This year, Sunday 8th May marks 77 years since VE Day - Victory in Europe Day. It's a day that signifies the end of the Second World War in Europe. 

Mark the occasion over some of our deliciously quintessential British recipes below along with plenty of ideas to enjoy the day.

Pimm's Jam Tarts

Makes 12 tarts


  • 250g plain flour
  • 100g butter
  • 250g shortcrust pastry, if not making pastry from scratch
  • 100g strawberry jam
  • 3 tbsp Pimm's No 1
  • 4 strawberries, sliced, to garnish
  • 1 orange, cut into thin wedges, to garnish


  1. Preheat the oven to180C/ 350F/Gas 4. Lightly grease a 12 hole tart mould with a little butter.
  2. If you are making the pastry, put the flour, cubed butter and a pinch of salt into a mixing bowl.
  3. Working as quickly as you can, rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  4. Add the water 1 tbsp at a time to the mixture and using a cold knife stir to bind the pastry together. Stop when the pastry comes together so it is not too sticky.
  5. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and chill for a minimum of 15 minutes, up to 30 minutes.
  6. The dough can also be made in a food processor by mixing the flour, butter and salt in the bowl of the processor on a pulse setting. Add water and wrap as above.
  7. To assemble the pies, unwrap the pastry onto a lightly floured work surface and roll to a ¼" /0.5cm thickness. Using a tart cutter or cup, cut circles from the pastry just slightly bigger than the holes in the prepared tart mould. Gently press one disc into each hole.
  8. Mix together the strawberry jam with the Pimm's until runny.
  9. Place a heaped teaspoon of jam into the pastry lined tins. Be careful not to overfill as the jam will spill out when hot and burn.
  10. Repeat until all the pastry is used up - you can squish the pastry trimmings back together and re-roll several times, so don't worry, just make sure you rest the pastry circles before cooking.
  11. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 mins or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely, do not eat while hot or you may burn your mouth, the jam stays hot for a long time.

Enjoy afternoon tea

The epitome of a British party, what better way to mark the occasion than with a traditional afternoon tea. Set out your best dinnerware and tuck into sandwiches cut into dainty rectangles, fresh scones with jam and cream and of course, a cup of tea!

Bring the party to your garden, street or living room

Bring out the bunting and flags and get your garden, street or living room ready to commemorate the day. If you don’t have any bunting, it’s really simple to make. You can cut triangles of old fabric and sew them together to make wonderfully quirky and colourful decorations, or if you don’t have any fabric, you can always make card or paper bunting using old magazines.

As well as adding a little extra colour to your decoration, creating a 1940s playlist can really help set the scene. Spend a little time collating your favourite tracks, or simply play a ready-made playlist from your favourite streaming site to get started. Look out for classic 1940s artists such as Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, The Andrews Sisters and Doris Day. 

Make sure you look the part

Now that your house is ready, it’s time to don your favourite 40s getup for the day. Whether it’s penny loafers, fishtail trousers and a fedora, or a swing dress frock, victory rolls and red lippy, have fun dressing up and recreating that 40s style. 

If you don't have anything typically 40s already, look out for style features in your wardrobe that you can coordinate to create a 40s look. For example, pairing A line skirts with a thick belt and a blouse, curling long hair into ringlets or tying it up with a silk scarf, or pairing long-sleeved shirts with sleeveless pullovers, adding a bow tie and wide-legged trousers. And don't forget the accessories, too. Handbags, gloves, broaches and tie pins can all finish off the look nicely! 

Enjoy a movie

To close the celebrations why not stick on a film and enjoy a 40s movie night? A great way to end the day, classic titles include Casablanca, It’s a Wonderful Life, Arsenic and Old Lace and The Big Sleep, featuring iconic actors such as Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman and Cary Grant.