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Saturday was, what has become, our annual outing with the Mackies. Both Mer & Stu work for Bloomberg and each year the company put on an indescribable and completely amazing summer party for it’s employees and their families. Each employee is allowed to take a guest and as Mer & Stu both work for them they have dragged us (kicking and screaming of course!) to what has become a highlight of the summer. This year was our 3rd time and coming from a company culture where you are charged 14p for a tea from the vending machine (yes, those little white plastic cups ) I find it incredible that a company puts on such an event in the name of FUN!! and they don’t just put it on in London but NY and Asia too.

Anyway, onto some detail. The best way to describe the day (although I did say it was indescribable!) is over the top (Mer’s words actually).

This year the party was held at Osterley Park and the theme was ‘101 experiences and flavours’ and so true to word this meant there actually was 101 different experiences and 101 different flavours.

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Along with my birthday and Christmas I have declared that the Summer party is a calorie free day…..eat what you want when you want! From the pics below you might get an idea of the calibre & variety of the food. I won’t give you the tick list of what I sampled…..

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The party was split into 7 sections and each section was themed and co-ordinated to perfection. It is impossible to get around the whole party – even though we were there from 2.30m until 10.30pm!! We started off the day in ‘Eden’ and this was set in the beautiful flower gardens where 5 stalls were set up featuring the most delicious picnic food. You picked up a box and filled it with the whatever took your fancy – oak smoked trout, smoked salmon,cucumber & dill salad, chicken caesar salad, scotch egg, pork pie, mini quiches & sandwiches, mixed berries, fresh fruit galore….and the list goes on! The area was set up with white wrought iron tables, picnic blankets and hammocks. So beautiful. We settled in and enjoyed the garden & food and the time just started flying by!

The garden of Eden

The garden of Eden

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Mmm Pancakes!!

Mmm Pancakes!!

Next stop was the ‘Roam Free’ section and there were yet more gastronomic delights – one of the highlights being a delicious Mediterranean fish stew.

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Delicious!

Delicious!

The Izzy’s were very excited by all the new sounds, sights and smells and so it was time to explore. We stumbled upon the ‘Jungle’ area and the menu was completely child focussed. My favourite bit was the children’s smoothie bar complete with steps for the kid’s to stand on to place their order and watch it being prepared. The smoothie was then served with a cocktail umbrella – very classy for 2 year olds!

The 'Jungle' Menu

The 'Jungle' Menu

Cocktails for 2 year olds!

Cocktails for 2 year olds!

The highlight of the ‘Jungle’ though was the face painting. I was not convinced that this was going to be a success as did not think that Izzy would sit still long enough but she completely surprised me – we ended up with the 2 cutest pussy cats!

Miaow!

Miaow!

We finally made it down to the ‘Mad Hatters Tea Party’ which we had passed on the way in and I wish I had stopped and taken some pictures because it really was the best example of how far this party goes. It was like you really had gone through the looking glass….amazing! By the time we made it back the rain (albeit brief) had set in and the cake trays were fairly depleted. However as the Mad Hatter and friends danced and mingled the trays of cakes continued to circulate so we managed to squeeze in some lemon meringue pie & carrot cake! oink! Then it was onto the tea cups with the girls where we went round and round and round……

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Eventually we made it to the front section of the party which included ‘Miami Beach’ complete with a Beach (of course!) and an American diner (my camera had run out of juice by now!) serving hot dogs, doughnuts, sundaes, milkshakes…. Throughout the day there had been some very impressive sand castle building and backing onto the beach was a roller disco. Fun, fun, fun!!

Moving along we had missed the rodeo (yes, that’s right a Rodeo!) in the ‘Go Wild’ section but there was still plenty to see with a stage coach, saloon, wigwam’s and yet more yummy food to sample!

Lastly, we made a quick stop in ‘Kooky Pursuits’ for some Asian fare – I thought I might sneak in some yummy noodles but it was not to be as the girls insisted on devouring them!

Flavour number 70!

Flavour number 70!

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The Hijacked noodles!

The Hijacked noodles!

There is just so much more to talk about but I am out of time. So if you had not guessed from the above ramblings we had a FANTASTIC day!! and the 4 girls were on the dance floor until after 10! It’s only once a year after all! I haven’t really mentioned any of the 101 activities but trust me when I tell you that they were as varied and creative as the 101 flavours – snake handling, learning to unicycle, tea leaf reading……

And did I mention, it was all FREE! It must be quite a bill for Bloomberg and boy, do we appreciate the invite! I also think whoever has the job of organising it has my dream job – what an awesome challenge!

Thanks to Mer & Stu again for the invite!!! Great memories are created every year!!

girl SP09

boys SP09

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