How to organise a royal wedding street party
What better reason could there be to share some grub and have a good old fashioned knees up with your neighbours but for the royal wedding? Whether you’re into the royals or not, the point is that we’ve got an extra bank holiday to fill, so let’s take to the streets… as residents in Wales are keenly doing, though others less so.
Not only do street parties give us the chance to sample our neighbours' cooking, they strengthen community spirit and promote neighbourly ties. There are some useful resources out there if you’ve never done anything like this before – from this general guide to tips to ensure your party is as eco-friendly as it can be.
Once you’ve got clearance from the council and rounded up the trestle tables, it’s time to turn your attention to the food. If the weather’s OK you could plump for a barbecue – always good for feeding a crowd. Or if you’re feeling ambitious, what about a hog roast?
Chef Merrillees Parker who runs the catering company Pink has the lowdown on how to scale up your favourite recipes for this kind of event. "For anything long and slow – say curries or stews – simply multiply up your recipe. Or with something like a Caesar salad, the amount of chicken and dressing per person stays the same.
"Catering is all about organisation and space. You’ll need a big cool box to extend your fridge. If you need lots of cool boxes for your party, get everyone to chip in to buy a few. Use a plastic bin with a bin liner and bags of ice to keep drinks cool, saving the fridge for the food. I think every family should have a large pot or stockpot to serve about 20 people. Beg, steel or borrow the neighbours' pots."
Union Jack fondant fancies
Lots of desserts freeze brilliantly, so you can get ahead of yourself that way – make lemon posset or chocolate mousse beforehand. A good rule of thumb is to avoid freezing anything with chunks of fruit, which will have high water content. Simple sponge cakes freeze well – just ice them them beforehand.
Coronation prawn vol-au-vents
The safest option is to go for something that you’ve made before, but if, like me, you like to give something new a go when you’re cooking for friends, Francis says, “Cold salads are a good way to go - it gives you licence to experiment but without destroying the overall effect if things don't go to plan”.
Get more inspiration with our special street party recipe collections. Are you planning on gathering your neighbours together for the royal wedding or another event this summer? Tell us what you’re doing and share any tips for making it go as smoothly as possible.
Ramona Andrews is the host of the BBC Food Q&A blog and messageboard.