Garden party

The flowers were in bloom and the breeze was light, so we headed out to Edinburgh Gardens bright and early on Saturday morning to claim our own little picnic place inside a pretty ring of old trees. I was hosting a birthday party for my good friend Tonia. There wasn't enough room in our home, so I thought a spring garden party would be just the thing instead.

And it would have been, if only the late October weather hadn't gone all contrary on me and dipped its toes into positively Antarctic temperatures. Good Lord it was freezing out there! By nightfall we were chilled to the bone. When I got home, I stood under the shower until the water ran cold, just to try and thaw out.

But even these dismal conditions didn't stop Tonia's friends from joining us in the park to celebrate her birth. And let's face it: good company, flowing champagne in vintage saucers, plentiful cupcakes and other sweet things, plus a good dose of bubbles and party poppers, can turn even the coldest of afternoons into a fun afternoon.

I have to say a special, warm and bottom-of-my-heart grateful thanks to my parents, who happened to be visiting this week and ran themselves ragged helping to make Tonia's party a success. Please come back and visit soon, Mum and Dad, I promise that next time, I will look after you!

Some details:

* Giant, round balloons from Lark (weighed down by adorable old garden gnomes, and decorated with homemade garlands inspired by this tutorial) * Bunting painstakingly cut out from old clothes and put together (with staples because I didn't have needle and thread in my house) by my Mum * Teacups mine and Mr B's (we are old ladies) * Beautiful beverage dispensers hired from Leo & Bella (they are also for sale) * Vintage typewriter for the sign, mine (it was my grandmother's) * Vintage camera, my Dad's (it was his first camera, as a little boy) * Assorted cake stands, plates, champagne buckets etc, mine and my parents' * Sublime strawberry-ricotta layered birthday cake, decorated with wildflowers, from Sweet Source * On the menu, home-made: lemonade, pomegranate iced tea, two types of chocolate cupcakes, two types of vanilla cupcakes, iced vanilla biscuits in hearts and bluebirds, almond peach pie, chocolate-coated strawberries * On the menu, from the shops: champagne (lots of it!), spinach and fetta quiche, sun-dried tomato and goat's cheese quiche, Turkish Delight, marshmallows, macarons, melting moments, fresh strawberries

Extra ideas I didn't get around to carrying out:

* Hanging sweet jars of flowers above the tables * Digging out an old gramophone for music * Finding a second vintage typewriter, so people could type birthday messages for Tonia (that was Em's idea. Neat huh?) * Putting out little stands of parasols for shade, or extra blankets for warmth, or both * Remembering to put the fresh mint leaves in the lemonade

Happy birthday Tonia. I love you my dear, crazy friend!

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