Two birthday parties in a row. I have been to the Windsor Hotel in Worthing on a number of occasions, notably to photograph Wayne and Karen’s wedding and to film Adam and Ellie’s wedding. However, this time I was to photograph and film a party. Not just any party though. This was a party thrown by Liz, the owner of the Windsor Hotel, for her husband on the occasion of his 70th birthday.
Albino Burmese Python
I arrived early evening to be greeted by the first of a few surprises. At the entrance to the hotel, greeting guests as they arrived, was an absolutely enormous Albino Burmese Python. Also called a Caramel Burmese Python, they have white skin with bright yellow, golden markings. The guests were able to hold the snake and I took loads of photos. Unfortunately, as I was working, I didn’t feel it was appropriate to ask if I could hold it! So placid was it, it is hard to imagine the power this beast possesses. Absolutely beautiful too.
The party had a Hawaiian theme and so it made for an incredibly vibrant colourful evening. After the python experience, guests were invited to try a selection of drinks presented in half coconuts with umbrellas, and a three piece steel band beckoned guests to the back of the foyer. To her credit, Liz had really gone all out to throw a great party for Philip. The whole downstairs of the hotel was decorated with Hawaiian beach scenes, palm trees made of balloons, bright coloured streamers and a huge beach frieze around the whole of the main function room.
My second surprise of the evening came part way through the meal, when three girls walked on to the dance floor with nothing more than a couple of half coconuts and a thong covering their essentials. They were the hula dancers and they performed three or four different routines during the course of the evening. I must say I am very surprised, given the age of some of the guests, that we didn’t have any major coronary incidents to deal with. I have certainly never seen anything quite like it before and I have been to some fairly exotic places and seen some interesting things in my time.
The steel band had moved from the foyer of the Windsor Hotel and played for a while in the main room, whilst the guests recovered from their hula ordeal and carried on with their meal. Philip was ushered on to the dance floor towards the end of the meal and gave a speech along with his two sons who were full of praise for the father’s achievements in his life. It was a fitting tribute to a father on his birthday.
But, topping the python, the speeches and even the hula girls was my third surprise of the evening. I knew there was to be a band because all the equipment was set up on the stage when we arrived. However, I don’t think anyone had any idea what was to come. Once the tables had been cleared the lights suddenly went out, spotlights hit the dance floor and and on walked a troop of Brazilian dancers, fully clad in huge carnival-style costumes. The Windsor Hotel is not the largest venue Worthing let alone the South East and the dance floor seemed barely big enough to cope with the incongruity of what was happening! I found myself repeating, “But I’m in Worthing! This doesn’t happen in Worthing”. It was a cabaret act which I would expect to see in Las Vegas or indeed in Rio de Janeiro. It was bizarre and fantastic all at the same time.
The Windsor Hotel
Liz had certainly pulled out all the stops and by the end of the night I was absolutely exhausted with both filming and photographing. If I had known the extent of entertainment that there was going to be, I would certainly have roped someone else in to help me. That said, it was a thoroughly enjoyable evening and I hope Philip enjoyed his birthday party as much as I enjoyed recording it!
You might like to read my review of the Windsor Hotel in Worthing as a wedding venue. The review is also on Trip Advisor. You can also watch the video of Adam and Ellie’s wedding on my Vimeo page. I have covered many weddings and events in Worthing. If you would lie to read about what we can offer you in Worthing, please see our dedicated Worthing page.