Divine Dining: How to Host an Elegant & British Heritage Inspired Coronation Party

Over the glorious Bank Holiday weekend of King Charles’s coronation, people will be coming together up and down the UK to celebrate – whether it’s with private garden parties, an intimate dinner party, or a street party with the community.

If Union Jack bunting and paper cups aren’t your design aesthetic, Jen Nash, Senior Design Lead at Magnet, shares her top tips about how to host a luxurious and elegant coronation party that’s inspired by the beauty of British heritage design and traditions. 

Rather than the usual royal celebration decor tips, here’s how to host a coronation party that’s as elegant and memorable as it is practical and inviting. 

Jen comments, ‘’For most people, this will be the first coronation of their lifetimes, so it’s important to mark the occasion with a celebration that we will remember in years to come. To make it distinct from other and more recent royal celebrations, here’s how to transform the usual royal street party decor into a scene of British design and elegance. There is after all, nothing more inviting than traditional British style that champions bright colours, pretty patterns, and a rustic charm.’’

An expert guide to hosting an elevated Coronation party 

  1. Bring the indoors outdoors

‘’With the coronation taking place in May, there’s no better opportunity to embrace the trend of outdoor dining and immerse yourself in the beauty of British springtime. But the key to creating an elegant outdoor dining atmosphere is styling the table just as you would indoors. 

Resist the temptation of going with basic tablecloths, paper napkins and plastic cups and bring the indoors out, with proper table linens, crockery and glassware. It instantly transforms a garden party from a picnic feel, to an elegant scene of al fresco dining. Make the table the star of the show by creating a tablescape that marks the occasion. It is afterall, where your guests are going to be spending their day and evening for this historial celebration.’’ 

  1. Use pastels to add a vintage feel 

’A red, white and blue colour theme is the automatic go to when it comes to Royal celebrations. Whilst it instantly creates a patriotic atmosphere, it can seem difficult to make the strong colour palette elegant. 

But, incorporating soft pastels that are traditionally used in British heritage design can instantly take the edge off and add a more sophisticated, vintage feel to your party. Add in soft peachy roses and greens through little accents such as ribbons tied around flower pots and napkins. Or, opt for rose-tinted glassware and pastel serving plates to balance out the more saturated tones.

Alternatively, if you don’t want to use the Union Jack colour palette at all, stick to just using these peachy and pastel tones throughout. Set against white table linen, your coronation party will feel like a quintessential British tea party with an air of elegance and sophistication.’’ 

  1. Layers & excess 

‘’One of the easiest ways to create a banquet-like party that screams British opulence and tradition, is to layer your table throughout. Layer place mats with a serving plate, dessert plate and then a textured napkin on top. Also, have candles, flowers and table decorations at varying heights. 

Whilst you may not have the space to lay out six different glasses like the Royals traditionally have at their banquets, do try to lay out two-three glasses for each guest – one for water, one for wine and perhaps another for champagne. You can remove these when it comes to the practicalities of dining, but it’s this layering of excess that creates a glamorous wow factor.’’ 

  1. Royal flower arrangements 

’Flowers are another element that are really going to add to that banquet feel and a sense of occasion for your coronation party. It really doesn’t take many blooms to achieve this. Have one tall vase full of blooming flowers as the centrepiece of your table and then dot a few smaller vases with little sprigs down the table. 

All naturally blooming in red, white and blue, opt for the likes of petunias, impatiens, verbena, pansies and bachelor’s buttons for a royal flower arrangement that elegantly nods to the union jack.’’ 

  1. Play with pattern 

‘’From floral wallpapers and traditional tea party china, pattern is a hallmark feature of heritage style. With pretty designs and classic motifs such as botanicals and checks, which are eternally popular, incorporating these patterns into your table will create an atmosphere that’s simultaneously playful yet steeped in British history and elegance. 

You could opt for one patterned focal point such as a blue botanical print tablecloth, or you could do the reverse – using white linen as the foundation of your table and layering it with patterned napkins and china featuring muted hues of the union jack colours. Plus, don’t be afraid to mismatch patterns. It’s actually the perfect way to channel that farmhouse English country feel and add depth to your table.’’ 

  1. Personalised trinkets 

’Personalising an element of your table will always delight your guests and the occasion feel extra special. From ribboning napkins with little name tags to monogramming the linen with guests’ initials, these small touches have a big impact. Little take me home trinkets also serve as an elegant touch. You could give guests a little bunch of the table flowers to take home that are secured with a personalised ribbon, or perhaps you could create a personal menu for the day that people can take home as a keep-me-sake.’’ 

  1. Rustic charm 

’Alongside patterns and pastels, natural materials and vintage items are key to bringing the heritage look together. They show signs of age and patina that will ground the elegance of your scheme. From bamboo cutlery and woven place mats to antique jugs and wooden chopping boards to serve food on, add small accents of natural and vintage materials to channel the charm of the classic English country style that’s so warm and inviting.’’ 

  1. Romantic lighting 

’Factoring lighting into your outdoor dining set up is important so that you can extend your celebrations after dark. But despite lighting being a practicality, it can be used as an essential element to add elegance and intimacy to your party.

Dot candles along the centre of the table at varying heights and illuminate surrounding plants and trees with hurricane lanterns. Hanging tea-light holders from branches is always a beautiful touch. For overhead lighting, hang festoon strings, twinkling fairy lights and solar lights from nearby trees or posts. Whilst you can experiment with coloured lights and lanterns, white lights are the winning choice when it comes to creating a majestic sparkle and more elegant ambience.’’ 

  1. Chic comforts 

’An elegant party is not only found in its decor. It’s also found in making your guests feel comfortable and spoiled. So, without the guarantee of warm summer evenings in the UK, ensure you have some cosy nooks and warm touches at your party. Drape gingham throws and royal blue blankets over the back of guests chairs that they can throw on as the evening rolls in. These additions will also add texture to your table.’’ 

Eve Crabtree

Eve Crabtree is a journalist with a passion for interior design. She keeps up to date with the latest trends in the interior industry and regularly tests her hand at crafting and redecorating during her spare time.