Monday, May 21, 2018
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Host a watch party and British breakfast for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's royal wedding

The nuptials of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry commence Saturday in London, and once again we Americans have become bonkers for the wedding of a member of the British royal family.

Almost 23 million viewers in the United States watched coverage of Harry’s brother, Prince William, marrying Kate Middleton, which aired from 6 to 7:30 a.m. Eastern Standard Time on a Friday in 2011. So we set our alarm clocks, just like we did back in 1981 for the wedding of Prince Charles and Diana, when an estimated 17 million Americans tuned in.

Why the Brits love to get married in the morning is beyond me. But at least Markle, a California girl, set the start time at noon on a Saturday, so it’s a bit easier on the working folks who are royalty fans.

Here’s the plan the women of my neighborhood have hatched: Meet at my house by 6:30 a.m. for a British wedding breakfast, then tune in and marvel at all the hats.

The attire? Pajamas and hats.

The food? Here’s where we were a bit stumped. British breakfast food didn’t sound too appealing to me, at least until I looked a little deeper. What’s called a traditional English breakfast has lots of fried meats, eggs and "black pudding." That’s blood sausage served with mushrooms and beans. Beans for breakfast? Good grief.

LET SOMEONE ELSE DO IT: Attend one of these local, royal wedding watch parties

But strawberries and cream sounds nice. And Scotch eggs, which are a British food staple, are delicious and can be made ahead of time. Our food editor Michelle Stark mentioned she had a terrific scone recipe. Sold.

All of this can be made in advance, so I won’t be puttering around the kitchen when Princess Eugenie shows up with another ridiculous fascinator on her head. Add in some tea and a Champagne cocktail to toast the happy couple and say, "Cheerio!"

Start, of course, with the scones, like these blueberry-studded delights, and make sure to serve with extra clotted cream on the side. The clotted cream also goes terrific with the berries. This Mock Clotted Cream recipe we made is not the true clotted cream made with a double boiler and a lot of patience. But it is a great substitute, and you can adjust for how sweet you like it.

We also took liberties with the Scotch eggs. The classic British fair food is usually deep-fried, but we baked them instead, which makes them a bit less of a calorie bomb. Even better is that you can make them ahead of time, and they are just as good cold or at room temperature as they are right from the oven.

Since Markle is American, it would be nice to represent her at this feast. That’s easy. Simply make your favorite breakfast dish — consider a casserole if you’ll be hosting more than four guests — and serve it as the American counterpart to this otherwise very British buffet.

For drinks, mix up the Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club’s signature wedding drink, the Blushing Bride. It calls for two parts Champagne, one part cranberry juice and one part orange juice. The fruity concoction might make you feel less weird about imbibing so early in the morning. And hey, at least it’s the weekend.

Feel free to decorate with lots of British flags, and consider serving the strawberries and clotted cream in pretty tea cups. Guests should be encouraged to dress up, or a least sport a great hat or tiara. Fascinators, those headpieces decorated with bows and flowers, are popular and lend an air of whimsy.

Contact Sharon Kennedy Wynne at swynne@tampabay.com.
Follow @SharonKWn.

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