We had high tea with a princess on Sunday. She was 27 years old, 3-metres long and happy to drape her sleek body over our shoulders! Princess, a black-headed python, dined with us at Crowne Plaza Terrigal’s kids high tea – the theme was “Into the Wild” and Princess assured it was just that.     

We’ve attended many high teas, but never one like this. Peppermint tea is expected: lime jelly with red frogs is not. Neatly cut white-bread sandwiches (sans crusts, of course) are predictable, but chocolate fountains with marshmallows for dipping are not. And because of these differences it was, to quote a little guest, “the funnest high tea ever!”

Ranger Alex from Australian Wildlife Displays introduced the children to Bubblegum the blue tongue lizard and Nugget the shingleback. Audience participation was required and a few mini rangers bravely stepped up to the task of feeding Frank the tawny frogmouth and balancing Spike the bearded dragon on their head. But even if you didn’t make it onto the stage, you didn’t miss out on getting hands on, as Alex walked Snappy the baby crocodile and Blossom the ringtail possum around the room so everyone could have a pat.

At the end of the show, everyone was invited to have their photo taken with Princess the python. Some children (and adults) nervously gave her a pat from afar while others bravely draped the python scarf-like around their necks. One little ranger reported that she was, “sooo heavy and felt really funny.”

Children could unleash their inner Picasso colouring-in or painting plasters of monkeys, alligators and lions – a special keepsake to take home to remember the day.

Three friendly entertainers from Jessie’s Kids Parties provided crafty entertainment. Lucas the clown twisted, squeezed and pinched balloons into swords and sausage dogs, while two pretty fairies Alison and Brooke painted faces. Their creations were detailed and beautiful, and ensured that there were many cheetahs, butterflies and frogs running through Terrigal later that afternoon.

And, of course, there was the spread. Lunch included arancini balls, satay-chicken skewers, mini meat pies and, as high tea dictates, white-bread sandwiches. And, oh my, the sweets: there were delicate mini cupcakes topped with mini macarons and marshmallow squares; bowls of strawberry jelly topped with lolly snakes; and chocolate fountains with watermelon, strawberries and marshmallows for dipping. It was a table full of “special treats”.

The entire event was very well run, and we’d hazard a guess that the organisers have children themselves, as it was planned with little ones top of mind. There wasn’t a time to eat, or a specific time to paint, the children were invited to roam the ballroom, to eat when they got hunger pangs, to paint when they felt crafty and to dance when the mood struck them. It was a roaming high tea with some time spent at the beautifully set table, but the majority spent hopping from one fun activity to the next. We can’t wait for the next one.

♥ Did you attend the “Into The Wild” Kids High Tea? Were you game to pat the snake? We’d love to know what the highlight was for you in the comment section below. We saw lots of little snake charmers, painted butterflies and balloon-sword-wielding pirates having a blast. Share your snaps with us @playinginpuddles (don’t forget to hashtag #littlecoasties). ↓

Next Kids High Tea: Sunday 24th September. Click here for all details and to get your tickets.

Location: The Ballroom, Crowne Plaza Terrigal, Pinetree Lane, Terrigal.

Phone: 0426 215 151.

You don’t have to wait until the next event to indulge: high tea is available in the Lord Ashley Lounge every day. Pythons and face painting don’t come with the everyday deal, but it’s still a fun way to celebrate a child’s special birthday, award at school, or first adult tooth! The macarons, opera gateau and scones with jam and cream are bound to keep them happy. And there’s Bollinger for the grown ups!  Click here to view the menu and make a booking.

Did you know that Crowne Plaza Terrigal has locals deals? Enjoy a staycation for a fraction of the regular price – you’ll enjoy the break and your tribe will love the pool, kids club and all-you-can-eat buffet breakfast. Click here for more info (You’ll find Crowne Plaza details half-way down our feature).

WIN WIN WIN: Have you entered our latest competition? Click here to enter.

♥ Want to get a group together for the next high tea? Click one of the social-media icons below to share this with your friends. ↓