Catering Bristol

The brilliantly bizarre Bristol International Balloon Fiesta 2013


It’s over for another year, we can hardly believe it! From Thursday 8th – Sunday 11th August 2013, McBaile Exclusive set up camp at the beautiful Ashton Court Estate in Bristol and provided our very best catering and event management services to members and guests of the 100 club at the 35th Bristol International Balloon Fiesta.

hibiscus flutes

Hibiscus Flutes

For the 4th year running we had the pleasure of working alongside Richmond Event Management and the lovely members of the 100 club organising committee to provide hospitality catering to hundreds of guests over the 4 days. We arrived on-site on Wednesday morning with van loads of kit and began the huge logistical feat of making a kitchen within a bare marquee in the middle of a field. That was all done by lunch time and then we tested the fairground rides before the general public were granted access … if only! We spent the day unloading enough linen, crockery, glassware, kitchen equipment, staff, furniture, and of course food, to cater for the special hospitality events, a tapas bar, café and even a garden fish and chip stall (a new addition this year that went down a storm)!

night glow

The Night Glow

By midday on the Thursday afternoon, the gates were officially opened and we were ready to welcome our first guests. A highlight of our weekend was the Thursday evening VIP Champagne reception for 350 guests as we were lucky enough to win the sponsorship of the opening night glow. As guests arrived they were greeted with a glass of fizz, complete with hibiscus flower, from our black and white flute display. They soon filled the giant marquee and spent the evening flitting between our various showcases. The choice included an exciting food demonstration that even featured ‘spherification’ (points to those who know what that is!), a ‘tongue-in-cheek’ shot bar and a vast array of locally sourced canapés, bowl food and mini desserts as below:


Somerset pork rillettes with apple and tarragon chutney, cider dough croute

Smoked trout and horseradish mousse filo cups with roasted red pepper

Balsamic roasted baby beetroot & ewe’s cheese galettes (v)

Bowl food

Chesterton’s sausage and puy lentil casserole with spring onion mash

Braised Gatcombe farm beef in ‘Bristol beer factory’ gold ale with duck fat roast potatoes and honeyed carrots

Locally sourced yellow & green courgette risotto with Winford wild garlic pesto and a parmesan crisp (v)


Guilbert’s chocolate mousse layered with salted caramel & topped with honeycomb crumble

Harvey’s Bristol cream trifle with orange segments


The lights had only been out in the marquee a matter of hours and we were back in, bright eyed and ready to welcome 150 guests to the business breakfast. A fantastic opportunity for networking but also to witness the mass ascent of balloons in to the cool morning sky, a sight that takes your breath away, or perhaps that’s just the 5am start! Dry cured bacon, egg and chutney ciabatta rolls with unlimited tea and coffee kept spirits high and it was a successful start to day 2. Friday also played host to the Red Arrows display team and we embraced the occasion with a themed afternoon tea, the red and white Battenberg was a popular choice after watching the pilots perform daredevil twists and turns, including stunts called The Detonator and Vortex. It was an added bonus when they survived and popped in for a cuppa after their death defying display.

tongue in cheek

Tongue in Cheek

Over the remainder of the weekend we entertained corporate guests and families alike with private seated lunches and a luxury garden fish and chip stall where guests could purchase tempura battered vegetables or saffron spiced battered hake with twice cooked Maris piper chips and a selection of homemade condiments. Our café was also popular and customers delved in to the tasty Tapas for a lighter lunch in the sunshine, roasted king prawns with orange & fennel married well with a pate of Goat’s cheese, beetroot and rocket to prove themselves as firm favourites. By the last afternoon tea on Sunday we were content with how the event had gone and got a fresh team in to organise the breakdown at the end of the evening, we tidied and cleaned our catering area to leave it looking as if we were never there in the first place. The Bristol International Balloon Fiesta was behind us for another year and we are already planning the improvements for the next.

Watch this space for a link to our jazzy new promotional video that showcases the versatility and quality of food and services that we can provide, every event is a pleasure to be a part of and no matter how well they go we always strive to improve ready for the next.

For any help with your corporate catering and hospitality needs, please do not hesitate to contact us at or on 01179 555 271.

All good things come in little packages…

supper club guests

One type of event that very rarely gets a mention in our blogs but we have a steady flow of throughout the year is the private dinner party. With beautiful houses such as those on the Lower Mill Estate and Mill View Manor in Gloucestershire, to name just a couple, as well as client’s private homes we regularly have the pleasure of providing exclusive outside catering and chef hire services in Bristol and around the South West.

Whether it be a birthday lunch, pre-wedding dinner or a hen party we have catered for them all and they are personally one of my favourite types of events. Our clients and their guests can indulge in fine food and wines, served expertly in their own home or venue of choice with the faultless care and attention to detail you would expect in a more intimate setting.

Our private dining menu packages include your own personal chef for the evening, a personal waiter or waitress, all food, service, setting up and clearing down and topped off by the washing up being done for you! We also offer an extensive wine list in partnership with Avery’s Wine Merchants, as well as a wine matching option with our menus, to really get the most from your dining experience.

With our personal chef services, you can hire one of our professional, experienced and discreet chefs for as long as you would like them. They can design menus for you, accommodate any dietary requirements you may have, do your shopping for you, cook to your heart’s desire and then leave your kitchen sparkling clean. We even offer the chance to get interactive with the whole family or a group of friends and book a morning, afternoon or all day Cookery Lesson.

A sample menu from one of our recent dinner parties for 9 guests was:



Maple roasted butternut squash and bacon soup with spicy pumpkin seed pesto and sour cream


Seared fillet of Wiltshire beef served with cracked black pepper potato rosti, griddled mushroom, cherry tomato confit and an assiette of seasonal vegetables


Micro taster plate of three desserts:

Banana tarte tatin with toffee reduction and walnut cream

Hot roasted plum and honey soup with Greek yoghurt and mint cream and a sable pastry croute

Lavender crème brulee with Gateau Breton dipping biscuits


It is always a pleasure to work at these types of events and our clients have had some very nice things to say about us at some recent private dinner parties. Thank you!


40th Birthday Party – Putney, London – April 2013

“Dear Laura,

Thank you so much for your fantastic help with my party on Saturday night. I had an excellent time made possible by you and your team’s hard work. I have had many comments about how friendly and helpful you and the team were and how well organised everything was. Also, please pass on my thanks to Ash for the gorgeous food – a number of my friends have complimented the excellent food and have asked me if I can pass on your details for future events – would that be ok?

So a big thank you again from Justin and I for helping us make such a fantastic party.

With best regards



New Year’s Eve Dinner Party – Clifton, Bristol – December 2012


We had a very enjoyable evening on New Year’s Eve. The family thoroughly enjoyed themselves and they were very complimentary about the quality of the food and the standard of service.

Personally, Sally and I were very happy with your service. Both you and your chef certainly delivered a very impressive private dining experience. We’ll have to find an excuse to use your services again soon.

Please pass our thanks and compliments on to the chef. The quality of his cooking was excellent

Well Done !!!



70th Birthday Dinner – Lower Mill Estate, Gloucestershire – June 2013

“Hi Laura,

We had a great evening and the food and service was excellent and really helped make it a special evening for my dad’s 70th. We would definitely use your services again.



Corporate Hospitality at Badminton Horse Trials

Marquee Structure

With the bank holidays in May well and truly behind us we can now reflect back on a couple of very successful, and sunny, weekends of catering. McBaile showcased our versatility at a variety of outside catering events in Bristol and the South West, including weddings, private dinner parties and corporate hospitality.

One event in particular during May was a pleasure to be a part of and was enjoyed by guests and staff alike. From Friday 3rd – Monday 6th May 2013 we catered for the Danco International Plc hospitality marquee at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials. Over 4 days McBaile supplied breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea for in excess of 300 corporate guests and their families.

The weather was working with us for once and guests sat out on the sun drenched terrace with an ice cold drink to enjoy the following buffet menu:


Morning Refreshments

Mini toasted homemade muffins & crumpets

Assorted mini sweet fruit & spiced pastries

Assorted jams and preserves


Hot Buffet Lunch

Gloucestershire beef steak and tarragon pie

Beer battered cod

Double Gloucester cheddar, potato and caramelised leek pie


Minted crushed peas

Creamy potato mash

Chunky hand cut twice cooked Maris Piper chips

Green leaf salad


Mini sticky toffee puddings with crème anglaise

Afternoon Tea

Smoked Severn & Wye salmon with cucumber sandwich

Free range egg mayonnaise and watercress sandwich

Rare roast beef & horseradish on a Yorkshire


Fruit & plain scones with clotted cream & strawberry jam

Mini English rosewater macaroons

Freshly baked Mini half chocolate dipped “Hobnobs”

Chocolate brownies


Despite the blazing sunshine the lightly battered fillet of cod with hand cut twice cooked Maris Piper chips and crushed peas was the most popular choice. Combine the simple yet perfectly executed menu with entertainment in the form of galloping horses, luxury shops and an abundance of ice-cream vans and you get a memorable event that we hope to reproduce year after year.

We worked closely with Danco to provide a unique corporate hospitality experience. They spent the best part of 10 weeks setting up the majority of the marquee structures across the Badminton Estate and the one we catered in had a library style bookcase backdrop and automatic sliding doors – the epitome of functionality and style!

Fingers crossed next year Mother Nature will be equally as kind ……….

Testimonial from Patrick Ball, Business Development & Marketing Manager at Danco International Plc


Liberty Wines Tasting at Colston Hall

liberty wines tasting

The early months of the year always bring a variety of events our way, before the start of the wedding season and the summer parties and festivals. A few weeks ago, at the end of February, we joined forces with Liberty Wines on the first stop of their UK wide wine tasting tour.

The first of four cities in four days was Bristol and the tasting team at Liberty Wines selected Colston Hall as their leading venue. McBaile provided a two course buffet for 100 guests, accomplished without any catering facilities I hasten to add! Our central Bristol location was increasingly paramount for this event as the main course was delivered hot and presented to restaurant standard just minutes before the guests ascended the stairs to the third floor mezzanine for lunch.

To accompany wines from Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Germany, England, Armenia, Chile, Argentina, Canada, Australia and not forgetting Rod’s native New Zealand we provided guests with a choice of dishes. Slow braised shoulder of lamb in smoked herb and tomato with a chestnut terrine, dauphinoise potato and roasted courgette was equally as popular as the roasted salmon with a walnut pepper relish, crushed baby new potatoes and braised leeks.

As always we catered for the vegetarian guests and they tucked in to a crisp puff pastry and slow roasted courgette and pepper cylinder on a bed of salad with aged balsamic dressing. To follow, a second course that works perfectly at a wine tasting, a selection of the finest local and regional cheeses served on wooden sharing platters with water biscuits, homemade chutney, dried fruits and grapes.

Plenty of empty plates and content smiles as guests returned to the wine tasting was a sure sign of a successful event and it was a pleasure to work with both Liberty Wines and Colston Hall. As outside caterers, McBaile pride ourselves on being able to provide a professional and bespoke service to each client, no matter what the scale or location and look forward to organising your event soon!

Wildscreen Canape Evening – Colston Hall

wildscreen canape evening

McBaile Exclusive were very proud to be a part of the Wildscreen festival that descended upon Bristol in October. The wildlife and environmental film festival was a huge success, highlighting conservation issues and holding workshops on wildlife filmmaking. Principal sponsors, the Discovery Channel, held a screening at Colston Hall one evening and as recommended caterers McBaile were called upon to supply some tempting canapés.

The film focused on the North American landscape and its wildlife, so to remain in keeping with the American theme the menu included mini pumpkin pies topped with whipped cream, blueberry curd and marscapone tartlets, micro red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and last but most definitely not least, gingerbread and vanillia cream Whoopee pies. Displayed on slate platters, beds of woodland moss and rustic wooden boards the canapés were being devoured in record time, but as always there was plenty to go around and the drinks were flowing.

McBaile also provided an event management service, working with local suppliers to bring the wilderness to Colston Hall in the form of earthy tone linen and furniture, with tundra inspired flower arrangements. The venue looked brilliant inside and out, accentuated by the vivid green façade projected onto the exterior and guests mingled comfortably whilst discussing the night’s entertainment.  With more events at Colston Hall in the New Year, McBaile Exclusive Catering Company are looking forward to continuing a successful relationship.

“It was an absolute pleasure working with you and among all the other challenges we had, your team made the reception seamless and wonderful. The small bites you catered were delicious and your staff attentive and professional. You guys did an awesome job and I would certainly use you for anything we have in the Bristol area again! I hope you have a great fall and I look forward to working with you in the near future.” - Andrew Shortell, Director, Discovery Communications

South African Wedding at Circomedia


October may have been a dreary month for many but McBaile Exclusive brought some South African sunshine to Bristol for the spectacular wedding of Simon & Charlie. Striking Bristol venue Circomedia played host to the vivid black and red decorated wedding, for which McBaile supplied the catering. Guests arrived and were welcomed in to the cathedral with cocktails and a selection of warming canapés that included mini Boerewors hot dogs with mustard & ketchup, Brazilian spiced chicken empanadas and filo pastry cones of whipped goat’s cheese mousse & chilli gooseberry relish. Mr & Mrs Lowthian entered through a cloud of smoke, provided by a smoke machine of course, before watching an aerial performance by one of Circomedia’s talented performers.

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Following a distinct ‘Rock & Roll’ theme, guests sat at tables named after rock songs such as ‘nothing else matters’ by Metallica before tucking in to an opulent buffet. The roast confit leg of duck in a madeira sauce reduction and braised shin of beef with duck fat roasted new potatoes were popular options, with guests coming back for second and third helpings. With the live band ready to go and a vibrant Bride & Groom ready to initiate an evening of dancing, mini melktert and dark chocolate & orange mousse cup desserts were promptly served with the colourful rainbow wedding cake by our attentive and professional staff.

All in all, a very cool day and night with much fun had by everyone who had the pleasure of being there. Thanks to Circomedia, we look forward to the next event!

“Good to catch up with you yesterday to discuss how the rest of the wedding went on Saturday. Just to confirm that Charlie & Simon Lowthian were really pleased with their wedding party which is great. One of the key benefits of working with McBaile is the event management and professionalism that is guaranteed with every event” - Julie Higgins, the Front of House Manager at Circomedia

Bowood Show 2012


McBaile Exclusive managed the 2012 Bowood Dog Show Cookery Stage with demonstrations from a range of well known local & international chefs

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10.50-11.15 Keeping It Real – Cooking and entertaining with seasonal fruit and vegetables – Steve Gale
12.45-13.15 Introduction to Bread Making part II with Gary Coughlan11.25-12.25 Interactive Audience Cook-off – McBaile Exclusive with Peter Vaughan and Bistro, Devizes

13.25-14.00 Summer Entertaining -tips for the perfect party – Murray Slinn

14.15-15.15 Interactive Audience Cook-off – McBaile Exclusive with Peter Vaughan and Bistro, Devizes

15.25-15.50 Wild and Feathered – great ideas with game and poultry from the Thoroughy Wild Meat Co – Murray slinn

16.00-close Sumptuous Summer Desserts – Rod McCormick (McBaile Exclusive)

Badminton 2012 Cancelled; huge disappointment for all those involved including McBaile Exclusive

McBaile Exclusive were working alongside Danco Marquees this year to provide the 2012  jubilee themed hospitality catering at Badminton Horse Trials.

‘The recent exceptional rainfall has left the ground at Badminton totally waterlogged and partially flooded.  Further rain is due this week leaving no chance of the ground drying out.  Very sadly therefore the 2012 Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials has been cancelled.

The McBaile team, along with thousands of other suppliers, exhibitors, riders and visitors were hugely disappointed but we look forward to providing catering at the 2013 event.