The Handmaid's Tale to Stranger Things: What to eat at TV viewing parties

Posted by for Long Reads

Lily loves entertaining and TV, so author of The Little Library Cookbook Kate Young teams the best of the small screen with foods to match

We’re spoiled with new TV choice this summer: season three of The Handmaid’s Tale began on Sunday and has left us all suitably chilled, and the third installment of Stranger Things is less than a month away. To really up the anticipation factor, our guest editor Lily Allen says she celebrates new shows with viewing parties with her pals, and we have to agree that watching great TV with great food and great company is the perfect triad. 

But something feels wrong about tucking into pizzas when you’re watching the people of Gilead face rationing, so how do you entertain to suit the mood? Whether you’ve invited the girls over to binge watch an old favourite or are gearing up for the hot new releases, we found out…

  • This is England

    Watch this series for a hit of nostalgia. “Use it as an excuse to recreate your favourite Eighties childhood meals,” says Young.

    Eat: Think Eighties Midlands, think fish and chips. Skip the takeaway in favour of homemade breaded cod, but don’t forget ketchup.

    Drink: If you want to keep up with those on screen, you’ll need to reach for a lager. Otherwise, Babycham or Lambrini were the drinks of choice. 

  • Fleabag

    There are only 12 episodes, so you can easily consume the whole thing in one night. Stop only for nibbles.

    Eat: Canapes, à la Fleabag’s cafe catering Claire’s party. “Trying to fit in with her surroundings, she makes wanky, fancy things,” says Young. “Anything you can imagine snaffling off a tray works.” Mini sausages, crab cakes and some sort of puff pastry should be on the menu.

    Drink: Gin and tonic (preferably from a tin). 

  • The Handmaid's Tale

    Comfort food is what you need here. “If you can drum up an appetite, then it is possible to make a good meal from the restricted food in Gilead,” says Young.

    Eat: Eggs and bread are allowed, so make like an on-trend brunch and whip up poached eggs on toast. Cookies are also essential – we suggest chocolate.

    Drink: They may only be rationed one orange at the market, but we’ll let you drink a full glass of juice. 

  • Stranger Things

    An opportunity to host the ultimate American Eighties throwback party.

    Eat: Homemade burgers, with a classic burger sauce and fries. Follow up with toaster waffles topped with strawberry ice cream. We won’t judge you if you just decide to order a takeaway deep dish pizza, though.

    Drink: Punch was all the rage, so fill a fish bowl with vodka, lemonade, fresh fruit and syrup. “Maybe don’t chug as fast as Nancy did, though,” Young advises. 

You can read all of the articles from Lily Allen’s special guest edit of Stylist here.

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