With the much anticipated ‘Charlie and The Chocolate Factory’ opening in London on the 22nd May – it’s no surprise children are requesting a more chocolately birthday party than usual. We get requests for all sorts of themes for both genders and all ages, but a Willy Wonka party has to be one of my personal favourites for several reasons and I am so glad I am getting more and more requests for it.

The original film is truly one of my all time childhood favourites. It’s such a classic and offers huge amounts of inspiration. The great thing with this theme is, any colour goes. More colours the better in fact! We went for a rainbow palette that we channeled through just about everything! We laid the tea table out with an assortment of colourful plates, cups, napkins and paper straws and they worked brilliantly. You don’t have to be too strict on matching up the colours either. The good thing is, mix and match works beautifully so you can finally dig out and use those extra tableware bits lying around from the last few year’s of parties!

We included Chocolate River Milk in mini milk bottles, Chocolate Golden Eggs, Personalised Wonka Bars and Swirly Whirly Lollipops. You could always get a mini chocolate fountain and add marshmallows and strawberries on sticks to dip into it too. YUM. (cue chocolate craving!!)

We tied a single balloon wrapped in cellophane to each chair so every child got an inflatable ‘sweetie’ to take home which went down very well. It’s easy to do and looks fab!

We re-created the iconic ‘Everlasting Gobstopper’ with a cluster of bunched balloons for the entrance, simple but extremely effective. 

To frame the sweetie table, we curled up several swimming pool noodles for the lollipops, put them onto wooden sticks, tied them up with cellophane and voila! (On the Pool Noodle subject – we have also used them as light sabres before! Who knew that they could have so many functions!?!)

Keep those empty jam and coffee jars and fill them with all sorts of marshmallows, gum balls and sweets, so the kids can scoop them out into little candy bags to take home. We recommend an adult leading this as children can get a little excited and scoop a few more times than they should if left alone! We invited a real life Ummpa Loopma along who kindly helped with that.

Whatever you do, it’s a hugely colourful and vibrant theme to re-create so enjoy every second and above all, have fun with it.

By Sarah Chamberlain, Toadstool Parties, Party Planning, Styling and Entertainment 

Photography – Eddie Judd Photography