintage dress code, appropriate music and games from a bygone era. Vintage afternoon tea parties can be vastly different. Decide whether you are going for the country fate, pearls and lace or Mad Hatter tea party theme…accessorise accordingly.


  • Vintage china is a must…whether you borrow, buy or hire it, pretty cups and saucers, little tea-plates, teapots and embroidered table linens all need to be there. The tea somehow tastes better, guests will love choosing which cup to use, and it becomes a real talking point at the party and will make it a memorable occasion.
  • Sandwiches need to be tiny, tasty and pretty. The crusts need to come off before you got them in to triangles or fingers. Little open sandwiches cut using a round or fluted pastry cutter also work well. Be sure to use a small amount of butter to stop your sandwiches going soggy, and make them at the last minute…finger sandwiches dry out very easily.

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  • Use loose leaf tea…it makes a world of difference. Not just the flavour, guests will also love the novelty of using a tea-strainer to get their perfect cup of tea.
  • Depending on the size of your party, borrow extra kettles, fill flasks with boiling water, or get your hands on an urn. Plenty of hot tea is essential.


  • Bake plenty of cakes…your guests will appreciate having a choice and you don’t want those cake stands looking bare…the cakes are a big part of the overall look.
  • Put bowls of fresh strawberries out, or arrange them around your cakes. A great way to add a really summery look.

Emma & Dan wedding 227

  • Your tables will look gorgeous laden with pretty vintage china, think about any additional decoration you might like. Little glass vases filled with flowers. Bunting strung along the side of the table. Bird cages filled with flowers or candles. Little tea-lights or strings of pearls. Candelabras. All can be easily and cheaply brought or hired.
  • It doesn’t have to be all about the tea…a glass of something fizzy works very well with a vintage tea party. Even your alcohol can be served in teacups.Vintage Wedding 2
  • Use fresh flowers to help decorate the room. Hand tied, in bird cages, or in little glass vases. Go for traditional flowers such as roses, lavender and sweet-peas.


Hope these tips help get your tea party planning started! Get in touch to find out more about how we can help you.


Charity Tea Party to raise money for Breast Cancer Care

What a fab day we have had!! We decided to open up our doors this morning to raise some money for Breast Cancer Care. The vintage china collection came out, we baked scones and cakes, and served freshly brewed loose leaf tea…we invited friends and family and two hours later had raised £330!! Here are a few photos…Scones and Cream charity3 charity2