Treat your guests to a right royal time with this fun, modern take on a properly British theme.
Treat your guests to a right royal time with this British theme.
Let the Queen of England’s petticoat hang out a little at this fun lunch! Mix traditional British elements with street graffiti to create a ‘vintage punk’ look. This theme is very versatile and lends itself to any colour scheme, including red and dark blue, splashes of shocking pink, antique beige and touches of gold. And, of course, the pastels of an English rose garden. Decorate the walls with sheet music and add a few ‘royal’ illustrations or photos. Use fine china, crystal glasses, roses from the garden, a Union Jack and a chandelier. And don’t forget to add a touch of Vivienne Westwood!
Choosing the menu
Instead of a traditional three-course meal, prepare a selection of British favourites and serve them throughout the evening. Don’t forget to have plenty of beer on hand or, for those who don’t drink, you could serve a pot of tea. Play music by British bands like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones or more modern favourites from bands like Coldplay. Copy our ‘Keep calm and eat fish & chips’ sign on page 99 onto paper to go with the fish in beer batter, or copy it onto cardboard to use as coasters.
Edible Union Jacks
Bake your own flag biscuits or ask a speciality bakery to bake them for you. If you make the biscuits yourself, cut the dough for each biscuit a little bigger than the flag design. Also, use a straw to make two little holes in the top of each biscuit so you can thread a piece of cord
Set the scene
through when the biscuits are finished. Use the flag template on page 99 and ask a speciality bakery to print it for you using edible paper and ink. Smear a thin layer of stiff icing over the biscuit and stick the flag on top. Decorate further with icing, if you prefer.
Design an invitation on your computer and ask a speciality bakery to print it for you using edible paper and ink. Stick the invitations onto biscuits using icing, as for the Union Jack biscuits.
Take photos of floral plates, print them out and use them with vintage-style paper and graffiti elements to create a collage effect. When you are happy with the look of your table runner, use a small machine stitch to sew the elements together.
Fish in beer batter with tandoori spiced chips
Serves: 8-10 Preparation time: 20 minutes Cooking time: 35 minutes
6 potatoes, peeled and cut into chips
1 large hake fillet or 4 steaks, cut into
sunflower oil, for deep-frying
cake flour, for dusting
330ml (180g) cake flour
5ml bicarbonate of soda
10ml lemon juice
tandoori spice, to sprinkle
lemon slices, to serve
tartar sauce, to serve
1 Heat the oil in a deep-fryer to 160oc and fry the potatoes for three to four minutes. Remove, drain and set aside. 2 Make sure the pieces of fish are dry, then dust them with flour. Shake off the excess and set aside. 3 To make the batter, put the flour and bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl. Season to taste. Add the beer gradually. You may not need to add all the beer; the batter needs to have a thick, coating consistency. Whisk until it is smooth and there are no lumps. Add the lemon juice. Mix thoroughly again. 4 Heat the oil and then dip a piece of fish into the batter. Fry in the oil until golden and cooked through. Fry a few pieces at a time. Place on a baking tray and keep warm in the oven while you cook the remaining fish. 5 Once the fish is cooked, increase the heat of the oil and return the chips. Fry until crisp. Drain and sprinkle with salt and tandoori spice and drizzle with lemon juice. Serve hot, with lemon slices and tartar sauce on the side.
Serves: 8-10 Preparation time: 30 minutes, plus refrigeration time Baking time: 30-35 minutes Oven temperature: 190oc
500g white bread flour
110ml (100g) lard (or pork schmaltz)
110ml (100g) butter
2 large eggs, whisked
300g pork bangers
250g pork mince
40ml finely chopped parsley
10ml hot English mustard
3ml finely grated lemon rind
0,5ml ground allspice
1 egg yolk whisked with 15ml water,
1 PASTRY Sift the flour together with 3ml salt. Melt the lard and butter in a saucepan along with 170ml water. Remove from the heat and add to the flour. Stir in with a knife. Add the whisked egg. Knead until smooth. The dough will be quite sticky. Wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 30 minutes. 2 FILLING Squeeze the sausage meat out of the casings. Mix with the remaining ingredients. Season to taste. 3 Grease and line the tins. Using a floured rolling pin, roll out the pastry onto a surface dusted well with flour. Cut circles big enough to line the pie tins or muffin tins that you will be using. Cut out a smaller circle for each one; these will form the lids of the pies. 4 Spoon the filling into each one. Put the lids on top and pinch the sides together. Make a hole in the centre of the lid of each one with a kebab stick. Brush with the egg glaze. Cut a little crown shape out of the remaining pastry and stick it to the top of the pie around the hole. Brush with the glaze, then refrigerate for 30 minutes. 5 Bake in a preheated oven for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven, brush with another layer of glaze and bake for a further 20-25 minutes, until the pastry is cooked and golden.
Roast beef sandwiches
Serves: 8-10 Preparation time: 10 minutes, plus cooling time
Cooking time: 40 minutes Oven temperature: 240oc
600g beef topside
2 red onions, cut into wedges
bunch of fresh thyme
about 50ml hot English mustard
80ml good-quality mayonnaise
50ml crème fraîche, or sour cream
10-20ml horseradish sauce
French loaf or other bread
micro salad leaves, to garnish
1 Make sure the beef is at room temperature. Put the onion wedges and thyme into a roasting tray and drizzle with olive oil. Rub the meat with the mustard and drizzle with oil. Season with a little salt and place the meat on top of the onions. 2 Place in the preheated oven. Turn the heat down to 200oc and cook for approximately 35-40 minutes for medium-rare meat. Remove from the oven and set aside to rest for 20 minutes. Cut into thin slices. 3 Mix the mayonnaise, crème fraîche and horseradish together. Cut the bread into slices and spread a dollop of the mayonnaise mixture on each one. Top with slices of the beef and some of the roasted onions and garnish with micro salad leaves.
Cheddar cheese croquettes with pea and watercress salad
Serves: 8-10 Preparation time: 45 minutes, plus refrigeration time Cooking time: 25 minutes
few slices of carrot and onion
1 bay leaf
sprig of thyme
4 parsley stalks
110g (120ml) butter
110g (200ml) cake flour
2 large egg yolks
225g grated mature Cheddar
seasoned cake flour
1 large egg, beaten
sunflower oil, for deep-frying
small handful each of peas, snow peas,
watercress and red onion
vinaigrette dressing, to serve
1 Heat the milk in a saucepan with the carrot, onion and herbs. Simmer gently for four minutes, turn off the heat and leave to infuse for about 10 minutes. 2 Strain the milk and set aside. Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the flour. Cook over a low heat for two minutes, stirring occasionally. 3 Add the milk gradually, whisking to prevent lumps. It will be quite thick.
4 Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly. Stir in the egg yolks and cheese. Season to taste. Leave to cool. 5 Roll the mixture into small balls and dip them into the seasoned flour, then in the beaten egg and finally in the breadcrumbs. Chill until firm but bring back to room temperature before cooking otherwise they may burst. 6 Just before serving, deep-fry the croquettes at 160oc. Remove from the oil just as they pop, or all the filling will spill out of the crumb coating. Drain on kitchen paper and serve hot with salad. 7 SALAD Cook and cool the peas then mix them with the halved snow peas, watercress and finely chopped red onion. Drizzle with vinaigrette dressing.
Apple and vanilla queen of puddings
Serves: 8-10 Preparation time: 15 minutes Baking time: 20-25 minutes Oven temperature: 180oc
4 large eggs, separated
230ml (200g) castor sugar
10ml vanilla essence
5ml grated lemon zest
2ml ground cinnamon
750ml (150g) sponge cake crumbs
½ can of pie apples, drained and
50ml raspberry jam
1 Heat the milk and cream together in a saucepan. Beat together the egg yolks and 60g of the sugar. Pour the warm milk over this mixture and stir well, then add the vanilla essence, lemon zest and ground cinnamon. 2 Lightly grease ovenproof teacups, ramekins or one large dish. Put the cake crumbs into the dishes and top with the apple pieces. Pour the milk mixture over and set aside for 20 minutes. 3 Bake the pudding in a preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until just set. Remove from the oven and top with a layer of jam.
4 Whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form then add the remaining castor sugar a little at a time. Beat well to form a smooth and shiny meringue. Put into a piping bag and pipe small peaks all over the top of the pudding. Return to the oven and bake until golden. Decoupage a stool You will need
vintage photos and illustrations that fit
your theme (find them on the internet,
download, enlarge according to the size
of your surface area and print out)
old stool with a wooden seat or
spray paint or paint in a colour that
matches your party theme
1 Place the stool on a dropsheet and use sandpaper to remove any old varnish or paint layers. 2 Paint or spray paint the stool in a colour that matches the colour scheme for your party. 3 Cut out your design in the correct size, according to the size of the surface you are working on.
4 Paint modge podge over the back of your picture and stick it onto the seat and the backrest of the chair. Paint another layer of modge podge over the top of the design. Leave to dry then apply modge podge three more times, leaving each coat to dry properly before applying the next. When the modge podge is completely dry, seal the chair by painting on a coat of decoupage varnish.