Entertaining on Bonfire Night

Whether you’re entertaining five guests or fifty, the goal is always the same – you want to create a stand-out evening that your guests will treasure forever. If you’re anything like us, November 5th is the perfect excuse to dress your table, get the fireworks ready and pop the oven on to bake some delicious treats. Why? Because it’s Bonfire Night and the perfect opportunity for entertaining.

A woman's hand holding two Bonfire Night sparklers bursting with bright white flames

Bonfire Night facts

Before we start, here’s some essential Bonfire Night facts which you can use to impress your guests:

  1. It’s still possible to see the iron lantern Guy Fawkes carried whilst entering the Houses of Parliament – simply head to the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford.
  2. The average sparkler reaches a temperature of over 1,000 degrees Celsius – so be sure to pack your gloves to avoid flame burns!
  3. Up until 1959, it was actually illegal to not celebrate Bonfire Night.
  4. St Peter’s School in York refuses to burn Guy Fawkes’ effigy on Bonfire Night. As a former school pupil, the school does this as a sign of respect to its famous student.
  5. Fireworks were actually the result of a cookery accident! Back in the 10th century, a Chinese cook combined a salt substitute, sulphur and charcoal, which resulted in colourful flames.

Bonfire Night food and drink

What’s one of the best parts of Bonfire Night apart from the roaring open fire and a picture-perfect colourful sky? The food and drink of course!

A white Portmeirion Botanic Garden Harmony tankard mug featuring a colourful butterfly on the front
Portmeirion Botanic Garden Harmony Tankard

There’s no better time than November 5th  to serve warming hot chocolates, topped with fluffy marshmallows. But remember, practicality isn’t an excuse for lack of style! Pour your freshly made hot chocolate into our Portmeirion Botanic Garden Harmony tankards to keep your guests’ drinks toasty and warm.

The festivities wouldn’t be complete without a family-favourite dessert of sticky parkin, cut into squares and dished out to those around the fire. If it’s your first time making parkin, follow this simple step-by-step recipe to achieve a guaranteed mouth-watering result.

Ingredients for Parkin

  • 200g butter (and a little more for greasing)
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 tbsp milk
  • 200g golden syrup
  • 85g treacle
  • 250g self-raising flour
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 85g light soft brown sugar
  • 100g oatmeal

Method for making Parkin

  1. Firstly, pre-heat your oven to 160C/140C/gas 3 and cover a 22cm square cake tin with butter and then line with baking parchment.  Using a fork, beat the large egg whilst adding in the milk.
  2. Then, melt the syrup, treacle, sugar and butter all together in a pan. Once all of the ingredients have dissolved, remove from the heat.
  3. Mix your oatmeal, ginger and flour together, and stir into the mixture of syrup you made previously, followed by the egg and milk.
Sophie Conran for Portmeirion Cake Plate
  • Pour the combined mixture into your cake tin and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until the cake has a crust on top and feels firm.
  • Leave the parkin to cool down in the tin before wrapping in parchment, ready to be served on our Sophie Conran for Portmeirion cake plate.

Parkin tip: If you want it to be a little softer and deliciously sticky for Bonfire Night, be sure to cook it five days in advance.

Whether you’re braving the cold outside, or admiring the fireworks from the comfort of your living room, we hope you enjoy a wonderful Bonfire Night, filled with laughter, loved ones, and of course, lots of delicious treats.

Be sure to share your Bonfire Night celebrations with us using our #GetTogether hashtag.