A 21st Birthday Party

Here at Hotly Spiced Headquarters we are all moving just a little bit slowly as we recover from Miss Arabella’s 21st birthday party.

A silver bus

A silver bus

This year, a low-budget Australian film that was shot in just three weeks, then became an international success and then a long-running musical on Broadway, also celebrates its 21st birthday.  Thinking that was more than a coincidence, Arabella chose, ‘Priscilla, Queen of the Desert‘ as the theme for her party.

Party time

Party time

The bar

The bar

In the lead-up to the party I have had discussions with you about the outfit Miss Arabella was going to wear.  Remember she bought an outfit on E-bay and was then going to sell it because it was one-size too small?  But then she decided to keep it and diet instead.  A lot of you asked for a picture of ‘the dress’ however, as you can see, it wasn’t a dress.  Miss Arabella chose to wear a ‘play-suit’, (I’m sure you’ve all got a few in your wardrobe), and accompany it with some ankle-breaking high-heeled boots and an ostrich feathered head-piece.

Me and my gal

Me and my gal

While Archie’s party was ‘all aboard the ship’, Arabella’s was ‘all aboard the bus’ that would take the guests from Sydney’s Kings Cross to the heart of the ‘red centre’, Alice Springs.

Centre table

Centre table

Guests were given invitations that featured the bus with a photo-shopped Arabella reclining in a stiletto on top of the bus.  Inside the invitation was a retro bus ticket that told them if they sent in a prompt RSVP they would be given exit-row seats with extra leg-room.  Guests brought the tickets with them to be hole-punched by retro bus conductors (waiters).

Drinks available at the bus stop

Drinks available at the bus stop

The venue for the party was the same as the venue we chose for Archie’s Titanic 21st so the challenge was to give the room a completely different look.  While the look of Archie’s party was more ‘fine-dining’ and a step back in time, the look of Arabella’s party was coruscating, colourful and cheeky.

Only photo of the gold legs

Only photo of the gold legs and poor old skippy

Guests entered the venue through narrow doors that led them onto a red carpet lit up with lights.  It was Archie who organised the lighting and he said, ‘When they walk through the doors there’ll be so many lights it will be like they’ve arrived at the Oscar’s’.  And Archie never does anything by halves.

Retro Bus Conductors (Waitstaff)

Retro Bus Conductors (Waitstaff)

At the end of the red carpet guests had to step over a bit of road kill.  Poor old skippy had been mowed down by the bus and now lay in a terrible state on the edge of the road.

Waiting at the bus stop

Waiting at the bus stop

There was a street sign showing the ticket-holders the direction they would be travelling and the towns they would pass through on their way to the Outback.

A giant stiletto

A giant stiletto

There were glow cubes to sit on that every couple of seconds changed colour and these were set down on a cow-hide rug.  This little corner of the ‘bus’ proved very popular and you had to wait your turn for a chance to sit down.

Glow cubes in the background

Glow cubes in the background

Cousins on the glow cubes

Cousins on the glow cubes

The stage was lit up in lights that constantly changed colour and if wouldn’t be a Queen of the Desert party if we didn’t have a giant stiletto so there was one on the stage with flame-blower lights on either side of it.  Many guests stood beside the shoe to have their photo taken while others just jumped right on inside it.

Stepping into a stiletto

Stepping into a stiletto

The food served on the journey was retro Aussie fare that involved a lot of toothpicks.  Food service started with Spiked Echidnas, a variety of antipasto stabbed with a toothpick and poked into an orange…

Centre table

Centre table

Spiked Echidnas

Spiked Echidnas

Devils on Horseback…

Devils on horseback

Devils on horseback

Little Joeys (sausage rolls)…

Little Joeys

Little Joeys

Asparagus Rolls…

Asparagus Rolls

Asparagus Rolls

Chook Pies (chicken and leek pies)

Chook Pies

Chook Pies

Also, but not photographed were Snags (chipolata sausages on a toothpick with smoked chutney), Hot Chips and Gravy served in paper cones, Ham and Pineapple Sambos (a baked leg of ham with fresh glazed pineapple sliced at the table and served with baguettes).

Iced VoVos…

Iced VoVos

Iced VoVos

A lonely Iced VoVo

A lonely Iced VoVo

Chockie Cake…

Chockie cake

Chockie cake

And an Aussie Favourites Lolly Bar with the Strawberries and Cream proving the most popular, as usual.

Aussie Favourites Lolly Bar

Aussie Favourites Lolly Bar

I’d be surprised if anyone complained of being hungry.

Matching!

Matching!

There were speeches from five of her girlfriends where there was perhaps a little too much, ‘over-sharing’ which is always a risk at a 21st, however, we didn’t have tears.  My speech was more palatable then Drew sang to her the Elvis favourite, The Wonder of You.  And as a surprise, Archie then took to the stage and sang Sinatra’s classic, My Way, however he had changed the lyrics to tell a story about the relationship between him and his little sister.  It was hysterically funny and loved by all.

Let the speeches begin

Let the speeches begin

Singing 'The Wonder of You'

Singing ‘The Wonder of You’

Oscar sings

Archie sings

We then had the cutting of the cake and after everyone sang happy birthday there was a glitter canon that shot up to the roof and showered down around the room.

About to cut the cake

About to cut the cake

The dancing started and of course there was Eagle Rock which was the cue for all boys to ‘drop their dacks’ and dance around with their trousers around their ankles.  This was a highlight for the little guy who enthusiastically joined in.

Brother and sister

Brother and sister

The youth of today becoming corrupted

The youth of today becoming corrupted

Eagle Rock

Eagle Rock

The bus pulled into Alice Springs just after midnight and all guests alighted to make their way through the red dust to their ubers, taxis or hire cars.

The glamour girls

The glamour girls

Angels

Angels

Glamour

Plenty of colour

Family shot

Family shot

Miss Arabella said it was the best party she had ever been to.

With her big brother

With her big brother

Poor old skippy

Poor old skippy

In my next post I’ll tell you how I made the cake, a bus with an edible stiletto glittering shoe.

A silver bus

A silver bus travelling with a giant glittery stiletto

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Comments

  1. pamela.hayward7650@gmail.com says:

    Amazing party and outstanding cake! Hope you are able to relax now. …

  2. Great theme … I love the movie. And the party looks like it was a blast. Decor, food, costumes. Only one more 21st to go and that’s a long way away so you’ve got lots of time to rest up. 🙂

  3. Happy Birthday to Arabella! Great party and gorgeous cake. Everyone looked wonderful, the food looked amazing, a great job, Charlie! Take a holiday now 🙂

  4. Wow, what a memorable and FUN party!

  5. Wow you are good. So much effort clearly went into that. How magical it all looked.
    Carolyn

  6. Was wondering you had had the PARTY yet – and what a party – 21st’s are always such fun last chance before you start to grow up:) Love the cake and retro food! Well done Charlie.

  7. I was wondering if that stiletto was edible! Looks like a fantastic party – love all the glam outfits – love all the aussie classics in the menu – tried to guess all the lollies at the lolly bar. The giant stiletto is hilarious and I can’t wait to hear about the cake

  8. what a fun party – and such a cute theme! Haven’t watched that film in yonks. The cake is all the amaze!

  9. WOW Speechless…. what an amazing party – don’t think people will forget that in a hurry. Your family amaze me with their imagination and how they all bring it to life. You have a few years break now before the next one. 🙂

  10. What a gorgeous party! Happy belated 21 to Queen Arabella! You guys certainly go all out for the 21st birthday. The food looks lovely and that bus looks amazing. I made my first marshmallow fondant this past week, it was surprisingly easy, but I don’t have the patience to create and decorate a masterpiece like that bus cake. You’ve really outdone yourself!

  11. What a fantastic party… you really out do yourself every time… looks like too much fun 🙂
    Liz xx

  12. Far out! you sure know how to throw a party. I can’t believe that stiletto is actually edible. You all looked very glamorous and obviously a good time was had by all. Now you have what, 11 years to recuperate before the next 21st?

  13. Charlie, this is amazing! Arabella’s friends will never be able to compete! I am so impressed with your decorations around the hall and the theme itself, as well as the food and various costumes. Arabella looks wonderful and I’m glad she had a good night.

  14. Happy birthday Arabella! I absolutely love the outfit and am very partial to a head dress too! It looks like an entirely different venue to Archie’s birthday-well done everyone! 😀

  15. ah so much fun! That all looks awesome. Phew! You did it 🙂
    (and best party ever, I’d say you couldn’t ask for a better response.)

  16. Absolutely wonderful Charlie! What a fabulous party theme.
    Happy birthday to Arabella.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  17. Wow, what an amazing looking party!!!

    So wonderful to be celebrating with friends and family

    I hope she had an amazing birthday x

  18. WOW, some party, You have the most creative ideas and the ability to pull them off, congrats. Happy, Happy Birthday to Arabella. Looking forward to reading about how you put the cake together.

  19. Congratulations Charlie!!! You did a spectacular job! What an amazing party!!!! I just love the tradition of the 21st. This was just stunning! A very happy birthday to Arabella. She too looked stunning! And I love that Archie sang her a song about their relationship. Too cute. You’ve done well mom!

  20. Oh, wow, this party is like something out of a movie. I’m not at all familiar with the movie, but that doesn’t matter, because I’m amazed with everything about this party, done in a really big way. And, knowing you, you invested lots of time and energy into creating the best party ever for Arabella.

    Happy 21st, Arabella! You look stunning.

  21. Great, fun movie and amazing party! I don’t know how you pull it off every time. I am in awe. Nice again, Charlie, you have created lifetime memories for your kids. Congratulations to all!

  22. omg that cake is amazing! It’s a work of art!

  23. Charlie, I gotta say, you and Arabella look like y’all could be sisters! Y’all both look so gorgeous! And the boys look so dapper! Did you make ALL the food? If so – wow – maybe you should start a catering company? And that cake is phenomenal! Such a wonderful party theme! Looking forward to seeing how you pulled that cake off! xx

  24. What a stunning party. You certainly don’t do anything by halfs. GG

  25. Oh wow Charlie. Truly amazing. If only seventies food had been so fresh and stylish. Love the cake and the shoe!. Arabella should be very happy.

  26. What a fun theme and night indeed Charlie! Doesn’t your family scrub up well 🙂 I’m so glad the Birthday Girl didn’t fall of those boots and do more damage to those (yes, I’m jealous) ridiculously long legs. It all looks so glamorous and wonderful, what a fun twist on the food too. Thanks for letting us share the birthday party- that shoe is just fantastic! Xo

  27. Seems we missed a “Rocking good time”.Happy Birthday wishes to Arabella!

  28. What a fabulous and fun party! The people and the food were gorgeous. This will definitely be a birthday Arabella will never forget! 🙂

  29. I knew it would be a spectacular party and boy was it! You went above and beyond for this gala. Every detail was perfect and you all look so happy. At least you have a few years before you have to do it all again for Alfie. Happy birthday, Miss Arabella!!! xoxo

  30. Happy 21st B-day Arabelle! You wore high heels at your party woo hoo! and no crutches… I know that is a big feat as I would certainly need crutches if I was wearing those boots just to hold me up. LOL Your mom really out did herself with an amazing party and of course the food rocked.

  31. WOW what a fabulous celebration! You all look gorgeous! Happy recovering 😉

  32. Great job with the cake as usual. You all looked gorgeous. What great outfits. I love these theme parties (thought I recognised the venue). What a great night, well done to you all as I know just how much hard work goes into event like this. (Those cousins could be brothers!)

  33. Wow! Just wow! You don’t do things by halves. What a fantastic party. You and Arabella both look stunning. And the food looks wonderful with a great, original cake. I bet it was a night to never be forgotten for Arabella.

  34. It looks like it was quite a night. Just think – only one more to go, and a big break till then!

  35. What a fabulous party! Your family certainly does things in style. I’ve been off the blog for a while, recovering from winter flu and a very busy time. So nice to step back right into a party.

  36. What a lucky girl!! Awesome party! What an outfit! Hows about all the wonderful food!! I bet you are glad it’s over in some ways, I wonder what is to come….: 🙂 Jan x

  37. OMG I want to turn 21 again at your house!! What an amazing celebration and helluva good party. Was dropping the dacks your idea?? hmm??

  38. what a gorgeous looking cake and theme! love it!

  39. What a fun birthday party!!!! Looks like everyone was having a blast, especially Arabelle. 🙂 That cake is TOO MUCH!!! You’re amazing Charlie and what a great mom!

  40. I have been looking forward to the party photos and these don’t disappoint! I love the theme! I’ve seen the play “Priscilla Queen of the Desert” several times and it is a favorite. I couldn’t be more impressed with what you all pulled off to celebrate Miss Arabella’s very special birthday. What an incredible party. I can only imagine that when your friends see an invitation to one of your parties they must be very excited! Your daughter must still be glowing from all the fun and attention. Well done, Charlie!

  41. Wow! Amazing job, as always!!

  42. Nobody knows how to throw a party like you and your family. I can just imagine all the fun that was had. It has been fun catching up on your posts. And that cake, you are just terrific with your baking.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Arabella chose, ‘Priscilla, Queen of the Desert‘ as the theme for her 21st birthday party I knew I’d need to make an appropriate cake […]

  2. […] most of you are aware, Miss Arabella has had a birthday.  And while we did have a ‘Queen of the Desert’ party and while I did make a stiletto riding on top of a bus, birthday cake, there was still that issue […]

  3. […] most of you are aware, Miss Arabella has had a birthday.  And while we did have a ‘Queen of the Desert’ party and while I did make a stiletto riding on top of a bus, birthday cake, there was still that issue […]

  4. […] seem that’s a fairly accurate estimate.  They’re leftover from the lolly bar we had at Arabella’s 21st birthday party.  I didn’t want to under-provide!  This photo doesn’t represent a 10th of […]

  5. […] seem that’s a fairly accurate estimate.  They’re leftover from the lolly bar we had at Arabella’s 21st birthday party.  I didn’t want to under-provide!  This photo doesn’t represent a 10th of […]

  6. […] on those shelves.  I have an over-supply of chocolate left over from the catering I did for Arabella’s 21st and lots of nuts in ziplock bags in the freezer, and shredded coconut in the […]

  7. […] next most popular recipe for the year was Sausage Rolls with Homemade Sauce that I made for Arabella’s 21st birthday party.  Looking at the number of views, it seems few can resist a homemade sausage […]

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