Regular wedding attendees may be plagued with the question, "beef, chicken or fish?" But guests at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's royal nuptials on Saturday at Windsor Castle will be dining on a lunch of fresh, seasonal, sophisticated fare and a cake that breaks from royal tradition.
Though there have been rumors of food served in bowls (very trendy in England) as well as ice cream trucks at the second (more intimate) dinner reception held at the Frogmore House, according to Buckingham Palace the menu at the daytime reception will be "led by the freshest produce available."
"Luckily the seasons have just fallen perfectly and that's become the main focus in the decision making," said head chef of the royal household Mark Flanagan, according to the Royal Household at Buckingham Palace.
"The couple have been very involved in every detail" of the menus, said Flanagan. Indeed, in March, Harry and Markle sampled each of the dishes (made from scratch) at tasting trials held in the Windsor Castle kitchen.
Most of the produce for the menu will be sourced from the U.K., some from Her Majesty's Estates at Windsor, and others from places like Kent, which has been dubbed as the "garden" of England and Norfolk for its fertile farmland and fruit-filled orchards.
Things like asparagus and elderflower are in season in May, according to a Kent farmer's market website. And behind-the-scenes photos of royal chef Flanagan and his team in the Windsor Castle kitchen feature fresh asparagus, artichokes, peas and tomatoes.
And Kensington Palace has announced that Harry and Markle have selected pastry chef Claire Ptak, owner of the East London-based bakery Violet Cakes, to create their wedding confection.
"Prince Harry and Ms. Markle have asked Claire to create a lemon elderflower cake that will incorporate the bright flavours of spring," the Kensington Palace said. "It will be covered with buttercream and decorated with fresh flowers."
Traditionally, royals have fruit cake when they tie the knot; Prince William and Kate Middleton served up slices of the dessert, as did Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip and Prince Charles and Princess Diana, among others. So Harry and Markle's choice of cake, which will reportedly be made with organic Amalfi lemons and English elderflower, is a more modern choice.
California-raised Ptak, whom Markle previously interviewed for her now-defunct lifestyle website, The Tig, is known for using seasonal and organic ingredients. She has given her social media followers a glimpse inside her baking process in the days leading up to the nuptials.
"And so it begins" she captioned an Instagram photo featuring crates of lemons.
Photos on Violet Cakes' Instagram account show beautiful pastries adorned with flowers and fresh fruit. On its website, Violet Cakes has wedding cakes that serve 150 people priced at $1,059. Meanwhile, there will be up to 600 guests attending the royal wedding reception.
In the past, slices of royal wedding cake have been auctioned, sometimes fetching up to $7,500.
There will also likely be chocolate truffles, which Buckingham Palace says is a "favorite dessert served at receptions throughout the year at Windsor Castle."
"You approach every Royal event with the same care and attention to detail," says pastry chef Selwyn Stoby, who will be working on the day of the wedding. "But you don't get many opportunities to do a Royal Wedding in your lifetime, so this is very special."
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