Norfolk Wedding Part 2
Our five-day residency in Norfolk for Ella and Simon's wedding began on a Wednesday.
We arrived to pouring rain, leaky marquees and a stiff wind that would cool the hottest of ovens. Luckily the following morning brought sunshine and a new gentleness to the weather, so at 7am we started unloading the vans of their cargo to build a kitchen suitable for a two-day event catering for 240 people.
After a few marquee glitches, and a few interesting electrical solutions we were almost set. By the following morning The Gatherers team count was thirty. What can we say? Sometimes it takes a team that big to make things are just right.
By Friday, our last chef Justin arrived. We'd flown him in from Sweden where he was enjoying a three-month gastronomic trip around Europe. By mid afternoon the site was a hive of activity, the clank of pans ringing out as the front of house arranged chairs and tables. The bar boys stocked their ace looking round bar and ensured every glass was polished.
By 11pm we finally turned out the lights and were almost ready.
At 5am on Saturday morning, the big day had arrived blessed with the best weather of the week. Rosie, Ella's sister brought us a much-needed pot of tea and toast to accompany her delicious homemade jam. This had become a little ritual during our stay in Norfolk and we were ever so grateful.
To cater for 240 guests, the wedding required three substantial separate marquees, one for arrival and evening dancing, one for the meal and one for the Gatherers kitchen and back of house. While the final preparation took place on the marquees, the rest of the team arrived from London just after 10am and Clive gave them a tour of the site followed by a detailed description of the day. Everyone's responsibilities were allocated and Clive finished with a little speech about the bride and groom - the most important people that day.
It’s hard to remember all the details except to say that it was an incredibly joyous day, full of smiles and romance in a most picturesque coastal setting. Ella looked beautiful, Simon handsome, Sara Gaye was, as always, elegant and Paul - Mr Fletcher was impressed by all the details.
So that just left brunch for 200 the following day…