An extraordinary evening at An Era of Experience – the wonderful new travelling vintage party


An Era of Experience vintage party

There has been so much going on recently in my TNWC world that I can barely keep up – much of it very exciting.  Last week I was lucky enough to be invited to the press event that launched a fabulous new travelling vintage party called An Era of Experience.

Before I jump in to telling you all about my experience of An Era of Experience, I’d like to introduce you to the four talented ladies behind this collaboration.

They are Sharon, owner of vintage china and prop hire company For The Love Of Vintage; Bethany Jane Davies, the glamorous make-up artist behind The Vintage Beauty Parlour; Nicola, bespoke bridal accessories designer for Silver Sixpence in Her Shoe; and Anna, the baker and owner of boutique bakehouse And The Dish Ran Away With The Spoon.

1920s Speakeasy vintage party

An Era of Experience combines glamorous vintage styling, Speakeasy cocktails served in teacups, boozy cakes and a chance to create your own era inspired headpiece.  If you’re planning your hen party then the ladies from An Era of Experience have got everything you need to create a wonderful celebration for you and your guests.

Vintage hen party

It’s always lovely to be invited to an event or party, but this one was particularly lovely as it’s a collaboration between a number of businesses, many of whom I’ve come to know really well through The Natural Wedding Company.

I had received my secret invite that outlined what we might be getting up to and told to arrive at 7pm sharp.  I must admit I was a little apprehensive on Wednesday evening making my way into Manchester – I’ve never been dolled up with a vintage look (what if I looked silly?!) and had a few butterflies wondering what to expect.

And The Dish Ran Away With The Spoon

As the shutters slowly went up they revealed tealights flickering in the window, fur stoles, pearls dripping from vintage glassware, and a warm glow coming from inside.  We left behind the chilly street and entered into the warmth of the Dish and Spoon, greeted by friendly faces adorned with pin-curls and jewels and stunning floral displays of frothy green ferns and white roses.

Vintage hen party decoration

Cherry red and buttercup yellow cocktails were poured from vintage teapots into teacups, we were offered sweet treats from a beautiful display on the counter – Great Gatsby Candied Lemon Cakes, Chiffon Pies, and Gin Rickey Cupcakes to name but a few.

Red velvet cupcakes in a jar

Cocktails in vintage teapots

Cocktails in teapots is one of my favourite discoveries this year!  As modelled below by the lovely Sharon from For The Love Of Vintage, who first suggested the idea to me.

Cocktails in vintage teapots

I was immediately swept away into a seat by Bethany Jane Davies to have my vintage makeover. I gave Bethany and her lovely assistant free reign to do whatever they liked, and as if a vintage speakeasy fairy had waved her magic wand I was transformed.  Smokey eyes, plum stained lips, and the most beautiful pin curls you’ve ever seen.  You can see a picture of these beautiful curls from behind on the Didsbury Life blog.

1920s vintage makeover hen party
Yes.  That really is me above right.

I could barely recognise myself but was so flipping excited!  It reminded me of getting dolled up for a primary school performance we did of Rock Around The Clock, but a millions times better.  For someone who doesn’t wear a lot of make-up, to become a glamorous 1920s siren for one night was pretty special.

1920s vintage makeover

Bethany Jane Davies from The Vintage Beauty Parlour

Vintage makeover

After a lot of ooohing and aahing and staring at my curls in a mirror, I finally got around to starting on my headpiece with Nicola from Silver Sixpence in Her Shoe.  Fuelled by a boozy Biscuit Tortoni (a mouthful-sized sweet treat filled with rum, brandy, cream and chocolate) from Anna, I set about trying to decide what kind of headpiece I wanted to create.

Hen party workshop making vintage headpieces

An Era of Experience vintage hen party

Nicola is fantastically patient and helpful, giving you guidance on what might look nice together, how to wear different pieces, and even making suggestions based on what works best in different hair types.  After initially thinking I wanted to create something I would wear often, I was pulled in by the allure of the birdcage veils and some delicately peached-hued feathers.

An Era of Experience vintage hen party

Tealights in teacups

An Era of Experience

I think my pin-curls had gone to my head, quite literally – for me I was being quite daring in my choices, so given this wonderful opportunity I decided to put the safe option to one side and set about designing and making my birdcage veil.  Nicola provided an incredible spread of laces, netting, ribbon, fabrics, feathers, vintage trinkets, and beads.  The hardest part was choosing what you wanted to use in your design.

Vintage hen party workshop

Vintage inspired headpiece workshop

Silver Sixpence vintage inspired headpieces

I opted for the previously mentioned peach-hued feathers, fine navy blue netting, a combination of dark blue fabric overlayed with a white lace, and the finishing touch a pretty jewel (you can see my finished piece here).

Nicola from Silver Sixpence in Her Shoe

Hen party workshop making fascintators

Nicola showed you how to attach the different parts with a combination of sewing and gluing depending on what you were doing, and she helped you get started and to finish off each element if you wanted.  One of the trickiest bits with my birdcage veil was working out where it would sit on my head in order to get the feathers pointing the right way.

An Era of Experience vintage hen party

Biscuit Tortoni from And The Dish Ran Away With The Spoon

There isn’t a much more enjoyable way to spend an evening than sitting in good company, sipping a cocktail the colour of Snow White’s lips from a vintage teacup, munching on dainty cakes and making your own headpiece – all the while feeling like you’ve been transformed into an old Hollywood screen siren.

An Era of Experience travelling vintage party

Booking An Era of Experience for your hen party or private party

An Era of Experience is a new travelling vintage party service that promises to offer an authentic vintage experience. Whether you are looking to host a Secret Speakeasy Social or Perfect Pin -Up Party, the An Era of Experience ladies have got all the ingredients to ensure you and your guests have the most wonderful time!

On the day…

On the day, the ladies from An Era of Experience will arrive at your chosen venue, and start working their magic behind closed doors to transform your space into an authentic vintage setting using an array of original décor.

And The Dish Ran Away with the Spoon will prepare a varied selection of baked goods taking inspiration from the era of your choice.  The Vintage Beauty Parlour will perform mini-makeovers including both hair and beauty to ensure you resemble your favourite vintage starlet.  Silver Sixpence in Her Shoe will run a headdress workshop for you create something fabulous to take away with you.  For The Love Of Vintage will provide all the relevant teapots, teacups and cake stands from your chosen era as well as all of the vintage props to dress your room.

An Era of Experience ladies will be in full vintage attire complete with vintage hair and make-up.

An Era of Experience


An Era of Experience party packages are priced at £60 per person for minimum party numbers of 15 people.

The service is available anywhere in the North West.  Please note there is a small charge for petrol per mile outside a 20 mile radius of Didsbury, Manchester.  Mileage outside of Manchester is 40p per mile, per car.

Alcohol is not included and although the ladies will be dressed up, it might not necessarily be in vintage attire with hair and makeup styled.

Enquiries and how to book…

To make any enquiry about An Era of Experience or to book your hen party, please contact Rachael Adams at  Rachael is the behind-the-scenes lady who organises An Era of Experience events and is more than happy to answer any questions you might have.

{ Details }

Images: Katy Lunsford
Flowers: Laura Coleman Flowers 
Crockery and cocktails: For The Love Of Vintage
Make-up and Hair: The Vintage Beauty Parlour
Cakes and Venue: And The Dish Ran Away With The Spoon
Headpiece Workshop: Silver Sixpence in Her Shoe

For The Love Of Vintage and Silver Sixpence in Her Shoe are both businesses found listed on The Natural Wedding Company directory. We are looking forward to welcoming And The Dish Ran Away With The Spoon shortly!


Chloe on 25. April, 2012

What fun and glamour! I wish I had been there. Lucky you x

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