Evening party nibbles...what to do?

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Holding a 40th birthday party. 7.30-12am

Will have about 100 guests. I don't want to pay to feed them all, but people expect some sort of food at these things.

I will have friends visiting from SA, so no time to prep stuff myself leading up to party as want to see them, not spend time cooking.

Was thinking of buying lots of little cakes, but friend thinks cakes are an afternoon food, not evening.

Invites not yet out, so want to highlight the fact people should eat before they come.

So

A) what would you feed people?
B) how would you phrase this on the invite?

Thanks
Who made hogs and dogs and frogs?
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Comments

  • Timpu
    Timpu Posts: 310 Forumite
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    Will you have any time the day before? You could cook chicken/veg on sticks, prep sandwiches, samosas etc. and leave them in the fridge ready to pull out for the party. Alternatively, see if a local cafe offers a catering option (though this may be expensive). We've heated up supermarket food before to cater for 30+ and taken it to a venue but this needs to be done a couple of hours before serving up. M&S do really nice mini pies and other bits.
  • kingfisherblue
    kingfisherblue Posts: 9,203 Forumite
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    I think a buffet will be expected for the evening. It's a party, and I've never been to a party where food isn't provided at some point in the evening.

    Do you have any family or friends who could do the catering for you? Or could you buy a few cheeseboards and note on the invitation that crackers and cheese (or better, cheese and wine) will be provided? Does the venue offer catering?

    For my son's 18th (next week!), I'm preparing as much as I can the day before, including a watermelon Captain Hook ship. I'm emptying my fridge to make enough space. Family and a friend are helping out, so that I don't have to do everything.
  • bylromarha
    bylromarha Posts: 10,085 Forumite
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    No time at all the day before - working all day then daughters show in the evening.

    Don't want to lumber family and friends into food prep if I'm not going to be doing any of it myself. The venue does offer catering - starting at £6 a head. Not unreasonable, but not paying £500 on top of room hire. Looking at the Sainsbury/M+S etc platter options - comes out rather similar in cost.

    I like the cheeseboard idea - that feels doable. Am contacting local pizza companies too to see how much they'd charge. Any other ideas gratefully received.
    Who made hogs and dogs and frogs?
  • kingfisherblue
    kingfisherblue Posts: 9,203 Forumite
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    If anyone has a Costco card, pizzas are large and quite cheap from there. And when I say large, I mean too big for your oven. Buy them from the cafe area, not in the store. You're probably better ordering first, if you decide to buy them.
  • nitnurse-not2
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    How about pie and peas?
    You could warm pies in oven at venue and heat peas on the top.
    I'm sure a local bakery would do you a deal.
    You could have different fillings including a vegetarian option.
    The trays would just need little signs to say which is which. These could be made at home at any time ready to take to the venue. Maybe have a couple of slow cookers with peas in rather than pans as this would look better. Let everyone serve themselves.
    You could then state on you invite that there is a pie and pea supper.
    Cheeseboard and cheesecake could be simple dessert options.
    If doing a cheeseboard, remember to add celery, grapes and maybe a couple of chutneys as well as a good selection of biscuits.

    Hope your birthday is a belta.
    xx
    Start by doing what's necessary, then do what's possible and suddenly you are doing the impossible:j
    Christmas is not a time but a state of mind :xmassmile
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  • bylromarha
    bylromarha Posts: 10,085 Forumite
    I've been Money Tipped!
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    Costco is a 3 hour round trip.

    Ovens at venue only for staff at venue to use. Hirers not allowed them.
    Who made hogs and dogs and frogs?
  • Valli
    Valli Posts: 24,841 Forumite
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    Morrisons do some party-sized trays of sandwiches, they might work out less expensive than M&S, they might do other stuff too.

    If you are inviting people to a party they will expect a buffet at least. I assume the bar isn't free?

    Eta yes, some stores will do sandwich platters and snack platter, ask at customer services.
    Don't put it DOWN; put it AWAY
    "I would like more sisters, that the taking out of one, might not leave such stillness" Emily Dickinson
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  • Spendless
    Spendless Posts: 24,177 Forumite
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    edited 6 April 2016 at 11:46AM
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    What about the banquet type boxes that say something like 50 starters you find in the freezer dept? Often chinese/Indian and more common around Christmas but am sure some supermarkets stock them all year round. Just stick in the oven and wait till they've warmed through. As for invites I'd say 'for drinks and nibbles'

    Scrub that I've just read your further post, you can't use oven. I'd only read your 1st post and thought you were doing this at home - I did think you must have a large house for 100 guests!
  • Spendless
    Spendless Posts: 24,177 Forumite
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    I do think if you invite people to this type of thing then they do expect to be fed. I think asking for how much pizza would cost to deliver is a good idea.
  • PasturesNew
    PasturesNew Posts: 70,698 Forumite
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    Research local pizza offers and order a range of pizzas. Once they arrive, cut them up into pieces/slices (remember, some pizza places might do rectangular ones), plonk onto serving plates and leave people to it.

    Make up yourself plain/basic salads of lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, grated cheese, sliced/quartered boiled eggs, potato salads, pasta salads that are easy to make. Whip those out when the pizzas arrive.

    Find/make cheese straws. Put out some tubs with celery/carrot sticks & some simple dips.

    Or just put in big letters on the invite: BRING A PLATE (where a plate is a plate of food).
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