A royal celebration in Surrey
The Coronation of King Charles III was a unique opportunity to celebrate all over the UK and one family decided to pull out all the stops – with a little help from MGN events.
We’ve worked with this particular client before, previously planning a triple milestone birthday party for family members turning 18, 21 and 50. Roll on five years and we were delighted to be asked once again to plan and organise a very special party, this time, a Coronation party for 110 guests.
The party was to be held in the grounds of our client’s home in Gomshall, a charming village nestled in the Surrey hills, and we installed a clearspan marquee. The marquee was cleverly sited to incorporate two of the features of our client’s garden, a wooden pergola that served as an entrance and the clear walls brought the outside in and guests could still enjoy the lovely surroundings and their water fountain.
Not surprisingly, the party theme incorporated a colour palette of red, white and blue, along with gold for a regal touch. Guests had already had a tantalising glimpse of what to expect when they received the invites we specially designed, a design that was also applied across the welcome signage and table menus.
The marquee itself was partitioned in half so that the space could be used differently as the party progressed. The white interior was decorated with a navy blue carpet and red valance, Coronation bunting and red, white and blue lanterns. Similarly, the table settings echoed the theme, with blue tablecloths, white crockery and red napkins and table centres of vases and tealights with red, white and blue rose petals. Gold chairs and a gold mirrored bar completed the look. We used a heavy black cloth lining to partition the marquee and this gave us the opportunity to create a huge Union Jack using LED battens, which then provided a striking and patriotic backdrop to a stage area.
Arriving early in the afternoon, guests were greeted with champagne and a delicious variety of canapés. Our caterers took inspiration from traditional English food to create perfect bite-sized morsels, including mini Yorkshire puddings, panko scotch quail eggs, smoked salmon tartare on blinis, crispy pork belly, battered cod and chips and mini crumpets.
After plenty of time for socialising, guests were invited to take their seats for a fun Best of British Coronation quiz, which we helped to organise. One of the guests had taken on the role of quizmaster and did a brilliant job of running the six rounds of the quiz. Guests donated money to participate and an impressive £1,300 was raised to be donated to the winning team’s chosen charity.
After the quiz a magnificent formal afternoon tea was served – a variety of finger sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and strawberry preserve and an irresistible selection of sweet treats, including chocolate brownies, citrus and strawberry tart, macarons and champagne jelly served with fresh raspberries. Unusually, there was also a savoury course – Sussex pork pie and mini sausage rolls. As guests enjoyed their food, a saxophonist played two chillout sets, and in between sets a playlist provided by our client kept the atmosphere going. Another special touch was a sweet table with red, white and blue sweeties, something that the guests loved.
Afternoon tea finished, it was time to reveal the next phase of the party and the rest of the marquee was opened up. In contrast to the dining area, this half was completely lined in black and set up as a games room with vibrant lighting pinpointing the games. Many of the guests were keen golfers so a golf simulator was a must, but table tennis, foosball, air hockey and pool were also available.
As night fell so the setting was transformed by our outdoor lighting scheme. Washlights in the trees and uplighters that lined the walkways and hedges created a spectacular look in the garden and fairy lights inside the marquee added a magical sparkle. Our DJ got the evening party off to an energetic start and the saxophonist performed again alongside the DJ.
Later in the evening, a Greek barbecue was served. Souvla, meat cooked on a long skewer, provided a real wow factor and was accompanied by Greek salad, potato salad, pitta bread, taramasalata, tzatziki, houmous, halloumi cheese, pourgouri and Mediterranean vegetables. Dessert was baklava and watermelon. Appetites satisfied, the guests partied late into the evening.