When Henry Miles was tasked with organising his parents’ wedding anniversary celebrations, a civilised evening cruising a pretty stretch of the Thames seemed like the perfect idea. With some careful planning and a little wartime-inspired creativity Henry hosted a magical and unforgettable riverboat shuffle.
“Once I’d decided on the riverboat shuffle idea I gave some thought to the location. I wanted to start the party late afternoon and cruise on into the evening, so I knew I needed to find somewhere that would afford good views from on deck”. Henry chose a scenic jaunt along the Thames near Windsor, taking in Windsor Castle views on a stretch steeped in history, its banks peppered with celebrity homes. “The route was fantastic and we were treated to a light-hearted commentary whenever we cruised past points of interest.”
The vessel Henry hired for his parents’ party had capacity for 90 guests, and realising that he was going to be organising a day they would never forget, he chose to theme the event in a 1940s style. “The 1940s were special for my parents and I thought it would be great to have all the guests dress up in the styles of the time. Everyone took the idea wholeheartedly, dressing up in wartime sharp suits, hats or pencil skirts. Some of the ladies had even drawn on their stockings in true 1940s tradition - we must have been quite a sight from the riverbank!”
Food for Thought
“Having decided upon the 1940s dress code I thought of serving food from that time, too. It was a pretty austere period but there were some great old favourites that translated well for the party. With the constraints of rationing in mind, we ate fatless sponge cake, devilled eggs and sandwiches. I think it brought back a lot of memories for my parents and their contemporaries.” Henry’s imagination and creativity truly took the party back in time and proved that events tailored to the personalities and interests of your guests are often a real winner.
“Music served to set the scene onboard the boat and guests danced the night away to a fantastic collection of wartime songs,” says Henry. “I’ve never seen such a sparkle in my parents’ eyes – it was almost as if they fell in love all over again. It was a very special evening and Vera Lynn provided the inspiration for a cracking sing-along at the end of the night.” With a little help from a very modern invention called an iPod, Henry took his guests on a trip down memory lane that they’ll remember for a very long time to come.
If you like the sound of Henry’s amazing evening on the river why not plan a riverboat shuffle for your next big occasion? Internet research will help you find a boat hire company to assist you with a route and a boat, and you should find they are more than happy to accommodate special requests. An enchanting evening awaits!