Throwing a watching party for the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton doesn’t have to be a royal pain.
But with the wedding scheduled for 3 a.m. Pacific time, you probably are going to find that plenty of coffee is, so to speak, your cup of tea.
Patra Wroten, who lives in the Washington, D.C., area and writes about parties and other occasions on her blog, I Do Declare, has found a workaround to the inconvenient timing – a slumber party for some friends.
“We just love weddings,” she says. “It really was just a great excuse to get a group of our girlfriends together, take off work and theme a party around such an exciting wedding.”
The party will start on the Thursday evening of and go right through to the Friday festivities with a few hours set aside for rest.
They plan to watch a tape of the marriage of the prince’s parents, Charles and Diana, eat English food such as miniature shepherd’s pies, and may just have a little drinking game – a sip for every time someone says “future princess,” for instance.
Of course, there will be tiaras.
For Penny Bradley, co-owner of the Lyon restaurant in New York’s Greenwich Village, throwing a wedding party took a bit of smooth-talking. Specifically, she had to persuade her partner in the restaurant, French chef Francois Latapie, to be English for a day.
He agreed and now neighboring businesses, including the British restaurant Tea & Sympathy, are joining in. Festivities will start with a Champagne breakfast and screenings of the ceremony, with reruns for later in the day.
On the menu: bacon-and-egg sandwiches, smoked haddock with scrambled eggs and Buck’s Fizz (mimosas to us Yanks). There’ll be bunting, big hats are encouraged, and the dinner menu will include toad in the hole and Lancashire hotpot.
Raffle tickets are being sold to benefit a local park.
“It’s getting quite exciting,” says Bradley, who already has gotten reservations for the 6 a.m. seating.
Though the wedding isn’t making quite the splash that Charles and Diana’s did 30 years ago, it’s launched many a promotion.
Among them, the Rosewood Sand Hill luxury hotel in the San Francisco area is offering a “Your Royal Princess,” package that includes a sugar scrub infused with gold.
And Beefeater Gin has come up with a cocktail for the day with a cheeky nod to the late Queen Mother’s reported fondness for gin. The cocktail, called Beefeater Royal Punch, consists of gin, Dubonnet, pomegranate, lemonade and Angostura bitters.
Bradley, a native of Yorkshire, England, sees the occasion as a break from everyday life, one that is especially welcome considering all the grim newsof late.
“These are events that don’t happen very often in anyone’s lifetime and people love to celebrate them,” she says. “They really enjoy watching the wedding and all the glitter of the carriages and the spectacle. It’s something that’s really amazing.”
Ready to host your own wedding watching party? Here’s our suggested menu for early morning eats.
FRUIT AND CHOCOLATE SCONES
Start to finish: 1 hour. Servings: 8.
2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups dried fruit, nuts and/or chocolate bits
Coarse sugar, optional
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the melted butter and stir until well distributed. Add the cream, sour cream and vanilla. Mix until almost combined, then add the fruit and nuts and mix just until distributed.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Pat the dough into a circle about 3/4 inch thick and 10 inches across. Cut the circle into 8 wedges, then transfer each wedge to the prepared baking sheet. Refrigerate or freeze until well chilled, 15 to 30 minutes.
While the scones chill, heat the oven to 400 F. Sprinkle the tops of the scones with coarse sugar, if desired. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Cool before serving.
Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 602 calories; 323 calories from fat (54 percent of total calories); 36 g fat (19 g saturated; 1 g trans fats); 84 mg cholesterol; 70 g carbohydrate; 9 g protein; 3 g fiber; 947 mg sodium.
Source: Recipe by Alison Ladman
Start to finish: 35 minutes
1 cup milk
1 cup bread flour, sifted
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
1-1/2 cups fresh fruit, such as sliced peaches, citrus segments or berries
Powdered sugar or whipped cream, to garnish, if desired
Heat the oven to 450 F.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, flour, baking powder and salt until smooth.
Place the butter in a pie plate or oven-safe skillet. Set the pie plate or skillet in the oven. When the butter has melted, swirl the pan around to fully coat the bottom and sides. Pour the batter into the hot pan and immediately return to the oven. Bake for 15 minutes, then lower the temperature to 375 F and continue to cook until browned and puffy, about another 10 minutes.
Remove the pan from the oven. Heap the fruit in the center, then serve dusted with powdered sugar or topped with whipped cream, if desired.
Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 174 calories; 78 calories from fat (45 percent of total calories); 9 g fat (5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 125 mg cholesterol; 17 g carbohydrate; 7 g protein; 2 g fiber; 115 mg sodium.
Source: Recipe by Alison Ladman
BUBBLE AND SQUEAK
Start to finish: 40 minutes (20 minutes active) Servings: 6
1 pound sausage meat
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 russet potatoes, peeled, cooked and mashed
1 cup shredded, cooked cabbage
1/2 cup chopped cooked carrots
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high, cook the sausage meat until well browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the meat from the pan and reserve.
Add the onion to the sausage drippings in the skillet and cook until translucent and beginning to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the potatoes, cabbage and carrots, as well as the reserved sausage meat. Mix and cook until well browned, 15 to 20 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pan occasionally and flipping the mixture over and about. Season with salt and pepper.
Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 390 calories; 182 calories from fat (47 percent of total calories); 20 g fat (7 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 54 mg cholesterol; 37 g carbohydrate; 16 g protein; 3 g fiber; 540 mg sodium.
Source: Recipe by Alison Ladman