Royal wedding: What's on the lunch menu at the queen's reception?
Prince William and Kate Middleton -- now husband and wife, and the duke and duchess of Cambridge -- had a broad menu of Commonwealth-centric canapés to sample at the queen's lunchtime reception at Buckingham Palace on Friday.
Queen Elizabeth II hosted around 650 guests who'd previously been among those at Westminster Abbey, offering tidbits certified to include ingredients "carefully sourced from Royal Warrant holding companies using UK-based ingredients." Prince Charles and Camilla, duchess of Cornwall, were with the newlyweds to receive foreign governors-general and prime ministers of countries in the realm.
The reception was to include some speeches as well as the cutting of the eight-tier Fiona Cairns-designed wedding cake, made of 17 individual fruit cakes and decorated with cream and white icing. A garland design around the middle of the cake matches the architectural garlands decorated around the top of the palace's Picture Gallery, the room in which the cake was displayed. All the flowers decorating the cake had individual meanings as well.
Prince William got his wish: a chocolate biscuit cake made from a royal family recipe.
Savory selections among the finger food included Cornish Crab Salad on Lemon Blini, Pressed Duck Terrine with Fruit Chutney, Roulade of Goat Cheese with Caramelized Walnuts, Scottish Smoked Salmon Rose on Beetroot Blini, Miniature Watercress and Asparagus Tarts, Scottish Langoustines with Lemon Mayonnaise, pressed Confit of Pork Belly with Crayfish and Crackling, Wild Mushroom and Celeriac Chausson, Grain Mustard and honey-glazed Chipolatas, Smoked Haddock Fishcake with Pea Guacamole, Miniature Yorkshire Pudding with Roast Fillet of Beef and Horseradish Moussepoached Asparagus spears with Hollandaise Sauce for Dipping, Quail Eggs with Celery Salt, and an assortment of palmiers and cheese straws.
Whoops -- we almost left out missed the Bubble and Squeak with Confit Shoulder of Lamb.
Those with a sweet tooth could choose from Gateau Opera, Blood Orange Paté de Fruit, Raspberry Financier, Rhubarb Crème Brûlée Tartlet, Passion Fruit Praline, Milk Chocolate Praline with Nuts, and white and dark chocolate ganache truffles.
Sound like a spread? It took 21 chefs working under Royal Chef Mark Flanagan to prepare the approximately 10,000 canapés, and the cakes were entirely separate endeavors.
To wash it down, Pol Roger NV Brut Réserve Champagne was served, with a selection of other beverages both alcoholic and soft. (And we can only hope that a sip or two will find their way to those 21 chefs -- and to the newlyweds during the all those presentations of prime ministers and governors-general.)
Note to the bride: You looked lovely in that wedding dress -- now make sure to eat something!
-- Christie D'Zurilla
Top photo: Fiona Cairns, center, was commissioned by Prince William to create a multi-tiered traditional fruit cake lavishly decorated with a floral theme for their wedding. The tray of decorations, seen March 24, 2011, were for the cake. Credit: Rui Vieira / EPA
Right photo: Prince Phillip, left, Prince Charles and Camilla, duchess of Cornwall, sing at Westminster Abbey on April 29, 2011. Credit: APTN / Associated Press