Cooking for groups

Some people may relish the idea of cooking up a storm every day whilst on holiday, but for others it's just a bit of a chore. If booking a self-catered venue ticks all the boxes except for the actual catering, don't be put off. Catering can range from assistance catering for one meal, one day, or the whole thing; whatever you require.

Planning your catering is going to be the biggest step to getting it sorted! You and your group need to decide if you would like assistance for just one or two meals, or for full days or the whole holiday. If you are holding a function during your stay you may just want something extra special arranged for this one day. Once you have decided when you want it, you have to decide what you want. Are you looking for a set menu, a certain number of courses, or a buffet style meal? If you are looking for a full catering service, do you want cooked breakfasts or packed lunches on any days? There will be a variety of options that will be available to you, and the caterers will be able to help you work through the details, but it is a good idea to have some ideas ready.

It's a good idea to set yourself a budget. If you are catering for one special meal, maybe the financial contributors of your group could decide a price per head, so your caterers know what they are working towards. For a full catering service there will be a variation of option available that will impact on the total cost, so working out what you want to spend will be imperative.

You and your group will need to decide on your menu. The caterers will be able to assist you if you don't know where to start, as they will be able to suggest options that fit with your plan and budget. If you wanted something particular now is the time to say. Do any members of your group have any dietary requirements that will need to be taken into consideration? Once you have a good plan in place, you are in a better position to make your arrangements with the caterers.

Don't forget to consider any extras that maybe required when it comes catering for a big group. Your holiday house will be equipped to cater for the number of guests that it can accommodate, but remember if you are planning a 5 course meal, that you may run out of crockery and cutlery. Talk to your caterers or the owners of the property; they may have spare supplies available, or may be able to put you in contact with a hire company. If you are organising a special function, would you like waiter services? Or help cleaning up afterwards? This may not come as standard with a catering firm, so make sure you consider this.

Many of our large holiday houses have accommodated catering services before. Some properties provide their own cook, others have preferred local catering companies. Speak with the owner about your specific requirements.