Despite the downpour, London’s happy and glorious pinned up their victory rolls and pulled on their plus fours for the Bourne and Hollingsworth Jubilee garden party in historic Bedford square on Saturday June 3rd.
This Village fete style celebration gave a nod to formality and occasion with irreverent wink to English decadence; a jolly good show to celebrate her Majesty’s landmark 60 year reign not for her pomp and circumstance but for her hats, corgis, hipflasks and Hunter wellingtons.
Bourne and Hollingsworth is a quirky Fitzrovia bar but its owners throw infamous events across the Capital, including their Blitz Parties – held in dark Hoxton bunkers – where West End boys woo East End girls with military chic.
Whilst millions flanked the Thames to watch the sodden Jubilee flotilla a hundred or so dapper chaps and their full-skirted sweethearts took to the bunting clad, leafy gardens of the city centre square and indulged in a great British Knees Up that the drizzle couldn’t dampen.
Under dark clouds the revellers indulged in Afternoon Tea with scones served on Victory china, sipped cocktails and traditional English ale or queued like true Brits for a hog-roast.
Then, spurred on by a duo of fabulous comperes, the sports day races began! Competing with ‘Malory Towers’ vigour in the sack race, the egg and spoon and wheelbarrow many a young lady was spied hoisting her petticoats to add inches to her stride and many a tweed jacket or fox fur stole was cast aside as teams battled it out for mastery of the croquet lawn.
Side shows at the event included the chance to make one’s own crown – adorned with sequins and feathers - or take one’s chances at the coconut shy (made from upturned champagne bottles.) A pop up boudoir was on hand to apply red lipstick to faces blue with cold and elderly white-pantalooned Morris dancers were spied lacing their teacups with brandy before kicking up their heels with zest.
Finally, dance troupe Swing Patrol were on hand to give lessons in jive, Hokey Cokey and Lambeth Walk. By this stage in the day heavy rain was beating down but fuelled by patriotism and Sloane’s gin, couples took to the al fresco dance-floor. To the strains of an old gramophone they mastered a few basic steps before throwing their hands in the air, shaking out their hairpins, loosening their cravats and dancing on the lawn like it was 1952.