English-speaking group celebrates Platinum Jubilee with garden party

The Anglophones Pau Pyrenees combined French and English traditions at their community event in south-west France

The Anglophones Pau Pyrenees held a special English-themed Jubilee party to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s 70 years on the throne
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Members of an English-speaking group in south-west France celebrated the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee weekend by holding a special garden party, complete with coronation chicken and victoria sponge.

“The idea was to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in the form of an English-themed garden party with bunting, sandwiches, cakes and toasts to the Queen!” said Karen Short, who hosted the event with her husband Robert in their home village of Pomps.

Credit: Robert and Karen Short

“We belong to an English-speaking group called The Anglophones in Pau, so they formed the core of the people who [came].

“It was just an idea plucked out of the air and it snowballed somewhat!”

Mr and Mrs Short welcomed around 50 guests to their garden “in beautiful weather” on June 5.

“Seven different nationalities were represented on the day: a testament to the Queen's popularity,” Mr Short told The Connexion. “A number of neighbours attended, as did our mayor, and took part in the fun and games which included boules, [Finnish skittle game] Mölkky and croquet.”

Credit: Robert and Karen Short

Guests included several French neighbours “with a particular penchant for the Crown,” as well as local mayor Claude Fourquet, Mrs Short added.

“A champagne toast to the Queen was made at 16:00 before the games started and feedback from the guests was very encouraging,” Mr Short said. “I think our French guests were fascinated by the event and positively engaged even with waving union jacks in a group photo.”

To give their British-themed party a French twist, Mr and Mrs Short served a variety of foods combining traditions from both sides of the Channel.

From cheese and pickle or smoked salmon and cream cheese sandwiches to coronation chicken tartlets to victoria sponge and lemon drizzle cupcakes to gâteau Basque, the list went on and on.

Credit: Robert and Karen Short

The Anglophones Pau Pyrenees – led by president Margaret Parker – is an active association of English speakers living in the Pau area, which runs regular activities for all ages, including coffee mornings, a walking group, a book club, quiz nights and an annual barbecue.

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