Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

How to throw the ultimate Jubilee street party

street-party-rob-ryan.jpg
street-party-cover.jpg
street-party.jpg

Hang up your Rob Ryan bunting, hustle your friends and family into the sunshine and host a great British street party – it’s the only way to mark the Jubilee weekend.

Words: Amy Grier Exclusive Artwork: Rob Ryan

Quintessentially British, a touch eccentric and utterly cool: the humble street party is back. Whether it’s down to the buzz surrounding the Olympics, being proud owners of the world’s edgiest fashion city or the newly invigorated royal family, this year is all about embracing our heritage. And thanks to its unique mix of bunting, cream teas and hanging out with your neighbours, nothing says it’s a British celebration quite like a street party.

It all started last April when Kate and William tied the knot and a million people across the country held Pimm’s and scone-fuelled street parties – no longer were we a nation of cynics. And as the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee draws close, community spirit is once again sweeping the nation. Applications for street parties are twice what they were last year, with an estimated two to three million events likely to take place over the bank holiday weekend of 2-5 June.

But it’s the sheer diversity of events which proves just how excited we are about the four-day holiday. On Sunday, London’s Piccadilly is being closed down for the day as it hosts Westminster’s biggest ever street party with residents such as BAFTA, the Royal Academy of Arts and Fortnum & Mason set to attend. In Shoreditch, east London, The Book Club is throwing a street party on Sunday featuring the Hackney Colliery Band and Guilty Pleasures DJs, while on the south coast there’s a Fifties retro bash at the Brighton Museum and Art Gallery on Saturday.

So how did the street party come to play such a key role in our national identity? According to Professor Robert Colls, a social historian at Leicester University, “they were a community affair, run by women for their children as a treat in times of austerity.”

In 1953, post-World War II rationing was still in place but families got extra sugar and margarine to celebrate the Queen’s accession – ingredients which they used to create the era’s infamous party food of salmon paste, cucumber sandwiches, ‘preserved cream’ and cake. By 1977’s Silver Jubilee, real ice cream and sticky orange squash were imprinting themselves on the national consciousness.

In 2012, we’ll be concentrating on locally sourced, ‘very British’ food and cocktails with a modern twist. English wine is now winning over experts and bespoke gins from distillers such as Sipsmiths, Jensen’s and Hendrick’s are essential drinking, making them the perfect fit for a ‘patriotic’ street party. Meanwhile, traditional British recipes with a modern spin are the new menu must-have (see right for recipe inspirations including Mark Hix’s updated take on Scotch eggs and Eric Lanlard’s delicious popping candy Eton mess). Perhaps this new wave of exciting British food and drink has been fuelled by our new national desire to celebrate, (or perhaps it’s the other way round), but never has patriotism been so cool.

So, whether you live in a minimalist apartment block or a Victorian terrace, it’s time to make your own bunting (with a little help from our cover artist Rob Ryan) and have yourself a right royal street party. In case you need inspiration, we’ve asked a group of experts fit for her majesty for their take on the necessary ingredients for the perfect gourmet spread, the best cocktails and the country’s coolest street parties. Enjoy!

The Stylist cover will be on show at Rob Ryan’s shop, Ryantown, on east London’s Columbia Road over the Jubilee weekend; misterrob.co.uk

Comments

More

Messy people everywhere, scientists have very good news for you

Show this article to the next person who dares to complain about your messy desk

by Kayleigh Dray
28 Apr 2017

Science says this is how to get over a break up

Because how many Celine Dion power ballads can we really perfect?

by Jasmine Andersson
28 Apr 2017

Cheese addicts, science says that brie could help you live longer

We can’t brie-lieve it…

by Kayleigh Dray
28 Apr 2017

Netflix's GLOW celebrates the might of women in all forms

The new show might be the best thing to hit Netflix this year

by Jasmine Andersson
28 Apr 2017

Calling all Harry Potter superfans: we've found your dream job

Fancy running the new Harry Potter exhibition?

by Jasmine Andersson
28 Apr 2017

The innovative beer advert trying to bring people together

It has already clocked up millions of views on YouTube

by Amy Swales
28 Apr 2017

Viral photo series captures what it truly means to be black and Muslim

The photo series captures “the most resilient people in the world"

by Jasmine Andersson
28 Apr 2017

First Dates’ Raymond taught us an important lesson about loneliness

‘Just to hear somebody else breathing… that’s all I want’

by Kayleigh Dray
27 Apr 2017

These cheesy, cheesy recipes will give you life

Get a load of this fromagerie

by Jasmine Andersson
27 Apr 2017

This Commuter Barbie video is the most relatable thing we’ve ever seen

“Commuter Barbie has a seat at the table – and on the train!”

by Sarah Biddlecombe
27 Apr 2017