Did you know that on the 5th of November back in 1605, a man called Guy Fawkes attempted treason by trying to blow up King James I and the houses of Parliament? He was a part of a group of English Catholics who believed they could overthrow the protestant King and replace him with his daughter Princess Elizabeth. Discovering the intent through a letter intended to warn fellow Catholic’s that were also members of Parliament, the King ordered a search through the cellars under Parliament where Guy Fawkes was found with crates of gunpowder. From this, bonfire night was born – an evening of celebration with luscious hot pies, crisp toffee apples and booming fireworks!
If you prefer a small gathering displaying your own fireworks, then don’t forget the tasty treats that are perfect for this time of year! There are thousands of recipes online for a wide variety of hot stews and pies, including my favourite potato ash (AKA ‘tata ash up north)! It may well be more of a northern thing, but I thought I would share the love with my favourite winter warmer dish. Don’t worry if you aren’t a Gordon Ramsey or Jamie Oliver, ‘tata Ash is easily made and filled with potato, delicious vegetables and chunks of minced beef… and don’t forget to mop up with a thick, fluffy slice of buttered tiger bread.
Bonfire night is a fantastic way to get your children to eat fruit – in particular, apples! Simply poke a wooden skewer through the top and then coat in golden caramel, or melted, creamy chocolate to add a sweet twist.
Although small gatherings can be more suited to you, you cannot beat a huge organised bonfire with spectacular fireworks, music and, depending on where you go, fun fairs, which make for the perfect family outing. Up and down the country are hundreds of organised bonfires all offering different activities and displays. I have listed some below to give you some ideas:
Manchester – Heaton Park: The bonfire will be lit at 7.30pm, followed by fireworks. There will also be a funfair from 5pm to 9.30pm. Free entry.
Liverpool – River Mersey: Preparations are under way for a spectacular display as thousands will line up along the River Mersey.
Birmingham – Edgbaston Stadium Fireworks Spectacular: The stadium has teamed up with Capital FM to put on one amazing fireworks display.
London – Battersea Park: Various stalls offering food and drink are available whilst you watch the breathtaking show from the River Thames.
Yorkshire – After Dark, Don Valley Grass Bowl Sheffield: One of the biggest shows in the UK, After Dark hosts around 18,000 spectators a year. With a fun fair, fireworks, Bonfire and featuring Hallam FM, there is more than enough to do!