The Coronation of King Charles III is going to be a tradition unlike any other. I mean, it’s been almost exactly 70 years since we last saw a British coronation, and times have changed. While Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation was considered uncharted territory thanks to the television cameras, it was still pretty steeped in tradition and history. Charles’ will be as well, but there are bound to be some new things to look out for, and all this new and old, modern and traditional, energy should be brought to your Coronation snacks and meals.
I mean, I’m just assuming you’ll be up at the crack of dawn (or maybe even the middle of the night) to catch King Charles III’s Coronation, so you might as well have some good eats, right? There are obviously some traditional Coronation dishes (like Coronation Chicken Salad, fish pie), but I’ve also mixed in some great British dishes (like fish and chips) and other royal family favorites (like chocolate biscuit cake and the Victorian Sandwich Cake named after Queen Victoria’s favorite sponge). You can go from sweet to savory and back again with these dishes, and honestly, most of them are pretty easy to make. British food is not known for being overly fussy, and you most likely have these ingredients ready to go in your fridge or pantry. Just pick a few favorites — and don’t forget a pot of tea! — and settle in for a day of British fanfare and tradition. Pip pip!
1 A Coronation Classic
Coronation Chicken Salad is a well-known dish in England and is a classic. Like the name states, it was created in 1953 for the Coronation Luncheon of Queen Elizabeth II, and is a must for serving at your own Coronation watch party or dinner. This
Coronation Chicken Salad recipe from Yummly is pretty traditional, although ingredients have changed over time in different versions of the dish. Either way, it’s an easy one to whip up, and is packed with flavor. 2 A Traditional Fish Pie
Fish pie is considered a monarch tradition — specifically pie made with lamprey, a (let’s be honest) super creepy looking fish. This dish was served at coronations and jubilees, but it’s looking this year like King Charles may not get one as the traditional lamprey is nearly extinct in England. Never you mind, you can make your own
traditional British fish pie (with way less creepy fish) from this recipe on Yummly for your Coronation meal and eat like a literal queen/king. 3 A British-Sounding Dessert
Rhubarb is not an ingredient you hear a lot of outside of the UK, and for good reason. Apparently rhubarb is flourishing over there and readily available, which is why it’s used in so many traditional British desserts. This
rhubarb and custard cake from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe captures all of those great English flavors in a delicious dessert that won’t take long to make and can even be eaten for breakfast. 4 A Classic British Meal
It doesn’t get much more traditional for British food than
fish and chips. This recipe featured on Yummly also includes the absolutely necessary addition of malt vinegar, and gives you options to use other flaky, white fish if you can’t find cod. Don’t forget plenty of salt, and maybe even a big heaping of mushy peas on the side. 5 A Savory Pie
Cheese and onion pies are a huge English tradition, and while they may not be served at the coronation, they are super easy to whip up for a meal. This
easy cheese and onion pie recipe from Yummly is made with puff pastry, so no worries about making your own dough, and really doesn’t take long to pull together. The dish also includes potatoes, so it’s a nice, hearty, filling meal. 6 A Very Traditional British Treat
Another one that might not be at the coronation, but is super traditional, is an Eton mess dessert. Originally created at Eton College, it’s served at the annual cricket match every year and has become a spring and summer dessert staple. This
raspberry Eton mess recipe from A Pretty Life in the Suburbs is so easy — it’s basically a smashed pavlova — and is a great treat for the whole family to enjoy. 7 A No-Fuss British Tradition
The coronation is going to start very early for those of us across the big pond, so maybe whip up this
easy toad in the hole recipe from Yummly for breakfast. (Or lunch. Or dinner. Or whenever, really.) This traditional British dish could not be simpler to pull together, and I bet you have everything in your fridge and pantry already. 8 A Modern Take On A Coronation Classic
Coronation Chicken is a classic, but many have turned to replacing the chicken with chickpeas for a vegetarian take on the dish. While Coronation chickpea salad is definitely a dish to make, why not try a modern spin with this
spicy chickpea salad from Pinch of Yum. It only takes five minutes to whip up, and is amazing served on toast, in a lettuce wrap, or just eaten plain. 9 A Basic Coronation Tradition
King Charles will be dining on quiche during his Coronation Luncheon, so why not make one of your own? While you can certainly try the
royal quiche recipe, there’s also this basic quiche recipe featured on Yummly that is delicious, and great for eating warm or cold. (Bonus: it’s also a good choice for making the night before so you can get up early and dine.) 10 A Delicious British Dessert
Thanks to Queen Victoria, a delightful sponge sandwich cake has become an English tradition and also a great recipe to whip together for afternoon tea. A spongey cake made without yeast and filled with jam and buttercream, this
Victoria sandwich cake is such a delight and so easy to make. It’s also pretty to look at, which seems especially important if you’re serving it at a coronation tea. 11 A Classic English Tart
Tarts just sound English anyway, but a Bakewell Tart? An absolute tradition. Dating back from the 19th Century, this English dessert is a tart made of shortcrust pastry and layers of almonds, icing, jam, and frangipane — an almond-flavored custard. You can change up what kind of jam you’d like to use, but this
Bakewell tart recipe from Yummly is a great place to start. It’s light, it’s just sweet enough, and it’s absolutely delicious. 12 A Royal Family Dessert Tradition
McVitie’s digestive biscuits are huge in the UK and well known by all who live there, but the royal family really turned it up a notch when they shared that one of the family’s favorite desserts is a
chocolate biscuit cake made with McVitie’s biscuits. The dessert was even served at Prince William and Princess Kate’s wedding in 2011, so it definitely has big royal energy for the coronation. It’s really easy and is also a no-bake dessert, so don’t fret too much if you don’t consider yourself a baker. 13 A Must-Have British Cocktail
There are a lot of great traditional British drinks, but a Pimm’s Cup is a must. Traditionally made with Pimm’s — a gin-based liqueur — the drink is light, refreshing, and perfect for enjoying in the summer in England. There are tons of different variations, but I love this
Pimm’s summer drink recipe featured on Yummly, which includes lemonade, strawberries, and mint.
No matter what you eat during the Coronation of King Charles III, you’re bound to have a good time. Crowns, tradition, a little bit of family drama — what’s not to love? It’s just all infinitely better with a plate of fish and chips.