Monday, 31 October 2011

Real Party - Mad Hatter's Tea Party

Good Morning and Happy Halloween! The Les Enfants team have worked their socks off this weekend creating spooky parties that I hope haven't caused too many nightmares.  Did you have a halloween party this weekend or are you saving it for tonight?  Be sure to share your pictures with us here over on our Facebook page.

I am sooooooo excited about todays real party!  Karen of Creative Cotton Bags, contacted me a couple of weeks ago to let me know about the party she was planning for her daughters 16th birthday and I immediately said yes to featuring the party here, just from the preview photos.  I loved the fact that this party was for a teenager as so many parties featured on blogs are for little children, but even big kids love a themed party!  So I shall now hand over to Karen to share how she created her very own Mad Hatter's Teaparty.

I had been anticipating my daughters 16th birthday for a while and dreading the "party". Would she push boundaries? Would she want something "grown up"? I was both pleasantly surprised and somewhat relieved when she told me she'd like her last ever "childrens" party. I came up with the idea of a Mad Hatters Tea Party. I felt it had a lot of scope for twenty 15 and 16 year old girls!

In terms of the party itself she said she wanted a sit down tea party for 20 and then to just be left to dance!





Invites went out in the form of playing cards and the buzz started! Lucy and her friends decided that they would all come as different characters from Alice in Wonderland so as not to double up on the night. Lucy, as the birthday girl, opted for the Mad Hatter.


When it came to theming the party I was torn between the wonderful works of Tenniel and a pretty quintessentially English feel. Unable to choose, I decide to mix the two!


 
 

I bought Cath Kidston style paper plates and cups and trawled charity shops for mismatched tea cups and saucers. The lady in our local charity shop got carried away with it all too and it was with total delight, on one visit, that she produced a giant teacup and saucer, miraculously in the right colour scheme!


I set about printing card bunting, tissue pom poms and bottle labels to go on the small glass bottles my local publican recycled for me. This was becoming a community project! Another friend came forward and offered me 5 beautiful old tressle tables. It soon all started to come together.
 


Many of the "props" I borrowed from my husbands shop and we are lucky enough to have the timbered framed outbuilding opposite our house in which to hold the party.




I was dreading making the Mad Hatters costume but again found just about everything I needed in local charity shops and craft shops. I found the internet an invaluable tool for studying costumes and watching a tutorial on how to make cake pops.  I even tiptoed into the world of sugarpaste cake decorating! I drew the line at making the birthday cake but a dear friend provided me a 3 tier white cake and I then decorated it with an abundance of penny sweets.

 
 



 
I was delighted with the end result. Considering most of what had been done had been achieved with a printer, some bakers twine, a tag maker, some sticky labels and tissue paper it looked amazing! I am not a cake maker but I had a go and was delighted with the results.
 
Lucy and her friends bowled me over with their costumes and had a truly wonderful evening. They sat round the enormous table, filled to the rafters with party food, for a good 2 hours and then spent the remainder of the evening dancing and laughing.





I am living proof that with a little bit of know how, a lot of imagination and some internet tutorials, wonders can be achieved. The outbuilding looked so lovely we had a sit down family meal for 16 in there the following night.



Wow! It looks like your daughter and her friends had a wondeful time.  I reguarly say on this blog 'with a bit of imagination you can create an amazing party' and I think you will all agree that Karen is most definately proof of this.  Thank you Karen for sharing this party with us.

Do you have a party you would like to share on this blog? Please get in touch, we really do love seeing all your amazing parties here at Les Enfants.

See you soon,
Zoe
x

Friday, 28 October 2011

The Party Clinic

Morning! I'm sure we're all glad it's Friday.  I hope your Halloween party plans are coming together, not long to wait now for some spooky fun.  Katie and the team are working incredibly hard to deliver some amazing Halloween parties this weekend, prepare to be scared!



For todays post I want to introduce a new feature on the blog, The Party Clinic.  I am reguarly asked for party planning tips and ideas so I thought we could have a regular post here for you to ask for some help in creating your parties.  Perhaps you would like some party game ideas or not sure how to create some exciting decor to fit your theme.  I love a challenge so will endeavour to answer all your questions! 

Please leave your questions in the comments section at the end of this post or send me an email and I will answer your questions next Friday. 

Have a fantastic weekend,

Zoe
x

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Party Dresses

As the weather seems to finally be changing I am sure we are all busy getting our winter clothes down from the attic.  This can also mean that suddenly that beautiful party dress that fitted your little girl last year no longer fits her.  So for todays post I thought I would take a look to find some ideas for buying a new party dress for your daughter.



ilovegorgeous have again surpassed themselves with beautiful dresses and fun partywear  tp suit the varying tastes of our daughters.




Mini Boden never fail to deliver fun and colourful party dresses.




I love the mix of tweed witha floral skirt and the purple dress would look great with leggings and ballet pumps.




This is just a tiny selection from Not On The High Steet



I hope this selection today has helped in your search for a new party dress for your daughter this winter.

Take care
Zoe
x


Monday, 24 October 2011

Real Party - Gruffalo Party

Good Morning I hope you all had a fantastic weekend. As you may have noticed we have had a little makeover and the blog also has a new name, 'Let's Plan A Party' but don't worry this is still the Les Enfants blog.  I will also be adding some more features to the blog over the next couple of weeks, so be sure to pop back!

I am very excited to be sharing another fabulous real party with you today.  Earlier last week I received an email from Alison of Alison Lawson Cakes in Bowral, Australia enclosing amazing photos and details of her sons third birthday party in August. This party takes the theme of favourite childrens book The Gruffalo and the details really are amazing.  I'll now hand you over to Alison who will share with you how she created this fab party.

Deciding on a theme for Harry’s 3rd birthday celebrations came easily this year. We had to look no further than his favourite book The Gruffalo, written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler.


For the party table, I decided to do a range of Gruffalo inspired treats straight from the story, for adults and children to enjoy. I came up with most of the menu ideas myself, but enjoyed gathering some bits and pieces of inspiration from the official Gruffalo website

A colour scheme of brown, white and green came to mind quickly, and represents the ‘Gruffalo’ as well as the ‘deep dark wood’. Making my own bunting was relatively quick, and I was able to incorporate the papers of my choice. Thank you Martha Stewart for your template and easy instructions.
The Gruffalo Feast Menu was colourful and filled with fun. It was a hoot to see the children embracing the treats in their ‘Gruffalo’ form. Vegemite sandwiches were disguised as Roasted Fox Sandwiches – a sure crowd pleaser at a toddler party.


Owl Ice-cream, otherwise known as ‘Cookies and Cream’ ice-cream prompted many giggles.



I couldn’t help but notice that the Gruffalo Crumble, otherwise known as Apple Crumble
was very popular among the mums and dads!
 



 

Ghoulish cries were the result of noticing the shot glasses containing the Orange Eye Balls, made famous by the Gruffalo, and possible by balling a rockmelon.

Great hilarity centred around the popcorn cones which featured as Scrambled Snake!
The individual cups of Purple Prickle Jelly proved popular too, and Blackcurrant jelly was the starring ingredient here.
 


Given my love of baking, I couldn’t resist whipping up some decorated cookies. I honoured the character of the Owl, as well as the setting of the Forest. Cookie Wands are always very popular with the children, and I love the effect of being able to stand them up. The red and white ‘mushroom’ cookies looked ever so inviting, and were hard to resist.

 

 Besides the colourful array of Gruffalo inspired treats on the table, the real ‘ooh la, la’ contributor to the party table was the Gruffalo cake!


I decided on a three dimensional design to capture the ‘giant’ nature of this much loved literary character. The Gruffalo sat up tall, in all of his ‘giant’ glory, watching over the entire party!



The cupcake toppers on the Deep Dark Wood Cakes were loads of fun, in that they pictured the Gruffalo holding quotes from the book. I also personalised some of the toppers by including ‘Harry’, ‘3’ and ‘Happy Birthday!’

The ever so stylish Sambellina party bags  were a great addition to the overall scene. Inside I included an individually wrapped ‘forest’ cookie, as well as a personalised chocolate bar.



I purchased the bamboo mini serving spoons and bamboo cones (used for the scrambled snake) from ‘Sweet Style’.

Would I recommend using a book again for styling a party…..for sure! Loads of scope for inspiration. My gorgeous Harry was truly thrilled to be living through his favourite story!

And, just in case you didn’t know…..There’s no such thing as a gruffalo!



Thank you so much Alison for sharing this fantastic Gruffalo party with us all, I am sure your son had a wonderful time.

Have you planned a party and would like to share with us?  Please email me zoe {at} lesenfants {dot} co {dot} uk, with a few images and some details about how you planned it and where you purchased various things from.

Thanks
Zoe
x
 

Friday, 21 October 2011

Spooky Food for Halloween

Halloween brings out the gruesome side of most of us and I know Katie and the creative team have all sorts of potions ready for Halloween parties next week.  Over the past few weeks I have been busy finding some spooky food ideas to serve to your guests.  There really are some fantastic ideas available and here are some of my favourites!



Them bones, them bones, them dry bones!
Meringue bones - try serving with strawberry compote or jam as blood


Mummy Dogs instead of hot dogs?





A few fab ideas on the BBC Good Food website.



Love this idea of witches legs sticking out of sandwiches!




Unfortuantely this is not a link to the recipe or the template but thought the more creative of you may like to try this! Be sure to send me a photo if you do.


And also worth a look is is this link to ifood for some fabulous ideas for scary party food, including Fingers in Blood, Monster Toes and Creepy Eyeballs!


Have fun preparing your frightful feasts.

Zoe
x


Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Halloween Party Inspiration

The spookiest time of the year is almost upon us and the Les Enfants team are busy creating potions and parties worthy of a Harry Potter film set.  However I thought I'd share some ideas for smaller scale parties to create at home.  Obviously the scare factor will depend on the age range of your guests but there are lots of fun ideas that can be recreated to ensure a good time is had by all.

There are some great invitations and party printables available but you could always makes fun invitations, perhaps cut a pumpkin shape from orange card, stick on a scary face with shapes cut from black card or paper on one side then write all the party details on the other side.  Maybe you would prefer to use one of these fab Halloween fonts to create your own spooky invitations?





Decorations can be made easily using pumpkins, spiders and webs, or even orange balloons as seen below. Try cutting up egg boxes and paint them black, stick on wool or pipecleaner legs & googly eyes and hang from the ceiling or door frames.



Fun & easy ideas from Martha Stewart


Party games can be fairly scary if your guests are older but one of my favourites is having bowls of beans or jelly with grapes in covered over for people to put their hands in and guess what it is!  Apple bobbing is a Halloween favourite or why not pin the bow tie onto the skeleton?  Here are a few fun looking games I found whilst researching this post.



Pin the bow tie on the skeleton



Yuck!
Idea from Parents



This looks like lots of fun!

 Little spooky treats for your guests to take home would be better than bags full of sweets and saves having to go trick n treating!





Be sure to share your spooky Halloween parties with us!
Zoe
x





Monday, 17 October 2011

Real Party - English Inspired First Birthday

Morning! I hope you all had a fab weekend, mine was filled with gardening, baking and a trip to the park as we made the most of the glorious autumnal weather. Last week I was very excited to open an email with a delightful first birthday party to be featured here on Les Enfants.  The details are adorable and I personally love using a London theme for a party.




Renee and Alex of The Inspired Ocassion are party stylists aswell as offering event management services to corporate clients, based in Australia.  They worked with their clients to incorporate elements of England in the party as the little boys father is English.  There are toy soliders scattered throughout aswell tiny individual servings of English Trifle, sat alongside pillar red post boxes and the odd red double decker bus.




The colour palette for this party was baby blue and white with touches of bright red.  Renee and Alex filled the roof of the venue, a Melbourne classic, Babycino's Cafe in South Melbourne, with large paper lanterns.  There were bouquets of helium filled balloons throughout the venue which the children all loved. 









These fab party boxes are from Sambellina, purchased from Sharnel Dollar Designs which Renee and Alex decorated.









Any party serving apple crumble gets my vote!








As you can see all the details are adorable and the colour palette compliments the theme perfectly.  I am sure this party offers lots of inspiration and be sure to visit The Inspired Occasion website and blog for more ideas from Renee and Alex. 

Thank you to The Inspired Occasion for sharing this fab party with us here at Les Enfants.

If you have a party you would like me to share here on Les Enfants blog please email me zoe {at} lesenfants {dot} co {dot} uk

I look forward to hearing from you.
Zoe
x