I suppose that because I love being creative, I see parties as my opportunity to give expression to this in the food and all the finishing touches that go with it. Because I tend to get a bit carried away, my husband has to often remind me that it’s only a kids’ party after all, and I know he has a point. I realise that often the best parties are the simplest – a couple of close friends, a few cupcakes and treats, and the children are perfectly happy. My problem, however, is that I just love an opportunity to do something I enjoy. This year, it wasn’t difficult to choose a theme for my son Matthew’s party because he’s always loved the CARS characters. The only problem was that I couldn’t feel inspired by cars – they just aren’t pretty! However, once I got going I had fun. This is my take on a vintage car party…
I always think that the best way to convey the theme of a party is by decorating the main table with a flourish, and the minute I’ve decided on a theme, my search is on for suitable bits and pieces. For this particular vintage car party, I spotted bubble-bath bottles in the shapes of the CARS characters; felt I’d hit the jackpot when I saw an old vintage Volkswagen van in our local décor shop; and was delighted, when rummaging through my children’s toy box, to find an old-fashioned petrol pump. At the eleventh hour, my neighbour Penelope Mitchell (who helped me with the styling of my new book Perfect Parties) came down to help me. Penny is a collector of note, and came armed with an old crate that she’d filled with straw. ” This will be perfect for your chocolate doughnut tyres” said Penny, and I concurred. Having placed the birthday cake in the most visible spot, we then added large glass containers to the table. These had been labelled with car stickers I’d already had printed. We then filled the drinks dispenser with ‘engine fuel, added a few more edible bits and pieces, and then, as a final finishing touch, dotted the table with black and white racing flags. It was as easy as that!
Photography: Natalie Edy
Finally the party packs-