Planning your wedding table settings

Planning your wedding table settings

Are your tables big enough?

If you are serving an afternoon tea at your event, depending on how much china  you order, you may need to think carefully about space.

Let me show you a very vintage photo to illustrate:


This is my grandparents wedding breakfast in August 1945. I absolutely love the photo, and inherited my love of china and afternoon tea from my Nanna; but you may notice the amount of items in the table! And this was during rationing, when food was scarce; how much more might you want to put on your tables today?

I am very happy to meet up with you during the booking process, with some of the china so that you can get an idea of how a place setting will look and work out if you will have space to do what you want to. That way, if there is not going to be room, we can consider other options, such as a serving table which guests select food from, rather than load everything on the individual tables. In addition, you can get to see the china for yourself, and also judge whether the food you are intending to serve will fit!

If you’d like a free, no obligation meeting to discuss this; do get in touch by email or phone and I’m happy to arrange it. You can also borrow a cake stand if you’d like to show it to your caterers if that helps with your decision making.   Alternatively, as we now provide homemade afternoon teas; you can book to sample our wares to see if you would like us to provide the china and the afternoon tea!

What to consider before booking a village hall for your wedding reception.

What to consider before booking a village hall for your wedding reception.

IMG_3565Are you considering booking a village or community hall as a venue for your wedding reception?  They can be an ideal choice due to their size, flexibility, facilities    and cost.  The following points are worth bearing in mind when you are researching or looking round venues.  This advice comes from my experience of both being a wedding supplier and a committee member of my local village hall for a number of years.

  • Cost – is the price for your sole use, or will others users have the use of any separate rooms.  This may not be an issue, but double check that they don’t also expect to share the kitchen if you need to use it!
  • Do they have a designated contact for dealing with weddings? Will anyone from the hall be there or available on the day to help sort out any problems?
  • How long can you have the hall; make sure you have enough time for setting up and cleaning up afterwards. The hall should be left as it was when you arrived. Does the hall have any staff or volunteers who could help with setting up or cleaning, if so, do they need extra payment?  Sometimes you can pay a bit extra so that you don’t have to do all the cleaning up afterwards.
  • What time will you need to stop music/close the hall?
  • Do you need to remove all your rubbish? Many halls only have domestic size bins and cannot dispose of party waste.
  • Is there suitable area for photographs on the day?
  • Is there a bar? If so, is it staffed, or do you need to hire your own staff?  Some halls have a bar area, but no stock, so you have to supply everything.  If there is a bar, are you allowed to supply alcohol yourself as well (welcome drink/wine at tables etc); make sure you check their rules. What time does the bar have to close (the hall will have trading hours in its licence, and cannot operate outside them). If there is no bar, you may be able to obtain a temporary events licence from the local council to sell alcohol, check with your venue for details.
  • If there is a bar, have you any special drinks etc you would like them to supply, if so, ask if this is possible (it is not always!) If you know, for example, that many of your guests like to drink Guinness, make sure to tell the venue when you book; village hall bars do not usually carry the variety or amount of stock that a pub does, so any information you can give them as to numbers of guests or particular preferences will help them stock the bar appropriately. A village hall may or may not be able to supply keg beer. Many only serve bottles and cans, check if this is important to you, as it can be possible hire keg equipment in at extra cost.
  • Remember that a bar will generally only take cash and there may not be any local cash machines around!
  • Parking facilities? Is the car park big enough for your guest numbers? If not, is there another facility locally who could be approached, pub, church etc. Sometimes a village hall may know a local resident who may let you use a field for extra parking if required, there is likely to be an extra cost involved.
  • Disabled access, will you need this?
  • What are their chairs and tables like?  You may need chair covers and if so, you may need to measure them up. Can you have the table arrangement you want for your numbers? If the tables are not the right shape or size, you can hire tables from elsewhere.
  • What is the decor like? Are you allowed to pin/stick items to the walls? Can they tell you room sizes if you want to hang decorations such as bunting? Can you decorate the outside of the hall?
  • Have they any suppliers they recommend? They may well know local, reliable people you have never heard of. Also, the numbers of local taxi or mini bus companies.
  • Is a landline phone/mobile phone/internet access important to you? Many halls don’t have this!
  • Is there room for a dj/band? Smoke machines may set off fire alarm systems!
  • Is there outside space such as a playing field which you can use? Again, is that for your sole use, many playing fields have to be open for anyone to use! Are marquees or other temporary structures allowed?
  • If there is a field, check if it is possible to be mowed shortly before so grass is not too long.
  • If you are thinking about fireworks, check if they are allowed. Some halls rules or insurance won’t allow this, and many rural venues will be near livestock which means fireworks are not a good idea. The same applies to floating lanterns which can be extremely dangerous to animals.
  • Kitchen facilities. The hall will have a fire certificate which states the maximum amount of people allowed in the hall at a time. You may not necessarily be able to cater for that number if the kitchen is too small/under equipped.
  • What food will you be providing? Could it be prepared and served in the size of kitchen? Is the oven/fridge/freezer/sink/work space large enough?
  • What is their crockery and cutlery like and is there enough? If not, you can hire it in, or an outside caterer may supply it all. Bear in mind that village hall crockery and cutlery can be a real mismatched affair. Are there enough utensils and pans etc for cooking, or will you supply what you need. If you are using a caterer, they may want to come and see the facilities beforehand. If you are self-catering, have you enough helpers?
  • If you would like some outside catering such as a fish and chip van, ice cream van or hog roast, is there suitable outside space for this? If you’re looking at a venue in a remote area, will your suppliers be able to make it there?IMG_3566

If you are not local to the area and you are searching online, you may not find village halls listed online, or their websites may be rather out of date.  Don’t necessarily let this put you off!  Remember that the majority of village halls are run by volunteers, and they don’t always have time for updating websites.  Try searching local council websites for lists of community halls for hire.

How much china do I need for an afternoon tea?

How much china do I need for an afternoon tea?

Are you planning an afternoon tea for a party or special event, but not sure what items you need for it?  A lot depends on exactly what food you want to serve, but it might help to consider an afternoon tea china package.

You can hire our vintage cups, saucers, teaplates, cutlery, two teapots or coffee pots, 2 milk jugs and sugar bowls, 2 cake stands and a cake slice for 10 guests for just £30:

China hire package
Vintage afternoon tea package

Extra items can be added if you have more guests; or are planning on eating more cake!

If you would prefer the whole afternoon tea to be delivered to you, we also have a choice of catering packages, providing delicious homemade cakes, scones and savouries, either with or without the vintage china.

Coffee and walnut cake
Coffee and walnut cake with Italian buttercream
DIY Wedding in Lincolnshire? We can help!

DIY Wedding in Lincolnshire? We can help!

Are you planning a DIY wedding in Lincolnshire; at a venue with no china such as a barn or marquee, or one with a strange collection of items that don’t fit your needs?  Why not hire some of  our vintage china collection for your special day?  Whether you’d like cake stands for individual afternoon teas; just cups and saucers for a refreshing drink for your guests, or a creative way to serve dessert; or a bit of everything including teapots, jugs and sugar bowls, we can help.   We deliver and collect the china to you or you venue and do all the washing up afterwards.  We can also help set everything out at your venue if you are short of time or helpers; or just so that you can spend more of your time enjoying the day itself.


If afternoon tea for your your guests is on the menu, we can also provide delicious homemade treats.  Do get in touch if you would like more information.

Mobile afternoon teas for weddings
Afternoon tea – coffee and walnut cake and scones and jam
Little Extras ….

Little Extras ….

In addition to the beautiful vintage china we have available to hire, we also have lots of lovely extras to make your event extra special.  Get in touch if we can help with:



Don’t Forget Mother’s Day!

Don’t Forget Mother’s Day!

Mother’s Day will soon be here, Sunday 26th March this year.  If your lovely Mum deserves spoiling (tip: she does!), why not hire some vintage china and treat her to an afternoon tea?  We can supply all the china and cutlery you need, even vases and vintage tablecloths.  China delivered and collected free within 20 miles of Horncastle, Lincs and there is no need to wash up afterwards.  All you need do is supply the food; and the Mum!

Can’t beat an afternoon tea with clotted cream, jam and scones!


A simple afternoon tea setting
Or does Alice in Wonderland suit her better?
And along came baby ..

And along came baby ..

Are you expecting a happy event?  Congratulations!  If you would like to celebrate with a baby shower or Christening party, we can help with pretty china to match your colour scheme.  Whether it’s pretty in pink …



Selection of pink teaplates

baby blue …

Pretty blue Royal Grafton tea set
Selection of blue and yellow teaplates

Perhaps minty greens ..


or maybe multi-coloured ..

Teacups waiting to be filled

Do get in touch to discuss your requirements, via the contact page, email or via our Facebook page.