End of year ladies lunch for under $65 and less than 30 mins prep

A sponsored post for Woolworths

Now that Melbourne Cup has been and gone, I think we are officially into “silly season”. Christmas parties will begin, end of year catch up and drinks and socially you will be busier than ever with school stuff, concerts…you name it! If you are like me, you will be wondering just exactly where the year went and also feel exhausted by all the effort that goes into keeping a household and family running. In the last few weeks of the school term ahead of us it’s important to make some time for you and your friends before the looooooong stretch of school holidays begin to stop and chat, dissect the stresses of life and enjoy a ladies lunch – one of my favourite things to do in the garden when the weather warms up.

But some people can find entertaining a little overwhelming so often look to eat out instead – less effort and all that right? It can be expensive though – and busy especially this time of year! I wanted to show you how you can pull together a quick ladies lunch from home that will cost less than $65, can be done by grabbing all the ingredients (and decorations) from Woolworths after school drop off and be at the table by 11.30am for a few hours of chatting, eating and drinking in the sunshine before school pick up.

You can always get everyone to bring a plate too and cut down to just one of these items, but all of these are inexpensive, tasty, and a combination of store bought and cooked, so that no one will know just how quick and easy these are to do, and how much you cheated.

Let’s do this!

These are all the ingredients that I grabbed from Woolies for under $65. Of course you can even grab a bottle or two of Rose from BWS next door too, but otherwise it’s not bad for feeding 4-6 people. There are a couple of nibbles to start with, a main and some dessert.

Bunch roses $10
Punnets of 2 x olives & roasted capsicum $9
Woolworths Camembert cheese $3
Woolworths Quiche Lorraine $11.50
Salad Bag $2
Tomatoes $3
Woolworths Petite Meringue nests $5
Cream $2
Chorizo $6.50
Bunch asparagus $2
Woolworths Haloumi Cheese $3.50
Berries $6

Firstly I started with a $10 bunch of roses, which I decided to fill out a little with some herbs from the garden. You could use any kind of greenery for this – even cuttings from a tree that fill out the bunch a little. I had some sage in flower that was beautiful and LOTS of herbs so added those into the mix too. Simple and easy and looks gorgeous!

Next I got the pre-packed olives and capsicum out into ramekins and onto a platter. How easy is that? $9 for the lot and no one could tell where they came from!

I think the perfect accompaniment to drinks is something like haloumi and chorizo. A warm and salty combination that can’t be beaten with an ice-cold glass of bubbles. Lemon zest and fresh mint are perfect flavours to go with these too so I like to finely chop some mint and zest the lemon on top before serving. Gives it a quick homemade look with no effort! Asparagus was also on special so I grabbed a bunch from Woolworths for $2 and threw that into the hot pan as well.

Slice the chorizo first, fry it off and then add in the haloumi and then the asparagus at the end. No need for oil (the chorizo have lots in them).

You can serve them stacked on top of each other (slice of chorizo, slice of haloumi, leaf of mint and a toothpick and zest on top) or on a platter like I have here:

Another great nibble with drinks is baked Camembert which can be done in literally 20 mins from opening the packet to serving. Add in slices of whatever you like: I used rosemary but you could add in garlic, honey you name it! For $3 a wheel it’s too cheap to pass up!

Take the cheese out of its wrapping, make a few slices and place in the rosemary sprigs. Place into baking paper and wrap with string and place into a hot oven for 15-20 mins or until soft. Serve with crackers or slices of sourdough!

The main event can be a simple pre-bought quiche (because that’s what ladies who lunch eat right?!). It can be thrown in the oven at the same time as the cheese and takes about 30 mins to warm and brown. Serve with a simple green salad with tomatoes – easy and yum.

And lastly with these pre-cooked meringue nests with a little whipped cream and berries will give you some quick sweet bites to finish off lunch before everyone has to head back out the door to the afternoon of pick ups and activities.

All you have to do is mix together about half a tub of thickened cream with a little icing sugar, dollop into the nests and top with berries and a mint leaf, and of course a little more dusting of icing sugar and you are good to go. Takes under 5 mins!

And don’t they look fabulous?

With these simple tricks of doing a little yourself, grabbing lots of easy shortcuts with pre-made goods and of course a little fancying up with what you have at home, I think you can create a gorgeous lunch for your friends without much expense or effort. For me entertaining at home is always so special – I love having people in my home – I can be loud and we can kick on if we want to. Some of my favourite long lunches have stretched right out into the evening….and after a long year of being a Mum and doing ALL THE THINGS FOR EVERYONE ELSE, don’t we deserve something too?

The answer is yes!

I’d love to know your shortcuts and tricks for using store-bought stuff to entertain with.
Got any favourite products?
Got a ladies lunch booked in for you and your mates sometime soon?


  1. Oh YUMMO! How FANTASTIC – shame my nearest Woolies is either 7, 8 or 10 hours drive away! The flowers are especially lovely. I am def going to try the baked camembert – being a Mouse and all! xx

  2. Love, love, love these posts Beth… they always make me feel more confident in entertaining knowing that I don’t have to make everything from scratch!
    Thanks Woolies xx

    • Thanks so much Narelle – that’s why I love doing them so much! I love sharing hints and tips and easily accessible things for people to do at home…fuss free! Long may they continue!

  3. Looks yummy Beth. A good reminder that expensive treats aren’t always necessary.

  4. Thanks Beth for this. It gives me confidence to try this menu at home , rather than eating out. It sounds perfect!

  5. Thx Beth I am going away next week with a group of friends, now I will knock em dead at happy hour. We are a tad competitive 😂

  6. Gosh this is good! I always get so overwhelmed trying to entertain by cooking ALL THE THINGS, which usually results in me not entertaining at all! Will definitely by using these tips, thanks Beth!

  7. Yum am definitely going to get that Camembert in my Woolies shop this weekend

  8. excellent ideas, love no-fuss! Thanks x

  9. Thanks for this post Beth. I’m planning a baby shower and those mini meringue nests will be perfect for afternoon tea.

  10. This is the BEST post. We are having a girls weekend away where we will be eating in and we want yummy food without all the effort. Ideas like this are perfect. Would love a post on your best girls weekend away meals to cook.

  11. Hi Beth just wondering what quiche did enuy everthing looks terrific thanks for the idea Kerrie

  12. Thanks Beth for these tips, this is my sort of entertainment, stylish but quick & simple👌

  13. Hi Beth, it all looks amazing and great tips. By the way loved your headscarf vid….you inspired me to pull out mine again and rocking it today(I think so anyway :)!!
    Love it x

  14. Amanda (mandapants) says

    Am loving myself sick over your plates 🙌🏻

  15. Thankyou for this post Beth! We had friends over for a bbq and I read this the morning of… well, I sent my salad into overdrive with haloumi and chorizo. We dined like kings on our baked cheese and sourdough. My daughter beat the cream to butter for the pavs… but that didn’t matter! We crumbled the meringue into ice cream and topped
    with the berries we bought for the pavs! I pretended it was all my idea and toasted you in my head x mwah!!!

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