When I was young (please refrain yourself from belting out Celine Dion) and I thought about what my 30th birthday party was like, I suppose I thought it would be a terribly grown up affair. Perhaps dinner at some fancy restaurant. Probably thinking I'd have a husband and children by this point. Who would have known it would involve clowns, a burlesque dancer and my outfit rivaling a Vegas show girl. Of course, there is only one place that was worthy for such an event and that was at Bar 366
3 things struck me as appealing about Bar 366; 1. the location - I <3 Clapham 2. no minimum bar spend - this is exceedingly rare 3. the quirky decor - butterfly patterned walls, the wonderful skylight and old fashioned chairs to name but a few elements 4. the cocktail offering - poifect
So I dropped a note with my requirements, they seemed cool with my "I wanna throw a party, working theme circus...can I have a fire eater?" (unsurprisingly they said no to the fire eater but were very excited about the prospect of a burlesque dancer. Funny that).
So venue sorted. Next, the invitation sent by post the old fashioned way (one friend said she probably hadn't received a birthday party invitation in the post since she was 9).
Invitation designed and printed by Vistaprint
Then the outfit. It was actually harder than I thought to find a place that had decent circus / showgirl outfits but I came across Prangsta which is appointment only and is the kind of place that fairies keep their clothes. Look on the website and you'll start to see what I mean. So I tried on this kooky circus outfit that Suki Waterhouse actually wore
I'm not saying I pull it off better than a supermodel but...close
which had pretty much sold it to me but then the guy in the store (I was like a doll he was dressing up) thought I should entertain the idea of trying on a showgirl outfit and that was when I saw the giant feathery headpiece in the corner and knew I had to try it on and so a showgirl was born
No, the headpiece is not as heavy as you think and yes I wish I would wear this outfit all the time
So back to the bar where the back area looked like the some crazy circus mutiny had taken place.
Weirdly enough, I didn't actually have that many cocktails. I think the general build up to the day and the fact I was wearing a corset (getting ready and re-enacting one of my favourite scene from Gone With The Wind but instead of mammy it was my brother and instead of a 4 poster bed it was just a normal bed...ah well) minimised the desire to have many. However I had a Raspberry Rocks because I like raspberries but also because it happened to be from the "Sexy cocktails" section of the menu which made it far too intriguing not to try. I also had a glass of the Bar 366 punch they had made as an arrival drink for my lovely friends. Plus my friend got me a potent cosmopolitan that I was enjoying before I even took a photo of it. I also saw my friend wondering pass with a cocktail that came with its own pot of popcorn. Very cute.
Although I look ready for a headline show at Vegas, I don't have move like Jagger so Miss Betty Darling stepped in, who was just fabulous and not only beautiful and talented but funny too. I also like that when I came to say hi to her, she mistook me as another entertainer who was here to perform also. Easy mistake *modest*
Here was some of her performance at my party
My cake was made by the wonderfully talented Holly at Etoile bakery. I came across her website online and she has made some brilliant cakes (the maternity ones are worth looking at!). Although it's a shame I never had the chance to meet her, she was a dream to work with - dealing with me firing through loads of Pinterest photos of cakes I liked, not quite believing her when she said 2 tiers would feed 42 people (she was absolutely right but I still asked her to bake me 3 tiers anyway), going on about price (I did blow the budget massively but it was so worth it considering how great it looked and tasted and that there was loads) and changing my mind at various points.
My dream cake :-)
A big thank you to Eduardo and Andres and everyone at Bar 366 for helping make my birthday party a dream. They were extremely attentive, polite, friendly and fantastic, not to mention they make a damn good cocktail and I use none of these words lightly. I had seen the great reviews about them before but when you're on the receiving end of it, you really appreciate how great people can really make a difference. Your bar is beautiful and if there is ever a job going there that requires me to dress up like a show girl again, just let me know ;-)