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Up, Up and Away – Dad’s 70th

Thatched Barn, Kent

My wonderful Dad was 70 over half term. My brother and I found an amazing thatched barn to rent in Kent, and we had a really special family get together. We arrived late on Friday night, Dad had got there early and the fridge was full of the food delivery I’d organised. Through this tiny door, under the thatched roof, into the most incredible space. Here are Mr G and my nephew coming in from star gazing in shoes borrowed from the grown ups.

Dad's 70th in the Thatched Barn-3

We’d all brought Dad a selection of cheeses and crackers, being a real foodie, he loves his food gifts. Then it was time for an Ipad tutorial for Dad on his new toy, and an early night to recover from the journey and wind down to the weekend ahead.

Dad's 70th in the Thatched Barn-2

While Dad was still sleeping, my kids, nephew and I decorated the barn with helium balloons.  We used a Balloon Time helium tank, an easy way to create magic anytime and anywhere. The kit comes with a lightweight, portable helium tank, 30 colourful latex balloons and a spool of white ribbon. We bought a couple of foil balloons at the same time as the kit in Asda. They mixed brilliantly with the colourful kit balloons. They were all really easy to inflate, and even with 3 over excited kids and a dog trying to help me, they were all inflated super quickly before Dad could wake up and catch us!

The kit was perfect for our weekend away, with 2 kids, luggage and our greyhound there was no room to transport already inflated balloons, and who wants to waste precious family time picking up balloons locally?

I had to put them on really long strings to stop them floating off forever, luckily there was plenty of ribbon in the kit….and we tied a balloon to each chair, as well as the foil numbers 7 and 0.


This was the view down from the games room…


Dad was so excited when he came along for breakfast.




He sat down at the head of the table to open his presents.


I gave him this print from Nottingham Contemporary, I thought it would be a good reminder of his weekend with his little monkeys, you can also buy it from Eightbear at NotOnTheHighStreet



A slap up full English and time to take in some pressies, while the baboons ran off with his balloons, again…


And came up with all kinds of balloon related high jinx.


Balloons are just brilliant, kids seem to be able to have endless fun with them. Look – he even asked to take them home at the end of the weekend.

Dad's 70th Thatched Barn Kent

Dad I love you so much, you are the best and have taught us so much about enjoying good food and appreciating beautiful surroundings, we all felt so lucky to spend a long weekend with you. Now, to plan the next one – I think our days out gave us some great ideas…

After our full English, on Saturday, we headed out to Dungeness, which has to be one of my favourite places in the world, but that will have to wait for another post.


It is easy to think of balloons as a bit of an indulgence or a waste of resources, but everyone in our party, from 2-70 years really appreciated them. The balloon time sets are £22 and I think that’s a real bargain, the tank can be recycled too. I hope Dad isn’t sad when he sees this was a review, because I am so grateful to Balloon Time for giving me the inspiration. I think he might let me off considering the accommodation and food order was such a hit. Although the accommodation was already stunning, the balloons really transformed it, instantly creating a party atmosphere. The balloons became a real theme for the weekend and created lots of wonderful memories.

I’m working with BritMums and Balloon Time as part of the “Celebration Club”, highlighting inventive and fun ways of using balloons. I was provided with a Balloon Time helium kit and have been compensated for my time. All editorial and opinions are my own. Visit www.balloontime.com for more information and party inspiration.



  1. 12/03/2015 / 11:29 pm

    It looks like an amazing weekend Penny and how fabulous that your lasting gift ties in with the balloon theme from the weekend. Mich x

  2. 13/03/2015 / 1:31 am

    Really lovely post Penny! That barn looks amazing, and it looks like your Dad had a fantastic time. So much fun to have a chilled out weekend with family – it must have been hard to return to reality on Monday morning! xx

  3. 13/03/2015 / 9:20 am

    I do love balloons. What a lovely weekend away for your dad and the whole family. So special to create these family memories.

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