Tis the season to be jolly…

Christmas Party Main Room

Fa la la la la, la la la la! Enough fa la-ing for now; it doesn’t make for a particularly interesting read.

Christmas Tree

The reason for my festive yet not very tuneful singing is that plans are in full flow for our annual Christmas parties at Wellington Barn and outside catering at McBaile Exclusive, yes we’re very excited.

Last year’s parties at Wellington Barn were a huge success and we welcomed local companies such as Calne Leisure, Goodman Nash from Devises and Northlands Surgery along to celebrate in style. Clients could choose to book tables at one of our group parties or choose to book the venue for exclusive use. We got some brilliant feedback and this year the parties are following a similar vein.

Christmas at Wellington BarnGuests will enjoy a sparkling reception drink on arrival followed by a three course sit down meal and between courses a heads and tails game with a bottle of our house champagne awarded to the winner. Christmas party novelties will be provided on each table and after a delicious dinner the DJ will invite guests to party the night away to your favourite party classics.

Our 2013 menu includes the traditional favourites but in true Dan Wyatt style (our very creative head chef) puts a spin on the classics and makes your mouth water in anticipation, see below for the choices available and get transported to a beautiful Christmas market in Germany where you are wandering around with a mulled wine and a chunk of Stollen:


Christmas Menu 2013

White onion, goats’ cheese and sage soup with a beetroot swirl

Wild Calstone rabbit and pistachio terrine with red grape chutney

Home smoked mackerel, pickled red onion, tomato and fennel salad with a béarnaise sauce


Free range turkey wrapped in streaky bacon, turkey leg and chestnut stuffing, thyme and garlic roast potatoes and turkey jus

Sticky honey and mustard pork belly, mashed potato and clam chowder

Potato and butternut squash cannelloni, spiced pumpkin seeds and celeriac puree


Christmas pudding bombs, brandy butter and nutmeg anglaise

Chocolate and salted caramel terrine with honeycomb crackling and chocolate soil

Stollen cones filled with lemon mousse, ginger bread crumb and cherry pearls


Christmas Tipsy PuddingThis year at Wellington Barn the Christmas party nights Friday 6th, Saturday 7th, Friday 20th and Saturday 21st December 2013 are booking up fast so please contact Harriet Trewby at or on 01249 823 222 for more information if you would like to join us for an evening of fun filled festivities!

If you don’t fancy donning your best party outfit for a night out and just want to gather at home with close friends and family then take the hard work out of Christmas this year by letting McBaile Exclusive Catering do all the preparation, and deliver to your door on Christmas eve (yes, just like Santa…) a full Christmas dinner ready to go in the oven.

Christmas Party Main Room

We’ll dress the turkey, wrap the chipolatas, braise the cabbage and bake the mince pies as well as everything else, leaving you

time to put your feet up and relax on Christmas morning. And the best bit is that there won’t be any messy pans to wash up as it all comes in oven proof, disposable trays.

In the words of our director Rod “Great Christmas food just got simple.”

We can also come to your home or even a holiday cottage and cater for you with a private chef and personable waiting staff to make this Christmas even more special. For our sample menus please visit our website or contact Laura East at or on 0117 9555 271.

Our Christmas deliveries went down a storm last year as echoed in Irina’s testimonial

Dear Laura

Merry Christmas to you and all your team and best wishes for the New Year.

We were very happy with the food to say the least. It was delivered precisely on time by the chef himself; it was great and very special to get in that manner. He insisted on going through all the ordered food which was a very good idea and kind of him.

As for the food, it was delicious!!!! The fact that you took us on board at the last minute and followed our requests was lifesaving.

Thank you again,

Irina Klimova and all my family.”


Merry Christmas all!


Lunch time treats courtesy of McBaile


Looking for a healthy, light and yet deliciously tasty lunch? Try this recipe for Moqueca one day this week and never go back to the readymade sandwich and a packet of disappointing crisps! It went down a storm at our recent supper club event with Crumbs magazine at the Lower Mill Estate – now it’s your turn

Moqueca Recipe – McBaile

This fish stew, called moqueca in Portuguese, couldn’t be more Brazilian, although it has an international appeal that is hard to resist. Moqueca is originally from the state of Bahia, and there are many versions: fish, shrimp, or crab are the most popular. Use this recipe as a guideline and experiment with different types of fish, such as wild striped bass, halibut, and tilapia. Just a little bit of coconut milk makes this colorful fish stew rich, but only in looks and spirit—one spoonful will reveal how unbelievably light it is. Moqueca is commonly served with farofa, a side dish made from cooked manioc flour, but feel free to use white rice.


  • 1 bunch of spring onions (white and green parts), chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 small piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 tablespoons dendê oil (you can use extra-virgin olive oil or peanut oil, but you’ll loose the vibrant Bahian hue)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons chopped coriander
  • 1 1/4 pounds sea bass (or any white fish), cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 1/2 cup freshly chopped green pepper
  • 1/3 cup freshly chopped yellow pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups fish stock
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and diced


1. In a bowl, mix together half of the spring onion, half of the onion, half of the ginger, and half of the garlic. Add 2 tablespoons of the dendê oil, all of the olive oil, and half of the coriander. Place the chunks of fish in a re-sealable plastic bag and add the marinade, pressing the bag to evenly coat the fish. Remove all of the air from the plastic bag and seal it. Place the bag in a shallow bowl, making sure the chunks of fish are completely covered by the marinade, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

2. Take the fish out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).

3. Place the remaining 3 tablespoons of the dendê oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the remaining spring onion and onion along with the green and yellow peppers, and cook until softened, about 3 minutes.

4. Add the remaining ginger and garlic to the pan and cook, stirring to combine, for another minute or until it’s hot. Add the fish stock and let it come to a full boil. Add the coconut milk and tomato paste and return to a boil. Immediately lower the heat to medium-low or so and simmer the sauce, nice and gently, while you prepare the fish.

5. In the meantime, place the fish and its marinade in a gratin or casserole dish. Pour the lemon juice on top and season lightly with salt and pepper. Bake until the fish is almost but not quite cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes.

6. Carefully transfer each chunk of fish to the pan with the gently simmering sauce. Add any juices in the dish from the fish and marinade. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to low, and cook just until the fish is soft and tender, 5 to 8 minutes.

7. Uncover the pan, add the tomatoes, and just let them get hot, which will take only a minute or two.

8. Taste the moqueca, season it with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with the remaining fresh cilantro. Serve with white or coconut rice.

Valentine’s Heavenly Macaroons by Rod McCormick

Valentines Heavenly Macaroons

If you are feeling adventurous this Valentine’s Day (and confident), why not show the ones you love your culinary prowess by getting in to the kitchen and cooking something from the heart, like these deliciously moreish and chewy macaroons, simple and quick to make but guaranteed to make your lover swoon with their heavenly fragrance!


event catering, wedding catering, bristol caterers

Rosewater, cardamom and almond macaroons

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Rosewater, cardamom and almond macaroons

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 12minutes


200g ground almonds

200g caster sugar

2 cardamom pods, break open the pods, discard the shell and crush black seeds inside either with a rolling pin or mortar and pestle

2 egg whites

1 teaspoon of quality rosewater

Blanched whole almonds


Preheat the oven to 200C and line a baking tray with non stick baking parchment

In a large bowl mix together all the ingredients to form a sticky dough. Sprinkle a little water onto your hands to moisten (this helps to prevent the dough stinking to your hands while rolling) and take approx. 15g of dough for each macaroon and roll between your palms to create a ball. Place onto the lined baking tray 3cm apart from each other and gently push a single blanched almond onto the top of each ball which will flatten slightly.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, until pale to medium golden brown colour. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 5 minutes before placing onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

Store and keep in an airtight container. Just before serving sprinkle lightly with icing sugar and serve with tea or coffee.