There is something so deeply reassuring about a national celebration, particularly when sandwiches are involved. Ask every household to bring a platter fit for the king, and encourage some competitive decorating. Think edible flowers, miniature flags, fancy shapes, artful arrangements. Banish all Tupperware and get your best plates out. Stack sausage rolls high, make Jenga with the cheese straws. Keep cakes simple. Try tray bakes or fairy cakes and top with Union Jacks.
Fit for the King
What is a street party without trays of sandwiches, crusts off and laid out in perfect triangles? We are thinking soft white bread bulging with delicious fillings, and lots of home-made mayonnaise as the glue to hold it all together.
Whether you are up for egg and cress, crab, or chicken, the secret is in the mayonnaise, and it is easier than you think to make. Once you have your base, it is over to you to pep it up with lemon, garlic, chillies or fresh herbs, depending on your filling. Put 2 egg yolks, 2 teaspoons of white wine vinegar, and ½ a teaspoon of salt into a ceramic or Pyrex bowl and gently combine. Now take a hand-held electric whisk and very slowly drizzle in 300ml of olive oil or sunflower oil, whisking all of the time, until you have a thick mayonnaise. Now over to you for the seasoning.
Season your mayonnaise with a hint of curry powder, then layer on the mango chutney.
500g shredded cooked chicken, skin removed
2-3 tsp mild curry powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1tbsp mango chutney
8 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp sultanas
1 tbsp flaked almonds
2 tbsp fresh chopped coriander
Shred the chicken by hand into bite sized chunks then mix everything together. Layer onto generously buttered slices of soft white bread and sandwich together. For added luxury, cut off the crusts, cut into neat squares, and pile onto a rectangular serving plate.
A Time for Cakes
Think traditional tray bakes, flapjacks, fairy cakes and old fashioned jam and cream sponges: this is the moment to cook together and tap into steadying vibes of sturdy, time-honoured baking.
Union Jack Tray Bake
We love a traditional tray bake- so good for sharing, and a great canvas for decorating. This one is particularly good for a street party, as the yoghurt and almond will stop it from drying out. Smothered in white butter icing it will be the perfect base for fashioning a Union Jack from blueberries and raspberries or strawberries. It is super easy to make: imagine how wonderful a row of these would look running down your trestle tables, one from every household.
100g softened butter
50g ground almonds
2 tsp baking powder
4 large eggs
225g caster sugar
125ml full fat Greek yoghurt
Zest of 2 lemons
For the butter icing
175g softened butter
350g icing sugar
300g raspberry/ strawberry
Heat the oven to 180C, butter and line a 30 x 20 inch tin with baking paper. Now just mix everything for the sponge together in a bowl and blend with an electric hand whisk until smooth. Spoon into the tin. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden and the top of the cake springs back when you touch it. It should be slightly shrinking from the sides of the tin. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. To make the icing, whisk the butter in a bowl using an electric whisk until it is light and fluffy, sift in half the icing sugar, whisk, add the other half then whisk again until smooth. Spread liberally over the cold cake. To decorate, make the St George’s cross with a double row of red fruit, then place diagonal rows from each corner to the middle. Finally fill the empty space with blueberries to complete your Union Jack.
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Cocktails for the King
We like to kick off a party with a sip or two of something strong (what Emma calls a ‘clonker’) and then eek it out as the ice melts with extra mixers, as it’s going to be a long day.
Lemon Drizzle Margarita
Here is a perfect (if rather powerful) cocktail to pair with your picnic: everything we love about a cake, rendered into a lip-smacking drink.
Ingredients (for 2)
2 lemon wedges
60ml triple sec
45ml lime juice
45ml elderflower cordial
Shake your sugar onto your favourite small plate, rim your glasses with lemon and then dip into the sugar to coat the rim. Fill a cocktail shaker (or small jug) with ice, add the liquids, and shake for 20 seconds (or stir vigorously if you are using a jug). Fill 2 glasses with ice, divide the cocktail mix between them (or pour over a sieve from the jug). Garnish with lemon wedges. Keep topping up your glass with fizzy water as the ice melts.
This is a classic cocktail mixing equal parts gin, sweet vermouth and Campari, and it packs a powerful punch. Pour one measure of each alcohol into a mixing jug with ice and stir until the jug feels cold to touch. Strain over a tumbler, add some fresh ice, and garnish with a large slice of blood orange. Drink slowly, stirring as you go to allow the ice to melt, and keep topping up with fizzy water to make sure you keep standing and don’t embarrass your parents or your children.
Table Laying and Decoration Ideas.Read More
King Charles III Coronation Mugs & Collectables
Explore the full collection of Coronation collectables. A limited edition series of commemorative pottery to collect and pass on to future generations.Shop collection