How to host the perfect themed house party (including Platinum Jubilee party ideas)

With the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations just a few days away (2nd – 5th June 2022), I have put the following list together to provide inspiration and support for families considering throwing an action packed, fun filled kid-friendly Jubilee party.

While numerous official events will be staged, Brits across the nation are gearing up to host their own street parties, garden parties, and generally get ready for a grand ol’ royal knees up! 

I recently organised my own themed 80s house party to road-test my tips so you can be sure they work out.

Planning ahead

Planning ahead is a must for a great party, but don’t plan alone. Get a group of friends together so you can split the stress and effort. A WhatsApp group is a great way to all stay up to date and keep planning on track. Once you have the basics planned, share out jobs and start to build excitement for the big day.

It’s best to get invites out to your friends as quickly as possible because people tend to get busy. Why not let your little one get involved in creating the party invites with you? Or simply get one digital collage done and send it out via Whatsapp. 

 
 Decorations

Decorations make your party feel special. Rather than shelling out on pricey decorations, google some themed ideas to either make them or get them as cheap as possible from the internet. Bunting is a simple one to start with. All you’ll need is some rope or string and triangles of paper, card or cloth. And how about getting children making themed posters and invites for everyone attending. 

I got most of my value-for-money items from BM stores online and delivered. I typed party essentials under their search button here and I was provided with funky ideas for products to buy too: from bunting to more quirky decorations. 

 If anyone has gazebos, put them up and drape them with bunting and fairy lights to create something unique. I made my own fairy lights by putting little lights inside nice old bottles. Good way to upcycle and have fun with the kids.  

For a Jubilee themed party, decide on what kind of style you want for your party – is it good old fashioned flags & bunting, or a more subtle, elegant look. If a communal feel is what you are after, fun plates will brighten up a display.

 

Food and drink

This is the most important element for a great party as people love trying new food and drinks. In my invite I suggested to bring food and drinks so that made it easy for me to only prepare the basic dishes. I made some Bolognese pasta in the oven, little tarts with baguette and topping of brie and blackcurrent jam, crisps, peanuts, cheese bord, crackers, chorizo o salami sliced. My friends made tiramisu, insalata Russa and samosas. 

Set up a food and drink table and let everyone bring something to add to it – do plan in advance so you don’t end up with the same thing multiple times! 

As I don’t have a car I got lots of spirits from BM stores online including an amazing gin called Parma Violet which I used to make funky lilac coloured and flavoured Gin & Tonic. 

BM stores also sent me a cocktail machine which was great to crush the ice and to make pina colada cocktails. They also supplied the mixed syrup and the rhum for that and I only added the pineapple as the decoration. 

Food is always a good way to bring people together, and cakes are a universal crowd pleaser.

 At my party, we had two big cakes. One of them was in a M shape for my initial M(onica) and was made by My Baker. This cake was not only fabulous to look at but also delicious. I don’t like overly sweet cakes and this was just perfect. 

My Baker also makes Jubilee themed cakes. Their Jubilee cake is an elderflower sponge cake topped with vanilla butter cream and sandwiched with the blueberry jam.  The ‘70’ cake will be a show stopper at any Jubilee party and feeding 16-20 so the perfect addition to any street party. That will be decorated with red white and blue including fresh fruit and homages to the Queen.  It will cost £108 and can be delivered within 24 hours (within the M25) and 48-72 hours across the rest of the UK.

I also had a Drinkmate machine  (RPP £79.99 at www.Drinkmate.uk), which is the most versatile home beverage carbonator on the market and carbonates ANY beverage from tea, juice, cocktails, sports drinks, and of course water. Using its proprietary fizz infuzer technology, Drinkmate enable carbonation lovers to add fizz to any cool liquid with a touch of a button.

This was fun to use to make drinks more fizzy – even for the kids with their juices. The sparkling drink possibilities are endless!

Luscombe‘s Jubilee Street Party Box came very handy as it included paper cups and 5 metre string of beautiful bunting along with cases of high quality juices to mix with our cocktails. My favourite Luscombe drink is the organic Sicilian Lemonade, that tastes like homemade fresh lemonade that I had in Sicily when I was a little girl during my travels.

The lemons are organic and sourced in Sicily and grown with the perfect balance of sweet acidity. It’s what makes this Organic Sicilian Lemonade a bit sweet thanks to an indulgent splash of Madagascan vanilla.

 

Entertainment 

Outdoor games like giant Jenga are perfect for street parties. If you want to stick to a regal theme (for the Jubilee weekend) you could have a royal fancy dress contest. I set the 80s theme and my friends all made the effort to turn up in original 80s clothes which made my day. So much fun and it felt like going back in time with a De Lorean (aka time machine).

The best party activities are suited to people of all ages but it’s still a good idea to think about the little ones. Set out activities like colouring or drawing stations – you could even introduce some regal stencils.

At my party, I played vinyl records and mixed that vintage music with pre-prepared 80s disco and rock playlists. It was a blast. 

I also had labels for all people to write their name and one word as a hint to where they met me. My friend Jo wrote ‘Jo – boob’ which was hilarious because we met at the breastfeeding cafe’ almost 16 years ago. People went wild to figure out what that was all about. 

I created a section for themed selfies or group photos with an 80s themed banner attached to a room divider. I also put costumes and props in a box so guests could use them for their pictures. 

Last but not least, to be environmentally friendly I asked my friends not to bring cards but instead I got a personalised party book that everyone signed and which I will use later as a photo album attaching photos from the party.

My party book which my friends signed and used to leave me lovely messages was gifted by London based Sloane Stationery. Their products are handmade by classically trained bookbinders in their bindery in Oxford (UK). These products are entirely made to order, allowing Sloane Stationery to offer a wide range of bespoke options. What I love about Sloane Stationery products is that they are entirely vegan – the cover material is made using sustainable vegan leather and the FSC-certified paper inside the books is laid in a family-owned mill in Florence (Italy).

 

What to wear

My 80s party was clearly full of fluorescent clothing items and accessories. But given it’s the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee – a truly special occasion – if you are having a Jubilee themed party you can encourage everyone to come in themed fancy dress. Ideas to pick from include: red, white & blue clothing, Tiaras & Top hats, Princes and Princesses for children.

 

Keep the kids entertained

Keeping little ones happy will inevitably involve keeping them occupied, so have plenty of ideas lined up, including:

  • Cupcake decorating  (Union Jack, crowns…)

  • Pass the parcel

  • Musical chairs

  • Talent show –  the perfect way to get the family involved and having a good time. Kids could dress up as princes and princesses and sing their favourite songs, and parents could also sing their tunes. 

 

You can use some of these tips also to organise a street party. 

Whether it’s a street party or a family gathering, share the load, and give those willing to get involved specific tasks or roles on the day. This could be making street food or decoration planning, the more involved you can get people in the event, the more invested they’ll be in it! 

 

If you follow this advice I’m sure the celebrations will go off without a hitch. I had almost 50 guests at home and they walked out all happy. 

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