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100 guests for lunch

Hi all,
Andrew and I celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary in August.  We're throwing a lunch party for family and friends in our garden.  Any ideas for buying booze/what to serve and where to hire glasses and crockery?


  • sarah1972
    sarah1972 Posts: 19,032 Senior Ambassador
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    All depends what booze and how much of it?
    All depends on what food you like …. Buffet, sit down, bbq, hog roast ………
    All depends where you live, Look local for glass & crockery hire . Waitrose & majestic hire glasses
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  • Emmia
    Emmia Posts: 3,429 Forumite
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    And if some of your guests are driving, you need to have good alcohol free options.

    How are you intending to do the food? Are you making/providing it yourself, hiring someone in e.g. a chef or a food truck arrangement? 
  • Brie
    Brie Posts: 11,180 Ambassador
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    Don't forget to book a tent or gazebo early as August is likely to be a busy month.  Unless of course your house/venue is large enough to have everyone inside.  Our house is very roomy for 2 people but 40 would be a bit of a squish.  
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  • Brie
    Brie Posts: 11,180 Ambassador
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    Actually thinking about it - and again it depends on where you are - a church or parish hall is a great option.  Generally they will have all the plates, glasses, cutlery you need, toilets, tables, chairs, little kitchen with tea/coffee making apparatus.  You'd need to bring in the food, maybe paper table cloths, napkins, alcohol, fizzy water.  You can probably pay a bit extra for them to clean up too.  Plus there's always some helpful cousins who'll do the washing up wherever you are.  

    Lidl often sells large bottles of french lemonade, maybe £2 a bottle.  Very nice, looks posh so it's a good option for parties and for those that don't drink including the kids.  
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  • CapricornLass
    CapricornLass Posts: 688 Forumite
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    edited 25 June at 9:43PM
    Catering for 100 is a lot of food!  Look round for local assistance - they are sometimes in unexpected places.  Our butcher cooked, sliced and and arranged beef and ham on platters for my sister's and my weddings. The local pub has provided a buffet for weddings, funerals and other events in the village.  There is often someone locally who will run a hog roast for you, and the one here supplies the rolls, napkins cutlery and plates, and also things like mustard, ketchup and coleslaw as well as the actual pig

    Otherwise  if you plan to do it yourself- lists!  Plan everything,  make what you can in advance, make good use of your freezer.  What you need to buy - maybe consider home delivery from the supermarket?  Co-opt a couple of family members to help you on the days in the run-up and on the day itself with preparing food.  If you know anyone with a cash and carry card (you need to go with your list, and be really, really strict with yourself!)  Don't forget things like foil and cling film, both before and after the event.  An extra roll of bin bags is useful too.  

    Unfortunately I think it will be too late to book marquees.  Do friends and families have gazebos you can borrow?  (Mind you, 100 people in the average back garden could be a very tight squeeze!) You will also need tables and plenty of chairs for people to sit.  I would imagine you can hire them, though I've never needed to do so.  You will need to collect them before hand, and have a large space where you can store them safely

    If you decide to book a hall instead, make sure you visit the venue beforehand.  Find out what the size and layout of the kitchen(s) is, how the dishwasher works, where to switch on the boiler so you get boiling water, where the teaspoons are hidden, will you have to supply washing up liquid/dish cloths/scourers?  If you need to heat any food up will you have a domestic sized oven to use, or does the kitchen come equipped with a commercial oven?  Also consider the logistics of how food will travel to the kitchen to the tables where it will be served/eaten (i.e. do you have to negotiate areas where people will be standing/milling around, getting in the way, with an increased risk of accidents).   If there are very young children, you might need some plastic plates and cups for them.  Also, its very handy if you are able to access the hall the day before to set up tables, and decorate the hall.

    What ever you decide to do, have fun, and I hope it all goes smoothly.
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  • atlantis187
    atlantis187 Posts: 1,473 Forumite
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    Who's Andrew
  • kimwp
    kimwp Posts: 2,021 Forumite
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    If it's a lunch garden party, then probably something akin to afternoon tea would be nice - sandwiches, scones with jam and clotted cream and cakes, maybe some fruit? You could add potato salad, coleslaw, leafy salad, crisps, nuts, meats, cheeses but tbh best to keep it simple for that many people, particularly if you are making the food yourself. All those would be served cold so you don't need to worry about heating things in batches, which could take a lot of your time and attention during the party. 

    For drinks, home made lemonade? Squash for the kiddos. Something sparkly?
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  • kinger101
    kinger101 Posts: 6,311 Forumite
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    Make things easy on yourself.  Good company goes a long way.

    For drinks, unless your friends are heavily into the sauce, I'm aim for the equivalent of half a bottle of wine per guest.  You'll have some people who don't touch a drop, and maybe a few who lack restraint, but it will balance out.  Nice soft drink options are good too, which should include tap water.  A bit of ice with some lemon, lime or cucumber makes for a refreshing choice.  The choice of alcoholic drinks depends on your friends and food, but wine will probably lean slightly toward the white at lunch.

    Shop around for deals at suoermarkets, but most people won't know the difference between £7 bottle and £20 bottle.  If you go to wine shop, I'd walk away from anyone not giving a discount of at least 15 percent off a case.

    Keep the food simple and prepare in advance.  Buffet style with good variety of salads and dips.

    Hummus is cheap and delicious.  As usual smoked mackerel pate.  Greek salad.  Rocket beetroot and red onion (pickle in vinegar).  Tomato, basil and mozzarella.  And homemade coleslaw.

    Meat wise, you'll have someone in the family who'll insist on manning the BBQ.  Burgers and sausages are fine if they are reasonable quality. 

    "Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance" - Confucius
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