Wednesday, 27 June 2012


I’ve mentioned before that I love the Royals, specifically the Queen (and Harry, if we're going to get specific), so you can imagine how excited I was when all the Jubilee plans were announced. I was literally ecstatic about the prospect of heading to London to watch boat pageants, Red Arrow fly pasts, balcony appearances and an array of stars perform in front of/on top of Buckingham Palace.

And then I realised that that was also going to be the busiest wedding/birthday/housewarming weekend EVER and so I wouldn’t be doing any of those things.
But I couldn’t let the opportunity to commemorate 60 years of Queenie in charge pass without some kind of celebration, and really it was only cost effective to get all my décor from the Royal Wedding party back out for another airing – pound per use and all that. So I convinced my parents to let me hold a garden party at their pad (because I was homeless, obviously) for some of our nearest and dearest.

I mentioned in my “what on earth to wear…” post that the dress code on the invites was “icons from the last 60 years” or “your patriotic best”, having seen the effort people went to for the Royal Wedding party with hats, fascinators and fancy frocks galore I was excited to see what people wore.
Although I was impressed that most people went the patriotic route (including those not of British heritage), with a sea of eccentric red, white and blue taking over the garden, a few special mentions for the “icons”outfits can’t be missed. We had a Che Guevara (my cousin), a rugby player from before my time (my dad), ‘Gin and Tonic’ (the lovely Laura) and a modern Cilla Black (the wonderful WaceyStyle stylist – Claire).

I had intended to come as something quirky like Pimm’s (brown dress, various fruit accessories) or ‘strawberries and cream’ (red dress with added yellow pips, a fruity fascinator including a stalk and a leaf and a creamy pashmina), but I ran out of time with all my other events outfits to plan.
I went for a fifties-style blue frock from Lindy Bop onAmazon, with red and white sashes (velvet ribbons from Hobbycraft) and puffed up with one of my bridesmaids’ petticoats, a bouffant beehive hairdo (because I didn’t have time to wash my hair before the guests arrived), topped off with a Union Flag oversized bow (from eBay), and some red and white New Look polka dot wedges. Seeing as I’m quite in to my icons I had a few guests guess that I’d dressed up as Minnie Mouse because of the pouffy skirt and polka dots (one of my icon ideas, but I couldn’t find an un-sl*tty verison of the outfit!), Lady Gaga (I assume because of the bow and the hair) and a rockabilly (because of the vintage style frock and hair). Sadly, it was none of the above, it was just a red, white and blue concoction which was the best I could do in the circumstances!

my patriotic best


Gin and Tonic drinking gin cocktails
recreating our pose from the Royal Wedding party

Kate and Wills popped in
a sporting hero

Meeting the Queen

Celebrating a newly acquired British citizenship and a "Baby Brit on Board"

Finger on the pulse

Red, white and blue Jubilee Princess!

Brit babes!

some great efforts

Anyway, I got up at 6am to start Operation Jubilee Party and the whole family pitched in to help get afternoon tea ready for our 50 or so guests. We made a great team.

I was on sandwich making and cakes and scones set up duties, my mum was on evening buffet creation, cheese and pineapple flag spearing and mixing up sandwich filling duties, Mr G was on bunting, patriotic pom pom and flag décor duties and then helped my dad out with his occasional table, garden seating and marquee set up duties. Some family members arrived early and took over on the whipping of cream and decanting of jam which was good as it meant I had 30 minutes to spare to get showered, made up and create some kind of outfit before non-family guests arrived…

Patriotic pom poms

Cute vintage bunting...

...and some more traditional flags!
…and from then on it was Pimm’s and real ale on tap (from my newly acquired 12 litre drink dispenser – it was re-filled three times. That’s a lot of Pimm’s - and a barrel of beer on the BBQ), prosecco and English Hedgerow cocktails in vintage tea cups, afternoon tea (including what turned out to be tipsy cocktail cupcakes*), retro party snacks, cheesy British classics (Match of the Day and The Archers theme tunes anyone?) mixed in with some vintage songs and general British garden party activity, ie drinking, eating, chatting, sitting, laughing, “cheers”ing and looking at the sky worrying about rain/being thankful that it’s not raining!

When everyone was truly afternoon tea-d out, we pulled out the chilli, jacket potatoes, salad, cheese board, pizza and quiche and let people get stuck in to the evening buffet with a few more drinks before people started to drift off home, covered in flags and Union Jack regalia!

All in all I feel like we had a rather refined but fun-filled day, garden partying in homage to Queenie’s big day. By 11pm we were mostly tidied up, I was in my pyjamas with a cuppa, I managed to sample some of the leftover food and finally got to sit down and watch some of the Jubilee concert. And I didn’t get out of my pyjamas until Wednesday, when I had to put something more suitable on for work!
Being the hosts and hostesses with the most/mostesses is hard work but jolly good fun, what what, especially after such a fun-packed (i.e. drunken) weekend. Now… you think I can go for a third and fourth outing of the Union Jack décor for the Olympics opening/closing parties?

Even better – by then I might actually have a house to host it in. Fingers crossed…

Royal waves
Chillaxing on Tuesday
Look who we found in the Jubilee weekend papers...

*the lovely ladies that made the cute mini cupcakes came rushing up the garden on seeing some of the kids stuffing their faces with the chocolate versions. A quiet word that perhaps the children might like to stick to the chocolate cakes as the others were slightly, erm, alcoholic (Baileys or mojito icing on the vanilla ones and Limoncello in the lemon ones. Oh my deliciousness!) and a potential crisis was averted. Although… a few Baileys cupcakes before bed might have seen a few lie ins for the parents on Tuesday morning… just sayin’ tee hee!

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