Street parties seem to have become a bit of a think in the last few years. We had the Platinum Jubilee last year and the Cornation this weekend and many of you may be preparing to celebrate on Sunday with a street party. To help get you started we have put together a few ideas and tips on food, activities, decorations, and everything else that comes with a street party, which we thought might give you a bit of inspiration.
Food is highly important for a street party and sharing the burden is key. Ask everyone to bring a dish to share or get groups of households to get together to plan food for themselves.
In relation to food options, you could go for the classic buffet of cocktail sausages, sausage rolls (see our Simple Sausage Roll recipe), a huge array of crisps, sandwiches etc. or something a bit more elaborate like quiches, salads (I love a couscous salad, especially something like Pea and Lemon couscous or Lemon Mint and Feta) and dishes like the classic, Coronation Chicken. The key however is to not over complicate things and don’t forget that people generally eat less that they would if sitting down formally so bear that in mind.
You will also need some sweet treats. Obviously if you are highly skilled baker you can get seriously creative by making a statement cake, but a simple Victoria sponge, a Union Jack Sponge Traybake topped with buttercream and fresh berries to create a flag pattern or cupcakes will go down just as well.
In terms of biscuits, this is a great opportunity to get the kids involved. They can get baking a simple biscuit mix and then get creative, either with red, white and blue decorations and/or using royal themed cookie cutters. A crown shaped cutter is ideal. Our basic shortbread mix is a great staple and simple biscuit mix, that you can make and then decorate. All you need to do is add melted butter. We also love the idea of strawberry custard creams. If you can’t be bothered to make the custard cream biscuits, again our shortbread mix is fine and then you can just follow the recipe for filling.
Another alternative is serving a traditional afternoon tea. An afternoon tea is a uniquely British tradition although, let’s hope that the controversial debate about whether jam or cream goes first on a scone could potentially turn your street party into a street fight!
Of course with food you will also need tableware. We suggest getting everyone to bring their own, avoiding single use plastic or alternatively contact your local “Party Kit Network” who rent out reusable table and partyware as well as decorations.
Of course, when you’re throwing a jubilee street party, you want it to be fun and whilst it is a lovely occasion to just all come together, it might be an idea to have a few activities to get everyone in the mood or to keep younger children entertained. It is also a great way of getting people who might not know loads of people, involved.
Bingo – use different icons of British culture such as a crown, Big Ben, Union Jack, the Queen herself etc, as well as numbers. Great fun for anyone of any age.
A Cornation Quiz – general knowledge, British culture, royal history etc. A quiz is always fun.
Outdoor bowling – use a large bowling set suitable for outdoors, or if you want to make it really fun, play human bowling. although this does require a large amount of open space! Use people as the bowling pins and use a soft ball such as a beach ball, sponge ball or exercise ball to bowl. Anyone who gets hit with the ball or another person has to act like a bowling pin would.
Make Your Own Crowns – a great activity for litte ones. You could go for the traditional cardboard crown and decorating them with a selection of bits and bobs but we love the idea from Made By Me Craft Parties for creating crowns from pipe cleaners. They have a great tutorial on their website.
Make your own Union Jack cupcake toppers – this is a great activity for kids. To do this, you’ll need to print out a template of union jack flags on a sheet of white paper. Then colour in, cut out the flags and secure to a cocktail stick. Visit Baker Ross’ website for full instructions and the free template download.
Obviously, no street party is complete without brightly coloured decorations and as this is for the jubilee, Red white and blue is the obvious choice but you can also use decorations with crowns or other royal themes. We especially love a bit of bunting and balloons (but only if they are bioderadable) or possibly red, white and blue honeycomb balls.
Try to use decorations and tableware that are as environmentally friendly as possible. Where you can, use paper decorations, and try to avoid use single-use plastic.
If you can, why not create your own? Use old white bed sheets as table cloths, use recycled kraft paper to make flags and paper chains or why not try making your own bunting. You can download some free printable templates, colour in and thread onto ribbon or string. Alternatively if you want to get really crafty you can follow this tutorial video to make material bunting or to make it even quicker, just cut up old shirts or fabric into triangles with pinking sheers and attach to bias binding.
Whatever you are doing the Coronation this weekend, we hope you have fun and fingers crossed for fantastic weather.