An easy guide to throwing a Diamond Jubilee street party

May 29, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Street parties are the perfect way to bring entire communities together and this Diamond Jubilee weekend streets across the country will be lined with bunting and filled with party food for neighbours and friends to enjoy together.

If you want to organise your own Jubilee Street Party read my easy guide for hints, tips and advice.

people enjoying streey party

Get involved-

When I was growing up street parties were thrown for all royal occasions and they were an absolute ball. I’ve always found that the trick to the perfect party is getting everyone involved, even the children. Make a plan and draw up a list of things that need to be done for the big day then assign your neighbours specific tasks- this is a really efficient way of spreading cost, time and effort.

jubilee bunting

Food and Drink-

Food and drink are an essential part of a street party. For the Diamond Jubilee go all out with traditional British party food- Victoria Sponge cakes, sausage rolls, scotch eggs, trifle, finger sandwiches which can all be made from scratch. Work out which of your neighbours enjoy cooking and ask them all to bring something different. If no one volunteers to cook then order in from Sainsbury’s who are offering a Jubilee party food service.

Decorations-

Bunting is a must for a Diamond Jubilee street party so stock up on patriotic union jack bunting from supermarkets or pound shops. Ask a neighbour with a set of long ladders to hang bunting up sometime this week as it will set the mood for the weekend’s celebrations.

Other essential decorations are table clothes (ask neighbours to donate old table clothes which they don’t mind getting dirty), flags and crowns. Don’t be tempted to buy everything from the shops, save money by using the creativity of your grandchildren or young neighbours.  Encourage them to colour in flags and making bunting, this way everyone, even children have contributed to what will be a fantastic party!

jubilee bunting

Entertainment-

Getting into the party spirit will ensure that everyone has a fantastic time so think up some party games which both adults and children will enjoy. Remember musical thrones from the Royal Wedding? It would work really well at a Diamond Jubilee party too.  And don’t forget a face painting station. Why not charge a pound and put the money toward the cost of the party.

Check regulations and alternatives-

If your street party means closing a road then ensure that you’ve got the go ahead from your local council. Getting the all clear does take around 4 weeks so if you’ve not asked your local council by now chances are you won’t get permission in time. If this is the case then think about alternatives. How about a garden party with your closest neighbours? Or using your local community centre for a bigger gathering?

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Happy Chinese New Year 2012

January 23, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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The Chinese year of the Dragon has begun today as the first day of the Chinese New Year is officially underway.

A fantastic firework display lit up the sky in Beijing last night as Chinese communities across the world welcomed the New Year. Waving goodbye to the year of the Rabbit (the animal which symbolises my own birthday), they are now welcoming the much thought after year of the Dragon, which coincidentally symbolises my son Robert’s birthday.

Chinese Year of the Dragon

Symbolising luck, good fortune and empowerment many Chinese people believe that great things come from the year of the Dragon suggesting that we have lots to look forward to in 2012.

For me the Chinese New Year is a celebration which has a great sense of community. Brimming with vibrancy and tradition the entire festival is sculpted around are intrigue and mythology, which has travelled through hundreds of years.

During the 15 day long festival families come together to enjoy traditional Chinese cuisine, exchange gifts and wish good fortune and prosperity on one another.  What is most visibility enchanting about the Chinese New Year for an outsider is the fantastic decorations and costumes which adorn homes and Chinese communities- such as China Town’s found in London and Manchester. Red and gold are often focus points for such as they symbolise luck and wealth within the Chinese tradition.

Chiense New Year decoration

Each year I look forward to reading about which animal will be representing that year but I’m always staggered by how many people don’t know that Chinese year they were born in. Finding your animal is great fun as you can read the traits which tradition would suggest you possess and work out if it really is true- I’d recommend using Astrology.com

Last year I shared some classic Chinese recipes which are typically enjoyed during the Chinese New Year festival including spring rolls, dumplings, hot and sour noodle soup and chilli beef. They are all wonderful easy to make at home and can make Chinese New Year celebration very authentic.

Happy Chinese New Year!

 

 

Royal Wedding Street Parties- A guide to the perfect street party.

April 19, 2011 at 11:37 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Street Party For years street parties have been the most thought after way to celebrate royal occasion from royal coronations, weddings and jubilees. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate Prince William and Kate Middleton’s big day than with the entire community. I’ve come up with top tips on how to create a spectacular street party for everyone to enjoy!

Street Party Top Tips-

Get everyone involved-

 The best part of a street party is getting the entire community together. You’ll find that lots of people are willing to help, especially if they are excited about the Royal Wedding. It’s a good idea to have a gathering before the party and assign different people or families specific roles. Organisation in these sorts of events usually makes parties more efficient and cost effective. And you will usually find that people will put themselves forward for thing they are good at or enjoying doing, whether that’s baking cakes or organising decorations.

Decorations-

Traditional street parties have seen lots people get together for year, so a huge table and lots of chairs are a must. Decorations are the perfect way to set the scene and get everyone into the party spirit. For the Royal Wedding bunting is perfect and easy to make; a task for the children over Easter half term. Simply make sure that your party is colourful and exciting so add flags, ribbons and lots of Union Jacks to set the tone.

Food and drink-

Traditional British party food is perfect way to celebrate Prince William and Kate’s big day. Go with sausage rolls, scotch eggs, delicious sandwiches and a savoury tart. For extra delicious dishes make what you can from scratch with British produce.

street party food and drink

Make a selection of desserts so your guests have a choice, how about a traditional trifle, victoria sponge cake, apple pie and cupcakes for the children. Share the work load and ask a different person to make each dish. This way they everyone can contribute and you will have lots to choose from.

Don’t forget to toast the happy couple with a glass of Champagne for the adults and delicious fruit juice cocktail for the children.

 Entertainment-

Make your street party as fun as possible by playing party games that both adults and children can enjoy. Get your guests to dress up as if they were part of the royal wedding, play musical thrones and have a face painting stations where you can paint Union Jacks, wedding bells or anything else that takes your fancy.

 Remember your day-

I’m sure that many of you can remember at least one street party from you’re childhood. As the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate is said to be the event of the decade documenting your event with photos is a great idea. To remember the entire day and all of the hard work create a guest book and get everyone to jot down their favourite part of the day. This way everyone’s memories of the day are together.

royal Wedding guest Book

It’s a good idea to remember that there might be some implications with street parties from councils etc… so please do make sure that you check with your local authority before making plans. You can even get street party insurance. It’s also a good idea to have a back-up plan in case of weather or venue disruptions etc.

I hope you have a really great day and enjoy with your friends and family!

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