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When Bovingdons was established 21 years ago, the events industry was still in an embryonic state. As it has grown and flourished, so too has the company, quickly becoming the caterer of choice for blue-chip companies such as BAA and Morgan Stanley. Bovingdons’s secret is employing only chefs with fine dining restaurant backgrounds and staff who are ‘caterers through and through’. ‘No office fluffies here,’ says director Julie Gray.
The Wandsworth-based company frequently works with such prestigious venues as Westminster Abbey Gardens and relishes a challenge. When Origins was launching its Cocoa Therapy skincare range, it specified that everything on the menu had to be chocolate-based. Gray says: ‘It was difficult because it was the height of summer, but we installed air conditioning in the marquee and extra refrigeration. We served chocolate sushi, chocolate martinis and banana leaves with chocolate canapés.’ On another occasion, a ‘bean-themed’ client event involved huge vases of jellybeans, white bean cappuccinos, cheesy bean croustades and beanbags for chilling out. Our hot tip for this summer is the gourmet BBQ. How appropriate then, that Bovingdons caters for the Meat & Livestock Commission’s annual BBQ, where six types of meat (such as lavender-infused, butterflied leg of lamb) satisfy 400 guests. Bovingdons ensures every waitress can trace the meat back to the farm gate if asked.
This article first appeared in Square Meal Venues & Events magazine, Spring 2008.