What to eat while watching The Crown Season 2

If you whooped with joy upon hearing of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s engagement this morning, then this post is probably for you.

We Anglophiles closely followed Will and Kate’s love story. We watched every episode of Downton Abbey – twice. Many of us remember when Princess Diana died. And we all fell head over heels for the Netflix series The Crown. This recipe round-up has been in draft for a little while, intended as a lead up to Season 2, which returns on December 8th. Now with Prince Harry and Meghan engaged and planning a spring wedding, it just feels right to go ahead and toss the virtual confetti.

The second season of our favourite period drama grants us permission to bake shortbread and throw a tea party. It provides an excuse to make my favourite sandwich on the planet. It might even be inspiration to cook a Sunday roast, Yorkshire pudding and all.

Whether you are celebrating the return of Claire Foy and Matt Smith to Netflix, rejoicing with the happy news from Kensington Palace – or merely counting down to Christmas, this light post is loads of fun. Read on!

I’m pretty sure I don’t need to go into detail on why I’m such an Anglophile. With my dad being from the UK, I’ve always felt a connection to the Brits. An opportunity to meet Jamie Oliver (right around this time of year!) and a trip to London only cemented my obsession.

Our recent trip to London last spring – and all the eats we packed into our itinerary – inspired me tremendously in the kitchen, so it’s no stretch to plan a few themed eats around the return of a British period piece.

What to eat while watching The Crown Season 2

So The Crown doesn’t boast the lavish food scenes of Downton Abbey and I’m not the first person to notice. In fact, food is almost entirely omitted from the show, but what it lacks in elaborate banquets it makes up for in costumes and Crown jewels.

In my opinion, a lack of food in the series means we can serve whatever we like at The Crown Season 2 viewing party. Queen Elizabeth is not a foodie, not a whit, but I am, and this is the perfect opportunity to combine my love of good eats with good television.

Drinks

Travel and Leisure reports that the Queen enjoys up to 4 cocktails a day.  Why not serve one or these four drinks your gathering?

  • Gin & Dubonnet
  • Dry Gin Martini
  • Wine
  • Champagne

If you’d like to serve a Pimm’s cocktail, I love Julia’s version, and find it is definitely worth it to track down the elderflower cordial. Personally, I may go with one of these festive beverages, such as my classic winter sangria with slices of clementine and pomegranate seeds.

To finish the evening, I’d pair my Hot Spiced Mulled Wine with a slice of cake or plate of shortbread. With our recent snowfall, it’s the perfect way to warm everyone right down to their toes.

Option 1: High Tea

The obvious choice for this viewing party would be an afternoon tea: tiers of sweets, warm scones and endless pots of tea. A few years ago I threw a tea party for my sister and it truly was so much fun. If you’re serious about a lavish tea, you can check out my full menu in the post.

If you want to keep it simple, serve one or two types of tea sandwiches and a basket of warm scones. My absolute favourite recipe is Sweet Cream Scones, via Saveur by Clarie Ptak of Violet bakery in London.

These Classic Gruyère Gougères  can be made in advance and warmed up just before serving. Stuff them with a sliver of smoked salmon and a dab of cream cheese.

Round out the menu with my Tourtiere mini hand pies, which are similar to the meat pies or ‘pasty’ served up in the UK. They are quite rich, so you don’t need many.

Lastly, balance out the savoury foods with a platter of winter crudité with chili and lime. Fresh and festive!

Option 2: Roast Beef Dinner and the trimmings

This is your all-out, go big dinner option. A roast is about as traditional as it gets – even Prince Harry popped the question to Meghan while they were “attempting to roast a chicken”. (Incidentally that was my favourite part of the whole BBC interview earlier today).

A classic roast beef with horseradish cream is always a crowd pleaser and quite simple to make. Pair it with roasted brussels sprouts or carrots and do not leave out the Yorkshire pudding. My recipe can be baked in advance, frozen, and then reheated in a hot oven alongside the roast beef.

Equally delicious and appropriate for a dinner party:

The Grand Finale: Desserts

From Eccles Cakes to Mincemeat tarts, Victoria Sponge and shortbread in abundance, the Brits know how to do dessert.

My Meyer Lemon Bundt Cake was the best recipe I developed all year. With minced preserved lemon in the batter and candied lemons on top, it is as delicious as it is elegant. It’s worthy of royalty, in my opinion.

Shortbread cookies are a must, but if rolling and cutting the dough isn’t your thing, try my Cinnamon Shortbread Bars with Chocolate Ganache. They are a straightforward two-layer bar that triggers all the fond memories of the original cookie. Laced with spice, these bars typify what holiday baking should be: simple, sensational and completely irresistible.

Thanks for indulging this post, my party planning and my royal fandom, both for the actual Windsors and the cinematic. I realize it’s a huge luxury to be able to dream up a menu and plan an evening around the return of a TV show  – but life can be so darn serious at times that it becomes necessary to intentionally lighten things up a little.

I’d love to hear what is on your menu plan as we head into December and the holidays. Baking projects! Christmas parties! Soup swaps! As the temperature drops outside, it’s fun to gravitate to the kitchen to cook up something special.

About Aimee

Cooking has always been Aimée’s preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites. Her first book, Brown Eggs and Jam Jars – Family Recipes from the Kitchen of Simple Bites, was published in February 2015.

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Comments

  1. I’m from Northern Ireland, so my older relatives lost a friend in the Bloody Sunday massacre, and I remember the adults in my family being bullied at the border by the British army, guns being shoved into our car, laughing British soldiers aiming their weapons at my mother and her three young kids as we drove behind their truck. We had nothing to do with the IRA or any of the equivalent Protestant paramilitaries– but we were Irish, and that was enough. There are individual English people, including members of my family, whom I love dearly, and I adore Jamie Oliver as much as the next girl, but I will never understand the phenomenon of Anglophilia, probably because I’ve seen too much of the dark side of England. That said, the food sounds amazing.

    • Hi Anya,
      Thank you for sharing your perspective. I truly value your voice. It is sad to hear of the experiences of your relatives; hopefully that is a part of the past now. It is understandable why you feel the way you do about Anglophilia. I hope you know that I am not merely following a trend here, but my love for all things British has grown through my experiences there (as I wrote in the post). However I think it is high time I start exploring Ireland. I’m sure you’d agree.
      xox A

  2. I am totally tracking with you on this post–love the Brits & their royalty (and their shows!) and I have The Crown S2 date on my google calendar 😉 I was so happy to see that my favorite prince was engaged!

    What a fun post with food. I could totally get my daughter on board with the tea, sandwiches, scones idea.
    Have you also watched Victoria? It’s quite a bit more somber than The Crown, but still very good.

  3. What a fun post! Love it. Thanks!

  4. I’m all over this post and this idea. As you know, I fell hard for London this year and must get my fix any way I can through food, film, books or recent news. =)

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