FAQs and expert advice about catering

Here is a selection of Q&As from Your Devon and Cornwall Wedding magazine whether it be about flowers, hair and makeup, fashion, wedding themes, health & beauty, cakes, stationery, legal advice. If you would like your question answered by our experts, please email it to

Say Cheese!

Say Cheese!

Q How do we create the perfect cheese board combined with drink pairings for our Christmas wedding?
A Greg Parsons says: There's no right or wrong way to create the ultimate cheese board – it's all about preference. It's a good rule of thumb to pair cheese and wines with equal intensity. Generally, creamy soft cheeses pair beautifully with sparkling wines. If you've chosen a cheese with a delicate character, avoid overpowering it with a full-bodied red wine.

As you venture into the realm of complex aged cheeses, look for bold or fortified wines to match. It's also true what they say – what grows together, goes together. For example, Sharpham Wine and Cheese are made along the River Dart and the terroir shapes produce that pair well together.

So, how much cheese do you serve at your wedding? If you plan to offer cheese as part of a meal, a typical recommendation is to provide 80g per person. However, over the Christmas period, guests may wish to savour the cheeseboard with drinks, so consider increasing the amount to 150g per person.

What cheeses should you go for? Opting for a variety of textures and characters is a guaranteed way to please everybody. A classic choice includes blue cheese, soft cheese, semi-hard cheese, cheddar and goat's cheese. Sharpham Dairy has gathered up some of the most popular cheeses in the Essential Devon Cheese Board, £30. It includes the Devon classics - Sharpham Brie, Sharpham Rustic, Sharpham Ticklemore Goat, Quicke's Mature Cheddar and Ticklemore Devon Blue.

When it comes to top pairings for the Christmas season, I love the delicate floral notes of our Sharpham Rushmore paired with a delicious light-bodied, aromatic white such as a sauvignon blanc. Christmas is a time for popping open the bubbly, which I would pair with one of my favourites – Sharpham Brie. A good brie is a Christmas cheeseboard essential. I'd also pair our Sharpham Brie with something with a little acidity like apple or plums.

Final tips
•Once cheese has been cut into, it's best eaten within a couple of weeks.
•Don't forget to take cheese out of the fridge an hour or two before serving to come up to room temperature.
•Do chat with your cheesemonger - they're often a font of knowledge and eager to introduce you to new cheeses, offer tasters and help build the perfect cheeseboard.

Greg Parsons, Sharpham Dairy

Happy twixmas

Happy twixmas

Q Where can we enjoy a festive Cornish mini-moon?
A Claire Ridley says: Editor of Your Devon & Cornwall Wedding Claire Ridley suggests enjoying a Scarlet Christmas. This Xmas, why not book a four-night, laid-back luxurious break at the adult-only hotel and spa, Scarlet? Located on the Cornish clifftops of Mawgan Porth, Scarlet is a peaceful coastal escape and the ideal option for those looking for a slower pace this festive season.

Guests are invited to relax in the hotel's lounges, soak up the coastal views, venture down to the beach for walks, pamper themselves in the spa and indulge in the finest festive food, including a five-course tasting menu on the night of arrival, daily two-course breakfast and a three-course, sea-view dinner on Christmas Eve and Boxing Day. Each night, guests will receive a specially selected gift and a special Scarlet hamper to take home on their departure.

On Boxing Day, guests can go for an invigorating dip, hosted by King Surf on the beach just a short walk from the hotel. For those who would prefer something warmer, why not enjoy a Clifftop Hot Tub, or Candlelit Copper Tub experience to round off this truly memorable Christmas getaway?

Why not make the most of those festive days between Christmas and New Year with a three-night stay at Scarlet? Guests can indulge in a spa treatment or experience, rest up in a sea-view bedroom with gifts delivered nightly and enjoy the mouth-watering dishes on the menu at the Scarlet Restaurant plus take home a special Scarlet hamper on departure. An invigorating sea dip taking place on 28th December at the nearby Mawgan Porth Beach will be hosted by King Surf.

Rates start from £2,670 for two people in a Just Right room for four nights from 23rd - 27th December 2022.

Rates start from £1,885 for two people in a Just Right room for three nights from 27th - 30th December 2022.

Claire Ridley, The Scarlet Hotel

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