Imagine opening the larder door to seek out ingredients for a celebratory party only to confront empty shelves and a few of the most basic of basic ingredients required to create cakes and fancy treats. Cooks faced with producing meals when The Queen came to the throne in 1952 were still struggling with the aftermath of the Second World War.

Although the war was over, this period remained a time of great austerity. Ingredients we take for granted now, such as sugar, butter, cheese, margarine, cooking fat, bacon, meat, rice, jam, dried fruit and tea, were still rationed, and many others were in short supply.

These shortages did not just affect households throughout the country; banquet menus celebrating The Queen’s Coronation reflected the simplicity of the nation’s diet too.

Despite being given fancy names, the dishes served at Buckingham Palace were quite basic and often created from game caught on the royal estates.

Fortunately many foods were derationed by June 1953, in time for cooks and chefs to be more far more creative when baking food for a Coronation party.

Suddenly, after 14 years of rationing, fresh eggs, cream sweets and chocolate were available and imported fruits such as bananas and oranges began to appear in the shops.

Exotic vegetables like avocados were on sale too, though they were relatively unknown.

Only cooks such as Marguerite Patten, whose culinary expertise had guided housewives struggling with limited rations through the war, knew how to prepare them.

In order to make avocados go round, she turned them into a savoury dip and served them with crudités at her Coronation buffet.

Because fresh eggs were again available and olive oil was finding its way into grocers’ shops rather than the chemists’, Marguerite was able to make her own mayonnaise to flavour the dip.

Cheese straws were added to her table, too — after years of cooking with just two ounces of cheese for each person in the house, serving cheese too generously was still ingrained in the cook’s memory.

It was difficult to use ingredients lavishly after being careful for so long.

By grating it and adding in small amounts into pastry to create the straws, everyone had the chance to enjoy the taste of cheese, while sitting round that little black-and-white television set watching the Coronation.

She also served dishes of Russian salad, made from diced vegetables, and potato salad, along with a dish of the ubiquitous Coronation chicken, said to have been devised by Constance Spry, though it is also thought to have been created by accident when two waiters — one carrying a platter of chicken pieces and another carrying a dish of curry sauce — collided in a corridor.

But that is just a rumour whispered in corridors by food writers.

Sandwiches were an important part of any celebratory tea party in 1953.

They were served with the crusts on — rationing may have been over, but nothing was wasted.

Meat and fish paste, sold in small bottles, was a staple filling.

Although these are no longer very popular, they are still available if you are prepared to seek them out.

Shippam’s bloater paste is still spread on toast by some people as a tasty snack.

Spam, which is a canned pre-cooked meat product introduced from America in 1937, was frequently served in sandwiches too.

As Spam is still available today, you can add an air of authenticity to your street party by adding Spam sandwiches to the table.

And yes, cucumber sandwiches must be included.

Because desiccated coconut had arrived back in the shops in the early 1950s, little coconut pyramids made with egg whites, caster sugar and cornflour were a firm favourite too.

The patriotic cake pictured above is a 21st-century creation, thanks to the Internet. I obtained the jelly beans from By dividing a basic cake mixture into three, colouring one bowl red and another blue, then spooning all three mixes into the cake tin and gently weaving the spoon through the mix before baking to create a marbled effect, this cake is patriotic through and through.