The royal wedding is coming up this weekend. The charismatic Prince will marry the beautiful American commoner on Saturday, May 19th. Our invitation must be lost in the mail. Still, we’re rooting for Harry and Meghan and will watch their wedding from afar.
If your invitation hasn’t come either, you can take in the wedding with like-minded fans of the royal family at New Canaan’s Roger Sherman Inn. Make an early morning reservation for Saturday, May 19th for the viewing party and brunch ($40) hosted by Inn owner Nes Jaffre. “It’s our first daybreak wedding,” she said, “and we can’t wait.”
I think that Americans secretly pine away for a royal family – a family that lives above the fray (although sometimes they create their own). We imagine it would be nice to have a long-serving matriarch to provide continuity, define the culture, and look down upon us with aristocratic, yet grandmotherly aplomb; a queen who has been in public life seemingly forever, sets the standards (even if they are a little old-fashioned), and allows only tiny glimpses of the humanity behind the throne.
Our longing rises to a fever pitch when the glamorous younger members of the family get married. Fairytale princes and princesses come to life, inviting us into their world for one spectacular occasion. Men in beribboned uniforms, women in gowns, and those fascinating
fascinators are all upstaged by horse-drawn carriages that put Cinderella to shame.
It’s easy to take in the proceedings on TV if you can’t make it to the Roger Sherman. Numerous networks are showing it live from St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, with coverage starting between 4:00 and 5:00 a.m. PBS is ramping up to the big day with four nights of a Royal Wedding Watch starting on May 14th to get us all whipped up.
No one seems to know what food will be served at the Windsor Castle reception. The noontime wedding (7:00 a.m. here) will be followed by a shindig put on by the Royal Family. The menu is a closely-guarded secret, although there are rumors that it will include, salmon, caviar, and lobster – all pretty obvious picks for a royal do. Fresh spring produce, like asparagus and peas, is also likely, even some from Her Majesty’s gardens.
Occasions like this are a chance for the Royal Family to brag a little about the bounty of Great Britain. At William and Kate’s reception each dish was given a “pride of place” name: South Ulst salmon, Lyme Bay crab and wild Hebridean langoustines started things off. Highgrove spring vegetables, English asparagus and Jersey Royal potatoes accompanied the North Highland Mey Select lamb. Dessert included Berkshire honey ice cream. It’s likely to be the same this time.
Table Talk, the same catering firm that put on William and Kate’s sumptuous wedding, has been hired for this one too. Their website says they do, “Sensational Food, Bespoke Events, and Exceptional Design.” I’ll bet!
We do know that the royal wedding cake will be made by American and Chez Panisse alum, Claire Ptak owner of the London-based Violet Bakery. Imagine a lemon elderflower cake with buttercream frosting decorated with fresh flowers. I’m sure it will be spectacular.
At the Roger Sherman Royal Viewing and Breakfast, champagne and cocktails will proceed a brunch buffet that will include elderflower and lemon scones as a nod to Harry and Mehgan’s cake. Tartlets, financiers, and muffins along with a bowl of Devonshire cream will round out the breakfast pastries.
Additional choices include country quiche and make-your-own yogurt parfaits. Chef Francois Kwaku-Dongo whipped me up an example of his potato pancake topped with house smoked salmon and a sunny-side-up egg like you’ll see on the buffet. “We’re excited for a chance to showcase the Inn as part of the wedding celebration,” the Chef told me. “We’re happy to create something fun and enjoyable for the occasion.”
Chris Ely, former footman to Queen Elizabeth II, will be on hand to interpret events as they unfold. He will also share personal insights from his years in service to the Royals. A Roger Sherman staffer will wear the uniform of the Royal Guard. Fancy hats and fascinators are encouraged.
If my invitation shows up, I’ll give you a first-hand account of the menu. I’m still checking the mailbox.