We Take American Express

15th March 2017

A lot of our customers like to pay by card and we like to try and do anything that makes customers’ lives easier.  So we take all major cards, including Amex.  That’s all for this post.  Just wanted to highlight the Amex thing.

Why are Chafing Dishes so Under-appreciated?

15th March 2017

electric chafing dishIn the long list of global, domestic and local crises, the social status of chafing dishes isn’t going to make it on to anyone’s worry list.  Still, we’re flying a flag for them.  People almost hire them reluctantly, like you shouldn’t need a chafing dish if you are a proper cook or chef, having a proper event.  Often, there’s a slight tinge of embarrassment when they appear on an order.  But they are so useful!  Appearance-wise, they’re not going to give crystal glassware a run for its money but then your average crystal glass doesn’t keep a meal for 40 people hot, does it?

Traditional chafing dishes – actually, maybe it’s the name that puts people off, who likes a word like ‘chafing’ – are heated by gel pods, and electric ones just plug in to a standard socket.  The heat warms a bath of water and the food is kept at serving temperature.  Perfect for waiter or self service.  So if you’re running a buffet, give these kitchenware Cinderellas a chance to join the party.

Outside at Smaller Events

2nd March 2017

It’s the smokers, generally, that get hosts thinking about ‘oh, what if it’s cold?’.  The rest of us will stay indoors in the warm but smokers get turfed in to the night air, rain or not, generally – so they would have us believe – setting the world alight not only with their puff of choice but their repartee, dark, wry humour and sharp intelligent repartee.  The rest of us, whose addictions may be many or deadly but don’t include nicotine, get left fuddy-duddying in dry living rooms talking about school runs or the Bake Off.  Not for us the red glow tipped excitement of how to make proportional representation sexy or new moves in burlesque routines.

So the least you hosts can do is keep the smoking hotties warm.  Enter our infra red electric patio heaters.  


Champagne Towers – You Can DIY, But Should You?

14th February 2017

What you don’t want is a champagne tower that resembles the Leaning Tower of Pisa in any way at all.  You could use plastic, it might even be prudent, but in that case, you probably need to read a blog on a plastics website.  We hire glass, beautiful glass and we don’t really do plastic much.  Or at all for glasses.

Champagne towers are generally square, not round.  Numbers are easy:  for 200 people you need 14 crates of our Coupes, pictured above.  That is 210 glasses but you may need a few spares and anyway they come in crates of 15 and 195 won’t be enough.  Then you need 8 layers, each layer 1 glass per edge shorter than the one before.  (8×8)+(7×7)+(6×6)+(5×5)+(4×4)+(3×3)+(2×2)+1 for a total of 204 glasses in your tower.  The coupes have a neat little edge to help with stacking and have done this malarky a few times before so they know what they are about.

Hire cost including cleaning for these would be £52.50 plus VAT and delivery, which depends on location – typically £45 return.

Building the champagne tower is the easier bit BUT – if you need it towards the end of an event, will you either be able to build it yourself close to lift off, or have you somewhere safe it can stand while the party gets underway?  Pouring the champagne is the tricky part and needs nerve, a steady hand and a sharp focus.  So you can DIY but maybe get a professional bar person.  And please don’t just take our advice to try this one at home!

Private Hiring. It’s time has come.

26th January 2017

Glass Cocktail Jug - No HandlesYou’d think, wouldn’t you, that it would be easy enough to keep a few glasses in a cupboard, dust them off and then wash up.  You’re not having all that many people over for your 40th / silver wedding / fundraising tea party / summer do.  Why would you hire?  Isn’t that a bit, you know, poncy?

No, it’s not.  It’s very sensible.  Take glasses.  You get the right glass – flute or coupe for champagne, martini for…martini, beautiful Burgundy if you need it, hi balls, tumblers – delivered clear and sparkling in sturdy crates for easy service.  At the end of your party, just empty the glasses and put them back in the crates.  Same with plates – scrape and return.  No storage problems, no washing up, more enjoyment.

Hiring serving equipment makes excellent sense as well.  Doing a large-ish buffet?  Chafing dishes are your saviour (and yes, we wash those up too).  The lovely glass jug above is perfect for mixing mocktails or cocktails, looks elegant and stylish – but you won’t need one very often so hiring is the answer.  If you’re doing bowl food or a large afternoon tea, most of us don’t have the right size bowls or multiple cake stands tucked away in our kitchen, so hiring what you need is a practical solution.

Hiring for private events has come of age.

Gorgeous Glass for Hire

19th October 2016

Low Glass Bowl 27cmHiring out glasses to drink from is of course our bread and butter, or red and white.  Sparkling glassware that is just the right shape for your drink is such a pleasure, especially when we take care of the washing up.  It arrives clean and polished, we take it away used and unwashed.  The cleaning process involves specialist materials and machines including a reverse osmosis process, to deliver a shine that is very hard to get in domestic and non-specialist settings.  A bit of hand finishing is the final stage.

But as well as actual glasses, we do have some lovely glass items for hire, including this beautiful bowl fantastic for salads or desserts to show off colours and ingredients.  Also new in the range is a handle-less cocktail jug with stirrer, which is really elegant for water as well (probably don’t need the stirrer for water!)  Bowls, jugs, glasses, we’ve got it all.

Red Carpet Proms

13th July 2016

Year 11 at Copthall School in north west London had their prom last week.  It went really, really well by all accounts.  We were delighted to receive the nicest testimonial from the Head of Year, Simone Marsh-Henry:

“ An excellent and professional service! Great value for money and they catered for our specific needs.

If you need to organise any event Arnold & Walker are the company to use.

Thank you guys, for making our Year 11 Prom a dream come true!”

It was our pleasure.

Glass Hire v Glass Loan

13th April 2016

Why pay for hire when you can sometimes get glasses free on loan from your wine supplier?

First, washing up.  All our prices include cleaning and most event organisers or their helpers don’t want to wash up. It’s tedious at the end of a good do, and if the do didn’t go well, who wants to hang about washing up afterwards, mulling over what to do better next time?    Many venues lack the facilities to wash up or what’s available is cramped and tricky.  Or there’s a queue/jostle with the kitchen.  And – important but often overlooked – doing your own washing up increases the likelihood of breakages which do need to be paid for.  So washing up is a drag.

Range and style.  Clouded, stumpy glassware is not necessarily the look you want but is often the look that comes with free glassware.  And if you want something other than a standard wine glass, slim jim or flute, you’ll struggle. Sparkly, crisp glasses the right size and shape are such a pleasure.

Glass hire is not expensive.  Especially when you consider the hassle of getting, cleaning and returning loan glassware.

And if you’re considering using disposables – please, don’t get us started!

Pancakes and the Year of the Monkey

12th February 2016




We’re now a few days in to the year of the Monkey, more specifically the Fire Monkey whose traits include ambition, an adventurous spirit and irritability – which all sounds about right for February, especially the irritable part. In honour of the Chinese New Year, The Magical Lantern Festival is currently making its debut in the UK at Chiswick House & Gardens. Light sculptures of animals, plant life and Chinese Mythological creatures are all on display over the 65 acres grounds.

February despite being the shortest month can sometimes feel endless. Though it has its bright spots, like Valentine’s Day especially if you’re loved up. However, if you’re single it seems like as good an excuse as any to buy a discounted selection box of chocolates on the 15th and treat yourself to a large glass of wine.

For couples and singles alike the highlight of February 2016 has to be pancake day and although it has been and gone, it is not forgotten. Just like telling your loved ones how you feel doesn’t have to be relegated to Valentine’s Day, showing crepes how you feel about them is not strictly for Pancake Day. If you want to perfect your batter and technique in preparation for next year’s Pancake Day, we have hobs and frying pans to help you master flipping the flat delicacy.



Stocktaking, street food and deep fat fryers.

4th February 2016

These are our February obsessions.  Stocktaking, like many essential tasks, is time-consuming, dull and deeply unglamourous.  But few admin chores are as satisfying as a neatly reconciled stock count, with a firm black tick in both the ‘count’ and ‘check count’ columns.

Street food is an interesting conundrum for us in that plates and eating implements will frequently be disposable, not our thing.  But adapting increasingly popular street food lines and themes to indoor or non-disposable events means chefs getting creative and our lovely range of bowls and small plates coming in to full bloom.  A particular favourite is our white canape bowl with a lustrous coloured inside – a bit like a Paul Smith suit with its gorgeous lining.  If guests are walking about, a bowl is an easy-to-hold alternative to a plate.  Pair it with robust tumblers and street food receptacles needn’t be disposable at all.

And fryers.  Mostly used for chips, but we know ours have been used to deep fry ice-cream, oysters and – yes – the odd Mars Bar.