How to Throw the Ultimate British Party

How to Throw the Ultimate British Party

Emily Marcham · 5 minute read

British Corner Shop is turning 22 this year, and we think there’s no better way to celebrate a birthday than to throw a party! Because we’re in the party mood, we thought we would share our tips and tricks to help you throw the ultimate British party – wherever you may be.

Any great party needs four essential things: delicious food, tasty drinks, lots of decorations, and – of course – party gifts! So, we will be running through our top suggestions for these to make any party fabulously British. 


selection of British food

Any gracious host knows that you should always put out some snacks for hungry guests to nibble on and, luckily, you don’t need to break the bank or offer anything too complex if you don’t have the bank balance (or cooking skills) to pull off anything too fancy. Nostalgic and simple classics like Party Rings, Pringles, and sausage rolls will always go down a treat at a party – no matter what age the guests are! 

Another classic staple of any party is ‘Chips and Dip’. Sure, we may have adopted this from our US cousins – but with good reason. There is something about Doritos dipped in salsa, cheese, or soured cream and chive, that is just too darn moreish!

Last, but definitely not least, if you’re throwing a party, some form of cake or dessert is definitely a must-have. Budding bakers will delight in making an array of goodies and, if you can bake, the options are endless for the type of cake you can make. However, if your cakes would make Mary Berry recoil in horror, why not save yourself the trouble and buy-in? Also, as a tasty alternative (or addition – it is a party after all!) to cake, we love a good bakewell or treacle tart.


royal tea cocktail

Image from The Spruce Eats

Knowing what drinks to have in can be one of the most stressful parts of organising a party. Often we find ourselves worrying if we have enough and whether or not we have catered to everyone’s tastes and needs. Having plenty of choice is a must, but to avoid the issue of fussy drinkers, we also think BYO (bring your own) is a good policy. 

Even if guests are bringing their own, you should always have some drinks on offer as well. For a truly British party, we think classic British drinks like Dandelion & Burdock and Shandy are great additions. You may even find that some of your guests won’t be familiar with these – but, as soon as they try them, they will love them! 

Another great idea for parties is to offer a cocktail. We think we’ve discovered the most British cocktail possible: the Gin & Tea cocktail (‘Royal Tea’). To make things even better, this simple cocktail has only 3 ingredients: Gin, Earl Grey Tea and lemon! While we love a good hot cup of brew, make sure your cocktail is served over ice – with sugar on the side for those with a sweet tooth. Plus, for any non-drinkers, you can also make this cocktail using alcohol-free Gin.


party decorations

As we said above, cake is an essential addition to any party. Especially if it is a birthday party. We all know that a birthday cake isn’t just a regular plain old cake. Oh no… birthday cake needs to be decked out in as many decorations as possible. It needs candles, sprinkles, and colourful icing.

If you’re having a fabulous cake, you also need a venue to match. Decorate your venue (whether that’s your home, garden, village hall, or local pub) in balloons, bunting, banners and more. We love a good themed party so think of something fun and stick with it. You can even go the whole hog and get your guests to dress up in your theme! Can’t think of anything? We personally think a ‘British Icons’ is a great fancy dress theme for any British shindig.


When attending a party it is British custom to bring the host a gift. Often this will be a bottle of wine for the adults or toys for the kiddies. But why not give something truly unique – a Brit Kit. We have tonnes of Brit Kits to choose from with classic sweets, chocolates or traditional British meals that any Brit (or Brit wannabe) will love. 

For those hosts throwing a children’s party, sadly you’re more likely to be giving gifts than receiving them for yourself. A British tradition at children’s parties is to offer ‘goodie bags’ to all the kiddies as a take-home treat. Keep things simple (and cheap!) by including things like a balloon,  a Drumstick lolly, and a Kinder Egg