May 02, 2017


For #BORNATDAWNLIFE this week we are talking to Hannah Saunders who founded the amazing Big Fish Little Fish family raves. I took my little ones to one of them in Selfridges at Christmas and it was amazing-such attention to detail.

She has always loved throwing parties and says her friends have always said she was great at bringing people together which is what led her to start the business. We wanted to know the secret to throwing a fabulous party of our own. Here’s Hannah’s top tips…

1) Invite people from different friend groups. The older I get the more I find this works really well. People welcome meeting new people much more as opportunities to do so reduce as you move through your 30s and 40s.  The one thing they do all have in common is that there is something about them you like and they like about you - so chances are they'll have something they like about each other.

2) Keep the vices of choice flowing and make them fun.  Offer alcohol to adults as soon they enter the door, do easy cocktails in jugs and wander around with it. WARNING: Try not to do what my other half did on NYE one year and provide martinis so strong they are falling over within an hour. For children I suggest keeping sweets and things like popcorn dished out at various points (if a house party try to feed them something savoury and simple like hot dogs first). I've done ribbon pinatas with sweets and turned the spare room into a DVD watching room with bags of popcorn to occupy children before.

3) Music: Vitally important at every party I have had since I was 13.  Make a playlist in advance that you think will work for the crowd but you also enjoy yourself.  Our NYE parties always have a mix that reflects both our taste (tech house, club classics) and things that have happened in the year.  This year we had a giant singalong to both Wham Rap and Starman plus some bonkers dancing to the Justin Timberlake song from Trolls. My signature song (the one I always have playing in my head when entering a room is Party Hard - Andrew WK, though I am also partial to Cigarettes & Alcohol - Oasis).

4) Feel free to be surreal. I am a lifelong thrower of parties and so have collected a huge amount of wigs/dressing up clothes/toys that always seem to come into play at some point during proceedings.  There's usually a time when I decide some poor person I am speaking to really HAS to see my rock and mineral collection and I haul it down the stairs.  One notable occasion I found half a dozen people drawing their ideal breakfast in my front room.

5) Be a friend to everyone.  Do keep an eye out for anyone who seems to be a bit shy or isolated and go and speak to them.  Even if you don't know them that well get stuck in with a proper chat or get them doing tequila shots (adults only that one obv).  Dancing is also good to ease some social interaction.

Mainly though - just chill out - if things get a bit raucous and stuff broken it's no biggie.  A great memory of people having a wonderful time is worth a hundred smashed glasses, stained rugs and radiators pulled off walls (though that one was quite expensive). 

Thanks so much for sharing Hannah! 

Picture: Miles Aldridge





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