Outside catering at Bertie’s – a look behind the scenes

If you are dreaming of spring and those warm summer days (that seem so far away at the moment!), then now’s the ideal time to plan an outdoor event. Outside catering is perfect for unique events that really let your personality shine through. From garden parties to private dining to weddings in the countryside – the only limit is your imagination. In this blog we’re going to peek behind the scenes of one such event – a Godfather themed 70th birthday party.


First though, we catch up with Mike Swallow, one of our Events Managers and our go-to outside catering expert. Mike has worked at Bertie’s for more than 35 years and has overseen hundreds of successful outside events for our clients.


Mike Swallow, Events Manager at Bertie's

Mike Swallow, Events Manager at Bertie’s


What are the challenges of an outside catering event?

Outside catering is totally different. You have to think of everything from hiring the marquee to tables, chairs and crockery. It is very important to plan the logistics for delivery of equipment and set up. And, taking the weather into consideration always comes into play!


What do you enjoy about outside catering jobs?

The challenge of creating an event from an empty field seen in the winter to a wonderful marquee set up on a warm sunny day.


What is the strangest request you have had when planning an outside event?

A request to source a pork pie wedding cake.


What is the trend for outside catering food?

We seem to be coming away from the formal dining experience and moving towards a more casual, relaxed ambience, with sharing platters on the tables creating more of a family atmosphere.


Selection of Italian Charcuterie with Caper Berries and Cornichons

Selection of Italian Charcuterie with Caper Berries and Cornichons


What advice would you give to clients when organising an outside event?

Always think of the weather, you must have a plan if it does rain – and make sure you hire a good-sized marquee that can accommodate all your guests.


Behind the scenes at the Rodgers’ Godfather themed party

When Polly Rodgers wanted to organise a spectacular party for her husband’s 70th birthday she knew exactly who to contact for her outside catering …


Godfather party

Godfather themed 70th birthday party for John Rodgers

The event

Husband, John’s, 70th birthday party


The theme

The Godfather (Italian)


Time of year

Spring – May 2017


Godfather themed table setting

Godfather themed table setting


At their residence in Todmorden


The guests

150 family and friends


The cake

The story behind the cake is that they were not planning on having a cake, but when a colleague heard this (Jenny) she said she would make one. Jenny asked Polly what sort of cakes John likes and the answer was that he likes traditional Victoria sponge cakes, loves berries and meringue but it must be gooey in the middle. This is exactly what Jenny made. On the day she had some difficulty in assembling it while the guests arrived, but still managed to make it look beautiful and they loved it!



The menu

Reception canapés

Chicken Liver Crostini

Marinated Olives and Sunblushed Tomato

Sticky Sausages, Sweet Grain Mustard Mayo

Crisp Fried Risotto Balls (v)

Cherry Tomato and Boccocini on Ciabatta.


Charred Mediterranean Vegetables with Garlic Basil and Extra Virgin Oil

Charred Mediterranean Vegetables with Garlic Basil and Extra Virgin Oil


Hors d’oeuvres

Served to each table with Italian Breads

Selection of Italian Charcuterie with Caper Berries and Cornichons

Marinated Seafood Salad

Charred Mediterranean Vegetables with Garlic Basil and Extra Virgin Oil (v)

Warm Focaccia, Olive Tapenade and Pesto.


Marinated seafood salad

Marinated seafood salad


Main course

Rosemary and Garlic Roast Leg of Lamb with Roast Vine Tomatoes and Creamy Polenta

French Beans, Roasted Carrots and Parsnips

Vegetarian option.



Vanilla Panna Cotta, Summer Fruits.


Vanilla Panna Cotta, Summer Fruits

Vanilla Panna Cotta, Summer Fruits


The verdict

“We have had a relationship with Bertie’s for the past 13 years and every time we have any type of event we always go to Bertie’s. We never even bother looking at other suppliers as we know we will be looked after by the team. They help us with everything and I know on the day I do not have to worry about anything. Even when I have a budget they will make it work for us without compromising the level of service or the food that they provide.”

Polly Rodgers


Outside catering with Bertie’s

Our bespoke outside catering service is available throughout Yorkshire and across the UK. As well as creating innovative menus and outstanding food we also offer a full event planning service. This includes marquee hire, venue decoration, entertainment, linen and glass hire and service at the event. We provide a stress-free and well-managed event, so you can relax and enjoy your special moment.


If you would like to find out more about outside catering at Bertie’s, you can contact our team for more information and to discuss your requirements.


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