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Happy Birthday Your Majesty!

From 12-15 May royalists up and down the country will be waving their Union Jacks with pride in honour of our Queen’s 90th birthday. As parties line the streets of the nation, Take Stock shows how you can capitalise on the monarch’s milestone….

The classic cuppa

Whether it’s English breakfast, decaf or fruity, a cup of tea will be a central feature of the Queen’s celebrations so this is a prime time for tea shops and cafes to make the most of the royal event by stocking up! Serve with a British brunch or afternoon cream tea as additions to your menu – and don’t forget to hang the bunting!

“The classic cup of tea is heralded as a British icon alongside the Union Jack and the Royal Family,” says Isabelle Haynes, senior brand manager OOH Tetley, who commissioned a study that revealed how tea comes number six in a top 20 poll of British icons. “Our new campaign #ItStartsWithTea demonstrates that feelings of national pride still run high, as eight in 10 people state that they feel proud to be British. With the category growing out of home at +3%, with 4 billion cups of tea now consumed in the UK every year, according to Allegra, the Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations offer operators the opportunity to capitalise on this central demand for a cup of tea.” 

A tipple or two! 

According to one of the Queen’s former chefs, Her Majesty likes to round off her day with a gin and Dubonnet – so it’s unlikely she’ll disapprove of a tipple or two being poured in her honour!

In care homes, as long as the alcohol level is monitored and doesn’t interfere with a resident’s medication it is fine for them to have a little tipple! Jugs of Pimm’s with lots of lemonade are ideal or even a glass of Prosecco topped with a little cranberry or raspberry will complement a cream tea or slice of birthday cake perfectly. Alternatively, residents may be partial to a cider, perry or ale – but be sure to go for a lower ABV.

Party food 

Sausage rolls, cucumber sandwiches, vol-au-vents, and cheese and pineapple sticks are just some examples of the perfect party food that is easy to prepare and screams of nostalgia! For care homes, old school desserts like jelly and ice cream, blancmange or trifle appeal to even the most jaded of palates – and help to keep residents hydrated, too.

For landlords, plates of complimentary food spread across the bar will not only keep the punters in the pub for longer, it will leave a lasting impression on them and encourage a repeat visit.

Cafes and delis should change their daily sandwich board into a royal theme with delights such as coronation chicken or cucumber with the crusts removed – just how Ma’am takes it!

In 1837 Queen Victoria granted Twinings it’s first Royal Warrant for tea.

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Afternoon tea 

Still taken by Her Majesty on a regular basis, why not theme your afternoon tea to suit the Queen?

Whether you’re a pub, restaurant, hotel or cafe, an afternoon tea added to your menu for the weekend is an excellent way to bring in customers and drive uptake and sales for what is a simple, easy dish to prepare.

According to the royal former chef Darren McGrady Her Majesty’s favourite cakes are honey and cream sponge, ginger, fruit and a chocolate biscuit cake. Offer a variety of sandwiches from cucumber, smoked salmon, egg mayonnaise, ham and mustard – always with the crusts off.

The Queen apparently likes jam pennies – tiny raspberry jam sandwiches cut into circles the size of an old English penny and washed down with Earl Grey tea. Serve the tea in pretty china teapots and tea cups to make it that bit special and authentic.

Have a knees up!

Most care home residents will be of a similar generation to the Queen so a knees up for them will be a big deal. Decorate the dining room with flags, bunting and memorabilia and get staff to dress up in 1920s clothing if possible. Reorganise the dining hall so the residents are seated at long tables to resemble a street party and invite them to a singalong of the oldies – even hire a singer if your budget will stretch to it. Invite family and friends round too.

Cafes, delis, pubs and hotels can get proactive too even if they aren’t actually doing anything special on their menu to honour the occasion. Union Jack flags or bunting scattered about the place will do wonders for lifting your customer’s spirits and get them in the mood for the special birthday – there are a lot of royalists out there so you do not want to alienate any possible trade because of a bah humbug attitude.

Cake challenge 

To help celebrate the occasion Unilever is calling on all care home caterers to make the most creative royal-themed 90th birthday cake and win some super prizes that include an overnight stay in London and tickets to the NAPA Gala for you and your residents! A cake in honour of Her Majesty would help residents integrate as they mingle for a slice of cake, cuppa and even a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday! So, in no more than 300 words say why your cake should win, why you picked the theme and how your residents got involved.

Visit to enter. Entry closes 15 July 2016.


On Friday 10 and Saturday 11 June pub opening hours will be extended in England and Wales to mark the Queen’s 90th birthday. They will be able to stay open an extra two hours and will close at 1am

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