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.

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!


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.

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  • 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.


Recently Engaged?? Want to know more about what we do?

Christmas and New Year is one of the most popular times to get engaged…not sure whether the festive period just gets everyone all loved up or whether all the booze around gets to us??? Either way its a super happy time for all you couples looking to get hitched. This makes January a super busy time for us. We get lots of enquiries about the services we offer, all of which we respond to as quickly as possible. Whilst we can provide lots of information over email or on the phone, a chat face-to-face is a good way for you to find out more about us, and for us to get to know more about the plans for your day (and a great chance for you to try our cake!) . So when we aren’t catering for vintage tea-parties, we are busy with meetings and follow-up quotes for weddings. There is lots of information about the services we provide on the ‘Weddings‘ section of this website…but just a quick summary to get you started….

Vintage Afternoon Tea Catering – from 20 to more than 120 we provide delicious finger sandwiches (plenty of them), scones, home-baked cakes and plenty of tea. Its all served on our beautiful collection of vintage china (included in the price)



Tea-Ladies – to keep your day running smoothly. Our tea-ladies (and gents!) are super helpful and very professional, but also offer a more relaxed and informal approach to wedding service. Our ladies are available to hire with or without the catering service.


Vintage Cake Tables and Wedding Cakes – a different way of serving cake or desert to your guests, beautiful, delicious and a real talking point.





Vintage China Hire – extensive and very gorgeous collection of vintage china to add something really pretty and unique to your day.

If you are interested in any or all of the above please get in touch via our contact page or give us a call on 07890 090547.

Never a dull moment at Alice’s Vintage Pantry!

Hello!! It’s been a while since we found time to sit down a write a few words about what we have been up to…we have had the busiest few months to date…lots of vintage tea parties, vintage china hire, meetings with brides and grooms, testing new recipes and much more. No two days are the same, the diversity of events we cater for, and people we meet is huge.

Over the last few months it has ranged from catered weddings for over 100, to catered hen-parties for five, vintage cake tables for weddings and christenings, birthday parties for all ages (from a 1 year old girl, to a 21 year old boy and to a lovely 95 year old lady), vintage china hire for shop launches and special events (including the very glamorous Louboutin at Harvey Nichols!) and many more happy occasions. We’ve also catered for funerals, the other end of the spectrum; we hope that we have provided something special on those sad occasions.


Our collection of vintage china and accessories has been growing too…SO many cups, saucers, teapots, cake stands, table linens, cream and jam bowls etc etc…we’ve had to build new shelving and storage to accommodate it all. We have soured it from a wide range of places, vintage markets, charity shops, antique shops and, loveliest of all, dontations from friends and clients who are keen to see their vintage china go to a good home. We love it all and appreciate the support of all of those around us.

2013 has been an amazing year for Alice’s Vintage Pantry, we are already looking very busy for 2014….very much looking forward to bringing our fabulous vintage tea parties to all you lovely people!! If you would like to book a vintage tea party with us, or find out more about what we offer please get in touch.


Fill in the online enquiry form, call us on 07890 090547, or email

Alice x

Vintage Jewellery for your Wedding Day

Delighted to have a bit of advice on our blog for those of you looking for the perfect piece of vintage jewellery for your wedding day….the lovely Jayne from Ruby Rose Vintage Jewels ( gives us a few ideas…

Where do you begin when thinking of what jewellery to wear on your wedding day? After making an endless series of exciting and daunting decisions; this fabulous dress, that amazing venue, the colour scheme, the theme, the readings, the vows, the music, it’d be easy to become side tracked and miss out on the opportunity to wear something with real meaning that you can treasure forever to remind you of your special day. There is a whole world of romantic symbolism to explore, a wealth of styles, gemstones and precious metals to choose from.

My starting point, and of course I’m biased in favour of antique and vintage jewellery, would be to ask; “Is there a family piece I can borrow?” Especially a ring or necklace or earrings that have been worn by other family members in the past, immediately fulfilling the “something old” and “something borrowed” criteria of the well- known saying. How lovely to walk down the aisle in the same necklace your own mum or grandma wore on her day.

If not, I’d look at pearls as my next choice – real pearls, cultured pearls, glass pearls; who cares about value, it’s their meaning we are interested in, and the fact that regardless of personal styles and tastes, the regal pearl compliments most dresses, from the traditional big white number, through creams and pastels to bold dramatic reds, midnight blue or black.

Take this genuine Art Deco Pearl and Diamond ring – a stunning simple design which would look great with anything from Grecian style to 1950’s dresses. As pearls are associated with the qualities of loyalty, friendship and faithfulness, they are damn near the perfect romantic gift to receive from your other half on the morning of the wedding … (a few hints may need to be dropped!)



This Art Deco glass necklace would also fit the bill; with plaited strands of tiny fake pearls making up a stunning choker that would look beautiful with your “Great Gatsby” inspired gown.





If you are an understated dresser, and have a chic, simple dress, think about adding a delicate brooch. Try something like this Edwardian gold and seed pearl swallow and clover leaf brooch. The swallow represents loyalty, as the swallow always flies home. The clover leaf represents the trinity of hope, love and faith – used together with the seed pearls this forms a pretty strong statement of romantic integrity!


Next up is the bow or knot. Used in jewellery since Ancient Greek times, again in the French Court of the 17th century and beloved by the Victorians, the knot is a strong symbol of “strength in union” or “the ties of love binding us together”. A symbolic piece of jewellery need not be expensive; you can pick up one of these 1950’s rhinestone necklaces for around £10-£20, this one has the bow/knot design and is in fabulous condition for something 60 plus years old.


Another idea is to add a blue gemstone (sapphires, aquamarines, blue topaz) to your ensemble – for the “something blue”. This sapphire and diamond ring from the 1940’s screams Hollywood glamour, and also carries the symbolism of the bow. Equally, having an adornment in yours or your partner’s birthstone, or perhaps your children’s birthstones is a fabulous personalised idea.


Of course, you may well want to wear something just for the sheer beauty or decorative effect it has. I’d plump for something wonderful like this heavy silver and pastes Art Nouveau bracelet, over 100 years old and utterly magnificent, a design that would compliment a vintavintage inspired dress, as much as it would a flamboyantly embellished modern dress.





Finally, why not find a unique piece that allows you to write your own history and symbolism? I wore this necklace on my own big day, a gift from my husband to be. The Nouveau stylised “rose tree” represented our strength, the two flower heads represented our two children, whilst the diamonds symbolised “forever”. Being set with red rubies made it even more special, as not only is our daughter’s name Ruby Rose, but I’m a Lancashire lass, and in this piece I could wear the red rose of Lancashire with pride!

So, whether you love the old or prefer shiny and new, be sure to pick a special piece of jewellery that is simply perfect for you.