With an extra bank holiday booked this year to celebrate King Charles’ coronation, hospitality businesses will be wanting to make the most of the busy weekend and boost their sales for the year. Weather permitting, the coronation weekend looks set to be busier than a usual bank holiday as the government has given hospitality venues permission to stay open until 1am. Early projections predict that the coronation will boost the UK economy by £1 billion through hospitality services, with pubs, restaurants, bars, clubs, shops and hotels at the frontline of sales. For most of the UK, this coronation will be the only one in living memory.
Royal events have always provided a boost for several sectors of the British economy, especially the hospitality and tourism industry. Charles’ coronation will bring a range of new revenues as businesses make the most of the occasion by bringing out coronation-themed food and drink and experiences such as parties, musical events, or even themed hotel stays. Hotels are being booked up well in advance of the May Bank Holiday weekend - i news reports that hotels located close to Westminister Abbey have raised their prices by up to 120%. These prices may seem staggering to most, but people will be travelling to London from all over the world to experience the prestigious royal event. Even people who won’t celebrate the monarchy will still be making the most of the extra bank holiday, especially thanks to the extra allowance in licensing hours between Friday, May 5th and Sunday, May 7th.
The extra trading hours have been backed by UKHospitality, who’ve said that they are “fully behind” the government’s coronation plans, especially as the festive season was not as lucrative as many businesses will have hoped. Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality, said of the extended trading hours: "Not only will it benefit customers, but it also means businesses will be able to trade for longer, increase footfall and generate additional sales.” She added: "At a time when the sector has been ravaged by the cost of doing business crisis, as well as recruitment challenges and strike disruption, this extension would provide a much-needed boost and aid hospitality's recovery."
As with the Queen’s diamond jubilee, the government has released a toolkit and recipe book to help with this year’s Coronation celebrations, including homemade bunting, recipe cards, kids' activities and even Spotify playlists which includes the likes of The Beatles, Coldplay, Ed Sheeran, and Boney M’s “Daddy Cool”.
With Coronation being invented for Queen Elizabeth’s crowning, many people are wondering what food will mark Charle’s coronation. Coronation chicken, a chicken, curry and mayonnaise dish invented by Cordon Bleu-trained chef Rosemary Hume and food writer Constance Spry, has stood the test of time and is still a popular choice today - especially as a sandwich filling. The coronation chicken dish, a recipe that references both traditional English foods and flavours being imported from British colonies, was made specifically to celebrate the diversity of the British Empire. A description can be found on Cordon Bleu’s site: “the ingredients used were remarkable for their time, with many of them only just becoming available, whilst the majority of the country was still under the restrictions of post-war rationing. The original recipe consisted of young roasting chickens, water and a little wine to cover carrots, a bouquet garni, salt, peppercorns and a cream of curry sauce.” The dish that was served to the Queen can be found on Cordon Bleu’s original menu as “Poulet Reine Elizabeth”. It is described as “chicken, boned and coated in curry cream sauce, with, one end of each dish, a well-seasoned dressed salad of rice, green peas and pimentos.” Today, Coronation Chicken has become a staple sandwich filling, which is a very British thing to do.
The government has released a royal recipe kit to celebrate Charles’ coronation - which does not include coronation chicken. Bake Offer winner Nadiya Hussain offers a starter - a coronation aubergine - fried till tender, and drizzled with a “simple coronation sauce”. Chef Ken Hom, the “leading authority on Chinese cuisine”, provides the main cause with a coronation roast rack of lamb with an Asian-style marinade. Chef Adam Handling provides dessert with a strawberry and ginger trifle - another twist on a British classic.
There will be sure to be plenty more dishes being invented over the weekend to celebrate the day, and rewards will certainly come for creativity.
Find your support team
The coronation weekend is set to be the busiest bank holiday of the year. As you know, at such a busy time of the year it’s important to find relief work well ahead of schedule. Time is precious, but it only takes around 3 minutes to post a mission on the Brigad app, and 80% of missions posted are accepted in less than 2 hours. Be prepared for the coronation weekend, and secure relief work if you need it.