Plans for a fun Diamond Jubilee

It would be hard not to have noticed Her Royal Highness is reaching 60 years on the throne this weekend, especially in London where most streets are covered in bunting and preparations across the city are gathering pace. You may be celebrating this historic event or just enjoying the extra long weekend (thank you HRH!) either way it’s a great weekend to enjoy not only being British but also what this city has to offer.

I’ve gathered up all the information I’ve seen on the internet, thrown in a few things I already have planned and I thought I’d share it all with you to help gear up to what will hopefully be a fun weekend to remember!

The official events

You have two choices of how to officially get involved, in the comfort of your own home or with the millions hitting the streets of London. Either way here’s what you need to know:

Saturday 2 June – the Queen is attending the Epsom Derby and I’m excited to have tickets! I’ll be getting my royal-ready outfit on, grabbing a picnic and joining my friends for a fun afternoon, in the hope that somehow I might get a sneak peak and even a photo of the Queen on her party weekend. It looks like there are still tickets available so check out the official website for more info.

The Queen at Epsom Derby 2011 – Image credit Marcus Dawes’ blog

Sunday 3 June – is all about the flotilla and street parties. As 1,000 boats will be sailing down the Thames I’d love to try and get a spot to see it go by as I think it’ll be a one in a lifetime experience. It officially starts at 2.30pm but at 12 noon all the powered vessels will be at Wandsworth Bridge. There’s a handy map on the official website if you want to know more about where to go. If you’d rather watch it at home BBC 1 coverage starts at 1.30pm and you can follow via twitter @riverpageant.

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Monday 4 June – is the night to dance away. Together with the BBC, Mr Barlow has put together a special Diamond Jubilee concert in front of Buckingham Palace. If you’re not out making the most of an extra day to the weekend this could be worth a watch. You’ll find it on BBC 1 from 7.30pm.

There’ll also be Beacons of light across the United Kingdom, Channel Islands, the Isle of Man and the Commonwealth as a network of 2,012 Beacons will be lit by communities and individuals. The Queen will light the National Beacon. BBC 1 have coverage all day.

Tuesday 5 June – the serious stuff. What we’ll see is services at St Paul’s Cathedral, a Carriage Procession to Buckingham Palace and a Balcony appearance (I wonder if she’ll give Prince Phillip a peck in the style of Kate and Wills??).

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The city celebrations

Most official celebrations involve tickets which are now all sold out so I’ve rounded up a few places with some themed treats to tuck into.

The Big Lunch at the Bluebird – if you fancy an upmarket Jubilee lunch I received an email on this today and the menu looks tasty and quite reasonably priced.

Prêt-à-Portea – the Royal collection – The Caramel Rooms at The Berkeley provide a very original fashion-inspired afternoon tea. I’ve always wanted to go and so jumped at the chance of booking this special edition for tomorrow afternoon!

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Picnic Hampers – The Evening Standard provided their top choices which are worth checking out . I’ve had a delicious afternoon tea at Beas at Bloomsbury before so I can recommend they would be worth a try!

If all that seems like too much effort I’m sure the great cafes I’ve visited recently would have some Jubilee-inspired options!

At home

If you’d rather avoid all the hype and plan to watch it all from the comfort of your own home, or you’re hosting/attending a street party, here are some sweet tooth recipes which might be worth a try.

Queenies from The Londoner

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I’m hoping to have a go at these myself, don’t they look delicious?! You can find the recipe and the ingenious way they’ve been made by visiting this page of The Londoner Blog.

The Florence Finds ombre cake

Lucinda and myself made this cake a few weeks ago and it certainly got some admiration. I think this could be adapted to a three layered cake of red, white and blue! If you fancy baking it check out the recipe on Florence Finds.

I’ll also be sharing my recipe for a giant cupcake later this week so make sure you look out for it. I definitely think it could be adapted for a British-themed event.

Blimey, there’s a lot going on this weekend and I’m not even the Queen!

It’d be great to hear what you have planned? Are you celebrating the occasion or completely avoiding it and enjoying a lovely long weekend?