From stage shows to stamps, selfie opportunities to Lego masterpieces, the activities buzzing around this summer’s 150th anniversary of Beatrix Potter’s birth are fresh proof that those familiar little characters are as popular as ever.
Even in a world bursting with whiz-bang new distractions, Jemima Puddle-duck, Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle and, of course, naughty little Peter Rabbit continue to capture children’s hearts. And those white-jacketed books take us older readers right back to the nursery in an instant.
Join in the celebrations by hosting a Beatrix Potter-themed afternoon tea for your own young guests.
Set the scene
Take your cue from Miss Potter’s pretty watercolour shades when it comes to planning your decor. We’re talking the epitome of English nostalgia here, so bunting, baskets and checked linen are pretty much mandatory.
Weather permitting, pack everything into a hamper and head outside. Although she’s best-known for the children’s stories, Beatrix was accomplished at drawing and painting from nature, so getting the children close to the real thing is the perfect setting. Plus I’m sure Jemima Puddle-duck and Squirrel Nutkin would appreciate the leftovers.
These mugs make a perfect guest gift too – they’re even available in a version with a presentation tin (£19) – easy for little hands to carry home.
Happily, Random House’s blog The Happy Foodie has done all the hard work here, with a collection of mouth-watering recipes inspired by Miss Potter’s animal characters.
Try Great British Bake-off finalist Miranda Gore Browne’s milk and blackberry bunnies – adorable little cupcakes topped with sugar paste carrots, cabbages or biscuit rabbits. If you’re feeling brave, you could even get your small guests to bake them with you on the day – there’s a step-by-step video of Miranda mixing them up with her own daughter, Eleanor.
If you want to give them a hot dish, whiz together Claire Thomson’s recipe for a green pea pesto and stir into little ramekins of pasta.
The roasted carrot hummus makes a delicious dip – accompany with carrots sticks, peppers and anything else Mr McGregor might have had in his allotment.
The Happy Pear’s honey and seed flapjacks could be right out of The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin – maybe pack up a few slices for your guests to take home too.
Finally, order the Biscuiteers’ personalised Peter Rabbit cake (£70) as a centrepiece – the triple layer sponges come in chocolate or zingy lemon and will be delivered in a keepsake tin. While you’re on the site, check out the Beatrix Potter biscuit tin (£45) – they’re practically irresistible.
Check out the animation resource pack for more energetic activities, such as Jemima Puddle-duck’s outdoor water painting, den building and rabbit races (who will be victorious in the hotly-contested radish and spoon race?).
Beyond the party
If you’re a Beatrix Potter fan, keep an eye out for the events planned around the celebrations this summer by visiting the Peter Rabbit website.
About Beatrix Potter
Beatrix Potter is one of the world’s best-loved children’s authors, with her most famous creation The Tale of Peter Rabbit having sold in excess of 45 million copies globally since its initial publication in 1902. She personally oversaw the launch of subsequent products, making Peter Rabbit the oldest licensed character in history.
Today over 2 million of her ‘little books’ are sold globally every year, and Peter Rabbit has appeared in books and products in more than 110 countries throughout the world
150 years after her birth, we celebrate an incredible woman, an artist, storyteller, botanist, environmentalist, farmer and businesswoman. Beatrix Potter was a visionary and a trailblazer. Single-mindedly determined and ambitious she overcame professional rejection, academic humiliation, and personal heartbreak, going on to earn her fortune and a formidable reputation. On her death she left an incredible legacy of land and property to the care of The National Trust to ensure that future generations would continue to enjoy the countryside that she was so passionate about as well as the much-loved characters and stories that were created over a lifetime.
NB: Penguin Ventures (part of the Penguin Random House Group) together with licensing agency, Silvergate Media, manages a licensing programme based on the works of Beatrix Potter, and most notably Peter Rabbit. It remains one of the world’s longest running and largest international literature-based licensing programmes and is committed to growing and protecting The Peter Rabbit™ brand.
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