Royal Wedding Fans Celebrate With Crazy Cocktails, $330 Picnics
If you go out in London to mark the Royal Wedding on April 29, your options range from a $330 hamper to a 24-hour celebration with the chef Aldo Zilli. Or perhaps you'd prefer a special cocktail that tastes like a sponge cake.
Fortnum & Mason: The department store on Piccadilly holds a Royal Warrant and traces its history to 1707, so there's no shortage of experience of great events. Fortnum is offering ready-made picnics, with its Wicker Basket at 200 pounds ($330). It serves two and features dressed Scottish lobster and other gourmet options. Crockery and cutlery are included. Ordinary folk can opt for repasts starting at 40 pounds. Information: +44-20-7734-8040 or http://tinyurl.com/5t5ffs9.
Zilli Fish: Chef Aldo Zilli hosts a 24-hour marathon at his Soho restaurant. It starts with breakfast from 6 a.m. and he will be creating different menus throughout the day. There are plans for an al fresco barbecue. If you reckon you can last the full 24 hours, there's a chef's table. Information: +44-20-7734-8649 or http://www.zillirestaurants.co.uk/fish/.
Purl London: The cocktail bar has teamed up with the entrepreneur William Chase to produce the ultimate drink for the day. Royal Jam uses mainly English ingredients such as apple gin and includes strawberry conserve, lemon juice, lavender bitters and a splash of Nyetimber Brut sparkling wine. The main flavor is English Victoria sponge cake and the cocktail is served in a bone-china teacup and is accompanied by teapot of Earl Grey that is billowing with dry ice. It costs 9 pounds. Information: +44-20-7935-0835 or http://www.purl-london.com/.
Quaglino's: The restaurant is holding a black-tie gala dinner featuring classic dishes such as Bisque de Homard (Silver Jubilee menu 1977) and Le Parfait au Liqueur (Celebration menu 1950). There will also be music and dancing. Tickets are 60 pounds. Information: +44-20-7484-2002. (Quaglino's is part of the D&D London group, which has special menus at all its restaurants though May 2.) Information: http://www.danddlondon.com/.
Four Seasons: The Park Lane hotel is serving a Royal Afternoon Tea through May 1 in its Amaranto restaurant and lounge. It starts with a glass of Louis Roederer Champagne and the dishes include lobster and royal smoked salmon fillet roll. It costs 45 pounds. Information: +44-20-7319-5206 or http://bit.ly/bOHnNK.
Commonwealth Club: The private members' club near Westminster Abbey is offering everyone the Royal Wedding Experience for 40 pounds a person, with live coverage on plasma screens and a special breakfast and lunch menu. Information: +44-20-7766 9229 or http://bit.ly/hf4qSU.
Bentley's: Chef Richard Corrigan is cooking the dishes he prepared for Queen Elizabeth II on the BBC's "Great British Menu" and the ceremony will be screened live on the day. The menu will be available daily through May 2, excluding Saturday lunchtime. The three-course lunch is 65 pounds, including Champagne on arrival. Information: +44-20-7734-4756.
Hix at the Albemarle: This restaurant in Brown's hotel has a special Royal Wedding Brunch menu from midday to 4 p.m., while the event will be screened in the Donovan Bar, where brunch will be available from 10:30 a.m. (Dishes are priced individually.) Information: +44-20-7518-4004 or http://bit.ly/i4QxXy.
Roussillon: The restaurant is serving a Royal Wedding Brunch, including the option of scrambled duck eggs with Oscietra caviar, and a glass of Champagne for 37.50 pounds. There's a five-course dinner for 65 pounds. Yes, the restaurant will be showing television coverage all day.
The Ritz: The Royal Wedding Brunch, costing 150 pounds, is fully booked, as is the 50 pounds Royal Afternoon Tea. Here, just to tease you, is the lunch menu: http://bit.ly/e7fSIK. If you want to have a go at getting a table, you might call +44-20-7493-8181 and try saying you're a friend of the bride.
Nando's: If money's tight, there's always the chicken restaurant chain. It is inviting customers to come up with ideas for the best Nando's feast to mark the wedding: http://bit.ly/gDzfZG.