If you thought Pippa Middleton was just the beautiful sister of the Duchess of Cambridge, you would only know part of the story. Middleton is an experienced event planner and has been the editor of The Party Times, an online party magazine from Party Pieces, the UK’s leading online party-supply company.
Middleton decided to share her expertise and inspirations in Celebrate: A Year of Festivities for Families and Friends by Pippa Middleton. This hardback book of 389 pages is chocked full of great color photographs, recipes, crafts, easy instructions, and helpful hints for creating memorable parties for almost any occasion.
If you are expecting to see Pinterest style over-the-top party set-ups, you will not see them in this book. Middleton’s parties are more traditional celebrations with many attractive and creative features. This is, after all, a British approach to events, so there are interesting differences in the way they celebrate.
Middleton says, “I hope you will see this as a feel-good book with ideas to look forward to each month, providing threads of lasting, happy memories, be it around a table lit with candles in the winter, outside on a blanket in summer or in the autumn, perched on a leaf-covered bench, hot drink in hand.”
Middleton organized her book by nature’s seasons—she features the holidays Halloween, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Robert Burns Night, Valentine’s Day, and Easter. She also covers Sunday lunches, cozy supper parties, special breakfasts, afternoon tea, children’s parties, barbecues, picnics, and camping trips. She shares tips for easy entertaining, fixing fabulous flowers, setting up a party cupboard and how to do preserving at home.
I especially enjoyed seeing her descriptions of hosting a Robert Burns Night gathering and Boxing Day since this are very British occasions that Americans don’t know much about. I also like Middleton’s British recipes like steak and kidney pies, whole Stilton, Beef Wellington, Thai Green Shrimp Curry and Gooseberry Fool. Being a cranberry fan, I love the Welsh Rarebit and Cranberry Toasts as appetizers.