Tag: beverages

Choosing a Castle Reception Style

Heavy Hors D'oeuvres Buffet

When it comes to food and beverage options there are many: cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, a plated dinner, a casual buffet , champagne and cake,  just desserts, or even an early afternoon brunch. Whether causal or black tie, the possibilities are endless. The Castle plays host to all of these options, but to be realistic, not all of these food and beverage options work for all size groups.

We are finding that one of the most popular alternatives to the traditional dinner with couples these days is a cocktail reception.  A cocktail reception offers a somewhat more casual atmosphere than a sit-down dinner and gives your guests the chance to really mingle. You and your guests can enjoy an array of hors d’oeuvres while sipping on signature cocktails.

Cocktail receptions also save on rental fees and staffing from the caterer, allowing more money in your allotted budget to go toward food and beverage. With a heavy hors d’oeuvres presentation your caterer will:

  • Provide as much food as with a traditional dinner
  • Offer a wider variety of foods
  • Provide a fresher presentation
  • Serve your guests quicker than a traditional sit down meal, which means more time to enjoy your guests!

Hors d’oeuvres do not have to be pretentious and can offer a wide variety of small bites and displays of foods that are familiar to most people. Guests are free to choose foods that appeal to them, plus you will not have to worry whether everyone gets their plate at the same time. Take time to craft a menu full of different flavors, your favorite foods and popular crowd pleasers.  We can recommend caterers who help you create an amazing hors d’oeuvres event.

The Bride and Groom.... Enjoying the Buffet!

The tradition of providing a full dinner to wedding guests is long and rich.  There are basically two service options:

  • Plated with full table-side service by waitstaff
  • Buffet self-service with waitstaff providing more of a supporting role

The two options present both advantages and disadvantages, see Bride.com for more insight.  When considering a full meal presentation keep in mind that the meal will take the better part of two and half hours of your reception time.  A full meal also requires a much more rigid timeline for your event because timing will be critical to your caterers ability to time the meal.

For couples with a big sweet tooth, a dessert only reception is a neat idea. Cupcakes, cookies and sweets of all kinds provide your guests with a fun twist on

More than a cake.... A Sweets Table!

the standard food table. Choose desserts that go with the overall theme for your wedding, whether that means color accents or sweets from a specific country.

If budget is a concern, make your event short and sweet, stick to a basic cake and champagne reception. This lets the bride and groom focus on each other as well as their guests, whether they have a small or large group. Sticking to cake and champagne eliminates a lot of monetary limitations and keeps things simple.

This brief article by About.com provides a helpful list of pros and cons when it comes to selecting a certain reception style. If you need help, we are more than happy to help you wade through the various choices for reception styles to find the one that will make your day fit your desires!

Check to see if your event date is available and get rate information

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Baby Showers at The Castle

A baby shower is a special time to celebrate the arrival of a new addition to a friend or loved one’s family. Anyone can host the shower, either a co-worker, a family member, or a close friend. Traditionally, the only job for the mother-to-be is to show up and be the guest of honor. The Castle has hosted a number of baby showers over the years, so let us know if you need suggestions.  After a host, approximate number of guests, and date is decided upon, the fun of planning begins. Martha Stewart.com provides an excellent resource for baby shower planning and etiquette.Here at the Castle, there are many options for hosting a baby shower, here are few examples:

  • Classic Tea Party theme, the Castle can provide basic English tea service with cream, sugar, tea biscuits and jam.  This option also includes use of our house china, linen, silverware and silver tea pots.  Often guests will bring additional finger foods to share or you can pick up some additional items from a local grocery like The Merc.
  • Casual Snacks and Sweets, many times the host(s) work together to bring a variety of snack items and sweets, then rent the house dishware and linens to finish things off.
  • Luncheon, a luncheon can be a fun way to celebrate, it can be a bit more formal and may require the help of a caterer.  If you would like help selecting a caterer we would be happy to make recommendations.

We have many table setup options based on your style and number of celebrants.

With the Castle as a backdrop for your shower, there is no need to go over the top with decorations. Choose a simple color scheme or theme for centerpieces or food that ties in with the invitations. Not every baby shower has to be pink or blue, and Babyzone.com has some fun theme ideas. Get creative with your invitations and pull inspiration from the mom-to-be’s favorite color, flower or even a favorite vacation spot or hobby.

Keep guests entertained with fun activities or games centered around your theme. Parents.com offers some fun suggestions to keep the party going. Baby shower bingo gets all the guests involved in the gift opening, with a bingo board filled with registry items. Make a CD with songs that have baby in the title and have guests try to guess the song after playing a clip. Another fun guessing game tests the pop culture knowledge of the guests by naming the celebrity baby.

Over the years the Castle has been the backdrop for hundreds of baby showers and we look forward to working with you to develop an event to remember.  Let us know if you need help with planning or ideas we would be happy to help.


Check to see if your event date is available and get rate information

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The Castle Tea Room | 1307 Massachusetts Street | Lawrence, KS | Phone: (785) 843-1151