Very subjective review - read on your own risk.
Mother. Businesswoman. Entrepreneur.
As a mom of two gorgeous boys (5 and 3-years-young), having organised 8 birthday parties so far myself, I was thinking of writing a blog about the challenges associated with organising and hosting a kid’s birthday party.
I struggled! I honestly struggled to think of the challenges. Not because there are none, and having met so many parents, I understand that it may be a challenge. But because I love it so much, cooking, hosting and feeding people, I always look forward to preparing another one. And of course, this is the reason why I started with Kidbay Catering - I finally listened to my true calling and decided to share my love for good food with other parents and offer delicious children party food.
But this is not what this post is about. Having attended countless parties myself through my boys’ school circle, I have seen a lot. And decided to create The Best, The Worst and The Most Shocking awards of my own.
I would love to hear about your experiences, what was the best party you ever attended, what was the most terrible one (no names ;-)), what shocked you the most. Leave your comment in the comments section and sign up to have your own awards featured in the next blog.
I am going to start with this one, just because it shook me to my core. I am also going to use the name of the venue, as it is a venue that screwed up, not the parents who trusted to have their girl’s party catered for in a perfect way. Little Lambs Soft Play in Sutton, Surrey. Not all was awful, read along.
Soft play area - small but lovely with enough space for parents to have a coffee whilst their little ones are jumping around in a ball pit. Kids happy, parents happy. All good.
Lunch room - oh my dear Lord!!! It was like trying to squeeze yourself into an underground cave. Small, dark, cramped and draped with dirty old sheets room on the top floor, where half of us struggled to even fit in. Kids were around small tables, and us parents danced around each other’s backs to try and help our little ones to get some food.
And finally THE FOOD - or something that was supposed to resemble party food. It was the worst snack you could possibly imagine: dry and pretty much empty sandwiches with old toast bread (you really needed some imagination to actually notice the filling), carrot and cucumber sticks (the best thing on the menu really), 1 bag - ONE TINY BAG - of Pom Bears crisps spread into three bowls per bag. Can you even imagine that? One small bag of crisps to share between like six kids? Come on! It’s like a one crisp per person! And the cocktail sausages. The ever-fucking-present cocktail sausages that have hardly any meat in them, unhealthy as hell, cold, wrinkled and disgusting.
And you know what was the absolute worst part about that party - that those poor parents ended up paying £23.50 per person to have the party there! They kept their smiles throughout, but I could see the steam coming out of their ears as the lunch was unfolding. There is no surprise that the place is gone from the Sutton scene.
Not to brag, but with Kidbay party catering our clients get 2 sandwich platters (3 different fillings), 2 fruit platters, 2 vegetable platters, 2x sweet snacks and a choice of another food platter for £14 a head! It’s like a feast in comparison to the Little Lambs spread… #justsaying Our party food options can be customised to suit any tastes! Not to mention party lunch boxes if you want to go for minimum hassle.
I am a super-fan of house/garden parties. No time limit, freedom, comfort. And one of the parties from the end of last year topped it up. Our friends recently bought an old house, a mansion really with one room - more like a community hall really when you think about the size of it - dedicated to parties.
All that I love about house parties was there: kids comfort - they had freedom to play around with lots of toys spread out, they were all safe and had a great chance to interact with each other.
(Unfortunately this last element is often lost in large soft play centers or animal farms, popular for parties. In those places it’s pretty much: all to their own and no one plays with no one. Anyway, during a house party, there is no risk of that.)
The food was great as well, party entertainer did an amazing job, kids had an amazing time and parents could spend some time gossiping among themselves.
As lovely as it was for us, the guests, when spoken to my friend who organised the party, I realised how tough it was for her. She mentioned that she wished she came across children party catering at the time as she struggled to find good options in the area (Sutton-Coulsdon in South London). So she ended up doing all the party food herself which took her the whole day, and had to clean it up afterwards. So she took the toll, but everyone loved being there.
If you want to have some good food for your party at home, in the garden, in a church or social hall, don't struggle. Please go and enjoy the actual party. Do not worry about what your guests will eat, what you need to buy, what you need to prepare, how much time you need to spend on shopping, chopping, serving and all this shenanigans. Get the catering for your party sorted with reliable and trusted company. Catering kids party is what we love!
The Most Shocking
One of our latest parties was a 5 year old unicorn themed party in a local church hall in Kingston upon Thames. Since starting off with Kidbay, I had a pleasure to get to know some amazing kids party planners and decorators, who can create the most amazing scenes from your kid’s wildest dreams. I absolutely adore @lizbespokeevents and @elari_events, can’t get enough of their stories, pictures and all the experiences they are sharing with us on Instagram. The kids, parents and all their guests must feel like they just entered the most amazing dreamy LaLaLand when they attend a party. (The pictures below are Liz's; unfortunately my own camera went bananas at the party we attended, but you can get the gist of the unicorn theme.)
The theme was complete with beautiful cupcakes and sweets section, all in unicorn rainbow colors. Perfection.
But what a shock we all experienced when the party food was served! There were crisps, some coldish fries, sandwiches of steel (2 inches of bread per slice), selection of colorful sweets in a cute little box, 2 chocolate bars per child, all kept in the themed unicorn color, and few bowls of cucumber, carrots and peppers to bring the healthy, colorful as well, nudge onto the table.
I am not a health-freak, I do let my boys have sweets, sure. When will they enjoy it more than when they are kids?
But to have ONLY sweets and fat carbs during the whole 2.5-hour children party was definitely an overkill. I saw other parents’ faces and the sheer terror in their eyes. Of course kids threw themselves onto that sugary-fatty food, of course they did. And poor parents had nothing else to do, but to try to plead that their babies to have at least one carrot. To say the least, vegetables didn’t disappear from the tables promptly.
That was yet another clue for me to bring Kidbay Catering to the world. To allow people, big and small, to enjoy their parties in style, on all levels. Not just the decor, not just entertainment, but also some delicious, healthy, beautifully presented party food that kids and grown ups really like to eat.
Let us know when is your next party coming and let’s serve the food that will be remembered. Fill up the contact form and specify the date of your party. Even if you haven't started planning yet, as a thank you for reading this blog you will receive 15% discount from us for any booking over £250.