Festive treats for your Christmas fair
Sourcing the right refreshments for a winter fair can
take some thought. A few items, such as mulled wine or turkey baps
will be a given, but how can you make sure your getting the best
from yummy yuletide fare?
First of all, remember that if you're selling alcoholic mulled
wine at your fair, you will need a Temporary Event Notice (TEN),
assuming your venue doesn't already have a premises licence. Next,
decide whether you want to make it yourself or buy ready-made
bottles, and then work out how you will keep it heated.
- Pre-made bottles can be sourced cheaply from
wholesalers or local supermarkets and many will offer a sale or
return option, meaning you don't have to worry too much about
quantities. Buying your wine pre-mixed will save you time, but can
often be more expensive.
- Homemade mulled wine should be advertised as
homemade! It might take longer, but will save on cost. Jamie Oliver's mulled wine recipe has been
recommended. Think about a balance of red wine and orange/cranberry
juice so that it isn't too strong - especially for a daytime
- Heating it, and keeping it warm, can be
tricky. Slow cookers or a giant tea urn are great ways to keep it
warm for customers. If you're near a kitchen, keeping a large pot
on a low heat will also work.
Yes, everyone loves a good barbecue, but if you REALLY want to
tie in with the festive feel, provide turkey baps. Turkey,
cranberry sauce and stuffing in rolls will go down a treat. For a
vegetarian option, use brie instead of Turkey. Contact local
butchers and catering companies to see what they can offer, and
follow Food Standards Agency guidance on food
preparation and storage.
As supermarkets start selling mince pies as early as September,
asking for donations in advance shouldn't be a problem! Run a
'coffee/tea and mince pie' deal for attendees. Homemade mince pies
are just as good, so if you're struggling with donations and have
some keen bakers, ask them to help - try this BBC Good Food recipe for unbelievably
easy mince pies!
Cake stalls are a staple part of any fair, but give them a
festive twist. Browse our Christmas fairs Pinterest board for some
festive cake and cupcake inspiration. If you have enough
volunteers, have several stalls... One with inexpensive shop-bought
or home-baked items that can be sold for between 20p-£1. Then
generate a little competitive spirit among those who are donating
cakes, by running a cupcake competition. Decide which categories
you want and recruit some judges! Have these on display and perhaps
sell them at the end or auction them off in boxes of 4. Another
popular idea is a 'guess the weight of the cake' competition.
Christmas cakes are notoriously heavy, so print out a good spread
of weight options and invite visitors to pay to guess, noting their
name and contact details against their chosen weight. Keep your
cake in a sealed see-through container. Not only will this keep it
fresh and germ-free (while people are picking it up), it will also
enable you to go mobile! Take the cake and a clipboard around your
event, inviting people to participate.
If there will be a large proportion of children at your event,
combine refreshments with an activity that will keep them
entertained. Buy plain gingerbread men in bulk, as well as
decorating accoutrements: different-coloured icing (pre-mixed in
squeezy bottles), silver balls and other edible delights. Have some
baby wipes ready to wipe any sticky hands!
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