Cocktails and Spa Days – A Glamorous 18th Birthday

As regular readers will know my daughter turned eighteen at the weekend. The subject of how to celebrate this was discussed over many months, she didn’t want a big party but still wanted to do something nice with her special day. In the end we settled on a small gathering of mates for drinks the night before, and when the clock struck twelve, it being a Saturday night, they would scamper to the night club next door for her first legal drink or three! This was to be followed on her actual birthday proper with a Spa Day for the two of us.

After our recent visit to Camp Bestival we took inspiration from Josie Da Bank’s Jam Jar Bar and settled on cocktails for her pre-clubbing party on the saturday night. We purchased a selection of jam jars and glass bottles from our local cookware shop, and bolstered their numbers with some colourful tumblers. We bought striped paper straws, lemons and limes and umbrellas to decorate. We had large jugs and pretty cordial bottles for the pre-mixed by me cocktails. (What – you think I am gonna leave a bunch of 18 year olds with several bottles of spirits to play with?! Nah, I may be a cool Mum, but I ain’t that cool – vomit o’clock was to be avoided!)

jam jar cocktails


We had Pina Coladas and Rum Punch and Cinderella’s (A pretty pink cocktail of vodka, lemonade and grenadine). Sweet, sickly concoctions which were really enjoyed by all. Everything looked pretty and I think they all enjoyed themselves. Amazingly she was home and in bed by two – which means fortunately she wasn’t hungover when I had to wake her at half nine the following morning for our Spa Day.


Christchurch Harbour Spa


I had browsed around various hotels in Dorset offering Spa Days and had settled on the Christchurch Harbour Hotel, and it was lovely. The fabulous spa area is beautifully lit and features a decent sized pool for a swim and an awesome hydrotherapy bath which we spent a fair chunk of time in. We hung out in the salt grotto with it’s twinkly star ceiling, and lazed on comfy beds in a candle lit and dream music filled relaxation room.

We had a treatment each – the lifesaving back treatment for me – 55 minutes of massage which was so relaxing I caught myself drifting off a few times. And Betsy opted for a make-up lesson, which she really enjoyed, rushing out to buy recommended brushes and the like yesterday.

afternoon tea

birthday plate


Our Spa Day included afternoon tea in the Upper Deck restaurant at the hotel. Despite forecasts of doom laden weather the sun was shining and the wind manageable, so we were able to eat outside on the decking overlooking Christchurch Harbour. It is a beautiful spot to sit for a drink, and they are open to non-residents, I highly recommend popping in if you are in the area. The afternoon tea was beautifully presented, and utterly scrummy. The staff, having realised it was Betsy’s birthday, brought her a gorgeous special plate to eat from, decorated with chocolate and fruit – but she was so touched she couldn’t bear to mess up their hard work, so we admired it instead!


espresso martini



traffic light cocktail

We chose to purchase a cocktail each from the bar – it was her 18th after all – and I had a delicious Espresso Martini, and she opted for a fruity Traffic Light. It was so lovely to have some special time together on her birthday, and the Christchurch Harbour was everything we had hoped for it. It is an expensive treat – I paid £175 for the two of us, but that included our treatments and tea, and although it isn’t something we could afford to do every week, we certainly felt pampered and spoilt and I felt I had had my moneys worth. The hotel is absolutely stunning, and am now thinking about arranging a stay with the other half as would be the perfect romantic getaway spot!

We then scampered down to Christchurch Quay to meet up with the rest our of the family for more presents and drinks before heading home on the train. She thanked me for such a lovely birthday when we woke up yesterday, and she truly meant it – which makes me very happy. Eighteen is a birthday you should remember for the rest of your life, and I am sure her memories will be happy ones.

What did you do for your 18th birthday?

Love Miss Cisco XXX



  1. August 12, 2014 / 1:41 pm

    josie’s jam jam cocktails were delish weren’t they? what a cool mum you are 🙂
    HPMcQ recently posted…st pauls cathedralMy Profile

  2. August 12, 2014 / 4:13 pm

    Sounds like a fabulous way to celebrate your daughter’s 18th. I wasn’t cool enough to let my twin daughters’ friends loose with the spirits either & opted to make lots of dilute cocktails here too!
    Izzie Anderton recently posted…Regatta LifeMy Profile

  3. August 12, 2014 / 6:41 pm

    I just can’t believe you have an 18 year old daughter! Unbelievable! Happy birthday to your gorgeous girl!
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  4. börnin mín
    August 12, 2014 / 7:02 pm

    Looks like a lovely way to spend a birthday – that jam jar bar has been inspiring us here too!My eldest is 18 too – where have the years gone
    börnin mín recently posted…Building Work – Day TwoMy Profile

  5. August 12, 2014 / 10:19 pm

    What a cool day! Happy 18th!!! My eldest is 16 in 8 days, she doesn’t want to have a party and will be at school doing exams, so I’m at a bit of a loss at how to treat her??? And congratulations Mummy of an 18 year old!!
    Jane recently posted…Confessions of a Middle-aged ‘Model’My Profile

  6. August 12, 2014 / 10:27 pm

    How wonderful that she wanted to spend the day with you? A spa day sounds very civilised and it looks like you had a real treat. My son would only stay to have his present on his 18th and he was off out!
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  7. August 13, 2014 / 4:14 am

    What an AMAZING 18th! I want to be 18 again, just to have that day. Special memories for both of you, I’m sure. Loved the jars at Camp Bestival too. I’m in Texas as I type, and they also serve drinks in jars – except they’re about 3 times the size! Good times! x
    Katy Hill recently posted…Camp Bestival ’14My Profile

  8. August 13, 2014 / 7:24 am

    Wow – what a birthday celebration! I love the homemade jam jar bar and the spa day looks fantastic. My 18th birthday was spent in Norway whilst on a road trip with my parents. A lovely place, but with wine at over £30 a bottle and the cheapest drink in a bar being £6 (not much today I know, but this was 1996) it was ridiculously expensive and hence I didn’t celebrate at all. All a bit sad really looking back on it. Ho hum.
    Penny Carr recently posted…Ten things to take on a self-catering holidayMy Profile

  9. August 13, 2014 / 9:02 am

    What an amazing way to celebrate turning 18. I love the colourful jam jar drinks. I’m sure this is a celebration she will remember forever.
    Rebecca recently posted…Top 5 Things to Do In North WalesMy Profile

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