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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{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!

 

{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!

{Venue Spotlight} New England Air Museum

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!

{Venue Spotlight} Jonathan Edwards Winery

We are so lucky over here in our little corner of Connecticut because we have some of the best vineyards and wineries in the state. Jonathan Edwards Winery happens to be right in our backyard and is one of our favorite venues for brides who are looking for the ultimate vineyard-style wedding. Jonathan Edwards Winery has twenty acres of vines right here in North Stonington, CT. It is here that they grow the grapes for some of our favorite wines, including the Estate Pinot Gris and Estate Chardonnay. What you may not know is that Jonathan Edwards is a bi-coastal winery, which means some of the wines they make start from grapes grown in Napa Valley, California. You may have tried their Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc or their Napa Valley Merlot. If not, you need to! You see, Southeastern Connecticut is not the ideal location for growing all types of grapes (let’s face it – it gets REALLY cold here), so the folks at Jonathan Edwards Winery grow some of their grapes in California and then bring them here to Connecticut for aging and bottling. How fortunate are we to be able to experience both Connecticut and California wines right here at home?!

I could talk about wine all day, but I digress.

At Gourmet Galley, we LOVE working at Jonathan Edwards Winery. The Sperry tent that is up all season adds to the charm of the winery and creates a quintessential New England vineyard wedding. We see some beautiful farm tables and lace at this particular venue and we could not think of anything more fitting.

In addition to the tent outside by the vines, Jonathan Edwards also has a wonderful Barrel Room where smaller events can be held. The Barrel Room, as you may have guessed, holds barrels full of wine that is not quite ready to be bottled. By day, you can watch the winemakers from the cat walk above do everything necessary that goes into producing wine. At night, the equipment is stored away and barrels are moved to the side so that events of up to 80 guests can eat, drink, and dance to their hearts’ content.

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Did we mention the tasting room and outdoor patio? These are perfect spots for cocktail hour, or even a casual cocktail party. The lovely ladies who work in the tasting room let us come in and take over their bar once they are done serving for the day, and we are so thankful to have such a wonderful spot to work in.

We invite you to visit Jonathan Edwards Winery, whether you are interested in holding an event there or just want to drink some fabulous wine. We are sure Erica, the Director of Events and Marketing, would love to hear from you! You can reach her through email at erica@jedwardswinery.com.

Who knows – you might even run into the GG girls in the tasting room!

Cheers!

Kelly

We’re About to Get all up in Your Pasta

Today I want to brag about my new favorite kitchen gadget – the KitchenAid Stand Mixer Pasta Press. If you thought making pasta at home was too laborious, made too much of a mess, and, frankly, you didn’t have the time or the energy for all of that – I’m about to Rock. Your. World. To our engaged girls who are getting ready to register, get that scan gun ready!

A food scale is so handy - no guessing games when measurements are critical!

A food scale is so handy – no guessing games when measurements are critical!

There are many KitchenAid attachments to be had, but this one {next to my meat grinder} is my favorite – here’s why. I’m a home cook, I like to entertain and {obviously} I like to eat well. If you’re like me, you’re always looking for ways to step up your game in your culinary repertoire. I prefer to work smarter, not harder. Don’t you? Pasta from scratch is not just for your beloved Nonna… skip the pasta roller {for now} and step into the world of extrusion. Warning, if you prefer to hand pull noodles, this may not be for you. The press comes with six interchangeable noodle plates – spaghetti, bucatini, rigatoni, fusilli, and both thick and large macaroni.

Since I know you’re wondering, the whole process takes about 30 minutes from dough to noodle. You can spare a half hour or so for fresh pasta, can’t you?

A simple egg dough comes together in the stand mixer bowl within five minutes after combining a whopping (4) ingredients {of which you have total quality control}.

Then comes the “labor intensive” part, rolling the dough into walnut sized balls so that they easily fit into the hopper.  I did this with a glass of wine nearby and breezed through it relatively quickly. Roll, sip, repeat. Fun times.

IMG_5460Now it’s time to make your noodles. Attach, turn on, and increase your speed to the appropriate level {each plate has a different speed}. Start feeding the little dough balls into the hopper. It’s like magic!

IMG_5469The press comes with a built-in wire cutter so when the noodles reach the desired length, you simply swing it across the plate. Easy as that. My only feedback here is not to overfill the hopper, just two at a time is enough. Have a parchment-lined sheet pan nearby to start laying your noodles out in a single layer.

When you’ve gone through all of your dough, you can either dry it or cook it up fresh. I chose the latter, yummy bolognese sauce with some grassfed beef!

Your last burning question – how’s cleanup? I’m a mind reader but I won’t quit my day job… The auger, ring and pasta pusher can go right in the dishwasher. The plate can sit overnight to allow any residual dough to dry, then just grab a toothpick,  pop those few bits out and brush with the included dry brush.

You can thank your girls at GG for your next stellar dinner party!

Shop the attachment here. I scored mine at their outlet and saved a few dollars – such a savvy shopper 😉

Cheers,

Kristen

 

 

 

 

{Venue Spotlight} The Velvet Mill

Envision yourself at The Velvet Mill: a historical space located in Stonington, Connecticut that has stood its ground since 1888. In yesteryears, the Mill was home to a booming velvet manufacturing family {A. Wimpfheimer & Bro., Inc}, yet it’s what thrives there today that makes it so special. Walk through its corridors and discover the friendly faces of our local artists, crafters and small businesses. Shout outs to my friend and artist, Lori Blados; the cool kids of Zest Fresh Pastry, who just launched their line of wedding cakes (squeee!); our peeps at the Beer’d Brewing Co.; the beautiful Ms. Patti Murphy and, of course, the talented duo – Tino and Norma of Verdant Floral Designs! During the colder months of the year, the Mill also houses the Stonington Village Farmer’s Market which brings people together every Saturday to enjoy the area’s bounty. It is very much alive and full of what has become a kinship between the community and those whom make it so special.

Velvet Mill Exterior

When owner, Eric Pivco announced that the Velvet Mill would be opening up its central atrium for outside events, we jumped at the opportunity to collaborate with some of the best in the wedding biz on an industrial-chic inspired wedding shoot. Walk through the details with us and be inspired! Don’t forget to like, pin and share the love!

Soft pastels bring a sense of femininity and warmth to the ceremony area. The ribbon backdrop beautifully establishes separation between I do’s and let’s dine!

The Velvet Mill

The Velvet Mill

The Velvet Mill

The Velvet Mill

The Velvet Mill

Big bright marquee letters are a fun backdrop to the hors d’oeuvres display. Use of cast iron, wood and metals were the perfect compliment. A seaside inspired menu gives nod to the venue’s location on the edge of the open sea and its rich commercial fishing history that still operates today!

The Velvet Mill

The Velvet Mill

The Velvet Mill

The Velvet Mill

The Velvet Mill

The Velvet Mill

~ We divided the style of tables between traditional round and modern block to add visual interest ~

The Velvet Mill

The Velvet Mill

The Velvet Mill

~ Steely paper menu cards atop layers of textured fabrics and patterned dishes~

The Velvet Mill

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~ Romantic florals were threaded throughout ~

The Velvet Mill

The Velvet Mill

~ a vibrant dinner with fresh + simple ingredients ~

The Velvet Mill

The Velvet Mill

The Velvet Mill

The Velvet Mill

~ and of course, something refreshing for dessert ~

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It isn’t difficult to fall in love with this new special event venue. Thank you to the amazing team of professionals who worked with us, we couldn’t have done it without you!

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Call Eric Pivco today at 917.915.6340 to book your next event! We can’t wait to work with you in this unique space!

{venue} The Velvet Mill Stonington, CT

{design/catering} Gourmet Galley Catering

{menu cards} Patti Murphy Design

{rentals} Rentals Unlimited

{lighting and draping} Ryan Designs

{florals} Verdant Floral Studio

{all photos} Maggie Conley Photography

{Venue Feature} Dear New England Girl

To our newly engaged brides, our New England girls, the ones who know just how to rock a flannel with her pearls, we’re talking to YOU. Congratulations! You’re engaged and we know you’re busy reviewing your well-established Pinterest boards (which might consist of burlap, painted mason jars, tartan and tulle). Soon you’ll be turning your attention to “the place.” The place where you and your new fiance will throw the biggest party of your lives. It needs to be just right, a reflection of who you are. We know it’s important and has to resonate with both of you!

9780_10203044697493470_7094619389714837250_nAs a true New England girl, you have a set of well-worn hikers right next to your go-to pair of heels, and can easily transition from a day in the woods to a night on the town. If this is you, then The Overlook at Geer Tree Farm is your venue. Introduced by Bo Geer and his family just in time for the 2014 wedding season, word is spreading quickly about its simple beauty.

 

 

Photo credit: Lis Rock Photography

Photo credit: Lis Rock Photography

The Overlook is nestled at the highest point of Geer Tree Farm’s 140-acre family property. It consists of an expansive, beautifully hardscaped patio with an unbeatable backdrop of bucolic New England. Weather permitting, this is where you’ll say “We do.” Oh, and with just one event per day, May through October, you and your guests can party in privacy. We’ll take care of making sure your vision comes to life.

Photo credit: Lis Rock Photography

Photo credit: Lis Rock Photography

 

One thing we love (and we think you will too), is the flow of the various spaces they have created. Move your guests from the patio to the sail cloth tent for a night of wining, dining, and dancing in style. The pennant flags atop the graceful peaks speak for themselves while giving nod to our nautical history.

Later, when the sun has started to sink low and it’s time to take a break, have a seat by the fire pit on the second patio just feet away from the tent. Bo and his staff will make sure it’s cozy until the last guest says farewell. They’ll even make sure everyone is safely shuttled to-and-from their parking area on their own private bus.

Photo Credit: Lis Rock Photography

Photo Credit: Lis Rock Photography 

Stop by the farm this holiday season and introduce yourself to Bo and his family.  Tour the farm and take home a tree while you’re at it!   You don’t want to miss the charm of a real working farm, trust us. We are thrilled to see such an exciting new venue come to the area and we cannot wait to cater your big day surrounded by such classic natural beauty!

Cheers,

Kristen

 

The Simplest of Appetizers

If you aren’t already in love with radishes like we are, buckle up! I’ll be the first to share that I grew up pulling these babies right out of the ground, barely brushing off the soil before popping them in my mouth with a healthy dose of salt. Not the fancy kind, we didn’t have that in my house back then. Maybe some of you were lucky enough to grow up with a garden like I did?  There were many days where I would march outside, salt shaker in hand and eat my way around it. That was the good stuff and the thought of it still makes me smile.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetFast forward to a very recent experience, one I won’t soon forget. I found myself happily situated in front of a Harvest Table at a gathering of sorts with friends. It was beautifully presented, abundant and ripe with color. There were various cured meats and cheeses, tempting pate’s and warm aromatic Cafe Nuts. Amongst the mix, I found myself intrigued by one of the most simple of offerings, radishes with butter and salt. At first glance, I wondered if the butter were there by some mistake. How strange I thought. But friends, it only took one bite to understand the arrangement. I won’t lie, I felt like I was enjoying something incredibly luxurious which made me love it just a little bit more. The pop and crunch of the salt between my teeth, the velvety soft butter, it was stunningly good.

Move over Paula Deen, there’s a “new” vehicle for butter in town! Now in all honesty, this isn’t new at all. The French have been enjoying this little snack for years as I understand it. Lucky them, I’ve got some catching up to do. My suggestion, give it a try and see for yourself! Remember, the fewer the ingredients involved, the more crucial the quality of them is! Splurge on good unsalted grass-fed dairy butter and a box of flake salt such as Maldon or fleur de sel. If you don’t have a garden, visit your local farmer’s market and sample a few variety’s.

If you are one to entertain or looking for something new and exciting to bring to that next holiday party, we’ve got you covered!

All you need is:

  • a bunch of radishes, rinsed, dried and sliced
  • unsalted grass-fed dairy butter, softened
  • good flake salt

*Bring it to the next level by cutting up some warm crusty French bread for your guests to layer up with all of the goodness!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lunch Time!

We are spoiled over here at Gourmet Galley as our chefs like to make us lunch 🙂 Recently, we have been thinking about our friends who bring lunch to work every day and wondering what they might eat. Maybe if I bring my lunch to work I won’t splurge on the delicious (although not necessarily low-calorie) food prepared by our fabulous chefs … Are you looking for something tasty, easy, and fun to bring for lunch? Someone out there has to be sticking to their New Year’s Resolution, right? Maybe starting to think about the warm weather clothes that are just around the corner (hopefully!) … I found some wonderful suggestions that I am dying to try:

Quinoa Salad with Cherries and Feta

Quick and Easy Lunch Options

Healthy and Delicious Lunches

Don’t forget, back in January, Jen had found some great make ahead Salads in Mason Jars! {Click here to see!}

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I hope you are able to find some new, fun lunches and take time out of your busy day to refuel!

~Trish