jubilee

A GUIDE TO BRITISH STREET PARTIES: THE PENHALIGON’S WAY

The big weekend is approaching with the speed of an express train. Soon, June will be upon us, and we will have four glorious days off work to celebrate Her Majesty’s 70 years on the throne. As we all know, the British way to mark this remarkable occasion is a street party. It is unclear why, but it has, it seems, become pretty much a constitutional necessity.​ 

 ​ To help you navigate partying with your nearest, dearest, (or not so dear) neighbours, we bring you Penhaligon’s 5 tips to get you through.​ 

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Go Large or Go Home​

When laying on a “spread”, as you are statutorily required to call the food you put on for your Jubilee street party, it is wise to remember that, as a nation, we cannot resist piling high our plates. We have seen pin-thin models throw off all inhibitions when confronted by a decent buffet. This will only be more so at your street party. So, think how much food you will require and then immediately double it. And remember: by law you must offer sausage rolls, scotch eggs and dainty sandwiches with no crusts. They’re just the rules…​

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Be the King of Conversation​ 

In all likelihood you probably don’t spend so much time talking to your neighbours. Perhaps you offer the odd hearty “Good morning!” or “Lovely day for it” or perhaps you live in London, and you just run when you see a neighbour. Either way, the upshot is the same: you don’t know them well, don’t know their views or mores or pet hates. You need to play it safe if you want to get through the day without ending up with a bowl of trifle on your head. So, plan the conversational touch points: keep it to cricket, strictly, and any amusing anecdotes about the Queen you have read in the Sunday supplements (bonus points for Queen Mum mentions). And remember, if things do get tense, you can always just “go fetch another bottle of wine”. Maybe two, in fact.​​ 

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Drinking for England​

It is a tricky thing getting the drinks right at a street party. The reason is the range of age and tastes. If you want to serve champagne then make sure to re-mortgage your house as people tend to guzzle free bubbles, so you will need cases of the stuff. Also, complicated cocktails are off the menu. Unless, that is, you want to spend all day making margaritas and sunrises for Ginny and James at No 43. Much wiser to prepare lots of jugs of Pimm’s, as it has the benefit of seeming patriotic while being perfectly easy to make. Also consider lager: buy bottles, never cans, and pop them in iced water. The dads will thank you. Oh, and orange cordial for the children. No child will refuse cordial. Ever.​ ​ 

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The Weather is Not Your Friend​ 

British weather is a cruel, dissimulating thing. It will draw you in with its sweet siren song of HEATWAVE and WARMEST JUNE ON RECORD, it will have you in shorts and summer dresses and up the loft retrieving sun hats and then, as you prepare to grow tanned and happy, it will pour and pour and pour some more. Mark this well – and do the British thing, ignore the Met Office, and buy a gazebo to huddle under. Your hair – and your neighbour’s arthritic knee – will thank you for it come the long weekend.​ 
 

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Dress for the Friends You Want​

When choosing what to wear, bear in mind you are dressing for your Queen. She probably won’t be there, so unless you are having your party at, say, Highgrove, you needn’t wear a suit and tie or your wedding hat. But you ought to wear a shirt – crisp and in pastel colours – or a summer dress. Neither of those options are restrictive or uncomfortable and both can be bolstered with a mac if the weather takes a turn, which it will. If you turn up to the Jubilee shindig in jogging bottoms, then you probably ought to be sent to the tower or at least arrested by the fashion police.​

 

What's All The Fuss?

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