So this is the juicy part of my stay in London last week. Eek it gives me goosebumps just thinking about it.
After resting for all of five mins at the hotel I jumped in the most spacious shower I think I have ever been in. I tell you there were knobs and water coming out of places I would never have imagined. It was nice to enjoy a hot wash for a change - as Youngling generally jumps in with me which means the water has be sooo much cooler. I would have like a bath to soak in but there wasn't one and I didn't think I would fit in the bidet.
I packed super light for this trip and only brought one dress with me. I decided to put some music on while my friend got changed and I dried off. I decided to put my makeup on but got so distracted with singing along to ABBA and helping my friend choose which dress to wear I had completely forgotten about my hair! DOH. I had to quickly flip my head forward and blow dry it as quickly as I could.
I told you it took me an age to get ready.
What's worse than my 'I've-Forgotten-To-Do-My-Hair-Properly-So-Will-Just-Sweep-It-Back-Up-Do' is that my dress didn't fit me properly. I had completely forgotten that I was going to get it taken in around my chest area as God seemed to bless me with big eyes and not much else if you see what I'm saying ;-) Yes I had to resort to enhancing my assets with some toilet tissue - which I have never done before. *cringe*
I felt truly self concious when we waited in reception for our transport to the ball. I felt less like the princess waiting for her carriage and more like Cinderella slightly overdressed and mismatched compared to everyone else who looked utterly breathtaking.
After a slight kerfuffle with arranging which car we were to be in - seriously it wasn't that difficult to work out - we were driven to Battersea Park. With no event arena in sight our driver declares 'We have arrived'. The three passengers and I gawped at each other and muttered that we didn't think this was right. I refused point blank to walk to entire length of Battersea Park - no matter how iconic - in the pitch black wearing a ball gown and heels.
At last we made it in time and were dropped of in the middle of the car park miles away from the gleaming lights and the bright red carpet. When we asked a steward which entrance would be best to enter he said 'that way' and pointed towards the door furthest away from the red carpet, cameras and celebrities.
If my nerves weren't frazzled already they would be soon enough for to the right of me was Paul O'Grady and Amanda Holden with their small entourage ushering them inside to start their 'work'. They were to be our presenters for the evening and had a genuine warm rapport with one another.
I have never seen so many stunning people in my entire life especially not all in one room together. Before we walked into the reception bar I dragged my friend into the ladies for one final adjustment (adding stuffing) then walked sheepishly to get myself a well needed glass of Champagne.
I soon relaxed as everyone was appeared smiley and then they called us to go through to the dining area which was magical. A see through black drape concealing the tables dropped before our eyes revealing the most glorious displays of flowers and candles. There was a blanket of lights all around twinkling like stars. The atmosphere was so warm and welcoming I felt giddy with excitement.
Sat at table 42 second row from the back we had excellent company a terrific view and even spotted some stars right beside us. Yes folks I was indeed rubbing shoulders with celebrities such as Ollie and Cheska from the reality TV series Made In Chelsea. Not only were they even more beautiful in person than they are on that there tele (seriously guys it doesn't do them justice what so ever - they are gorgeous) they brought along their canine companion. This little furry friend stole the hearts of our table and when I popped over to say hi I can truly say that she was the most beautiful smelling dog I have ever smelt! I joked to everyone at the table that if I get Youngling a puppy to help him with his speech (and keep us both company) we would call it Cheska if its a girl and Ollie if its a boy as they were such utterly lovely and down to earth people.
The food was exquisite and the presentation was second to none (that means excellent right?). The main course Rump of Cornish Lamp With Shepherds Pie on a bed of veg was mouth watering. Its no wonder all these stars are so slim for this nouvelle cuisine doesn't really hit the sides. Although the free champagne and wine did (my sincerest apologies if I stood on anyones toes on the dance floor or got a little bit too loud).
After some time filling games there were silent auctions in a bid to raise funds for Battersea Dogs and Cats Home followed by a dog walk. These fostered residents at Battersea looked the part in their own Cinderella story when they wore some unique, one off designer outfits. All the stars dug deep and the message came across loud and clear. Although I must say I do not trust a man who has nicer hair than a woman such as Nicky Clarke and Gary Linnakar was a right mardy moo.
We were treated to the amazing vocals of Joss Stone who blew my mind. Followed by Jamie Cullum who knew how to work the crowd.
Of course meeting such wonderful people during the day and throughout the night was by far the best as I truly believe life long friendships have now been formed.
We all danced until 2am when we were politely kicked out and had to get a cab back to the hotel. As the doormen literally kicked our butts into said cab I was frantically trying to find out if there was a cash point nearby as we had missed the curfew for our free rides. Well I am glad we did for we met the most inspiring London Cabby ever. Mr M. was so friendly and thought provoking when he talked of his love, commitment and marriage that he made me believe that somewhere out there I may find Mr Makeshift.
But for now I shall but dream of him and my wonderful time at the ball. It has opened many a door for me but I can't tell you just yet as I don't want to ruin our little story.
So until next time