The main attraction of the party was obviously the cake, a beautiful and equally delicious creation by the only baker I trust for novelty cakes, Lucy at Vanilla Frost Cakes. She and I had discussed the inspiration in the weeks leading up to this party and I'm truly in awe of how beautiful it turned out, together with the little assorted biscuits that she also prepared for us in the shape of Jolly Roger flags, little parrots, and mini treasure chests. I don't know what I would do cake-wise if I didn't know Lucy, I am not a particularly good baker and catastrophe is always just minutes away whenever I grab a piping bag...
The rest of the food was a mix of children party favourites (though no crisps here, they are a hard NO in my book), all presented with little buffet cards to complement the theme: tuna sandwiches were Shark Bait, free range chicken nuggets were Golden Nuggets, etc. I hope the parents of our little guests won't mind, but I think I found a way to have little ones eat fruit at parties: make little cups of fruit salad, call the whole thing Pirate Jewels, and then explain that only little pirates who eat a bit of fruit get cake. That's child-level negotiation for you!
At Little Monsieur's insistence (read, constant reminders whenever he saw me on my laptop ordering party goods), we had a Pinata, not something I usually go for but then I found this adorable little parrot shaped one on Etsy and I thought why not, once filled with chocolate coins and little fruity gums it looked pretty good hanging by the top of the table.
I tried to keep the rest of the room as uncomplicated as possible, a few handmade banners from the same printable collection as the buffet cards, bottle labels etc, and lots and lots of jewels thrown on the table which the children were fast to snatch to take home as little tokens. This meant it was ok to use plain hessian as tablecloth, and black, red and white tableware which looked quite striking on the simple background.
We had drinks for everyone, as I can't fathom poor parents having to stand around a room filled with squealing young children and not having something to drink (preferably alcoholic)! Children had still water bottles with personalised labels and apple juice, and for the grown-ups we had little drink dispenses with Pimm's and jugs of San Pellegrino.
We had two little side tables for the water and the goodie bags, and those I went a little to town with, with a mini treasure chest (cue more acrylic jewels and chains), a skull complete with headscarf which will work perfectly at our next Hallloween party, hopefully, and a little castaway bottle with a treasure map.
For goodie bags we had little skull and crossbones cotton puses filled with chocolate coins, but I also thought it would look quite cute to have mini gold ingots for the little ones to take home, filled with smarties (aka precious stones) and finally I found a lovely book called the Pirate's Handbook, which is funny and clever at the same time, a perfect complement to the sugar-filled goodies!
As fun as planning everything was, the main attraction for the children remained the ship itself, and the wonderful activities that the two duty Pirates had organised for them. The ship is absolutely stunning, and the team take charge of the children from the minute they get on board, with a list of super exciting tasks for little aspiring ship mates.
First, the children got to push the anchor wheel to set sail... that in itself, and checking if the anchor was coming up, was just the beginning. They were then taken under deck for more adventures, such as finding and putting together the pieces of a treasure map, hearing stories about long-dead pirates, and finding the treasure itself. A whole afternoon of adventures perfectly planned for my little munchkin's age group, meaning everyone could participate in the fun.
The whole afternoon was a roaring success, especially as I was lucky enough to have my little sister and her boyfriend on hand to help, meaning we had two extra set of hands to organise and serve the hungry little pirates after the ship activities, and two extra set of eyes to watch everyone!
Sounds exciting? Here are some of the links to throw your very own children pirate party (or, if you're London based, send me an email, I'll be thrilled to help!):
- Ship hire and party organisation, Golden Hinde II
- Pirate party printables, Chickabug
- Parrot pinata, PinataPinatas on Etsy
- Party favor bags with skull and crossbones, GracefulGreetingCo on Etsy
- Party tableware, straws etc. Pretty Little Party Shop