I have always swooned over Midsummer Nightcap‘s style and presence in the events world. I caught up with owner Francesca to see what she has in store for this season and beyond…
Q. Hi Francesca! We’re approaching another wedding season. How many is this for Midsummer Nightcap now?
A. This will be our fifth year! Very excited and already enjoying making plans for some amazing weddings this year. It’s especially exciting for those who have been planning for an extremely long time.
Q. Can you tell us about your background and how you got into event bars?
A. I worked on bars to support myself through university; bars at events, parties and weddings. I loved being able to get creative in the space we were using, and being an important styling element in the bigger picture of the event. I initially imported a Tuk Tuk to use for events, and I got an assistant job for an events company specialising in 1920s event styling. Eventually I decided to combine the bar work and event styling… and Midsummer Nightcap was born!
Q. How many bars have you got? Can you tell us about them please?
A. We have our two converted caravans Maggie and Patricia named after my Grandmas. Winston our converted Morris Minor serves bubbles from the boot, and our converted red telephone box has Pimm’s on tap. Then there’s our tipi lounge which can partner with our internal bars; a wooden bar, mirror bar or our new dried flower display bar. Lots of options!
Q. I’ve always had a massive soft spot for your caravan bar, can you tell us about your inspiration for the refit/design etc?
A. Following on from working for the events company, and having my Tuk Tuk, I wanted a really simple classic design which could fit any environment or wedding. I love the vintage style of the unit and I wanted to keep the simple cream. I put the focus on the wooden hatch, its such a classic and simple design, I love it. I get a lot of inspiration from Pinterest, unfortunately we don’t always have the weather in the UK to match all the dressing I would like to accompany her!
Q. We hear you now have ‘disco products!.., Tell us about them please! We love the look of them and want to know EVERYTHING.
A. I am a big fan of disco balls and lockdown meant I had a lot of spare time to get creative! I started off making a punch bowl for myself to use on the bar and at home, similar to our converted suitcase speaker. Some friends loved it and asked me to make more with variations of colours inside. We have grown from there to offer vases, various colours and large spinning disco ball wine buckets! They’re a great style addition to a wedding and we hire and sell them.
Q. Did I spy you do food now too?
A. We do! We have a BBQ and salad menu, canapé menu, and grazing platters/ picnic hampers. We can bespoke the offering if someone is after something specific. The mini graze options come in four platters to choose from, all local and independent suppliers – The Farm – selection of antipasti, salamis and cheeses, The Plant – our vegan cheese platter and – The Sea – a Cornish stuffed crab with beetroot dip and rainbow carrots. We also do a classic afternoon tea and we have a large variety of vintage picnic hampers and tea pots to accompany.
Q. I no longer drink alcohol (which is a shame because your Hibiscus & Rose Sours sounds delish). Do you stock AF drinks? Do you find much demand for AF these days?
A. We always offer a menu of three mocktails whenever we serve cocktails and find these to be hugely popular. We now always stock alcohol-free beer, and Seedlip as a gin and tonic alternative. Certainly this is something over the years that has been a natural progression and we always get asked about at events. Certainly the variety we have on offer wouldn’t have been so vast a few years ago. Non alcoholic drinks can be just as delicious and as a bar we like to cater to all drink/taste requirements.
Q. Could you give us a cheeky recipe for one of your fave cocktails please?
A. Of course! You mentioned our Hibiscus and Rose sour which has been very popular in this summer
- Double shot Pisco (though you could swap your favourite non alcoholic spirit),
- A shot of lime
- Egg whites of one egg
- Double shot of William Fox Hibiscus Syrup.
- Edible roses
Put everything into a cocktail shaker with ice, shake rigorously then strain into a glass and top with edible roses. A home made syrup would make this even nicer! We did list a couple of others on our Instagram as well…
Q. I really love the logo for your Small Events brochure. Can you tell us a bit about Small Events please?
A. Thank you the wonderful @Daisybernardart designed it for me, she also designed our cocktail menu illustrations. Small Events was born out of the pandemic, as many people opted for smaller, more intimate weddings and celebrations. Usually around the 30 people mark as was the allowance. I think this meant people could spend more and offer something more personalised. We can help with the food, dressing and bar offerings for such events.
Q. I know you hire props out too. What have you got?! Where can people find out about your hire items?
A. We have a dry hire brochure if you email us, and we are also finally updating our website to showcase more of this offering, and event styling. We have lots of festoon lighting, velvet sofas, vintage suitcases, flower crates, Persian rugs, and some beautiful lampshades (to name a few). If this sounds like the sort of style you’re after please drop us a note!