Royal wedding: Eat, drink and be merry in English style
Is the steady diet of all things royal in the lead-up to Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding making you hungry? For those who are planning to watch the Windsor festivities Friday, April 29, in style, some English-themed food as well as games and attire will surely enhance the occasion. We've asked some experts to help create a viewing party fit for a king-to-be and his royal princess.
Tea • English tea is usually served in the afternoon. But if you're getting up early to watch the festivities, a bit of caffeine will be in order. Kathy Cushman, manager of Vintage Restaurant and Tea Room in Ogden, has ordered a lemongrass-ginger tea Middleton's favorite for the restaurant's Royal Sapphire Wedding High Tea special that's being offered through May. But any black or green tea will do as long as it's served in your best china with some milk and sugar, Cushman says.
Scones •Tea is almost always served with a biscuit-like scone, topped with jam and clotted cream. However, as real clotted cream is difficult to find on this side of the pond, consider Mascarpone as a substitute. The key to making the best English scones is to add dried fruit such as cherries, cranberries or currants, Cushman says. While a cranberry-orange scone might be traditional for an English wedding, the Vintage Restaurant and Tea Room is offering a special scone made with dried blueberries and white chocolate, a nod to Middleton's vintage blue sapphire engagement ring, handed down from Princess Diana.
Sandwiches •Dainty tea sandwiches no crusts are another English favorite. The most common filling is cream cheese and thinly sliced English cucumbers. But a finely chopped egg salad or chicken and artichoke are alternate flavors. For a wedding theme, cut bread with a heart-shaped cookie cutter and serve the sandwiches open faced.
Meat pies and more • For heartier fare, meat pies filled with cheese and onion, chicken and mushroom or bacon would be acceptable, said Ronnie Matthews, owner of Elizabeth's Bakery and Tea Shop in Salt Lake City. Quiche and pasties, a type of English turnover filled with seasoned meat and vegetables, are also popular in Great Britain. And Prince William is said to be fond Shepherd's pie.
Cake • It's a wedding, so you've got to have cake. Go the sentimental route with sticky toffee cake, the bride's favorite, or Princess Diana's Wedding Cake, a moist spice cake flavored with fruit and nuts and topped with a cream cheese frosting. Or copy Middleton, who has selected a traditional fruit cake for the special day, according to http://www.royalweddingfood.com. The multi-tiered treat will likely contain raisins, sultanas, cherries, walnuts and "have lot of French brandy and very animal-friendly free-range eggs," the site reports.
Cocktails • You can't have a celebration without champagne. A Mimosa cocktail, a mix of chilled champagne, fresh orange juice and triple sec, is excellent for brunch. Or try the English rose cocktail, created for the wedding by the makers of Drambuie. A honey and herb-flavored liqueur, Drambuie was created more than 260 years ago for Prince Charles Edward Stuart of Scotland.
Games • Have a few games planned to keep your Royal viewing party guests entertained, suggests Julie Subotky, a lifestyle coach and author of Consider it Done, a guide for accomplishing hundreds of different tasks. Before the telecast begins, have your guests make a list of who they think will be at the wedding. As the cameras pan the crowd, guests get one point for everyone they get right. Have prize for the winner.
Attire •The early hour means most of us will be watching in our pajamas. But to celebrate in Windsor style, get decked out in an old bridesmaid or prom dress. And, just like the queen, don't forget to wear a hat or tiarra.
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Where to be royal:
Beehive Tea Room • 12 W. 300 South, Salt Lake City; 801-328-4700. Enjoy afternoon tea with English scones and clotted cream, old-fashioned sandwiches, pasties, quiche and desserts. Prices vary. Open Monday-Friday 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Elizabeth's Bakery and Tea Shop • 575 S. 700 East, Salt Lake City; 801-433-1170. On April 29, the shop will have the royal wedding streamed over a big-screen television all day. In addition to its regular meat pies and sausage rolls, the shop will sell a variety of mini finger foods, including sandwiches, quiches and cookies, and wedding cake. Prices vary. Women are encouraged to wear hats. On Friday, April 29, the shop opens at the regular time of 10 a.m. but will stay open an extra hour until 7:30 p.m. Regular hours are Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Grand America Hotel • 555 Main Street, Salt Lake City; 801-258-6807. High tea served Monday-Thursday 2 to 5 p.m.; and Friday-Sunday (excluding holidays) at 1 and 3 p.m. Cost is $16 per person, which includes selected teas, finger sandwiches, English scones, dessert and berries and cream. Children's menu available. The Grand Traditions tea service also is available for $32 per person and includes Champagne.
Little Taste of Britain Â» 1095 N. Main St., Layton; 801-543-5707. Restaurant menu includes fish and chips, beans on toast, battered sausage and steamed pudding with custard. A small import shop is adjacent to the restaurant, which stocks teas, Scottish oats, digestive biscuits and English sodas. They also offer refrigerated items including English bacon, bangers and crumpets. Open Tuesday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
London Market Â» 563 S. 700 East, Salt Lake City; 801-531-7074. Open Monday through Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Thursday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Offers the official Royal wedding plates and mugs, approved by the Queen; also sells biscuits, cakes, tea, chocolates, gifts and clothing.
Souties Â» 180 N. Highway 89, North Salt Lake; 801-295-0579. Open Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturdays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sells imported items from England and South Africa. Owner John Tarr makes bilitong, fresh South African jerky; and sells a coriander-spiced sausage known as boerewors. Baked items include Cornish pasties, meat pies and sausage rolls. On Saturdays, don't miss the deep-fried koeksusters and English scones.
Vintage Restaurant and Tea Room • 2436 Grant, Ogden; 801-425-4879. Enjoy the "Royal Sapphire Wedding High Tea" now through the end of May. Includes tea service, crust-less sandwiches, soup or salad, scones and dessert, all with a blueberry and white-chocolate theme, a nod to Kate Middleton's blue sapphire engagement ring. Cost is $15 per person. Those wearing a fancy hat, tiara or wedding veil will receive a 10 percent discount. Open Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturdays 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
English rose cocktail
1 sugar cube
3 drops orange bitters
1 ounce Drambuie
4 ounces chilled Champagne
A splash of Campari
3 drops rosewater
Strawberry fan, for garnish
In a champagne flute, add sugar cube, bitters and Drambuie. Slowly top with champagne, Campari and rosewater. Garnish with a thinly-sliced strawberry fanned and floated on top.
Servings • 1
Vintage Tea Room's English scones
3 cups flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 cup evaporated cane juice sugar (or granulated sugar)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) margarine
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup dried fruit such as blueberries, cherries, cranberries*
1 1/4 cups half-and-half
Jam, for serving
Mascarpone cheese (or clotted cream if available), for serving
Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, baking powder, sugar and salt. Cut margarine into dry ingredients until crumbly. Stir in eggs. Add dried fruit, mixing until coated. Stir in half-and-half. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Scoop dough out onto lined cookies sheet and bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until scones are barely brown on the bottom. Remove from oven and cool slightly. Serve with jam and mascarpone cheese. (English clotted cream is more traditional, but Vintage Restaurant and Tea Room's owner Kathy Cushman says since it's difficult to find in the United States, mascarpone is a good substitute.)
*Variation • For blueberry white-chocolate scones, add 1/2 cup white chocolate chips to the batter and decrease the amount of dried fruit to 3/4 cup.
Servings • 1 dozen large scones or 36 small bites
Source: Vintage Restaurant and Tea Room
Princess Diana's wedding cake
1 1/4 cup oil
1 3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple with juice
1 1/2 cups chopped banana
1 cup chopped apples
3/4 cup coconut
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
2 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1/4 cup margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9-by-13-inch cake pan. In a large bowl, combine oil, sugar, vanilla and eggs. Mix well. Stir in crushed pineapples with juice, banana, apples, coconut and walnuts. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, cinnamon and baking powder. Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until combined. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove cake from oven and cool completely.
For frosting, beat cream cheese, margarine, vanilla and powder sugar until cream. Spread on top of cake.
Servings • 12
Source: Vintage Restaurant and Tea Room
Tea sandwiches tips
Cream cheese • Use either plain or flavored cream cheese give extra depth to your sandwiches. Goat cheese or other soft cheeses (such as Alouette or Boursin brands) also can be used. Spreading the cream will be easier if you soften it first.
Crustless • Tea sandwiches are traditionally served on bread where the crust has been removed. Use a large cookie cutter to remove the crust and cut a decorative shape.
Open face • For a more dramatic presentation, serve sandwiches open faced.
Egg Salad • Peel and finely chop hard boiled eggs (or blend in a food processor for a smoother texture.) Mix chopped eggs with small amount of mayonnaise. Season with salt. Spread on crust-less bread.
Cucumber cream cheese • Spread bread slices with seasoned cream cheese and top with thin slices of English cucumbers. No need to peel English cucumbers, as their skins are softer than their American cousins.
Chicken artichoke • Spread crust-less bread slices with seasoned cream cheese. Top with finely diced cooked chicken breast and finely diced artichoke hearts. (Use water-packed or canned artichoke hearts.)
Watercress • Spread crust-less bread with seasoned cream cheese and top with individual leaves of watercress.
Source: Kathy Cushman, Vintage Restaurant & Tea Room