Locally Curated Welcome Bags

Hello GG friends & Happy Spring! Today we are showing our GG love for some of our favorite local businesses. It’s getting to be that time where couples begin to delve into the smaller details on their to-do list; things like ordering that pretty gown hanger, finalizing the (finicky) escort card display, and maybe, pulling together welcome bags for out-of-town guests. Dare we share our two cents on the topic? Here is our local low-down, comment below with your own shout-outs!

Let’s start with a custom bag, something reusable because we’re into the whole “sustainable thing,” and who doesn’t love a handy tote? Our go-to screen print shop? POORMORGAN located within the heart of the Velvet Mill, of course! They’re environmentally friendly too, and we like that! You’re “Totes Getting Married” so this just makes perfect sense.

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Speaking of the Velvet Mill, why not dream up a custom treat and pop it in your welcome bag with a little help from the Zest crew? Co-Owner, Gabriella loves details! She’ll have you talking through all of yours to come up with the perfect confection! Let your guests decide if they could use a sweet little pick-me-up before or after wedding festivities. We promise they’ll be by the bakeshop while they’re still in town to see what else is in Zest’s case. Zest sources local too, score for a double win!

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Traveling, hotel water, and, oh yeah, all of those cocktails can really take a toll… on your skin. Dehydration creeps up on you, you know what we’re talking about! Pamper your guests by including one of Firefly Farms new Lotion Bars and support a local farmer. They are certified humane and that’s pretty cool if you ask us. (“Spread the Love” label, anyone?)

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Show your guests around, give them their very own private Tour de Mystic Country with a custom map of all your favorite places; thoughtfully crafted by KRUSH Graphics. Our friend Kimberly is the creative soul behind KRUSH and her beautiful work can be found throughout the area. She’s also the brain behind a locavore movement branded as Support Local (for IG users: #ShopSupportLocal and #LocalStateofMind), because she thinks Local Matters and we do too. Be sure to click over to her online shop, a portion of every purchase goes to, you guessed it, local farmers.

***Places to highlight on your map: area vineyards and/or breweries, breakfast spots like Rise or M/Bar, brunch spots like Oyster Club or Red 36, hot spots like Engine Room for drinks and nightlife, and don’t forget our beloved Mystic Drawbridge Ice Cream shop! Know what else tote bags are great for? Collecting seashells! Send them to Napa Tree Point for a beach walk and maybe they’ll catch one of those stunning Watch Hill sunsets.

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Since you’re featuring a vineyard or two, why not add a CT Wine Trail Passport and a bottle to the mix? Top it with a tag that suggests a BYOB. For instance, “Take me to Ford’s Lobster,” since there’s no better spot to stop for some seriously good New England fare on the water, and to soak in those coastal views.  Your guests will thank you, just look at that lobster risotto!

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You can never have too many good old fashioned bottle openers or wine keys. We love the selection at MW Coastal Goods.

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You are tying the knot after all… so of course you need to include some Mystic Knotwork! We love these nautical ornaments for the simple fact that they will bring back fond memories of your celebration for years to come.

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Before they bid adieu, help your guests get back on the road with a proper caffeine fix… a small gift certificate to Sift as a final token of thanks for sharing in your special day. They won’t make it out of there without something sweet or savory to go with that cup of java.

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Last but not least, stop by the Eastern Chamber of Commerce and pick up some tourist pamphlets to Mystic Aquarium, Mystic Seaport, and other area attractions personalized to the recipient’s interests.

Although our list could go on and on, our hope is that YOU will share your own ideas and inspiration right here in the comments. Let’s engage! Xo

 

 

 

PS: RESQWATER might not be local but it certainly does the trick after a night of celebrating, grab a case and tuck one for each guest into your locally curated welcome bag.

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Sue & Will

The first weekend of Fall brings about a welcome shift, a lovely jolt of energy like a second wind sending us off into the latter half of wedding season. It promises cooler days and fills our heads with colorful foliage, not to mention scrumptious new offerings to refresh our palates. Its arrival was especially sweet when with it came the wedding of a very special couple, Sue & Will. Yes, our team was abuzz with all kinds of excitement over our celebrity Groom, but as we learned more about these two kind souls, we couldn’t contain our happiness for them. Jennifer worked closely with Sue during the months leading up to their celebration, bringing her vision to life at Saltwater Farm Vineyard. Here are some images we are so lucky to be able to share, as shot by Joshua Behan Photography!

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Location: Saltwater Farm Vineyard

Linens: La Tavola

Photography: Joshua Behan Photography

Catering: Gourmet Galley

Florals: Hana Floral

Music and Lighting: Power Posse Productions

Hair: Beehive Salon, Stonington

Cake: Zest Fresh Pastry

Strings: Emily Chen String Quartet

Laura and Tim at Florence Griswold Museum

Hello GG friends! Oh my goodness has it been a whirlwind season! We’re having tons of fun but we thought, hey, let’s pause and take a look back on some of the special people we helped celebrate in 2016. This is why we get up and put on a pot of coffee every morning, after all.

Our first look back is of Laura and Tim who were married at the Florence Griswold Museum on the most beautiful of August days. To be quite candid, we feel this is one of the best kept secret {wedding venues} on the shoreline – great choice L&T! There are lush colorful gardens, interesting out-buildings, wooded areas, and a big open lawn along the Lieutenant River that’s just perfect for a tent. One thing is for certain, this is not your mother’s wedding hall…

Here is a quick peek into L&T’s romantic New England inspired day! We fell in love with them and of course all of her PRETTY pretty details! Thank you again for having us along and congratulations from your GG family!

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Catering & Cake: Gourmet Galley Catering

Band: Around Town

Florals: Guilford Greenery

Venue: Florence Griswold Museum

Photographer: Steve Depino

Tent: Chase Canopy

Rentals: Rentals Unlimited

 

2015 Annual Christmastime Teas at Florence Griswold Museum

Wedding season has officially come to a close and though that makes us just a little bit sad, we’re getting in the spirit as we prepare for the 2015 holiday season! First up, are the Christmastime Teas held throughout the month of December at the Florence Griswold Museum (Click the hyperlink to learn more or to make your reservation)!

Join us at the museum Tuesdays – Saturdays at 3pm for a beautiful spread of our infamous tea sandwiches, scones and sweets, served alongside “Miss Florence’s Tea”.

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This years menu will feature some favorites from years past as well as some new ones…

  • Black Forest Ham with Brie, Mustard and Apricot Butter on Whole Wheat
  • Granny Smith Apple with Whipped Cream Cheese and Crushed Candied Pecans on Marble Rye
  • Pistachio Christmas Trees
  • Mini Painted Christmas “Bells”

Christmastime Teas are by reservation only, please call the museum at 860.434.5542 x 111 for information and reservations. We hope to see you there!

 

 

{Venue Feature} Glastonbury Boathouse

The Glastonbury BoathouseHere at Gourmet Galley Catering, we adore anything nauti-chic. We love when our brides tell us about their visions of a seaside soiree, and we get excited any time a corporate client wants to highlight rope and anchors. That is why we are so thrilled to introduce our newest partnership with the Glastonbury Boathouse – a fabulously picturesque venue with unmatched New England charm.

The Glastonbury Boathouse is every nautical-inspired New England girl’s dream.

The breathtakingThe Glastonbury Boathouse 3 views of the Connecticut River from the event space are complemented by the light turquoise wainscoting and exposed ceilings. The mostly neutral color palate allows brides, corporate clients, and private clients alike the ability to bring in almost any color combination. I see soft gray linens with pale yellow napkins or cobalt blue glassware with gold Chiavari chairs, or even navy blue chevron and monkey fist table number holders made from white rope.

Did we mention the Glastonbury Boathouse is brand new? Construction ended in the Fall of 2014 and the Boathouse was officially open for business in early 2015. The Boathouse has an entire ground floor for boat storage and the second floor is exclusively for events. They welcome all types of events up to 150 guests for dinner and dancing. The patio overlooking the Connecticut River is the perfect spot for pre-reception cocktails and for guests to get fresh air later on in the evening.

Photo credit: www.courant.com

Photo credit: www.courant.com

So what are you waiting for?! Click here to check out their Facebook page, email their Events Manager, Kristen {kristen.michaels@glastonbury-ct.gov}, and make sure you book your event there before it fills up {we can’t imagine this will take very long}!

 

Cheers to new partnerships!

 

2015 Midsummer Festival Pre-Concert Dinner

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Join us for the Midsummer Festival kickoff on the Lieutenant River, Friday, July 24th, 2015 for a beautiful evening with the community accompanied by our delicious food, and a free concert by the Manhattan Brass band at the Florence Griswold Museum! We look forward to this event every year and we love seeing so many of you who continue to join us! Dinner will be served from 6 – 8 pm as always, purchase your tickets ahead of time HERE!

BOXED DINNER

Bistro Steak

Classic Bernaise

Spinach & Leek Timbale

{Timbales are similar to a custard, the vegetables are baked in a mold and then turned out of it for serving}

Stuffed Baked Potato

Gruyere, Garden Chives, Smoked Paprika

Cornmeal Crusted Oyster

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Vermouth Shallot Lemon Butter

Grilled Warm Roma Tomato Halves

Fresh Basil Chiffonade

Toasted Baguette

Sweet Butter

DESSERT

{Please bring your ticket up with you when you are ready}

Cherry Charlotte Cake

Freshly Brewed Illy Coffee and a Selection of Dammann Teas from France

A cash bar with soft drinks, beer and wine will be available!

Tickets will remain on sale and available until Friday, July 17th, thank you and see you all on the river!!

Preston Ridge {Venue Spotlight}

Wedding season has officially begun and for us, that also means wine season. Whether we are visiting a new winery venue, managing an event onsite at one of our existing vineyard venues, or simply celebrating a successful event with a glass of wine, all of the GG gals have wine on the brain.

Lucky for us, we get to work at one of the newer wineries in town – Preston Ridge Vineyard. The tasting room here sits on top of a ridge, so guests can see the entire vineyard while sipping a glass of dry rosé on the porch during cocktail hour. The tasting room holds about 50 guests and so does the wrap-around porch to which the tasting room is connected. This also makes it the perfect spot for a smaller, more intimate event such as a rehearsal dinner, corporate outing, or 50th birthday celebration.

View More: http://mattferraraphotography.pass.us/lauren--toddAfter cocktail hour, guests walk down to the tent to enjoy dinner and dancing among the vines. The picturesque setting allows for effortlessly amazing photos and is sure to impress guests. With such an outstanding background, limited décor is all it takes to dress up the tent. We’re thinking bistro lights, crisp linens and simple florals. You could, however, go with a “Vineyard Glamour” type theme and bring in chandeliers, lounge furniture and the like. It is nice to have such a versatile venue right in our backyard.

Speaking of nice, you have to meet Cara! She is one of the owners of Preston Ridge Vineyard and handles all of the weddings and events. Cara is lovely to work with and makes sure that your special day is exactly as you imagined. Check out some of our photos to see for yourself what makes Preston Ridge Vineyard so special and then get in touch with Cara to start planning! She can be reached at 856.979.6835 or through email at cara@prestonridgevineyard.com.

View More: http://mattferraraphotography.pass.us/lauren--todd

Cheers,

Kelly

{All images courtesy of Matt Ferrara Photography}

{Venue Spotlight} Flo Gris

Imagine it is the middle of July and you are standing on a patio on the riverbank sipping a refreshingly simple spiked lemonade. The cool breeze from the water makes the mid-summer heat bearable, enjoyable even. A pair of kayakers float by and look on as the string quartet sets the mood from a shaded nook.

No, this is not a day-dream {although we are hoping to see summer weather soon here at Gourmet Galley}; this is what a guest experiences during a wedding at the Florence Griswold Museum.

Nestled on the bank of the Lieutenant River in Old Lyme, CT, the Florence Griswold Museum, or Flo Gris as it is affectionately called, is a fabulous venue for any type of event. We love that guests can experience cocktail hour on the patio overlooking the river and then move under the nearby tent to dine and dance the night away. Flo Gris also hosts wedding ceremonies onsite, and they often take place down by the river with the most beautiful natural backdrop for photos.

The Florence Griswold Museum is home to the American Impressionism movement and also was home to one of the first artist colonies. Artists from all over the country would come to Miss Florence Griswold’s boarding house {which is now the first building you see on the Museum’s property} to create art and share ideas. Now, on any sunny day in the summer, you will see a number of artists on the property carrying on Miss Florence’s legacy.

Here is a fun fact that you might not know: Gourmet Galley Catering runs Café Flo, the Museum’s outdoor café! Café Flo is open from May through November and serves lunch Tuesday through Sunday. Some customer favorite items include the Artisanal Greens Salad with roasted beets, the Veggie Sandwich, and the Lobster Salad Roll. Café Flo opens for the season on Saturday, May 2nd, so come enjoy lunch and a glass of wine on the patio before strolling through the Museum to see the stunning exhibits.

Interested in learning more about having your event at Flo Gris? Contact Donna by emailing donna@flogris.org or calling 860.434.5542. Here’s wishing that April showers really do bring May flowers!

Meet Gena

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IMG_2672It’s no secret, Gourmet Galley is growing! From humble beginnings, we have expanded our business by 45% over the last two seasons – amazing!  With that comes the need for new positions and wonderful people to fill them with. Meet Gena Golas! Gena was brought on board this April as our Personnel Director and will be working diligently to develop our Human Resources and Training Department. We couldn’t be more thrilled to have such a lovely young woman on our team.

Below, Gena shares some bits and pieces from her life and you just might fall in love with her. We sure did…

KR: So, I have to ask, what brought you to apply for such a new and BIG position within a southeastern CT catering company?

GG: I have both a business background and a pastry background.  I’ve always known I wanted to work with and around food and my career path has taken me to some really interesting places.  I’ve been a restaurant manager, a pastry chef, bakery manager for a Polish bakery (I’m craving their pierogi and golabki just thinking about them–they were so, so good), research and development chef for a bakery ingredients manufacturer (I got to develop products like gum paste, fondant and cake mixes), cake baker/decorator, and I developed the recreational cooking class program at Lincoln Culinary Institute.  Being in an HR role for a catering company might not seem like the next logical step in my career, yet it’s the perfect combination of so many things I’ve done in the past.

KR: Mmm pierogi… You mentioned that you have both a business background and a pastry background?

GG: I have a Bachelors in business from UConn (go Huskies!), an MBA from Simmons College in Boston and a pastry and baking diploma from Connecticut Culinary Institute.

KR: You are one fierce lady! You’re hired! In all seriousness, I see you have a “little” something on your left ring finger, can you fill us in on the details?

GG: My son, Lenny, and my husband, Len, are my everything.  Lenny is 15 months old and is the sweetest, happiest kid.  He has a kiss, hug or high five for everyone.  He’s just starting to talk but he knows all of his animal noises :)  Len is the hardest working person I know and is incredibly talented.  He works in construction and could build you a house from the ground up, which is handy since we are currently renovating our kitchen!  He ripped the kitchen down to the studs and we are slowly recreating everything.  It’s been a long process, especially with a toddler running around, but it’s turning out great.

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KR: Lenny sounds like an absolute love-bug but we’ll need to go back to this kitchen reno topic – I want to see before and afters! I kinda want to meet this little cutie in person too, can he come in to “play” at the office? Ok, so what about your family? Brothers, sisters??

GG:I have to mention my twin sister, Christa, who is my best friend.  She and I are extremely close, as you can imagine!  We happen to live about a mile and a half away from each other which was not entirely planned but not entirely by accident either. My grandparents are two of my most favorite people.  They’ve been married for 67 years and are still as much in love as the day they got married.  Len and I want to be them when we grow up.  My parents celebrated 40 years of marriage last year, too.  We have some good marriage role models.

KR: 67 years?! That is so inspiring! Would you say that you are the “good” twin? Just kidding, you don’t have to answer that… Plans for the summer?

GG: Len and I are planning a vegetable garden this year and I’m crossing my fingers because I tend to kill any and all houseplants.  We tried a small garden last year but could probably fit our entire season’s harvest in two hands.  This year’s garden will be bigger but also hopefully…better.

KR: Oh good, I know where you can get some seeds :) Do you have a favorite meal?

GG: As you might imagine, dessert is my favorite meal.  I will never say no to chocolate.  My favorite thing to make is bread.  My go-to dessert for company is either a flourless chocolate cake or a fruit tart.  Each can be made ahead of time and look nice both on a dinner table and sliced on the plate.

KR: I’m with you, there’s something really satisfying about breaking off a piece of warm crusty bread that you made with your own hands. How about holidays, any favorites? They tend to revolve around food and all…

GG: Every year, my sister and I host a “Friendsgiving” which we’ve named “Pre-Thanksgiving Thanksgiving” because apparently “Friendsgiving” was not enough of a tongue twister.  Thanksgiving is our favorite holiday and now we have an excuse to celebrate it twice in the same week.  Last year was our 10th year!

KR: Your family sounds like a blast! I’ve determined that each of us have a secret, or not-so-secret Chef crush around here. How about you?

GG: If I could share a meal with anyone it would be Ruth Reichl.  I have a girl crush on her.

KR: Good choice! Fair is fair, mine is a little more local and I’m not shy about it – Chef James Wayman over at the Oyster Club in Mystic. We’ll have to get you over there since as I learned, you’re not local! You’ll love it, promise :)

Much of what makes Gourmet Galley so successful is the dedicated people working behind the scenes to keep us moving onward and upward.  We work with the best! Plus, with initials like GG, Gena was the most natural fit!

Cheers,

Kristen

 

 

{Venue Spotlight} New England Air Museum

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We love when clients come to us with new and exciting ideas, so when our friends over at Solomon & Associates Event Management asked us to cater an event for Pratt and Whitney at the New England Air Museum, we jumped at the chance! Not only do we love working with Solomon & Associates, but we also could not wait to let our creativity run wild inside the New England Air Museum.

The New England Air Museum (NEAM for short), is comprised of several hangars full of vintage airplanes and helicopters, along with countless pieces of memorabilia. NEAM is focused on educating the community about the history of flight and the future of all things aeronautical. When we walked through the doors into the first hangar full of retired aircraft, our mouths dropped in awe at the sheer size of the Museum. Debbie, who handles all the events that take place at NEAM, let us know that they can hold up to 500 guests for a cocktail party throughout the entire museum and about 200 for a seated dinner in the first hangar alone!

We were also impressed by how intimate the space could become with such a small group. The dinner we recently catered had just shy of 50 guests, yet they felt perfectly comfortable due to the placement of the tables.

What is nice about this particular venue is that clients really do not need a lot of décor due to the existing airplanes. A few fabulous linens and some gorgeous (and relatively inexpensive, might I add) chairs from our friends at Rentals Unlimited, paired with the client’s lanterns and candles were all it took to create an elegant event.

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So what are you waiting for?! Get in touch with Debbie to book your next event by emailing debbier@neam.org, or even just spend the day walking around gazing in amazement at the airplanes. We are excited to hear what you think!