The Expert’s Essential Guide to Creating a Royal Standard Buffet for the Platinum Jubilee
The nation’s best-known pork pies maker and a leading etiquette expert have teamed up to provide the perfect guide to a Platinum Jubilee party. Dickinson & Morris – an icon of British cuisine – have teamed up with William Hanson to create the perfect celebration.
Whether you’re hosting an indoor or outdoor Jubilee party, create a variety of delicious snacks and embrace the joy of playing “host with the most”. The crowning glory of every Platinum Jubilee shopping list should be an authentic Dickinson & Morris Melton Mowbray pork pie.
The savory crunch of the dough followed by the tender and rich pork filling is the perfect accompaniment to generous carafes of Pimm’s filled with fresh fruit and freshly squeezed lemonade, a can of refreshing craft beer, an apple salad homemade earth and a slice of Victoria sponge cake to finish.
Roll out a picnic blanket or set the kitchen table for a feast.
William Hanson’s ‘top tips’ for enjoying the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee:
1. Hosts should arrange the buffet in a logical order to help reduce tedious traffic jams and keep guests from waiting to help themselves to that second offering of chili con carne.
2. The entrance to a buffet is marked by plates, but do not place cutlery or napkins next to the plates. Instead, these two items mark the end of the sideboard. It’s very difficult to help yourself while juggling a fork and knife underneath and diners don’t need their eating weapons until their plates are fully loaded.
3. Resist the temptation to pile your plate, like they just finished rationing. A buffet is a marathon, not a sprint. You are more than welcome to return to the buffet once your plate is empty.
4. Never take more than you will eat. While meal etiquette for sit-down dining might allow you to leave a small portion of food, for self-serve business it’s pretty unseemly to break off more than you can chew, depriving others of all that rest. Share the love and share the food.
5. If space permits, hosts should consider having a separate table for drinks, placed away from the main food display. This will help avoid traffic jams and move people to other parts of the room, rather than a crowded area.
6. Buffets should offer a range of food items, meeting the dietary needs of as many guests as possible. As with any other party, hosts should inquire about allergies and intolerances, and guests should also be sure to share any dietary weaknesses with their hosts well in advance. Diners have only themselves to blame and may go hungry if they arrive and announce they are a surprise vegan.
7. Unless there is enough seating and table space for everyone, the food offered on a buffet should be carefully designed to be easy to eat. For example, there is no point in serving raw shrimp, which requires the attention of both hands, if guests have to get up to eat. Instead, present easier-to-eat foods that only require a fork or one hand.
8. Sauces, dressings and garnishes should be placed next to the dish they accompany – a mayonnaise next to the salad, a strong mustard next to the pork pies, or a slightly sweet chutney, a good brown sauce , maybe even a pickled onion on the side . Providing a teaspoon for each type of dressing is essential to avoid cross-contamination. No one likes hummus with hints of horseradish.
9. For those tasked with restocking a buffet, try to keep all dishes appetizing. When a quiche Lorraine is two-thirds eaten, she begins to be sad. Decant what’s left of Lorraine into a smaller plate and rearrange it to make it more appealing to the next one.
10. In large buffets, a rule of etiquette still observed is that tablecloths should gently kiss the floor, rather than hang halfway down the table.
Dickinson & Morris have been making pork pies at the Ye Olde Pork Pie Shoppe in Melton Mowbray since 1851. It has the dual reputation of being the oldest pork pies bakery and the last producer of authentic Melton Mowbray pork pies based in the city center.