Royal Wedding Party Food

By Fabiana Santana

If you are gearing up to watch the Royal Wedding with your girlfriends, then you’ve got to have your eating plan in order. And even though the happy couple are staying tight lipped about what they will be surveying on the big day, Epicurious Editor-in-Chief Tanya Steel has a pretty good idea what their menu will include. She spoke with Princess Diana’s private chef, Darren McGrady, about what guests will get a taste of tomorrow.

To kick start the day, there will be a wedding breakfast for 600 guests set up like a cocktail party, not the traditional sit-down meal Princess Diana oped form. Kate’s proposed menu will include smoked trout with cream cheese crepes, English sausage rolls, mini croque monsieurs, and smoked salmon tartles.

The intimate sit-down dinner for 300 guests will keep with tradition and have one dish named after Kate and will feature seasonal spring ingredients such as lamb, leeks, and cabbage sourced from Highgrove, Prince Charles’ organic farm and homestead. Instead of opting for the 27 cakes that Prince Charles and Princess Diana had at their wedding, William and Kate are keeping things more low key and will be serving just one wedding cake.  We’re going through this bad time of recession here in the U.K., and it could be that they are trying to avoid displays of excess, so it won’t look as if they aren’t sympathetic with what everyone else is going through financially,” says Wiltshire-based baker Linda Fripp, who created the official cake for the 1999 wedding of William’s uncle, Prince Edward.

If you think 27 cakes is overdoing it, Prince Andrew and Fergie actually had 40 so, in keeping with tradition, 27 is not too bad.

Now that you know what they are eating, time to think about what you will be eating. Tanya wants to help with that, too. Here are her tips for an all day eating event spent in front of the TV.

How can someone prepare for a day-long eating celebration like the Royal Wedding?
It depends where you are. If you’re in the US in the eastern half of the country, don’t eat too much the night before and try not to eat after 9 pm so if you get up super early to watch the wedding, your stomach will be fairly empty and around 6 or 7 you can have a nice English breakfast with sausage rolls and eggs drumkilbo, all of which we have in our royal wedding story. If you’re watching in the western half of the US, then I would suggest a very  early dinner followed by a rollicking light late supper beginning around 1 am…

If our readers are hosting a watching party, what are some must have snacks?
Champagne—that counts as as snack, doesn’t it?
Early Grey tea, scones, bread and butter pudding, chocolate biscuit cake, which is the actual cake William has requested for the groom’s cake.

Champagne, cocktails or both?
I would say if you’re watching live, Champagne, Mimosas, tea, coffee. If you’ve recorded it and watching it later in the day, a cocktail would be perfect. After all, it’s happy hour in Britain then.

Multiple wedding cakes are becoming a trend in the states, too.  Any thoughts on why Diana and Fergie opted for so many cakes? And if a US bride is trying the trend, what are some flavor and presentation ideas?
It’s an English tradition (and I speak as a Brit-born expert) to have at least two cakes at a traditional wedding and it makes sense from a food point of view to offer a variety of flavors and textures. At Epicurious we love the idea of having a cake, cupcake or pie buffet, enabling guests to try all different flavors and tastes. Having a buffet of more casual desserts, like a pie table, is a big trend right now. In terms of cake flavors, the red velvet cake trend is really strong right now and makes a spectacular cake.