6 December 2009

The Downing Tweet Christmas Party

Yes, that really is me standing outside Number 10 Downing Street!

I had the absolute honour of being invited by Sarah Brown (yes, that Sarah Brown, the Prime Minister's wife) to the Downing Tweet Christmas Party in aid of the Million Mums campaign.

I'm not entirely sure why Sarah invited me, although we have been following each other on Twitter since we both joined up around the same time earlier this year. Can I let you into a little secret? When Sarah followed me and told me about her Million Mums campaign *whispers* I didn't realise who she was. I didn't realise she was that Sarah Brown. Of course I soon worked it out. Ahem.

When the invitation arrived my boys, Presley and Cash, learned a new phase: "NO WAY" we all shouted for at least ten minutes!

Fast forward ten days and I have bought or arranged: train tickets, a hotel reservation, Baby Baby business cards, a dress, underwear, jewellery, make-up, a hair appointment and a sparkly new bag.

On the day all my travel arrangements fell into place. I even had time to have a quick drink with some fellow party goers before hailing a taxi and having the sheer delight of being able to say to the driver 'Downing Street please'.

Is this picture (courtesy of Mums The Boss) are: me, Sam from @MumsTheBoss, @ConfidentLadies, @nurseju_, @cocabeenslinky, @only1lucylocket and Helen from @MumsTheBoss

My excitement grew as we cleared security and approached probably the most famous address in the country. The Downing Street sign had been changed to Downing Tweet for the night. We then walked through the famous black front door.

Number 10 is ENORMOUS inside. It is a beautiful house. We climbed the stairs and looked in awe at the photographs of former Prime Ministers. At this point I got completely over-excited and had to calm down!

We entered the rooms the party was being held in and made our way to the bar (of course). The wonderful thing about this party was that there was no VIP section, we had all been invited as individuals and it was clear that everyone was delighted to be there. For most of us it was a once in a lifetime opportunity.

I chatted to so many amazing people. Some were existing Twitter friends, like @HelpSaveBees, others are Twitter friends now. I met many people from the White Ribbon Alliance and other charities. I met Downing Street advisers and events staff. I met journalists. I met some wonderful people. I also met a few people you may have heard of.

I bumped into Beverley Knight, who is beautiful and as friendly in real life as she is on Twitter. She was getting ready to sing and was worried the 200 guests wouldn't be able to hear her without a microphone.

Sam and Helen, from Mum's The Boss, and I got our temporary 'mum' tattoos. We got them on our arms. I notice that Caitlin Moran had one on her chest area! Krishnan Guru-Murthy had one on his face. Despite several washes my tattoo is still there in all its glory. I hope he managed to get his off before he next reads the news!

Here I am with the lovely Sam from Mum's The Boss. This is one of the official photographs from Sarah Brown's Flickr account.

I met the fabulous Gigi from MumsRock. She introduced me to former colleague Richard Bacon. I then met the very sweet Emma Freud and Kirstie Allsopp. Kirstie was lovely to talk to, so down to earth and sooo pretty. She introduced me to the very funny India Knight. We then were lucky enough to stand in the front row for Beverley Knight's knockout performance. No microphone, just an AMAZING voice.

@Beverleyknight was spectacular last night at #downingtweet  on Twitpic

Then came the highlight of a truly magical evening. Sam, Helen and I were lucky enough to be introduced to The Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

When Gigi later asked me what we talked about I couldn't remember - much to her amusement. I think a combination of the excitement and too much fizzy wine turned the whole experience into a bit of a blur. Sam and Helen reminded me that in our brief conversation he asked where we had travelled from and whether we were enjoying ourselves! Edit: I've also been reminded that we told him we'd arranged to stay in the same hotel via Twitter.

We then met the lady herself, Sarah Brown. She knew who I was! Thank you again for the invite @Sarahbrown10.

Here is Sarah's own account of the night.

There was just time for a good look round at the White Room and the glorious Dining Room before a quick trip to the ladies. Well it would have been rude not to!

Other famous guests, that I didn't speak to, were Claudia Winkleman, Peter Serafinowicz, Brian Friedman and Dr Christian Jessen. I'm gutted I missed Claudia, but all in all I did pretty well on the celeb-meeting front!

Sam, Helen and I eventually headed back to our hotel, took off our shoes, had a nightcap and went on Twitter!


If you haven't signed up for Million Mums, or you want to find out more, please click here.



  1. Oh wow Sandy....that's amazing. It's just fantastic the opportunities that Twitter and Blogging open up to people. Sounds like you had a great time

  2. Wow, that's sounds like such an amazing experience. xx

  3. Wow. Love it, sounds like you had a fab time and well deserved x

  4. Wow! What a great experience.. and to be personally invited! Amazing! :D x

  5. Excellent! I've been to Downing Street a couple of times and the thrill you get from walking through that famous front door is amazing - love your photo. Fabulous cause too x

  6. What an amazing experience, bet you will never forget it. Will go and take a look at the site now

  7. OMG!!!!! How amazing, such a fantastic once in a life time oppertunity. I can now boast i have met a celeb hahahaha!!! You lucky thing you, Sarah sounds lovely and you look fabulous:) So thrilled for you x x x x x

  8. Wow, am very jealous, although I think I would have been so tongue tied around all those famous people!

  9. Wow Sandy, you look fantastic all glammed up. I signed up for a million mums a week or so ago. I bet you had a blast. Good for you and I can just picture you Presley and Cash screaming out loud. But how could you have missed the chance to chat to Claud about Strictly!!

  10. Oh Sandy. Do you think anything will ever be as funny/mad/scary/enormously thrilling? Okay well probably, but not for quite a while I bet.
    So brilliant to meet a fellow tweeting muvver-blugger out on the tiles
    mwah darling mwah xx

  11. You are brill Sandy! Congrats! I'm excited for you! You look great! Hugs x

  12. How totally and utterly exciting! And you all look fabulous. I'm glad you got to meet the Mums The Boss gals, I'll ask them all about you next time I see them :0)

  13. Can I have your autograph?


  14. How fab! What an amazing experience - thanks for sharing!

  15. How exciting!! And you look beautiful :)

    So glad you had such a brilliant evening - what a fabulous opportunity xxx

  16. I will add another "wow" to your comments! Glad you had such a brilliant time - and your blog continues to be a good source of celeb gossip!! Sandy, friend of the stars....

  17. NO WAY!
    That is so completely amazing!

  18. Chic Mama, absolutely, the power of Twitter! x

    Very Bored Housewife, it was pretty fabulous! x

    Sally, thank you, I had a ball! x

    Emma, it was brilliant! x

    Life Through the Slim Lens, it was fanastic! x

    Mwa, ooh yeah! x

    Liz, I've never been so excited. I think this was a once in a lifetime opportunity for me! Yes, brilliant cause x

    Laura, thank you! x

    Wife of Bold, thank you, thank you, thank you! Mwah x

    Kelly, it was strange, but the celebs were just as friendly as everyone else. x

    Mum at The Mad House, aw thanks. It was funny when we all shouted 'no way'! I know, I didn't even see Claudia :-( x

    MumsRock, it was lovely to meet you too. I think it will take something pretty special to knock that off the no.1 spot in my 'best party ever' list! x

    Natalie, aw, thank you very much x

    Helen, thank you, I loved meeting Mum's the Boss (both of them)! I hope they say I was well behaved! x

    The Dotterel, of course :-)

    Rachel, thank you, I couldn't keep it to myself any longer! x

    Josie, thank you :-) I certainly made the most of it! x

    Kath, tee hee, I just happened to be standing next to them. It would have been rude not to say hello! x

    Glowstars, YES WAY! It was fab :-) x

  19. What a fabulous post. That is definitely a once in a lifetime experience! I can't believe how many big names you met. Brilliant!

  20. Love the dress, love the hair, love the necklace. Love that Beverly Knight sang for you all. Love that you got to drink fizzy wine. And really love that they changed the name of Downing Street for the night. Who says Gordon doesn't have a sense of humour? Well done, what a huge honour.

  21. Can I add my WOW to the pile? What an amazing night for you. Lucky lady, but well deserved I'm sure. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  22. Rosie, totally, a once in a lifetime opportunity. I was surprised at how many big names I got to speak to, but I also spoke to loads of 'normal' people too! x

    Angels and Urchins, aw thank you. Yes, Gordon Brown was very warm and friendly. An amazing night! x

    Angela, thank you. It was an honour. I don't feel like I deserved to be there, but that didn't stop me going! x

  23. I just saw this linked from another one of your posts so obviously I had to read it!!! Completely awesome and you can tell me the story as many times as you like!!!! xxx

  24. Emma, hehe, I did try to tell you about it the other night!! x


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