Lots of big events are planned across the nation this summer to celebrate all things British, providing everyone with a great excuse to get out there and join in the fun. Here are a few ideas for inspiration if you’re planning a bumper British knees-up on your street, to share with family, friends and neighbours, come rain or shine.
Use the colours of the Union Jack and deck out your house in red, white and blue. Helium balloons and paper chains will make it look more festive and can be used inside and out. If you’re having a party in your street, Union Jack bunting and streamers look great hung between windows and lamp-posts and will create a carnival-like atmosphere. Quintessentially British, bunting is reusable and can be strung up just about everywhere – even better, you can leave it up all summer long. Get the kids along the street to personalise their own bunting beforehand using print-outs of your favourite family snaps.
Have some face paints at the ready to paint flag motifs on children’s cheeks as they arrive. Set up a table where the kids can decorate their own paper hats, with glitter glue, stickers and coloured paper shapes. Alternatively provide hats and party blowers on the table for everyone. Lay the party table with Union Jack flags and bright confetti, fit for the festivities.
Ask each household to bring something. For a street-long feast, sandwiches are easiest to make for a crowd – have brightly-coloured flags in each pile to tell people what they are. A jacket potato bar, with Great British Classic fillings such as Coronation Chicken, Baked Beans and Cheddar and Branston will add variety to the spread. Sausage rolls and mini bangers with a mash dip will keep the party going. Have a large summer salad on the side.
For dessert, berries and ice-cream cones lend themselves well to a summer celebration like this. A make-ahead trifle is a retro party sharer, crammed full of everyone’s favourite things. Children can have fun in advance baking and decorating cupcakes with British icons or making different coloured jellies in various moulds and turning them out to make a wobbly centrepiece to the tea party spread.
Summer calls for jugs of Pimm’s and refreshing punches, homemade lemonade and fiery ginger beer. Cool bottles of rosé and other drinks in a big bin filled with ice. For something warm, brew big pots of the nation’s favourite, tea. In the spirit of the occasion, get everyone to bake a cake or biscuits that you can have with it – perhaps even hold a baking contest and get everyone to vote for their favourite.
What could be more British than a fête, so lay on games and outdoor activities that everyone can have a go at (inside or out, depending on the weather). Skittles are great fun, as is ring toss, hopscotch and skipping. For field games, organise three-legged and sack races for all ages as well as French cricket, football and a tug-of-war between both sides of the street. Give out prizes to the winners, perhaps mementoes of the occasion which they can treasure forever.
Please get in touch and tell us what events you are planning to celebrate and if you’re thinking of a street party this year. We’d love to hear any of your ideas and help you with any party advice or inspiration, and as ever we love to hear your feedback. Sign up to our Facebook page, follow us on Twitter or leave a comment for us below.