The idea behind the food tasting experience at Bijou has always been to give our couples an idea of style and presentation of the dishes they’ll be serving their guests on their wedding day. But in 2014, we had a bit of a revelation.
You only get one chance to impress your guests with the food you serve on the day, so how do you know you’re making the right choice?
As with standard wedding banqueting procedures across the industry we ask our Bijou couples to select one principle dish per course (in advance) to be served to all guests. For any vegetarian guests or those with specific dietary requirements, couples will need to select one further alternative option per course which is suitable for these particular guests.
So, we decided to offer Bijou couples the opportunity to sample different dishes prior to their wedding, to make sure they were happy with what they were offering their guests. We dutifully named this, The Bijou Tasting Platter.
When you book a wedding at Bijou you’re invited to attend a food tasting, which takes place on our Wedding Planning Wednesdays. Although the platters are intended for two people as they are sample sized dishes, you are more than welcome to bring along additional guests to have a small taste of each and help you make the decisions; you can always pre-order an extra one when you book in for the day.
When you arrive at the venue for your Wedding Planning Wednesday, you’ll receive the chef’s selection of canapés (accompanied by a nice crisp glass of the finest bubbles). Then on to the main event…
The Bijou Tasting platter consists of the top 5 menu options for EACH course, which is currently:
Red onion tart with spinach and baby saffron shallot, baby leaf salad, mascarpone, and red currant and balsamic dressing (v)
Baked French Brie parcel, served with a bacon, redcurrant and caramelised orange salad
Roast butternut soup with root vegetable crisps (v)
Peat smoked salmon, wild leaves, pea shoots and beetroot with charlotte potato salad and edible flowers
Ham hock & tarragon terrine with quails eggs and piccalilli
Roast breast of free-range chicken served with seasonal vegetables, duck fat potatoes, Yorkshire pudding and gravy
Slow cooked belly of pork with caramelised apple, mashed potato, braised savoy cabbage and pork jus
Roast rump of South Downs lamb with crisp pressed shoulder, ratte potatoes, soubise, seasonal greens and port jus (please refer to your planner to view the supplemental cost)
Slow braised sticky Hampshire beef with creamed parsnip mash, root vegetable crisps and olivette carrots
Fillet of sea bass with Italian style roasted new potatoes, roast baby plum tomato and olive with dressed rocket and butter sauce
Vanilla crème brulée, Grasmere shortbread and raspberries (v)
Blackberry and apple crumble with caramel ice cream and crème Anglaise (v)
Treacle tart with marinello cherry, clotted cream and Anglaise custard (v)
Sticky toffee pudding with toffee sauce, glazed pecans and mascarpone ice cream (v)
Chocolate pot with a melting middle, Jack Daniels ice cream and chocolate crumbs (v)
We can provide veggie alternatives or adapt the dish to suit your dietary requirements but do let us know in advance, preferably when you book in for your tasting. We can also provide a non-offensive menu and a pork and shellfish-free option.
For those who have made their minds up and are confident in their selection prior to their Wedding Planning Wednesday, we do still offer the option to have the full 3 course meal instead of the tasting platter - please just remember to tell us (a couple of weeks) before your tasting that you'd prefer this option!
This selection process isn’t just limited to the food... you need to feel equally as happy with the drink you’re going to be serving on the day, which is why we give you a selection of wine to take home to sample at your leisure (or crack open during your tasting, which ever you prefer).
So, there you have it. Having tried and tested the Bijou Tasting Platter for a little over a year, we’re confident you’ll love it!