A Masquerade

This week brought the 30th birthday of my cousin Gemma. Gemma is not one to do anything by halves, so naturally this meant the whole of my dad’s side of the family, as well as assorted friends, descending on the Alton Towers conference centre for a masquerade ball.

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Dresses picked out and masks bought, we headed up on Saturday afternoon. We were staying at the Splash Landings Hotel, which has a very subtle tropical theme.

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After a quick meal at the hotel’s “all you can eat” restaurant and catching up with Gemma and her fam, we hurried back to the room to get ready. This was all going very smoothly until 15 minutes before we were supposed to leave, when we had a mini crisis with the zip on Georgie’s dress that resulted in three of us trying in vain to do it up.

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Eventually though, we managed, and headed down fashionably late to the conference centre. To get there from Splash Landings, you have to walk over a walkway that goes right through the water park bit, which got us some seriously funny looks.

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The room itself looked gorgeous and everyone had gone all out with the masks and so everyone was looking fab, although it was decidedly difficult to recognise people!

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As well as a DJ, there was a live performer called Clayton who also did Gemma’s wedding and who is absolutely hilarious and had everybody up dancing. With guests ranging from 3 to 63 there was quite the range of songs and of dance moves, and we took the opportunity to seize the stage more times than we probably should.

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At the end of the night, we were let loose on Gem’s AMAZING cake Jimmy-themed cake and accompanying cupcakes.

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And then it was time to retreat to the bar, where the girls indulged in frozen slushies to round off the night. It was lovely to see and catch up with everyone – after a few years of big birthdays and events, this could be the last big family event for a while and so we made sure to say happy birthday to Gemma in style!

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