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

New app helps pregnant commuters find a seat

Finally.

by Sarah Biddlecombe
23 Jan 2017

The cheap wine hack that could save you bundles of cash

This will make your cheap red plonk taste like a premium vintage

by Kayleigh Dray
23 Jan 2017

Got a dark sense of humour? You're probably a genius

Gallows humour ain’t all bad

by Kayleigh Dray
23 Jan 2017

36 of the most badass moments from the Women's March

When pussy grabs back.

by Sarah Biddlecombe
23 Jan 2017

Women’s March: the inspiring and badass signs, banners, and placards

“I am woman, hear me roar”

by Kayleigh Dray
23 Jan 2017

Spice Girls’ Geri Halliwell reveals baby boy’s poignant name

And it's a sweet tribute to her late best friend, George Michael

by Kayleigh Dray
23 Jan 2017

Serena Williams had the best response for reporter who criticised her

"Are you serious?"

by Sarah Biddlecombe
20 Jan 2017

Married at First Sight’s Caroline reveals truth about marriage to Adam

Steel yourselves, romantics

by Kayleigh Dray
20 Jan 2017

Listen to A-listers narrate the history of Planned Parenthood

“No woman can call herself free who does not own and control her body”

by Sarah Biddlecombe
19 Jan 2017

Wife Swap set to return with one-off Brexit special

What happens when a Remain voter finds herself living in a family of Brexit fans?

by Kayleigh Dray
19 Jan 2017