Eat Like a Royal: 7 British Foods That Make Us Feel Fancy
Current mood: Trifles and crumpets and crusts off our sandwiches.
We’re chuffed to admit it. With the upcoming nuptials of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on May 19 (not to mention the birth of His Royal Highness Prince Louis of Cambridge just last month), we’re a little obsessed with all things British and royal right now. And who isn’t? It seems like only yesterday that we – and almost 23 million other Americans – were watching Prince William and Kate Middleton tie the knot. And this time around there’s an American involved!
Alongside deep dives into understanding why we can’t call Meghan a princess and more than a few period dramas about the long-standing monarchy, our revived fascination has led us to these afternoon tea-worthy British recipes. Forgive us (and yourself) for any American twist we take on these dishes – Markle, a.k.a the future Duchess of Sussex, is after all a California girl at heart.
Count us among those excited for the lemon elderflower wedding cake, a break from the British royal wedding tradition of fruitcake. Though you’re welcome to make and enjoy your own royally-inspired cake (our friends at HGTV have a recipe worth trying), a creative shortcut like this Strawberry-Blackberry Summer Trifle (pictured above) also does the trick. Made with layers of fresh fruit, elderflower whipped cream and angel food cake (store-bought is fine), this no-bake recipe takes just 15 minutes of prep and some time to chill.
Add in some inspiration from the Queen, who regularly enjoys gin every day before lunch, and drink the flavors of the royal wedding cake in a Lemon Flower Martini. The addition of lemon syrup and elderflower liqueur sweetens and flavors the drink, which is classically unsweetened.
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Another whipped cream concoction we love is an Eton Mess, mixed into an easy "mess" with fruit and crumbled meringue.
Of course, the elegant British pastime of afternoon tea isn't complete without a few accompanying treats. Try Cream Scones with Currants, a fan-favorite recipe flavored simply with orange zest and currants. Tip: If you don't have a pastry blender to break the butter down, you can also use a potato masher or your hands. For best results make sure your hands and ingredients are cold so the butter doesn't dissolve into the dough before you bake.
Somewhere on the spectrum between pancakes and English muffins, crumpets are an essentially British treat that date back to the 17th century.
Although we have nothing against crusts, a sandwich simply isn't fit for tea time unless it's been carved and shaped into a delicate bite-sized portion, ideally arranged in some aesthetically pleasing way. Take a classic egg salad filling to the next level with Tiffani Thiessen's recipe made with truffle oil.
If you're hankering for heartier fare, a classic Beef Wellington is both suitably fancy and delicious. But if you find yourself balking at the 4+ hour effort of the classic, these Bite-Size Beef Wellingtons are ready in less than half the time and perfect for a crowd — though probably not a royal one.