There's much more to British cooking than fish 'n' chips. When celebrating the royal family, Brits are known to go all-out in the kitchen and even invent dishes to mark important occasions.
British cuisine still gets bad rap — despite the island producing such culinary luminaries as Jamie Oliver, Ainsley Harriot and Nigella Lawson. With dishes like "spotted dick" and "toad in the hole," it does admittedly have a deserved reputation for leaving more to the imagination than could possibly be pleasant. But experiencing a royal banquet is sure to change your mind.
While the British monarchy marks important events such as coronations and jubilees with elaborate meals that usually borrow a lot of ideas from French cuisine, there are a number of original dishes that have been invented over the decades to celebrate such special royal moments — or were at least inspired by them.
Sophisticated to-go food
These meals aren't solely reserved for aristocratic taste buds; in fact, you can buy dishes fit for a queen such as Beef Wellington or Victoria Sponge ready-made at most supermarkets in the UK. This makes the planning of celebrations to mark big royal events, such as the 2012 wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton, easy to plan for most Brits.
Add some simple traditional bunting to your shopping list and throw in some token Union Jacks for decoration, and you're ready to have a royal revelry.
In fact, this is how most Brits today know these dishes: as convenience food items ready to be picked up at the grocery store, ideal to bring to someone's house party or to dish up during a neighborhood street bash.
Of course it's always fun to experiment with recipes and put your own twist on some jubilee favorites such as Coronation Chicken or Battenberg Cake, but some of the recipes can be tricky and may require a lot of time spent in the kitchen to perfect.
Fine motor skills needed
When making Beef Wellington for instance, it is an art to get the balance right between making sure the pastry is thoroughly baked while also guaranteeing that the meat is cooked just well enough.
Even seasoned chefs consider this a challenge. Or when layering a trifle, you will want to make sure the ingredients don't mix, even though the yogurt is prone to caving in. You would only bring a homemade trifle to a party after extensive practice and thorough experience.
There's clearly more to British cuisine than meets the eye — especially when celebrating a royal occasion.
But don't worry, if things get too hectic: you can always take a break, have a cup of tea (or a Pimm's), sit back and think of England, as your royal menu takes shape one way or another.