When Daisy first told me that she'd like a hotel-themed birthday party - inspired by the stories of Kay Thompson's Eloise (a rawther posh six-year-old who lives in The Plaza Hotel, New York) - I must admit I couldn't quite imagine how it was going to work. But once we'd plotted and planned a while, we knew exactly how to temporarily transform our house into a rawther posh hotel, and we knew that all the party guests would absolutely love, love, love to attend its grand opening.
Hotel Birthday's exterior looked very smart indeed - with a bunting-style sign, a red carpeted entrance and a smartly dressed Bell Captain (actually Daddy) waiting to welcome everyone. All rawther grand, oui?
Once inside, the visitors were invited to ring the bell for service - *ting*, and sign the Guest Book.
Then it was out to the cool and calm Courtyard Garden for a drinks reception; classical music tinkled sophisticatedly in the background, and a make-your-own cocktail bar sat ready in the corner. The guests loved, loved, loved creating their own concoctions with fresh fruit pieces, sprigs of mint, ice cubes, fruit juice topped off with lemonade or fizzy water. And yes, those personalised glasses were oooooo - rawther popular and taken home by the guests at the end of their stay.
Once refreshed, the guests played a few jolly team games in the hotel Lobby. First up was Over and Under - where sets of hotel keys were passed backwards between teams - over the head of the first person in the line, then between the knees of the next - and so on. This was all rawther difficult - especially for those guests wearing frothy skirts; the keys kept disappearing amongst the frills, frills, frills.
This was followed by a hectic and hilarious hands-on game called Towel Team. Here, the guests helped out Housekeeping by folding and piling up the hotel's fluffy towels as quickly as they could. The team with the neatest pile won, won, won the game.
Then each team had a chance to make a tower of luggage in the Lobby - the tallest tower won the contest. The cardboard-box-suitcases were rawther light and tricky to stack - so the teams had to use their ingenuity to come up with a design that would win the competition, staying up by itself until the adjudicator had measured its height.
After a short general knowledge quiz in the hotel Lounge, the guests played a special version of Roll-a-Six. When a Six was rolled, the successful guest put on a hotel bath robe, shower-cap and a sleep-mask before trying to retrieve a hotel chocolate from a pillow without using their hands. Not at all sophisticated, but the guests had lots of silly fun and they all loved, loved, loved having a sweet treat or two.
After an elegant tea of sandwiches and the like, served in the Garden, the guests retired upstairs where they could enjoy a foot bath and cucumber eye-treatment in the Spa Room, and they could propahly prepare for the Dance; accessorizing and beautifying themselves in the Dressing Room.
At last, the happy and energised guests tumbled back downstairs and had a laugh, a dance and a well-deserved ice-lolly in the Garden Ballroom till the end of the party. All agreed that the whole affair had been rawther wonderful. Ooooo - we all love, love, love Hotel Birthday.