Soooo, you might have seen the odd Facebook/Instagram post showing roughly what we got up to for my Mum’s 60th. However, I thought I would just talk you through what happened and exactly how lush it all was.
The Morning Of…
It was an early start. I had to get up at 6am in order to shower, shave my legs, do my fake tan, perfect my make up and do my hair. The make up Gods were not on my side today. I applied a fake tan that says you apply in the shower. I made a rookie mistake of NOT WEARING GLOVES!!!!! So, yeah, I had one tan-hand the whole day. Oh, and by the end of the day I had brown tan patches on my legs. Pretty sure I’ve read before that you’re not meant to shave and tan???? Hook a girl up with some tips on this in the comments people. I also tried to apply fake eyelashes ON MY OWN like a proper lady. This did not go well. I got these ones that were “easy to apply” but I still managed to rip them and lose all stickiness, so they ended up in the bin.
We got round to my brother’s for breakfast. This was a crucial part of the day as we would not eat until mid afternoon….. Mum and Dad arrived with Mum looking so surprised that a) we were dressed in our best at 8am and b) we were up at all . Throughout the day Mum had no idea what would be happening, so she bombarded us with questions at this point. This was futile. We had all become experts at Poker Faces since March, we were not going to break now…
Your Carriage Awaits…
It got to just before 9:30am. I was getting anxious. Would Mum see the limo before he comes to knock at the door? Would she hear it? Would she answer the door like I wanted her to??? And why was everyone anxiously staring out the window?!?!?!?! Smooth. Real smooth family.
Mum answered the door to a gorgeous white limo waiting for her. She knew she was being taken somewhere, but where?!
We all climbed into the limo. Note, this is very difficult to actually do when you have a dress on and you’re trying not to show the world your (beautifully tanned) bum cheeks. All 7 of us climbed in and we were on our way. Cue more questions from Mum “So we’re going somewhere…” Genius.
We toasted to Mum’s birthday in the limo with champagne the limo company provided and we were on our way.
We drove into London while I was having a mild fit about the time. Mum’s thing was at 12pm. It was now 11:50am. The driver managed to park kinda near our destination and we all climbed out (bum cheeks covered) into a busy street. The men and the women split up. Us ladies had somewhere important to be. At this point the men still hadn’t decided where to go, this was not my concern, I had an appointment to get to at 12.
We walked past the side entrance to Harrods and made our way in from the main entrance. Mum just followed completely clueless to what was in store for her. I was looking for the 3rd floor lifts and the rewards lounge. We finally found it and we were greeted by Smiley, who would be with us for the day.
Mum still didn’t quite know what was happening. Smiley got us all champagne and this was the moment to explain to Mum that she will have a personal shopper for the day. In Harrods. No biggie. Mum was instantly delighted and started to sob. Instant relief fell over me that she liked the plan. I guess I had visions of Mum not wanting to shop for anything and the whole thing would be a waste of time, oh how wrong I was…..
Naturally, our first stop was the bag department(s). It was just an endless array of gorgeous, pretty, buy-me bags. So many bags, so little time. But Mum was not distracted. She instantly went for the Gucci. She saw one on display and just like that. Smiley had asked the Gucci people to get one out to try on. Mum was then suddenly surrounded by many people wanting to assist. I guess each department knows Smiley and what she does. If you’re with Smiley, you’re here to spend. They could not do enough to assist.
Mum debated between Gucci bags whilst I wandered off to look at my dream Gucci bag. I stood there day-dreaming for a while until Mum declared she had picked a bag. The sales assistants mentioned a matching purse, and why not? If you’re gonna get a Gucci bag, you might as well get the matching purse. It’s not like they’re expensive or anything…
The Devil Wears Prada
Smiley had left the Gucci purchases to be wrapped and we were off away from the bags. That was until Mum was drawn to a Prada bag. The minute Mum showed an interest, Smiley asked for the bag to be brought down off the shelf. There was no waiting in line with Smiley today. Just like that, 3 sales assistants were around us. The difference, however, between Harrods staff and like, staff elsewhere, is that they leave you to think. They did not pressure Mum into any purchases but instead, complimented Mum on her choices and offered assistance. They helped us with straps and just explained the products. We know it’s a lush bag, but they went into detail about the colouring and how it was made. The bag Mum was interested in was Ostrich and that is what gave it the bumpy texture. I thought it was cut out, but what do I know?!?!
Mum decided not to get the Prada bag. She already had a bag and a purse today, so who needs another bag?!
The Jacket Of Dreams…
It was time to shop for clothes. Smiley led us through the crowds of people to the St John’s department. Mum had mentioned she would like a jacket for a wedding. Smiley then proceeds to bring out 5 jackets Mum might like. At no point in the day did she ask my Mum’s size, she just knew. Mum left with a beautiful St John’s jacket. Did we have to carry it? Of course not. Smiley led the way with my Mum’s purchases in tow.
I then noticed that my Mum’s new shoes were making her feet bleed, a lot. Smiley shot off and came back with plasters of different sizes to help Mum out. I’m pretty sure if we had asked Smiley to get us a cheeky cheeseburger, she probably would have… Dammit, missed oppurtunity there.
The Devil Wears Prada- The Sequel
Mum kept mentioning the Ostrich Prada bag. She was giving it some more thought. Smiley asked if Mum would like to go back and away we went. Back to the halls of the bag gods. The sales assistants instantly recognised us and listened to my Mum’s questions. Could she wear it over the shoulder? Is two bag purchases in one day too many? Oh, there’s a matching purse is there?!
So Mum came away from Harrods with 2 designer handbags, a designer purse and a cropped white jacket to die for. Not a bad day’s shopping really!
Dad came back to settle the bill and we had some time before our next appointment. Our only option was to have a coffee in the Harrods cafe as it was rainging outside. Mum asked if anyone wanted something to eat to which everyone replied “NOOOOOOOO!”
More Tea Anyone?…
The limo picked us up from Harrods and took us to our next destination. We were able to park right outside so Mum could see The Ritz was waiting for her. Cue more sobbing. I didn’t feel any relief here as I just KNEW Mum would like the next bit.
We posed for pictures on the steps. I think everyone does this there, as the doorman offered to take pictures. He must do that all day. What a job.
We then made our way down the stunning corridor to the Palm Court. Everything was white and crisp. You were welcomed with a pianist playing soft, relaxing music and waiters dressed just like those on the Titanic. “Table of 7 booked for Afternoon Tea please.”
We were helped into our seats whilst Mum took in the view. The room was just, stunning, absolutely stunning. Mum had the best seats in the house and could see the whole room. Moments after sitting down, a waiter appeared to take our tea orders. They had every type of tea on offer. Being the crazy girl I am, I stuck with a normal tea, whilst everyone else had different flavour teas. Crazy I tell ya.
The sandwiches began to arrive. Each one exactly the same size as the next. They must measure them in the kitchen, as each one was a perfect rectangle. Sandwiches listed below:
Ham with Grain Mustard Mayonnaise on Brioche Bread
Cheddar Cheese with Chutney on Tomato Bread
Cucumber with Cream Cheese, Dill and Chives on Granary Bread
Chicken Breast with Parsley Cream on Malt Bread
Scottish Smoked Salmon with Lemon Butter on Sourdough Bread
Egg Mayonnaise with Chopped Shallots and Watercress on White Bread
The moment a tray looked half empty, more sanwiches arrived. We were not going to go hungry today.
Just when you think you couldn’t eat anymore, oh look more cake is being brought round. It would be rude not to….
The pianist began to play Happy Birthday and Mum was brought out a little cake with candles. I didn’t even ask for this when I booked it. They decided to do this of their own accord. Wow.
Suitably full up, we met up with our limo driver to bring us home to Swindon. The anxious chatting that had started they day was replaced with the silence of 7 well fed, relaxed people. Mum lovingly looked at her new purchases whilst the rest of us sang along to The Lion King songs on the stereo for Henry.
Later on that day, Mum rang me just to say how it was the perfect day. She was surrounded by everyone she loved and she was treated like absolute royalty. She couldn’t have asked for a better day and suddenly, all the stress of organising the day washed away. It was worth making the extra phone calls and emails. It was worth working out the schedule and it was worth all the extra effort. To see that Mum had, truly, the best day ever, made everything worthwhile.