It's nearly time for a weekend of bunting, baking and bank holidays which can only mean that some kind of royal celebration is in order. This weekend marks the Queen's Diamond Jubilee which celebrates her 60 years of reign and pretty excitingly entails a four day weekend for the whole of the UK. There are celebrations galore occurring with thousands of street parties, open-air screenings and concerts taking place nationwide, not to mention one of the largest flotillas ever sailing up the Thames with over a thousand boats taking part. Pretty impressive stuff.
The commemoration of any royal event tends to go hand in hand with a whole load of eating. Street parties, special jubilee menus in restaurants and picnics are all part of the course when it comes to celebrating our sovereignty. Here's some quintessentially British eats that will be making an appearance in parties and picnics across the nation this weekend, along with some recipes suggested by our finest chefs.
This dish was invented for the original banquet which celebrated the coronation of the Queen in 1953. These days the recipe has been revamped somewhat for more modern tastes. The Guardian claim to have found the perfect recipe.
A traditional English dessert which doesn't skimp on calories, consisting of a mixture of strawberries, broken meringue and cream. Great for those whose cooking strength doesn't necessary lie in preparing a dish to look pretty as, you guessed it, it's meant to look a mess. Delia Smith has a great recipe for it here.
A classic British dish that may well have been invented to celebrate the Duke of Wellington's victory in battle. It's a bit of an undertaking to bake but is sure to be a showstopper at any party. A traditional beef wellington consists of a fillet steak coated with pâté which is then wrapped in puff pastry and baked. Gordon Ramsey's a fan and has a recipe for it here.
Continuing with the meat and pastry theme, pork pies are another staple of British cuisine that are perfect street party fare. They're a bit of a fiddle to make but if you've got the time, Nigel Slater swears by this recipe.
Queen of Puddings
A typically post-war dessert that's stood the test of time, it consists of a baked breadcrumb mixture topped with Jam and meringue. Check out the James Martin recipe.
A cocktail that makes an appearance at any British summer event be it Wimbledon, the Henley Regatta or simply lounging around in the park, therefore it's the obvious beverage to see you through the Jubilee celebrations. The perfect Pimm's cocktail involves mixing 1 part Pimm's No. 1 with 3 parts chilled lemonade. Add some mint, cucumber, orange and strawberry. Booze and nutrients, what more could you ask for!
So this extended weekend, kick back, relax and snack to your stomach's content, all in the name of our sovereignty!