Our wish child, Evie, is a girl after my own heart and her wish to be a ballerina for the day was definitely one I shared when I was younger, so when I had the opportunity to join Evie and her family on the day of her wish, I obviously jumped at the chance!
Arriving nice and early at Pineapple Dance Studios in London’s Covent Garden, I waited under the iconic neon sign for Evie and her family to arrive…..
Now I’ve mentioned before that you learn a lot of different things as a Wish Granter and the first thing I learnt on Evie’s wish was this; the little back-streets around Covent Garden are not exactly limousine friendly! Luckily, the drivers at Essex Limos are very skilled and, with some excellent manoeuvring, the family were driven up to the front door in style.
As we made our way inside I couldn’t help but feel a little bit nervous, this was going to be Evie’s very first ballet lesson – what if she didn’t enjoy it after all? We met Evie’s teacher for the private lesson – the very talented Amber Doyle – and, with Evie and little sister Freya changed into their tutus and ballet shoes, it was time for the lesson to begin……
Of course, I needn’t have been nervous at all – Evie took to ballet like a duck (or should that be swan?) to water! Amber led the girls through the perfect lesson, engaging and encouraging them from the start and even including some Cinderella themed work to tie in with the performance the family would be seeing later.
By the end of the lesson, where the girls learnt a routine set in a magical dress-up shop, we definitely had a little ballerina on our hands!
After all that hard work and learning, a delicious lunch was definitely well deserved so, after saying goodbye to Amber, we all piled into the limo and were driven to The Tea Terrace for some tasty treats.
Located on the 5th floor of House of Fraser on Oxford Street, The Tea Terrace boasts its very own Cinderella carriage where customers can enjoy their food. When the owner, Ehab, heard about Evie’s wish he knew that the carriage would be the perfect seat for the family and went to great lengths to ensure they could enjoy it on the day, but Ehab’s generosity didn’t stop there!
Once the family were seated and their orders taken, a very special guest arrived to make Evie’s lunch one to remember…..Evie’s face lit up once again as Cinderella came over to say hello! They chatted about everything, from Evie’s wish to what it was like for Cinderella living in the princess’ castle and Evie was delighted with the new friend she had made. Ehab had even arranged a professional photographer, Mark Westwood, who was brilliant at capturing the magic of the moment and Evie’s joy at meeting Cinderella.
Eventually, it was time for Cinderella to head back to the palace and for Evie and family to jump back in their limo to continue on Evie’s wish day.
There was just enough time for a visit to the London Aquarium (where seeing the sharks so close up was a definite highlight) before the family were whisked away to the Peacock theatre, a sister venue of the world famous Sadler’s Wells, to enjoy the performance of Cinderella. With a shortened score and a narrator to help little ones to follow the story, this production was a brilliant introduction to ballet for Evie and Freya. Both girls loved the show and, after their jam-packed day, managed to squeeze in dinner before falling happily asleep on their limo ride home.
If there was any doubt left in my mind as to whether Evie had enjoyed her wish, well, Mum’s comment says it all:
“Myself and Steve have both said what a brilliant day it was and that we have some lovely memories…
We all had the most amazing day!! Evie was overwhelmed and hasn’t stopped talking about her special day since!”
On behalf of all of us at Rays of Sunshine, I’d like to say a massive thank you to everyone involved in making Evie’s wish so wonderful, especially to Pineapple Dance Studios and Amber Doyle for their dedication to making Evie’s ballet lesson absolutely perfect and to our friends at Essex Limos for always taking such good care of our wish families, making each wish child feel like the superstars they are.
Extra special thanks also go to Ehab Shouley at The Tea Terrace, whose generosity and kindness knew no bounds and truly made Evie’s visit one to remember forever.
And finally, to Evie’s family; thank you so much for allowing me to be part of Evie’s wish day, it was a privilege to be involved and lovely to spend the day with you.
I do feel like we may have triggered future requests for more ballet lessons, but, in the words of Friedrich Nietzsche: