How to throw a really awesome Beatles themed 30th Birthday Party

| Posted by Lou | The time is 12.05pm here in London UK |

My 30th Birthday Party turned out to be the best party I've ever had, so thought I'd share some of the best tips!

Generally I find hosting a party to be extremely stressful so had done a lot of googling for ideas, but in the end it came down to mac'n'cheese, Abbey Road, and good ol' punch.

1. Macaroni Cheese Canapés

Surprisingly this was the hit of the night. I had whipped up a massive batch earlier in the day which was sitting in the oven. At the mad-hungas time of the party (10? 10.30?) I cooked it (making sure someone more responsible than myself was standing chatting in the kitchen and found themself on timing duty) then wrangled myself a helper whose job was to hold an old vinyl record. I bunged big spoonfuls into muffin cases (double them up as it'll be hot), stuck in a plastic fork, and sent her into the room... She was back in about 10 seconds shouting "more! more! faster!" as the room made an audible shift towards the kitchen.

This is totally not what mine looked like at all, it just looks yummy.
Hopefully someone has a photo of mine I can insert here later...

My macaroni cheese is based on a recipe that exists only in my head - I believe it comes from the Edmonds Cookbook white sauce with lots of medium chedder cheese put in. Normally I would put a crunchy topping on of teensy bits of toast (like not quite a crumb but much smaller than croutons) mixed with grated cheese, which creates a nice crunchy texture - but for the party I couldn't be fucked and nobody noticed! Best part? Clean up is minimal, and it took about 15 mins to prepare earlier in the day and about 10 mins to serve during the party.

2. Abbey Road

I had organised very few decorations for the Beatles theme, leaving me somewhat reliant on costumes. I made my bedroom (which opens onto the living room with double doors) reminiscent of the "bed in for peace" and plastered the doors with these Yoko Ono "War is Over" posters. Other than that was the occasional Beatles decoration that I already owned, and the use of Thomas the Tank Engine paper cups for my instant pudding/ angel delight canapés.

So luckily for me two wonderful guests turned up with suits and Beatles wigs and brought along the Abbey Road crossing. It was the best thing possible for emphasising the theme and giving a focus point for the costumes and photos. Luckily they were quite early to arrive too so probably everyone else thought I'd come up with it...

Louise in the Sky with Diamonds and Ringo
Please note alcohol stains all down my dress...

3. Magical Mystery Punch

Ah, punch - the lowest of the low, easiest of the easy. But such a classic...

I was trying to be somewhat more sophisticated than the 21st birthday party version of punch (cheap vodka, juice, lemonade) and at least bought proper vodka and variety of juices. I believe it started out as vodka, orange juice, lemonade, fiery ginger beer, and cranberry & raspberry cordial. It became more potent and mixed as the night progressed, with the requirement for speedy refreshment of the bowl's supply leading me at one point to throw in half a bottle of bubbly, some gin...

But it did the trick, it actually seemed to keep somewhat of a modicum of sobriety at the party (I guess even if it seems strong it isn't as strong as drinking bubbly for 6 hours non-stop (and by "sobriety" I mean "not quite rollicking drunkenness")), and was an easy space-saver due to the limited ingredients; without seeming like total cheap student piss.

Err... mine was more pyrex-baking-bowl-with-plastic-tumblers

On the day of my party I was stressed and thinking "I'm never hosting a party again!!", but focussing on the simple touches I think I just might possibly... next time I have an excuse... (my 40th?)

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