Ladies, you’re gonna lose it over this!
So last Wednesday, along with my soul sister Amy, we travelled down to Henley on Thames for a Flower Fandango! The brainchild of Floral Circus, the brief I’d been given was simple: Cocktails, tapas and flower crowns. I mean… Sounds like heaven, right? And it really was!
Set in the vibrant Mexican restaurant, Pachangas, this workshop-come-night-out would make the perfect hen party. Yet again ladies, we’re saving you from those dreaded L-plates and satin sashes; say hello to freshly cut peonies, more nachos than you could fit in a piñata and a stream of deliciously coloured cocktails!
Major thanks go to Amy Shore Photography for the stunning photos. As always, she’s perfectly captured the warmth and energy of the evening.
Jo & her Floral Circus
Meet Jo (that’s her lovely smile in the above picture), the genius behind this concept. From a theatre set design background, Jo’s take on flowers is totally original and wonderfully lively. The concept of the Floral Circus is exactly as you’d imagine; incredible floral experiences, in a rich atmosphere, travelling to meet you and your party wherever you’re at.
The Flower Fandango was everything a bohemian girl could want: bright, bold shades of turquoise, orange and fuchsia, a sumptuous selection of finger foods and a resulting floral crown, made by your own fair hands for you wear as you dance the night away. But Jo hasn’t stopped there, oh no! If you’re more of a sunny afternoon in a sweet dress kinda girl, the Floral Circus offers an incredible Floral Tea Party workshop too; we’re talking a darling garden posy, afternoon tea and a gorgeous little manicure to finish! And as if that isn’t enough choice, Jo’s travelling Floral Circus will be creating flower hoops with a tipple of Russian vodka in the midst a parade of circus tricks this coming October! Hen Parties have never been so culturally enriched or so straight up fun, right?!
A Flower Fandango
Ok, so let’s talk about this Fandango. I’m not gonna lie, Amy and I took one step into the Floral Circus’ nook of Pachangas restaurant, and I turned to her and said: ‘Mate, this is Clare heaven’. The table was laden with individual tin buckets, bursting with incredible blooms; peonies and roses, in satsuma orange, a deep fuchsia, marbled pinks and a sunshine yellow, with a totally top-table-worthy turquoise horse head statue at the table’s centre, his mane adored with fresh blooms. It was stunning, what a WOW effect entrance!
On arrival, we selected our complimentary cocktails from Pachangas vivacious menu, as always I managed to choose the most risqué concoction on the menu, which we renamed ‘Number 7 on the menu’ thereafter! But, from my beautiful blush coloured Prosecco cocktail, to the popular coconut mojitos, the courtyard was an array of exotic colours and excited guests sipping on their fruity delights!
Margaritas with Carlos
One cocktail down, relaxed and already sharing a joke with our fellow guests, next on the Fandango’s agenda was to learn how to make a Mexican classic, the Margarita. Pachangas‘ Carlos was the life and soul of this demonstration, allowing guests to take their turn at creating traditional and sweet, blended varieties of this South American classic. We took our sweet time, making each drink exactly to our taste, carefully salting the rim of our glasses and shaking our mixed liquors alongside the wonderfully animated Carlos; such fun!
Of course I got roped into it, as if you even needed to ask!
Flower Crowns & Tapas Treats
Down to business, we were seated at the main table, whereby Jo distributed the sweet tin buckets of luscious flowers, all the equipment we’d need to complete our crowns, and served an easy to eat selection of tapas (more was to come later!) for us to nibble on throughout the workshop. Inspired by the icon that is Frida Kahlo, Jo briefly set the scene for us (don’t worry, it was no history lesson) and began to clearly and gracefully demonstrate the techniques involved.
The beauty of this workshop, and I’m sure this goes for all of Jo’s marvellous parties, is that it’s totally accessible. You don’t have to be the next winner of the Chelsea flower show to ace this, believe me! Floral Circus takes wonderfully doable techniques, with minimal equipment and a fabulous lesson in the art from Jo, and then releases you to allow your own creativity to flourish! In fact it was so accessible, that the multi-taking goddess that is Amy managed to create her own (seriously spectacular) crown in between shooting the entire event and sipping on a Margarita!
At the moment of completion, we of course, headed back out to the courtyard’s mirror like bees to honey, and the crown/hair arranging session began! Our fantastic floral creations and our pleased-as-punch cheshire grins were then photographed in all their glory. Seriously though, aren’t they just gorgeous?
The incredible Fandango concluded with a beautiful showcase of Jo’s work. Something a little more avant-garde, we were greeted by two lovely models, whose insanely gorge, glittering make up was by Jade Soar, (firstname.lastname@example.org), wearing the most incredible flower crowns I’ve ever seen! Tall, elegant, full of vivid colours and the striking addition of ribbons; these crowns demonstrated Jo’s beautifully dramatic interpretation, but also her appreciation for their natural beauty. I’m still in awe of them now!
Ending the night with our crowns atop our heads, another round of delectable cocktails and share platters of more sumptuous Mexican bites, we admired each other’s creations, continuing to tweak ours as we pleased and chatted to our heart’s content! We’d fitted in such a collection of brilliant experiences into a single evening, yet nothing felt rushed and Jo was an incredibly attentive host, whilst remaining completely unobtrusive. I only wish I’d seen this when I was planning my hen do, it really was the perfect party!
…Of course, I couldn’t leave out the shot of my (poor) Rupert, who was forced to try on my crown on our arrival home. I know his face may not say this, but he loved it really!
We thoroughly enjoyed our experience of the Floral Circus’ Flower Fandago. If you’re looking for a party that’s quirky, original, creative and suitable for almost every age, then you’ve found it in Jo’s Floral Circus.
Peace + love,