The end of the ’20s/Birthday blitz!

8 Dec

A couple of years a go I decided that for my 30th, it would be fun to have a 1920s themed party, ‘the end of the ’20s’ as it were. Wind the clock forward and we’re in Sydney with fewer close friends around us and little knowledge of good party venues so I decided a few drinks somewhere would be fine, to commiserate the onset of old age.

James had told me he ‘had a plan’, which sounded ominous but meant I could do nothing but wonder and try and forget about the impending age of doom.

Friday morning we headed for a ‘birthday brekkie’ and then it was home to carry out the instructions: ‘pack an overnight bag… And have a 1920s outfit ready for Saturday.’

The outfit instruction set alarm bells ringing – was there a party planned? Had people been invited? Were we off to a themed bar?

But I had no time to wonder for too long as that afternoon we headed down to the ferry wharf where we were (supposedly) going to catch a ferry somewhere. But we turned right instead of left (actually a good thing in this case) and walked into the sea plane office. This was a huge surprise and I still had no idea where we were going.

The flight was incredible – absolutely one of the best experiences we’ve had so far in Sydney. A little bumpy at times and I think we were both grateful to get off and gulp fresh air after the landing but what a view from above.

Sydney from the sky is a real pleasure:

 More photos from the sea plane ride can be seen in the photo gallery.

We stayed at a hotel called Bells in Killcare, on the southern end of the Central Coast – a beautiful spot and set up in the hillside. The place was very reminiscent of an English country hotel – not so much for the style of building – but the surrounding greenery, manicured lawns, fountains and ‘pub-style’ wine bar. The outdoor pool and view of the beaches down the road were the only reminder that we were in Australia.

More stunning views on the sea plane back although slightly less turbulence and then it was time to get ready for birthday surprise no.2.

The 1920s outfit. My initial thoughts were soon put to rest: two good friends had posted on facebook, advertising that they were away for the weekend, another girl text to say she was working that night but we should ‘catch up in the week’ and a further guy sent a message saying he and his brother were in Brisbane with their parents but would have a birthday drink with us when they returned. This was cemented by their mum sending a text a few minutes later, wishing me happy birthday (so obviously they were all up in Brisbane together). So, several friends down and James giving nothing away, I dressed up and got in the taxi, feeling slightly sick: Was it just going to be us, dressed up in some Sydney bar? Was there a 20s themed pub in town somewhere? Who was going to be there if most of our friends were away?

We pulled up at an area known as The Rocks and entered a wine bar. Everyone looked quite normal and were dressed quite normally. Suddenly I felt even more conspicuous in the sequin headband with large blue feather, which now seemed faintly ridiculous.

James marched on through and we were led into a small room, decorated with fairy lights: “SURPRISE!”

Before us stood about 15 of our friends, all in the most wonderful 1920s outfits, beaming, while I stood there, probably the most stunned I’ve been – ever.

Needless to say, a brilliant, fun-filled party followed. People had gone to such lengths to put together fantastic costumes. Everyone genuinely seemed to have a great time and thoroughly enjoyed the excuse to dress up as a gangster or flapper girl. There were four courses of canapes and wines and plenty of photos taken from the night. Here are a selection:

I was really touched by the efforts everyone made and most of all, how much thought James had put into it all. I was more impressed that he’d actually managed to keep the whole thing a secret and hadn’t let slip…. A truly brilliant birthday weekend. I think a lot of the guys were cursing James for having risen the bar too high!

It was topped off with some more ‘low-key’ celebrating for James’ birthday the following day, although by midnight on Saturday we started the celebrations for James with tequila shots all round. The rest as they say, is a mystery.

With plenty of fuzzy heads Sunday morning, we headed over to Bronte and met up with Shan, Andrew, Peter and Sophie for a birthday brunch and then spent the afternoon recovering.

But James did get his home meade cake:

We had been invited to a dinner party that evening so enjoyed meeting a few new people and getting into conversations varying from Australian politics and models of democracy to Japanese culture and even shark attacks – some subjects we could talk about more easily than others! We were pretty exhausted by Sunday night but it definitely rated as one of the most memorable weekends so far.


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