The Brief

Originally the idea was for a "fingerfood lunch on the lawn” for 40 friends, celebrating a very significant birthday in fact a 90th birthday. But as the numbers grew to 75, Barbara the birthday girl decided "my friends are too old to stand the entire time, let alone holding a drink” so Plan B was a seated lunch in the Springfield homestead.

The Result

By setting up three long tables in the dining room, and another two on the covered verandah (with clear plastic walls ready if necessary to ensure guests were warm and dry), we could seat 75 birthday party guests for a served lunch.

With 10 young grand-children among the guests, Ruth’s team organised a baby sitter and special "kids lunch bags” to make sure parents could relax, confident their children were being looked after safely and well fed without disrupting older guests.

Guests mingled on the lawn as they arrived, starting with a celebratory glass of bubbly, served with a selection of delicious little cocktail club sandwiches. These are small, pretty and tasty and everyone loves them at the beginning of a party.

The dining room was decorated with spring flowers and sunshine, as our staff served three courses - including Ruth’s classic West Coast Whitebait Fritters with Asparagus and Hollandaise, by special request from the guest of honour. During lunch, photos taken over several decades were projected onto the wall, provoking much laughter and reminiscing.

Afterwards, a beautifully decorated birthday cake – involving citrus leaves, flowers and candles - was brought in to everyone’s delight and the perfect way to complete a delightful celebration with long-standing friends.

Importantly, this was a birthday party without any stress for Barbara. "Everything was done for us, I could not have enjoyed my birthday party more” she wrote to Ruth afterwards.

"Ruth Pretty Catering - Springfield House - Long Lunch - Friends and Family - Delicious Food - Special Birthdays""Ruth Pretty Catering - Blackcurrant and White Chocolate Creme Brulees - Yum Eats - Wellington Catering - Memorable Events" "Ruth Pretty Catering Menu - Special Birthday Lunch - Springfield House"