The UK is gearing up for a big, party weekend. There are many formal celebrations taking place up and down the country, but if you prefer a more local affair, you’ve still got time to hold your own ‘street party’. Great British Chefs blogger Urvashi Roe (aka @BotanicalBaker) has some last minute hints, tips and recipes to help with your planning
Blog post by Urvashi Roe
Street parties have a long tradition in England dating back to the very formal affairs held for Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897. In 1919 ‘Peace Teas’ were held to celebrate the signing of the Versailles Treaty. Local residents held street or community parties for King George V’s Silver Jubilee in 1935 and King George VI’s Coronation in 1937 like this one..
Since then, the Queen’s Coronation in 1953 and of course Prince Charles and Lady Diana’s wedding in 1981. Take a look at this video.
The spirit since those celebrations of old hasn’t been lost. The UK is gearing up for a big, party weekend. There are many formal celebrations taking place up and down the country but if you prefer a more local affair, you’ve still got time to hold your own ‘street party’ like we’ll be doing.
Here are some tips that might help your last minute preparations.
Bunting – you MUST have bunting! All the historic images show wonderful displays of red, white and blue bunting draped across houses, lampposts, cars, tables – anywhere and everywhere seems to be the general rule and there are plenty of supplies on the high street and in local markets.
Cocktails – To add a little sophistication, how about some pitchers of summery cocktails. An Earl Grey Tea Martini perhaps…
…or Marcus Wareing’s wonderful Gin and Tonic Granita.
A good spread – Food was at the heart of celebrations in for Queen Victoria’s Jubilee. They were brilliant at putting on great feasts like this one:
It’s also at the heart of all celebrations in my family – though perhaps not as grand!
I’m a big fan of canapés and little nibbles that last all day like these Mini Goat’s Cheesecakes with Red Onion Jam by Simon Hulstone.
I then usually have a range of salads and breads so I don’t have to fuss about in the kitchen all day. This Jersey Royal Potato, Cheese and Fig Salad by Shaun Rankin is perfect as can be made the night before and lasts all day. I used dates as I couldn’t find any figs.
And finally, what is likely to be the most popular cake in the UK this weekend – a Victoria Sponge. Here’s an elegant version by Nathan Outlaw that can be cut into little squares for everyone to enjoy like I’ve done below.
Whatever your celebrations look like this weekend, don’t forget to raise a glass to our lovely Queen Elizabeth and to those lovely neighbours who’ll make your street party one you’ll remember for years to come!
Blog post by Urvashi Roe - @BotanicalBaker
For more Jubilee inspiration take a look at our Jubilee Weekend Recipe Collection
What are your tips for a perfect street party? Which dishes work well in terms of looking good and being easy to transport (in one piece) to the party destination? We're discussing this over on Great British Chefs Facebook page.