Surprise 70th Birthday Party in Hugh McCann’s, Newcastle


Surprise birthday party Hugh McCanns - Pikalily Food Travel Blog

A few weeks ago we celebrated my mum’s 70th Birthday in Hugh McCann’s, Newcastle.  We worked so hard to make sure the party was kept a complete surprise, and the reaction of Retta on the day proved that all the hard work was worth it.  From early on I knew I wanted a vintage chic theme and I knew that the beautiful, boutique style interior of Hugh McCann’s would be perfect.  We booked an upstairs section of Hugh McCann’s that overlooks the stunning promenade and sea views in Newcastle.  This just added to the charm and character of the room and made the venue even more special as we sat down with family and friends to enjoy the 70th Birthday meal.

Decorating the room for the party

The beautiful vintage styling of Hugh McCann’s meant that we didn’t need to decorate the space in order for it to look inviting.  We did however add a selection of decorations to personalise the space.  We thought it would be a lovely idea to display some photographs of my mum from when she was a baby, right through to the present day, including important milestones like her wedding day.

Party decoration ideas - Pikalily Food Travel Blog

We already had some ornate white photo frames from our own wedding day so we bought a few more matching frames to display the photos.  We hunted out some old photos and scanned and resized them to fit the frames.  We displayed the frames on a round table, scattered with gold and silver star shaped confetti and draped some fairy lights around the photos.

We asked the staff of Hugh McCann’s to set up the table as one long banquet table so that everyone could be sat together.  To tie in with the vintage chic theme, we placed some white orchids in glass jars along the centre of the table and added some jars with candles to the collection that Hugh McCann’s had provided.  We sprinkled more of the confetti along the table to give it that extra bit of sparkle to set the tone for the celebration as we all prepared to dine.

Party decoration tips - Pikalily Food Travel Blog

The final decorations for the room were a hessian ‘Happy Birthday’ garland, and large silver helium balloons.  We wanted to have little favours for everyone, so Nial stepped up to the challenge and baked some delicious chocolate brownies which we decorated with gold glitter, crown shaped picks.  I made some popcorn cones for each guest and completed them by tying mini tags with quirky messages on each one.  These went down a treat, especially with kids.

Time to eat

Hugh McCann’s offer several different options for parties, but we chose the celebration menu.  The menu included a glass of sparkling wine and a tasty 3 course meal.  There was a choice of 3 starters – soup of the day, seafood chowder and an assiette of mixed delight.  There were 4 main courses to choose from – pan seared breast of chicken, O’Hares haddock, loin of pork and 10oz sirloin.  This was followed by a trio of desserts and tea and coffee.  There was also a choice of kids menu which was good as we had 5 kids attending the party.

The starters

With 13 adults and 5 kids, there was plenty of variety and something to suit everyone.  The soup of the day was vegetable and was a hit with the guests who enjoyed it, as was the O’Hares seafood chowder which was served with garlic bread, a signature dish for the venue.  The assiette contained a cognac flavoured pate, prawn salad and melon.  Clean plates all round which is always a good sign, and for most of the diners this was their first time eating in Hugh McCann’s.  We have been a few times of late and are big fans of the venue.  You can read our recent review here.

Starters Hugh McCanns - Pikalily Food Travel Blog

The mains

The main courses proved as big a hit as the starter with the O’Hares haddock and 10oz sirloin steaks both impressing as soon as they hit the table.  The beer-battered haddock was accompanied by mushy peas, tartar sauce and triple-cooked chips, while the steak was served with grilled mushroom, tomato, French-fried onions and a choice of potato.  The portion sizes were more than generous and the food spectacular.  The pan seared chicken was served in a smoked bacon and mushroom sauce with baby onions, seasonal veg and a choice of potatoes.  The pork loin was served with a wholegrain mustard mash, savoy cabbage and bacon with a cider cream.  Again, all courses were a big success with our fellow diners complementing the bags of flavour in each dish.

Main Course Hugh McCanns - Pikalily Food Travel Blog

Last but not least, dessert

The trio of desserts turned out to be a quartet of desserts and a nice selection for the diners to choose from.  The selection included a berry cheesecake, lemon tart, dark chocolate eclair and a macaroon.  With two great courses just finished this was a great way to complete the meal.

Hugh McCanns Dessert - Pikalily Food Travel Blog

We relaxed by the private upstairs bar and enjoyed a few drinks overlooking the promenade to complete what had been a great day and a wonderfully 70th Birthday party for Retta, one we’ll all be talking about for years to come.  The only problem now is that she will be expecting the same for her 75th and 80th 🙂

Guests Surprise Party - Pikalily Food Travel Blog

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