We don’t know how it happened either. The clocks went back, it’s officially baltic outside, and Bonfire Night is around the corner. Heading out? Avoid the dodgy hotdogs, pack up some Bonfire Night food and head to the best fireworks in town. Hosting at home? We’ve got you covered for that, too. Read on for our favourite Bonfire Night recipes for feeding (and watering) a crowd.
If you’re heading out…
The best fireworks
If you’re lucky enough to live in a house that’s fitted with massive windows and overlook a firework display then, congrats, you’ve won Bonfire Night. For the rest of us, wrap up warm, grab some mates and head over to one of these displays.
If you’re a Londoner, Blackheath Village is holding their annual free fireworks display on 3 November. Expect fairground rides and plenty of street celebrations. If you’re taking the kids (or the dog!) and want to avoid mega crowds, Crystal Palace Park on 5 November has a full on light show with “fewer bangs for our younger audience”. Perfect for the whole family.
On the other side of the country, there is no shortage of displays for Bristol-dwellers to take in the sparkly spectacles. Our pick of the pops are the Avon Valley Wildlife Park display on 5 November. They’re taking things up a notch this year with a sparkler area and a sponsored Fire Walk. If you’re want something a little smaller, Bishop Road School’s display offers a more family-friendly affair.
What to eat: the Bonfire picnic
Avoid over-priced burgers and questionable hot dogs, make up some tasty snacks to enjoy under the fireworks. Pack up some sarnies, bake a batch of cheesy cornbread and throw in a few quality sausage rolls, along with some tasty nibbles. Try these crispy chickpeas packed with heady spices (they are totally addictive), make up a batch of golden butter popcorn and chuck in some spiced ginger biscuits for good measure.
What to drink: something mulled (in a flask)
Is there anything more festive than a cup of something mulled? We don’t think so. Lyme Bay Winery’s Mulled Wine and Mulled Cider are a delicious blend of festive spices. Warm in a pan, pour into a flask and you’re good to go. If you’re off the alcohol (or under the age of 16) Shrbdrink’s Apple Cinnamon Soda tastes so much like mulled cider that you probably won’t know the difference. A delicious combo of freshly pressed apples, ground cinnamon and nutmeg, lavender and a splash of apple cider vinegar.
If you’re hosting…
Got friends coming round for a garden sparkler or two? Put on a sumptuous feast that won’t have you chained to the kitchen sink.
What to cook: go slow and low
When you’re feeding a crowd, slow-cooking a joint of meat could be the answer – it’s the best way to get food on the table with minimal effort. Slow-braised beef brisket with (everybody’s favourite) Yorkshire puds is perfect fare for this time of year. Alternatively try these epic pulled pork buns with fennel slaw. Or for something a little different, this Middle-Eastern goat shawarma recipe is one of our all-time favourites. It’s packed with warming flavours and is so tender, it falls off the bone. Serve it up with warm flatbread, garlic yoghurt, herbs, pickles and pomegranate seeds and let everyone make up their own.
For pudding? Dish up heartily filled bowls of plum and hazelnut crumble (nearly as banging as the fireworks). Or go classic with a good, old fashioned, toffee apple. Make them yourself with some seasonal local apples – perfect for slathering with caramel and biting into.
What to drink: winter-warming cocktails
Shake up a few warming winter cocktails, like this Hot Buttered Cider. Melt 60g honey, 200g butter, the juice from 2 lemons and 2 teaspoons cinnamon in a pan. Pour in 1.5 litres of quality cider and warm through. Perfect for those cold nights.
For something a little more refreshing, embrace citrus in this Grapefruit & Thyme Cocktail. And if you’ve had one too many glasses of those, we strongly recommend a good brunch equipped with Bloody Mary the next morning.