With the royal nuptuals of Kate Middleton and Prince William almost upon us, what better excuse to break out the gin and tonic and celebrate in good old fashioned British style? From Union Jack bunting to red, white and blue trifles, read our guide to hosting the perfect royal wedding party, featuring recipes and expert tips to help you throw a suitably regal bash.
Dan Wilson, a Visual Merchandiser at John Lewis Oxford Street, has shared with us his top tips for decorating your street party along a variety of themes:
Make like royalty and go for lavish touches with a hint of formality - Dan recommends hosting a wedding breakfast, or else and afternoon tea complete with cake stands, teapots and china.
If you're looking to enjoy a more "chilled out" street party, Dan suggests serving sausage rolls and traditional party food. For decorations he says to go DIY and embrace your own creativity by gathering up old fabrics and heading to your local habidashery to make your own bunting decorative touches.
Recreate the street party magic of Prince Charles and Diana's 1980s wedding. Dan says to achieve a retro theme, go for flashy decorations, with party poppers and plenty of cocktails like a Pimms & Champagne for your guests.
Beyond afternoon tea and champagne, why not serve up these delicious royal wedding-inspired cocktails at your street party?
The Sloe Royale
Pour Hayman’s Sloe Gin over lots of ice in a tumbler, then add a dry Prosecco and garnish with a strawberry.
Using 50ml of Courvoisier VS, 150ml of lemonade and four dashes of Angostura bitters, simply combine all the ingredients in a tumbler and serve with wheels of oranges and lemons. To make a bowl of punch, multiply the ingredients by the number of your guests and serve in a punch vessel of your choice
Whether you're going down the traditional party food route or are planning an extravagant afternoon tea party for your celebrations, these two delicious recipes will sure to delight your guests.
Little Bramley Tarts
All you'll need to make these delicious little tarts are a 375g pack ready rolled puff pastry, 450g/1lb (approx 3) Bramley apples (peeled, cored and thinly sliced) 1 egg white, lightly whisked, 2 tbsp caster sugar, 4 tbsp fine cut marmalade.
Preheat the oven to 220°C/Fan 200°C/425°F/Gas, unroll the sheet of pastry and cut out six circles about 10cm/4in diameter, using a cup as a template. Place the pastry on a baking sheet, and arrange the Bramley apple on top of the pastry circles, overlapping the slices to maximise visual appeal. Then, use a brush to cover the top of the apple and pastry with the egg white. Use a knife to flute the pastry edges then bake in the hot oven for 15-20 minutes or until the edges of the Bramley slices are tinged with brown and the pastry is golden. Warm the marmalade in a small pan and brush all over the top of the tarts. Serve warm with cream or ice cream¬
If you're looking to create more of a festive dessert, check out the Pampered Chef's recipe for Royal Wedding Trifle, made from blueberries, strawberries and double cream. Yum.
While you need to apply 3-12 weeks in advance for a full street closure, if you're just hosting a garden party or a party in a local park, you'll need to make sure to keep your party free to avoid needing a Temporary Event Notice.
StreetParty.org.uk advises that you'll need to apply to the council for a Temporary Event Notice licence if any 'performance' is 'incidental' to the day or 'background', including recorded music. If you're publicising a programme of bands, for example, or are selling tickets, entrance or alcohol you would need to apply at least least 2 weeks in advance, at a cost of about £21.
If you have applied for this permit, you may need insurance. Here are a few resources to help:
Happy party hosting!
Picture Credit: Rex Features