Big Jubilee Lunch: Where are the nearest street parties to you?

·6 min read
Revellers enjoy picnics at a giant table during the 'Big Lunch' jubilee celebrations on Piccadilly in central London, which was closed to traffic for the day for a street party.
Millions of people are expected to join in the Big Jubilee Lunch initiative in June as part of the Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations. (PA)

Brits are dusting off their trestle tables and bunting to get ready and celebrate 70 years since the Queen ascended to the throne.

The Big Jubilee Lunch first took place for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in 2012, encouraging people across the country to sit down together for food, drink and conversation.

This year it will run between Thursday, 2 June and Sunday, 5 June after the Queen made it an official part of her Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

The Queen was one of millions of participants taking part in the Big Lunch when she attended a special version of the event at the Eden Project in Cornwall during the G7 Summit last year and launched the Big Jubilee Lunch as part of her celebrations this summer.

ST AUSTELL, ENGLAND - JUNE 11: Queen Elizabeth II (C) smiles as she meets people from communities across Cornwall at an event in celebration of The Big Lunch initiative at The Eden Project during the G7 Summit on June 11, 2021 in St Austell, Cornwall, England. UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, hosts leaders from the USA, Japan, Germany, France, Italy and Canada at the G7 Summit. This year the UK has invited India, South Africa, and South Korea to attend the Leaders' Summit as guest countries as well as the EU. (Photo by Oli Scarff - WPA Pool / Getty Images)
Last year, the Queen met people from communities across Cornwall at an event in celebration of The Big Lunch initiative at The Eden Project during the G7 Summit. (Getty)

Is there a main 'official' Big Jubilee Lunch?

The Big Jubilee Lunch is listed on the official royal website as an event on Sunday, 5 June but lunches are taking place across the jubilee weekend, from Thursday, 2 June to Sunday, 5 June.

According to the site, more than 60,000 people have registered to host their own lunches, with events ranging from world record attempts for the longest street party to back garden barbecues and more.

Read more: 70 years of the Queen on the balcony of Buckingham Palace

About 10 million people across the UK are expected to join the celebrations, with more than 600 international Big Jubilee Lunches being planned throughout the Commonwealth and beyond — including Canada, Brazil, New Zealand, Japan, South Africa, Switzerland and more.

Last month, comedian and broadcaster Mel Giedroyc hailed a group of Big Jubilee Lunch organisers as "gritty, positive and life-affirming" ahead of the nationwide jubilee event.

Mel Giedroyc praised organisers of The Big Lunch events from across the country at an event at Buckingham Palace last month ahead of hundreds taking place across the country in June. (PA)
Mel Giedroyc praised organisers of the Big Lunch events from across the country at an event at Buckingham Palace last month, ahead of hundreds taking place across the country in June. (PA)

Giedroyc joined 10 community organisers from across the UK for an event in the gardens of Buckingham Palace, where they group shared ideas about feeding local communities on a budget, games to play in large groups and how best to decorate their streets.

Peter Stewart, executive director of the Big Lunch, said: "The Big Lunch has been bringing neighbours and communities together on the first weekend in June for over a decade and what an extra special year 2022 is going to be.

"We know that good things happen when people come together and so we want to invite everyone everywhere to take part – that’s what makes the Big Jubilee Lunch big.

"With only two months to go until a once-in-a-lifetime event, now is the time to gather your neighbours, rally your road, and get ready to celebrate this historic moment together."

File photo dated 04/06/12 of a street party to commemorate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee at Ashby De La Zouch, Leicestershire. Drivers are being warned to expect congestion during the Platinum Jubilee weekend as an estimated 133,000 UK roads will be inaccessible due to street parties. Issue date: Monday May 16, 2022.
The nation is set to join in street parties to mark the Queen's Platinum Jubilee. (PA)

Where is the nearest jubilee street party to me?

Big Lunches are taking place across the country, including more than 1,500 public events and 1,850 street parties or private events, according to a map on the Queen's Platinum Jubilee official website.

The map allows you to search for events close to you either by choosing the distance from a particular postcode or town, as well as by date.

Jubilee lunch map
Jubilee lunch map

People organising their own Big Lunch events can put them on the Big Lunch map, and are also being encouraged to share their plans using the Nextdoor app, an online platform to help people reach others in their local community.

It is still possible to order a free pack to throw a street party. Information is available from the Big Jubilee Lunch website.

Is there a jubilee menu?

There isn't a set official lunch menu for the Platinum Jubilee, but it's fair to say that some familiar names will be putting in an appearance across the country.

A few dishes have become synonymous with big royal occasions like jubilees, like coronation chicken, which was created for the Queen's coronation in 1953 and has since become a British culinary classic.

For people who want to whip up their own jubilee feast, they could consult a Palace-approved Platinum Jubilee Cookbook written by junior diplomat Ameer Kotecha to honour 70 years of the Queen's reign.

beautiful  tea party  celebration  food  for  queens   platinum jubilee
There's no set jubilee menu so people can get creative. (Stock image: Getty)

Eden Project, which organises the Big Lunch, has also compiled a list of celebrity recipes people can turn to to create their own Big Lunch or Jubilee celebration, including everything from a Clarence House chocolate biscuit cake to Grandma's Fruitcake from Alex Hollywood.

But if you don't fancy doing any of the hard work yourself, supermarkets and food brands have got on board offering jubilee hampers and special jubilee ranges.

Are there any jubilee food-based competitions?

A special Platinum Pudding competition was organised to find the official pudding of the Queen's jubilee celebrations.

Wannabe bakers and cooks from across the country entered their creations in the contest, which saw Jemma Melvin's lemon Swiss roll and amaretti trifle beat 5,000 rivals to win the competition.

Jemma Melvin in Fortnum and Mason, central London, with her lemon Swiss roll and amaretti trifle that beat 5,000 desserts to become the official pudding of the Queen's Jubilee celebrations. Picture date: Friday May 13, 2022.
Jemma Melvin's lemon Swiss roll and amaretti trifle beat 5,000 desserts to become the official pudding of the Queen's Jubilee celebrations. (PA)

The trifle, inspired by the 31-year-old copywriter’s grandparents – and the Queen – will become part of British royal food history, following in the footsteps of coronation chicken and Victoria sponge.

Royal grocer Fortnum and Mason joined forces with the Big Jubilee Lunch Charity to launch the challenge, which was to create an original and celebratory cake, tart or pudding fulfilling the criteria of being fit for a queen, having a memorable story and being achievable for home bakers, as well as tasting good.

Melvin, from Southport, Merseyside, was declared the winner on BBC One’s The Jubilee Pudding: 70 Years In The Baking after a panel of judges including Dame Mary Berry and Monica Galetti came to a unanimous decision.

Read more: When is the Queen's Platinum Jubilee?

Her trifle is made of lemon curd Swiss roll on the bottom, St Clement’s jelly, lemon custard, amaretti biscuits, mandarin coulis, fresh whipped cream, candied peel, chocolate shards and crushed amaretti biscuits.

It saw off competition from four other bakers, whose creations included a passionfruit and thyme frangipane tart, a Jubilee Bundt cake featuring home-made Dubonnet jam, a rose falooda cake and a “four nations” pudding featuring ingredients from around the country.

Watch: Platinum pudding a tribute to 'three amazing women'

Speaking about the inspiration behind her winning trifle, Melvin explained: "This particular trifle is a tribute to three women: it’s my Gran, my Nan and the Queen herself.”

"My Grandma taught me to bake, she taught me all the elements, everything from scratch.

"My Nan’s signature dish was always a trifle; we used to call her the queen of trifles.

"And the Queen had lemon posset at her wedding."

The winning recipe will be available online via BBC Good Food, Fortnum & Mason and The Big Jubilee Lunch.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting