How to Throw an English Garden Party Like a Queen

How to throw an English Garden Party like a Queen

The Arabian Tent Company

When we were young, I’m sure we all had dreams of becoming royalty one day, or at least being able to meet them in person one day. If you were anything like us, you also wanted to attend one of their events because they always seemed so wonderful, inviting, and just elegant without a hint of trying too hard.

Naturally, we never scored an invite but that got us thinking. If we couldn’t get on the guest list, what was stopping us from throwing a glamorous bash worthy of such guests? But where would you start about even potentially throwing a party worth of the Queen and her prestigious family?

Bring in The Arabian Tent Company and with their over a decade of party experience supplying high-end decorative marquees and the largest range of themed interiors in the UK to weddings, events and festivals, they definitely know what they’re doing. Their team have overseen numerous of weddings over the past 12 years, together with stunning outdoor parties and networks with some of the top UK party organisers.

The Arabian Tent Company

If we’re being honest with ourselves, what’s the most glorious event that the Royal Family throws all year? The Garden party, of course! So where to start if imitation is the most sincere form of flattery and you have the best set of new teacups you can’t wait to break in?

The Guest List

Consider the guest list first. Who of your social circles would interact best with each other? Who will throw the biggest hissy fit if one crumpet falls out of line or is out of place? You want the garden party to be lively, not a pain. Plus, when you’re designing seating arrangements, you’d hate to have one table hogging the limelight while another looks like they’re about to fall over from boredom.

Royal Garden Party Protocol

Customarily the Royal Family enter their annual English tea party to the tune of 10,000 upturned voices signing ‘God Save Our Queen’. Follow in their footsteps at your royal garden party by making a grand entrance!

If the prospect of the vocal outpour of your guest list unnerves you, consider playing a chunky track over an impeccable sound system to lighten the mood.

It is customary for the Royal Family follow separate ‘lanes’ through the crowd at their annual English garden party to ensure fairly distributed interaction throughout: an excellent strategy for any highly attended English tea party.

While there are no formal rules for greeting a Royal, unspoken rules of etiquette are always enforced. Curtsies from ladies and head bows from gentlemen are appropriate at royal garden parties, but selfies, overly vigorous handshakes and hugs are not. You don’t want to preside over your Queen Garden Party as crumpled as a crumpet.

Queen Garden Party Faux Pas

At English tea parties seating plans matter, and ignorance of even antiquated protocol could lead your royal garden party to falter. It is a time-honoured custom and ancient insurance policy against stilted conversation that the hostess converses with the guest to her right first.

Lewis Hamilton famously ‘forgot’ his etiquette at the royal table when he attempted to engage HRH in conversation as the first course was served, despite being seated her left. Needless to say Mr Hamilton was sharply reproached before being greeted once more by her elegant, royal back.

English Garden Party Food and Drink

And then, there’s the menu. When it comes to a regal English tea party, there is no such thing as excess. At the Queen’s annual royal garden party over 27,000 cups of tea are served! Earl Grey is the chosen blend. Find your favourite teas and have a wide array of kinds as well from caffeinated to herbal to suit the tastes of not only you but your guests as well.

Other important items on a Queen Garden Party menu are HRH’s favourite English garden party dainties: perfect crust-free tuna and cucumber sandwiches, British strawberries, Queen Victoria’s chocolate ganache sponge and jam pennies (crust-free jam sandwiches the size of an old English penny). To wash it all down? HRH will take a gin Dubonnet cocktail (a.k.a. the Zaza) over champagne any day. To make, pour equal quantities of gin and Dubonnet over ice and garnish with lemon peel.

An English Tea Party Tent Fit for the Queen

Even in midsummer, your English tea party should prepare for every possible weather system. Cue a marquee fit for the Queen. And the location? Will it be indoors or outside? If the former is applicable as stated on, , then no need to worry about potentially inclement weather, unless the power going out becomes an issue. And then there are generators, candles, and flashlights in case.  But if the event will be outside, then be sure to have a tent or some form of cover available for that once in a blue moon rain storm that always seems to happen while you’re wearing white, talking to a crush, and outside. Otherwise known as the absolute worst time. So be prepared for any kind of threat the weather may pose and have a back up plan in case something goes awry.

Finally, remember to have some fun! You would never see the Queen being a downer at a garden tea party, now would you? She would probably be sipping on some tea while having a grand old time on the dance floor. You’re throwing an event fit for royalty so act like it and be prepared while throwing a mild bit of caution to the wind.

Dana Zillgitt

Having loved the written word as long as she can remember, Dana has written for I Am That Girl, Man of The Hour, and more. She’s far too comfortable on the open road and in airports. And she can be found on Instagram at honey.thyme or on Twitter at hazelnuthyme. She regularly uses one and tries to keep up with the other. If she’s not buried in a book, Dana can be found at the local coffeehouse, planning her next article or book chapter.