Article by Kim Novak
With King Charles III’s Coronation set to take place this weekend, the country has predictably got right into the spirit.
Street parties are expected up and down the country, and whether you’re a staunch royalist or not, there’s no doubt you’ll be doing something this weekend to mark the occasion – even if it’s just stocking your fridge.
Yep, you might have noticed that the supermarket shelves are absolutely crammed with edible tribute to the King right now, from royal quiches to pizzas splattered with coronation chicken. It’s what King Charles would want, ey?
But how much Coronation food is too much? Does eating a cupcake with a beefeater on it really get you in the spirit for a right royal celebration, or are some of these innovations just trying too hard?
In a bid to find out, we challenged writer, Kim, to eat nothing but Coronation themed food for the whole entire day.
It’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it…
Eating Coronation food for a day
It’s not every day you’re tasked with eating Coronation themed food for all of your meals (well, obviously, because the last Coronation was 70 years ago).
But in recent weeks, the shops have been flooded with Coronation-related food items – some weird, some wonderful, and some I’d frankly have rather left on the shelf.
Faced with trying as many as I could muster in a 24 hour period, I was feeling both excited and a little trepidatious.
Obviously, I took no convincing to chow down on Coronation-themed cakes (Colin the Caterpillar, I’m looking at you), but it’s fair to say that some of the other items weren’t really my usual fodder.
Would they actually taste nice or were they just a gimmick to lure in the royalists, and would a day of Coronation food get me hyped for the celebrations ahead, or leave me feeling totally over it before it even began?
With Twisted treating me to a right royal banquet, there was only one way to find out.
Breakfast fit for a King
Breakfast had to be caviar. We’re not doing this by halves.
I will admit, the thought of fish eggs for breakfast did not sit too well with me at first, but nonetheless, I kicked the day off in style with a breakfast of scrambled eggs on wholemeal toast with a generous helping of Caviar House & Prunier’s Limited Edition Coronation Caviar.
A collectors item in a union jack adorned box, this fishy delicacy retails for a princely £90 for a 30g box, but promised to make for an indulgent breakfast even the new monarch himself would enjoy.
As I was treated to this meal at Twisted HQ, I was lucky enough to have my breakfast prepared by their Creative Culinary Lead, Hugh, which undoubtedly upped the ante a bit, too.
Despite my initial hesitancy, the eggs were creamy and delicious, paired to perfection with a savoury tang from the caviar. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised to find the caviar complimented the scrambled eggs beautifully and was not overpowering in the slightest.
Looks like I’ve just acquired a bouji new favourite.
Sure, the Coronation product was a posher breakfast choice than I’d normally go for, but it made for a delightful – and very regal – start to the day.
So far, so good.
With so many Coronation treats to choose from, I couldn’t just stick to the main meal times to enjoy them. Plus, it felt entirely appropriate to have elevenses a few hours after my caviar, in true royal style.
I decided to get stuck in to an entire charcuterie board for this late-morning snack, opting for Sainsbury’s Fit For A King Charcuterie Grazing Platter, which consisted of a tantalising selection of cheeses, marinated olives, bruschetta, and prosciutto, salami, and chorizo.
If you’re wondering how this was Coronation-themed… well, so was I.
The selection does make excellent ‘picky bits’ to enjoy in the garden over the sunny bank holiday weekend, but the choice of Mediterranean snacks doesn’t seem to have much correlation to the royal celebration itself bar the branding on the pack.
Still, very nice they were, too, and you never need an excuse to eat meat and cheese, do you?
As if an entire charcuterie board wasn’t enough to graze on, I also cracked open a pack of Coronation-themed Walkers Sensations in Lamb and Mint flavour in the interest of additional market research.
These definitely captured the essence of a traditional roast dinner in a crisp, unlike their Coronation Thai Sweet Chilli flavour crisps, which were exactly the same as the usual ones, albeit rebranded.
Was I feeling patriotic? Being completely honest, this much meat and cheese was probably not a great idea for a mid-morning snack, so all I was really feeling was uncomfortably full.
With plenty more Coronation themed delights to go, I decided to give myself a few hours’ break before even thinking about what was in store for lunch.
A right royal lunch
There are plenty of Coronation sandwiches doing the rounds – coronation chicken being the filling in most of them.
But I opted for a twist on the classic by going for a Tesco coronation prawn sandwich instead…a slightly rogue choice, but an innovative nod to the royal classic.
If you prefer seafood to chicken in general then this would be a very suitable alternative for a cheeky bite while watching the King get crowned.
However, I probably found that this was my least favourite meal of the day (though, this could be because I was still alarmingly full from my charcuterie and crisps, and was definitely experiencing Coronation food fatigue).
Despite feeling as if I needed to be rolled around the office at this point, I valiantly made room for dessert, too. After all, what’s better than a coronation Colin the Caterpillar cake? Suddenly, my appetite returned.
M&S’s latest themed creation sees Colin bedecked in his finest regalia, with jewel-shaped pieces of chocolate scattered down his back and, of course, a crown on his head.
I can always find some room for dessert, so I chose to chow down on Colin’s face (sorry Colin). After all, anyone that’s ever had one knows that’s the best bit.
There’s nothing like a seasonal Colin to get you in the spirit, is there?!
Calories don’t count when you’re having a Coronation-themed day of food (or ever, tbh), so a few hours later I grabbed a cup of English Breakfast tea and settled down with another sweet treat from Lola’s Cupcakes, the London-based bakery.
It’s not a royal occasion without a brew, now, is it?
King Charles famously doesn’t have a sweet tooth, but that hasn’t stopped the supermarkets and bakeries going full force on the cakes – and I wasn’t mad at it.
Lola’s Coronation Cupcake Box came with a choice of six vanilla and chocolate cupcakes topped with a thick layer of delightfully sweet icing.
The limited edition cupcakes were almost too pretty to eat – each finished with edible decorations themed to the Coronation, including a stamp with King Charles’ silhouette on it, a carriage, a crown with a dusting of gold on top and even a sprinkle of edible flowers.
Having already consumed far more than I would in one day, I could only manage one cupcake in this particular sitting, and ended up going for a vanilla one on the assumption it’d be a little less rich than the chocolate ones.
It was predictably delicious, and something tells me that the other five will disappear before long too.
By this point, I was well into the swing of my Coronation feast, and feeling rather celebratory…although that may just have been the sugar talking.
A royal supper
Dinner time meant more Coronation food, and there was so much to choose from.
Would I go for Charles and Camilla’s favourite – a quiche – breaded chicken crowns, or perhaps some King sized beef burgers? I decided against all three options, and instead went for a quirkier coronation chicken pizza, from Sainsbury’s.
I’ll admit I was pretty apprehensive about this one, but it felt like something I’d probably never get the chance to try again.
And do you know what? Despite first appearances leaving something to be desired, I was actually left pleasantly surprised by the supermarket offering.
I wasn’t initially sure how well the dollops of coronation chicken on top of a Margherita pizza would go together, but once cooked it held its consistency well and actually made for a great twist on the two classics.
The coronation chicken sauce was smooth and mild, so didn’t overwhelm the taste buds but instead added a touch of spice to the meal. So far, so good.
To add one final touch, I ate my dinner alongside Greene King’s limited edition Coronation Ale – a fresh and fruity limited edition which is available only until May 14th and is the ideal thirst-quencher to go with the pizza.
The golden ale is infused with fragrant hops giving it a hint of tropical fruit. Would I say there was anything royal about it? Not really, but it would be great to enjoy in the sunshine over the Bank Holiday, so I’d definitely recommend it.
Unfortunately, the rain had set in by the time I got home to crack it open so I had to enjoy it inside, whilst lamenting on my day of royal food.
After nothing but Coronation themed grub for all my meals, I was unfathomably stuffed but somehow thoroughly in the spirit of the occasion, and ready for a long weekend of celebrations.
There’s no denying that some of the royal food was really rather silly, but it was fun, too. Though, honestly, I might avoid any more coronation chicken for the foreseeable…