Here at Hotly Spiced Headquarters we are all moving just a little bit slowly as we recover from Miss Arabella’s 21st birthday party.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
Devils on Horseback…
Little Joeys (sausage rolls)…
Chook Pies (chicken and leek 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).
And an Aussie Favourites Lolly Bar with the Strawberries and Cream proving the most popular, as usual.
I’d be surprised if anyone complained of being hungry.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Miss Arabella said it was the best party she had ever been to.
In my next post I’ll tell you how I made the cake, a bus with an edible stiletto glittering shoe.