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  • Writer's pictureLorna I. Robins

10 Best finger foods that bring back those vintage buffet nostalgic feelings. | Party Food

We Brits do love a good buffet, don't we? And when we go to a party that has those "traditional" buffet foods we get all that tingly nostalgia and thoughts of parties from yesteryear. To get on this list these party finger foods needed to be classic buffet fayre, a popular item on a buffet and be easy to hold in your hand or with a cocktail stick. Most of the foods on the list are currently on our menus, with a few exceptions, which are foods that have been requested from time to time.

This list is not in any particular order.

#1 - Sausage Rolls

Meat wrapped in pastry dates back to the ancient Greeks and Romans. The modern sausage roll that we know and love originated in 19th-century France and became popular in the UK in the early 1800s as a cheap street food. It is now a beloved British snack that we dress up in cocktail attire for our celebrations.

#2 - Pork Pie served with English Mustard, Picallili or Pickled Onions

The pork pie is quintessentially British through and through. Pork pies have been around for centuries and as far back as the 1390s. We love this snack and adding a little tangy sauce to it brings out the flavours. Mostly eaten cold and best served on a ploughman's lunch or of course at a party.

#3 - Deviled Eggs

Served as a starter (appetiser) in ancient Rome before a fancy meal these, delicious little treats seemingly have a history of being celebratory fayre. They still are on both sides of the pond, devilled eggs are also an American party staple.

#4 - Stuff on Sticks

As a kid of the 70's it was tradition to have the family round on New Year's day and I witnessed my mother preparing the buffet and doing mind-boggling feats of nonsense that included cutting a slither off a rather large potato wrapping it in foil and laying it on its now flat side. I was horrified by her craft idea until later on when she invited me to help put cubes of cheese and pineapple on sticks and stick them in the potato. We had a silver potato for cocktail sausages, hot dogs and cheese & pickled onions.....Genius! As you can see pictured is my now well-honed craft and provide Harry and Hetty the healthy hedgehogs for children's parties. << Take a look here

#5 - Chicken Drumsticks

What can you say about a hunk of meat that has its own stick to hold, this is why people love them on a buffet. What a chicken drumstick does give me visions of though is Kings of England past sitting in a grand medieval hall, shouting obscenities to the musicians, and ripping a large bite out of a drumstick and swilling ale.

#6 - Vol au vents

This very light pastry case with a name like "vol - au - vent" which means windblown has French origins. I now know that these pastry cases can be filled with pretty much anything but back in the 70's I only knew of Prawn and Mushroom Vol au Vents, I never liked the look of them and I didn't try them until I was a teenager, I missed out.

#7 - Coronation Chicken

This dish was created by Constance Spry and Rosemary Hume during the preparations for the coronation banquet in 1953 for Queen Elizabeth the 2nd may she rest in peace. This dish has now been made into a sandwich filling, a pasty and a vol au vent. However, you like your Coronation Chicken it's great finger food.

#8 - Chocolate Cornflake cakes

Being a kid and seeing the cornflake cakes your mate's mum made would put such a huge smile on my face as well as the egg butties. OMG! a winning combo. These sweet chocolatey crispy balls of cornflakes were a fabulous treat. All the mums knew to make loads because we'd be willing to fight over them.

#9 - Cheese on Crackers

I remember these being in 1 of 2 different presentations whenever there was a party that served them. It was either Primula cheese on a Ritz cracker or it was sliced cheese on a Jacobs cracker with a blob of Branston Pickle, either way, they were delicious party food.

#10 - Melon Boats

The first time I carved up a honeydew melon to make the boats just seemed too much like hard work. Back in the day, these melon slices would be presented with fancy cocktail sticks of maraschino cherries and sometimes a slice of orange.

There may be more coming soon

This list was really fun to research. I found out some really interesting food history facts, took a stroll down memory lane and fell down a nostalgic rabbit hole. I hope these finger foods brought back some good memories to you and if you'd like to add them to your menu get in touch here >>

Blog post by Lorna Robins head Buffet Hero a family catering business in Stockport. For more info contact us at


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