One of the reasons we both love France so much and decided to get wed there is the food and drink. Even after work on a Tuesday evening we can’t help but spool out some chicken liver paté and cornichons from Donnybrook Fair with a glass of Bordeaux…so the gastronomic considerations we made were significant.
At Chateau de Puyrigaud, catering was not provided so we had to find an external caterer, and we really hit gold with Karine and Phillipe from Histoire de Recevoir in Cognac, who I would wholeheartedly recommend. We did our tasting pre-wedding planner, so in as best French as we could manage, and they were very accommodation throughout the planning process.
In France it’s traditional for all of the locals and neighbours to be invited to the reception for an hour or so for some canapés and a glass of champagne, it’s called the Vin d’Honneur. We left it to just our guests, so when they arrived at the Chateau after Mass, they were treated to the following canapés as We Are Replay played an acoustic set and everyone rehydrated.
The full list of canapés included:
Hot mini burgers
Nordic club sandwiches
Foie Gras on toast with fig chutney
Smoked salmon blinis
Mini prawn pastries
Prawn and tapenade tartlets
Crudités and sauces
Goat’s cheese bruschetta with tomata
Wok-friend scallops and Asian greens
I am always starving after the ceremony when I’m at wedding so wanted to ensure people would get a good feed if they wanted it, so we had a ham sandwich station!
We sat down for dinner at about 6pm, and read the speeches in between courses, which slowed things down somewhat and left it quite late by the time we were on to the amazing desert. I advise that you are strict with whoever is making speeches so they keep to an agreed time frame!!
We went for five courses (it sounds mad when I write it down like that!) Unfortunately I don’t have pictures of all the food…
Salmon tartare with avocado cream
Blood orange and Grand Marnier sorbet
Beef with mushroom jus and foie gras with dauphinois potatoes and tomatoes (pasta for vegetarians) and all served medium
Cheese plate with Brie, Comté, Roquefort, salad and dried fruit
Dessert / The Wedding Cake
So – when we were picking the menu, I thought I knew what croquembouche was. I could clearly picture the little pyramid of profiteroles drizzles in chocolate sauce that M&S sold at Christmas time. One of the most fun things about a wedding is seeing how things you have planned for and imagined for so long actually turn out, and I must say I was BLOWN AWAY by how the croquembouche was actually served!! It is the traditional French wedding cake, which the bride and groom cut and serve to the guests with a glass of champagne, and the whole experience was a lovely way to say hello to everyone before the dancing started.
For our midnight snack, we served guests ham and cheese or cheese and tomato toasties because only carbs will do after hours of drinking champagne!
Himself was charged with sourcing the booze. We sourced the crémant (just like champagne but not made in the region) from Chateau de Puyrigaud; chose this Chapelle de Potensac Médoc 2009 as our red, and sourced the white and rosé in a wholesalers outside Bordeaux. One of the most popular drinks was the ice cold lager the caterers supplied, it was so refreshing and remained well-liked by the pool the next day!
Next day BBQ:
The next day, we had a poolside BBQ with salads, chicken tenders, sausages, apple tart and iles flottante (like a meringue custard).
2 thoughts on “Guide to getting married in France: Food and Drink”
There is nothing more impressive than a wedding croquembouche. So fab!!
Thanks Selene – it was a far cry from the mini pyramids of profiteroles I had seen in Ireland before!
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