With the Platinum Jubilee fast approaching, you might be planning a party fit for a queen this June. Whether it’s a street party with all your neighbours or simply dining al fresco in your garden, after the last two years it’s safe to say we could all use a celebration with friends and family.
To help you throw your best Jubilee party yet, English ceramics company Burleigh Pottery share their top tips for ensuring beautiful al fresco dining, every time.
The Great British weather
While the Platinum Jubilee takes place in early summer —an extra bank holiday extending the celebrations from the 2nd to the 5th of June — we all know how temperamental the Great British weather can be. Make sure to keep a close eye on the forecast in the weeks preceding the Jubilee, as this will determine whether you can hold your party outside or under shelter.
Even if the forecast predicts blue skies and sunshine, be sure to have an awning or gazebo ready to set up if the clouds start to darken on the morning of your party. However, if you’re blessed with a dry, sunny day, then it’s still wise to provide your guests with plenty of blankets, a fire, or a patio heater when temperatures start to drop in the evening. This way you can all celebrate into the night without feeling a chill. Top tip: don’t forget the citronella candles for those pesky wasps going after your food!
Creating a tablescape
The centre of any garden party, the table sets the tone of your celebration and will be in all the pictures from this memorable day. You’ll therefore want to create a tablescape that’s colourful and on-theme, but also classy and timeless. If you don’t want to emblazon everything with the Union Jack, then you can use its colours in a looser theme. For instance, pair a crisp white tablecloth with blue patterned ceramics and red napkins for an elegant tablescape that still pays homage to the flag.
While using your best tableware for a neighbourhood street party might be out of the question, remember that paper plates, cups, and napkins can easily blow away. Wherever possible, try to use fabric napkins and quality ceramics that are sturdier and, to reduce unnecessary waste, reusable.
When you toast the Jubilee this year, why not serve your guests a royal-approved cocktail? Her Majesty’s tipple of choice is gin and Dubonnet, a Parisian aperitif made of fortified wine, quinine, and fruit zest. To a cocktail shaker, add ice, two parts Dubonnet, one part gin, and a wedge of lemon. Use home-distilled gins such as Gordon’s, Tanqueray, or Beefeater’s London Dry to really celebrate all things Blighty in this drink.
Traditional British dishes
To truly get in the patriotic spirit, let your menu celebrate some iconic English dishes. Sweet desserts like English trifle and Eton mess are perfect for the Jubilee, as they not only use seasonal summer berries like blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries, but when paired with the white meringue and cream they make up the Union Jack’s colours. You can even arrange your berries to make a subtle flag on top of your desserts for that final flourish.
For your savoury dishes, why not make finger food from your favourite British dinners? For instance, you could make a bite-sized taste of British cuisine by baking mini-Yorkshire puddings in a cupcake tray, filling them with a slice of roast beef, and topping with horseradish sauce. Or, for a summer picnic staple, make a classic quiche to serve your hungry guests by the slice.
“Whether you’re planning a neighbourhood street party or an al fresco dinner with friends, make sure this year’s Jubilee celebrations are fit for a queen. Aside from preparing for the unpredictable British weather, laying an impressive tablescape is the most important part of any garden party.
“Take inspiration from the Union Jack when creating a theme for your dinner table. Using high-quality coloured ceramics to serve your food is not only an elegant, more subtle way to pay homage to our flag, but they’re sturdier and reusable compared to paper tableware. Use these to serve up traditional dishes like English trifle, and you’ll throw the perfect Jubilee garden party this summer.”
Kate Cartwright, Brand Marketing Manager at Burleigh Pottery.