Welcome to Mackintosh's July Newsletter

The month of July can only mean one thing- the start of the Ashes series. This oldest of cricket's international contests, dates back to 1882 when England was beaten for the first time at home by a touring team from Australia. The day after the event The Sporting Times ran a mock obituary stating "The body will be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia." Those mythical ashes became a reality with the next England team to tour Australia. Its captain the Hon Ivo Bligh, was presented with an urn containing the burnt remains of a bail after beating the home side. Let us hope that Andrew Strauss can bring cheer to this nation's heart by leading England to victory like King Harry against the French at Agincourt!

July has proved to be a very busy month for Mackintosh's. The "tropical" weather that we have all enjoyed since the June newsletter has been excellent for the BBQ parties that Mackintosh's has been asked to cater. Summer parties are always a favourite for the Mackintosh team to organise. A BBQ usually guarantees a relaxed atmosphere as the air is scented with the mouth-watering aromas of pieces of Salt Marsh lamb, free range chicken, fresh fish, organic peppers and squashes as they sizzle on the grill. Barbeques are not just for lunch parties since the long warm and light summer evenings are perfect for alfresco dinner parties. To put a little formality into your party, whether it's for a special birthday celebration or even a fun wedding reception, tables can be laid and styled to complement the theme of the event. To give an idea of what can be done please read about the BBQ that one of our clients asked Mackintosh's to cater.

One of the most exciting events of the month that Mackintosh's was asked to cater in London, was for Generation Investment Management, its chairman being the former US Vice President Al Gore. The venue was the magnificent House of St. Barnabas in Soho, whose work with the homeless is renowned.

As a leading London caterer in West London, Mackintosh's is receiving many enquiries about picnics and finger buffets in the many of the parks that adorn London. If this seems tempting, please speak to one of the Mackintosh team and they will be pleased to give you some great food ideas and themes for a fun afternoon with friends and family.

Some Recent Highlights

Summer reception in the East Cloister

There are few places more recognisable in London than Westminster Abbey. An architectural masterpiece, it represents a unique pageant of British history as it is the place of the coronation, marriage and burial of British monarchs since 1066.

It could not have been a more perfect summer evening, with the sun's rays still filtering through on to the cool stone of the abbey's East Cloister. The setting in this ancient abbey was perfect for the wine and canapé reception that was enjoyed by the guests of the leader of Westminster Council.

This year's summer reception was extremely well attended and Mackintosh's was very pleased to have been asked to cater the event for a second year. Every year the leader of the council invites members and senior employees of Westminster Council to enjoy an evening of canapés, drinks and informal socialising.

Click here to

House of St Barnabas- GIM

For the past 160 years, The House of St Barnabas has supported homeless people in Soho and its surrounds. It aims to help them by teaching skills and through mentoring. The charity's success of helping the homeless regain their confidence to find employment and accommodation is becoming increasingly recognised, not only by private supporters but also the government. More details of St Barnabas as a venue can be found below.

Generation Investment Management asked Mackintosh's to cater for a special sit down dinner to be hosted by their chairman Al Gore. The evening started with cocktails and canapés in St Barnabas' beautiful "Oxford Movement" chapel. Its stunning stained glass windows were accented by special lighting with the addition of dozens of small candles either side of the ornate alter and the side walls. Despite the threat of heavy rain, a few of the guests enjoyed St Barnabas' delightful garden. Dinner was served in the Georgian Drawing Room with its rich elaborate plasterwork and view over Soho Square.

Click here to see what was served...

Summer Sit down BBQ

The summer would not be complete without a BBQ or two and one of our private clients decided that this would be the perfect way to entertain 40 of her friends. Mackintosh's were happy to oblige. The styling was lovely and fresh, with lime green table cloths and candles dotted around the clients beautiful garden.

Our chef created a fabulous menu of marinated grilled rib eye steak skewers, grilled salmon fillet with wilted asparagus & fennel salad, spiced lamb kota skewers and as a vegetarian option, whole portabella mushroom, sweet red peppers, rocket, red onion & pesto served in ciabattas.

The Bar marked potato, spring onion & avocado salad with lemon zest mayonnaise went down very well along with the crunchy red slaw as some lovely sides. After the guests had all had their fill, most after seconds and some even after thirds, the dessert was brought out.

As a fun twist to the evening Mackintosh's presented each table with a platter for "build your own pavlova" complete with a meringue each, mixed berries, raspberry coulis and thick poring cream, much to the delight of the guests.

Despite the threatening clouds at the start of the evening the weather held out and the whole event was a great success.

Did You Know the Origins of the Barbecue?

To barbecue means to slow-cook meat at a low temperature for a long time over wood or charcoal.

The Oxford English Dictionary gives the history of the word, "barbecue" to the influence of French Haitians whose word for a method of open fire cooking was "barbe a queue". Literally translated this means "from whiskers to tail", which describes what part of the animal is cooked.

There are sources which cite the Spanish word "Barbacoa" meaning meat-smoking apparatus as the origins for the word and the concept.

Many etymologists believe that the history on BBQ starts with the Caribbean word barabicu. This word roughly translates in English to sacred fire pit.

In America the Barbecue originated in the late 1800's during Western cattle drives. The cowboys were fed the less than perfect cuts of meat, often brisket, a tough and stringy piece of meat that required five to seven hours of cooking to tenderise. Other barbecue meats used were pork butt, pork ribs, beef ribs, venison and goat.

Venue Of The Month - The House of St Barnabas

The House of St Barnabas is a magnificent Grade 1 listed Georgian building offering three remarkable settings, which can be hired separately or in combination. Chandeliers, silk-lined walls and stunning rococo plasterwork are all featured variously in its suite of historic rooms overlooking Soho Square. There are only two gardens in Soho and St Barnabas owns one of them. This charming private courtyard garden, enclosed by ivy-covered walls and a lovely adjoining chapel, is based on a French Romanesque design. There is a mulberry tree in the garden under which Charles Dickens sat in 1859 and gained inspiration for his book A tale of Two Cities. The House of St Barnabas is the perfect location for a dinner party or a reception. Situated in Soho Square it is convenient for your guests and in using this 18th-century venue you are helping to fund its registered charity which helps the homeless and disadvantaged in the area.

Click here to

Special offer

Book a party with us at one of our venues before October 1st 2009 and receive 6 bottles of Champagne Palmer. Find out more....

Mackintosh's Unit B05 Acton Business Centre School Road London NW10 6TD
T 020 8453 1020 E info@mackintoshs.co.uk W www.mackintoshs.co.uk