"When every guest had been welcomed and was finally inside the gate, there were songs, dances, music, games, and, of course, food and drink. There were three official meals: lunch, tea, and dinner (or supper). But lunch and tea were marked chiefly by the fact that at those times all the guests were sitting down and eating together. At other times there were merely lots of people eating and drinking--continuously from elevenses until six-thirty, when the fireworks started."
- The Fellowship of the Ring, A Long-Expected Party
As hobbits are known for their love for food, it is likely the most important element of any good hobbit celebration! Hobbits are known to feast from breakfast and well into the evening, preferring hearty, home-cooked comfort foods.
Your menu will depend on the time and duration of your celebration (as well as whether or not little hobbits will be invited!). In years past, we've had an open house so friends were able to drop by whenever they were able, which is my favorite because it gives me the opportunity to make all the hobbit food.
Here's a round-up of all my favorite Hobbit Party menu items. I've grouped them by meal, and have included links to as many recipes as I could find. Make sure to check the bottom of the post for more resources, including links to a few of my favorite Tolkien-inspired blogs and Cookbooks!
For (first) breakfast, we typically serve something light and sweet, such as a pastry or small cake with fruit. This should be something simple since Second Breakfast will be quite hearty. Depending on the size of the party, I'd serve a couple of these:
- Bag End Berry Tea-Cakes (Recipe by Breakfast Second)
- Banana Oat Muffins
- Lemon Poppyseed Cake
- Toast with Jam
- Yogurt with Granola (maybe even set up a parfait bar?!)
Second breakfast (9 am)
For second breakfast, we go all out with eggs, bacon, sausages, and more! This meal is meant to be hearty and filling. I'm planning to cook up the sausage and bacon ahead of time and then serve them in a warming tray (or maybe keep them in a crockpot on low if I can spare one).
- Biscuits with Sausage Gravy
- Potato & Veggie Frittata
- Sausage and Mushrooms
- Fried Potatoes
- Fried Eggs
- Pumpkin Spiced French Toast
Elevenses (11 am)
- Lembas Bread (with Lavender, Citrus, and Almond!)
- Biscuits with Raspberry Jam
- A coffee bar (including fall-inspired syrups and cream)
- Meat and Cheese Platter
Lunch (1 pm)
- Any Kind of Hearty, Broth-based Soup (such as beef and vegetable stew)
- Garden Salad
- Cold Chicken Sandwiches (either sliced deli style or in a chicken salad)
- Individual Meat Pies
Afternoon tea (3pm)
- Earl Grey + Citrus Pastries (such as lemon poppyseed cake or cranberry-orange scones)
- Warm Spiced Cider or Chai Tea with Pumpkin Muffins
- Beorn's Honey Cake (Recipe by Breakfast Second)
- Scones (Apple, Strawberry, or Pumpkin)
Tips on pairing desserts and pastries with teas: How to Pair Tea with Dessert by Art of Tea
Dinner, or Supper (6 pm)
- Pot Roast with Onions, Potatoes, Carrots, and Mushrooms
- Shepherd's Pie
- Roast Chicken with Potatoes and Vegetables
- Stuffed Mushrooms
- Strawberries and Cream Birthday Cake (Recipe by Breakfast Second)
- Pumpkin Layer Cake
- Almond Amaretto Pound Cake
- Berries and Cream (We usually go with blueberries and homemade whip cream, on top of angel food cake or something else very light to balance out the heaviness of the cream).
When it comes to drinks, most of the planning relies on creatively labelling your beverages. Your drink list will also vary a good deal depending on whether you're hosting little hobbits or grown-ups.
or the grown-ups...
- Beer: Label the best Ale you've got to offer as "Proper 1420" (preferably something golden, as most things in the year 1420 were unusually golden and fair).
- Wines: label them according to different Elven realms (Rivendell, Mirkwood would make excellent Reds, Lothlorien would be perfect for white or sparkling).
- Ent Draught: apple juice, lemon juice, gin, and basil (source), other ideas include: anything to do with mint and vodka.
I've found several different recipes for Treebeard's Ent Draught, all of which are unique - I'd love to try them all! Here are two of my favorites: This recipe from the Inn at The Crossroads, which includes tea, florals, and herbs & Another from Feast of Starlight is a mix of fruit juices, sparkling water, and mint. For a simpler, kid-friendly Ent Draught, anything fruity or green will do (green punch, green Powerade, or honestly even apple juice... for the little ones it's more about the experience so make sure to tell them all about what Ent Draught is!).