Guy Fawkes Night 2020: fireworks, bonfires and garden parties
Firework displays may be cancelled across the city, but you can still celebrate Guy Fawkes Night 2020 at home if you have the essentials
Beyond that, it's about tailoring the event to suit your space and tastes. Whether you have the outdoor space to light your own toasty bonfire and set a blaze of bright colours shooting into the sky, or are keeping the spirit alive inside with warming drinks, seasonal nibbles and indoor fireworks, here’s some inspiration for hosting Guy Fawkes Night at home.
SET THE SCENE
First things first, the ambience. If you’re planning on taking the celebrations outdoors, you’ll want it to feel cosy. Festoons of fairy lights and the glow of hanging lanterns can make your garden feel welcoming, while the calming crackle and amber glow of a fire pit will lure even the chilliest party-goer outdoors to catch the display. You’ll also want a contingency plan should the heavens open. If you have the space, gazebos are a great way to provide shelter from wind and rain. (Although do remember that your fireworks are unlikely to light in a serious downpour.)
CW picks (clockwise from top left): Garden Trading Foscot fire pit, from £60 – buy here; Alabas Portable Lamp, £265 – buy here; Maroq Lantern Parasol lights, £40 – buy here; All Seasons Gazebos Fully Waterproof Pop up Gazebo with four side walls in metallic grey, £199.99 – buy here; Festoon outdoor lights, £85 – buy here.
FOOD & FIRE
What is Bonfire Night without sizzling sausages smothered in caramelised onions and burgers encased in pillowy buns? A homemade affair might just as deliciously include a steaming pot of chilli con carne and Aga-crisp jacket potatoes. Whatever your choice of fodder, if you’re planning on serving any of it outdoors, check out the tools below to help you recreate your kitchen in the garden. And if you're catering for eco-warriors, put their minds (and yours) at ease by making your feast as sustainable as possible – reusable straws and eco-friendly disposable cutlery are two good places to start.
CW picks: 1. DeliVita Outdoor Pizza Oven in Vintage Blue, £1,195 – buy here. 2. Tramezzino Sandwich Cooker, £84 – buy here. 3. Bamboo Style Palm Leaf Disposable Eco-Friendly Square Plate Dinner Bundle, £37.62 – buy here. 4. Weber Original E5730 Black Charcoal Barbecue, £292.39 – buy here. 5. Coloured reusable glass straws, £14 – buy here.
As important as the hearty fare – indeed more so for wide-eyed little ones – are the sweet and salty treats that come with it. At commercial events, soft clouds of pastel-coloured candy floss are the go-to, but at home, you can be as creative as you like. Homemade toffee apples, smokey pork scratchings and fire-scorched nuts are good places to start, or steal your inspiration from across the pond and roast S’mores on the bonfire.
CW picks (clockwise from top left): Rita Farhi Honey Cashew Nuts, £11.95 – buy here; Joe & Seph’s Smooth Caramel & Belgian Chocolate Popcorn, were £2.95 – buy here; Fun Pack Foods S'Mores Kit, £8.95 – buy here; Torres Black Truffle Crisps, £3.95 – buy here; The Snaffling Pig Co. Marvellous Maple Porky Puffs, £14.95 – buy here.
It’s not quite Bonfire Night without a hot toddy in hand to keep fingers and throats warm while braving the evening’s chill. Think about hot apple juice and ginger for little ones, and something warm and spicy for the grown-ups. Perhaps too early for mulled wine, Bonfire Night is when we look to mulled cider, whisky hot chocolates, pumpkin spice (thank you, America) and seasonal spirits.
CW picks from left to right: Liberty London Sloe Gin, £35 – buy here; Rococo Organic Drinking Chocolate, £12.50 – buy here; Sassy Organic cider 750ml, £6.10 – buy here; Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Flavoured Ground Coffee, 11oz, £19.99 – buy here; Compass Box The Spice Tree Blended Malt Scotch Whisky, was £61, now £45 – buy here; Urban Cordial Apple, lemon and fennel cordial, 500ml, £7.99 – buy here.
THE MAIN EVENT
Whether you’re celebrating outside or indoors, you’ll need to think about how you’re going to pull off the main event. Fireworks are usually sold in multipacks (and can be expensive), each offering a range of different bangs and blazes. You’ll want to decide in advance who will be responsible for setting them off (they’re legal as long as you’re in your own garden) and, if children are present, how you’ll safety-proof the event. Indoor fireworks are also an option, but Bonfire Night can be just as lovely with a sparkler or two in hand.
Thrillingly, Alexandra Palace is streaming its 2019 event via its website for free. If you don't fancy the fret surrounding firing off your own, why not watch the 20-minute professional display from the comfort of your sofa? The display is available to stream from 6pm on 5 November.
CW picks (clockwise from top left): Pack of 50 Indoor Fireworks Bonanza, £8.88 – buy here; Gifts That Go Bang Monster Sparklers, pack of 20, £7.95 – buy here; White Strobe 90s Fountain Pyro Strobo Flashing Light Sylvester Party Fireworks, £10.09 – buy here;
Dynamic Fireworks Gala Display Pack, was £335, now £249 – buy here; Bengalo Smoke Volcano Fountain Party Fireworks, £16.99 – buy here.