Alas, it's difficult to find a spot in London that's cute and fun at the same time, big enough for a party, and safe for toddlers. Many birthday parties end up taking place in hire rooms at pubs (a bit cold and grown-up, in my opinion), or the soft play room of the local clubs, which can feel a bit loud and claustrophobic for the poor parents who have to accompany their little ones and listen to the squeals of their precious offspring echo-ed again and again...
So, after thinking long and hard and asking some of our friends for advice, we found the perfect location for this year's party: Bocketts Farm. Little Monsieur loves animals and the outdoors, so this was the ideal find.
Just off the M25 in the South of London, it is perfect for days out with the animals, mixing playgrounds and animal pens, and offering the cutest barns for private hire for celebrations like ours. We settled in the Cherry Orchard barns for the afternoon, bringing two-trolleys worth of food, drinks, and decorations from our house in Parsons Green... The staff was quite bemused (or maybe a bit scared... I couldn't tell) when they saw us arrive with enough to launch a celebration to be remembered!
I'd ordered lots of bits and bobs to set the scene over the last few weeks... Hessian and gingham fabrics from Amazon, wooden cutlery and plates from Pipii.co.uk, mini hale bales and mason jars for grown-up drinks from the US, burlap favour bags and milk cartons from Etsy... If there is a website selling farm and barnyard inspired goodies that can be used for a party, I've scoured it and found everythig I needed, without a cartoony plastic cup in sight, thankfully. And, given my work schedule has been totally silly lately (cue the lack of posts...), I'm quite happy with the result!
With the help of Hubby Dearest and our fantastic nanny, I'd prepared all the good and drinks in advance, and packed everything in plastic lock containers: iced tea, freshly cut watermelon, plate of fresh vegetables, spinach quiche, little sandwiches... everything homemade, just like I like it!
As always, we had delicious cupcakes and cookies by Vanilla Frostcakes, which were, again, firrm favourites with the children. We had the coolest animal cupcakes (check out the fluffy sheeps!) and some adorable tractor and hatch shaped cookies, which almost didn't survive the monsters' appetites long enough for the pictures. The little hatching chicks and chicken pop cakes were almost too cute to eat, but that didn't stop our little guests!
Making the favour bags farm themed as easy: a little bouncy egg, a puzzle animal, one farm special sticker and colouring booklet, some crayons, and of course the obligatory party bubbles! We also handed out little customized milk cartons filled with fruit gums... delicious!
The coolest thing about Bocketts Farm is that it is not only a super pretty farm, it is also a great day park for children, with tractor rides, animal handling, not one but three playground including one indoor, pig races etc. We all had a blast! Little Monsieur thoroughly enjoyed everything, holding hands with his favourite friend on the tractor ride and almost attempting a fluffy bunny kidnap!
Here are some additional details if you want to throw a little farm party for your children:
- Location, Bocketts Farm
- Cupcakes, pop cakes and cookies, by Lucy at Vanilla Frost Cakes
- Little milk cartons, by Wonky Owl on Etsy
- Burlap favour bags, by Man Crochets on Etsy
- Off road wagon, and other goodies, Amazon
- Wooden party tableware, Pipii
- Fake grass table runner, NotOnTheHighStreet