Penguin shells out £400,000 for Pippa Middleton's party advice to mixed reviews - was it worth it?
Pippa Middleton’s ‘Celebrate: A Year of British Festivities for Family and Friends’ hit bookshelves last week with a barrage of criticism from reviewers not quite sure what to make of Pippa’s top tips on how to make ice, how to store a cake (in an “airtight tin”) or how to brew that perfect cup of English tea (in a “pot”). The Daily Mail’s critic Jan Moir wrote: “A few might think that some of what the ambitious younger sister of the Duchess of Cambridge actually writes here must be aimed at some sort of halfwit hostess who has never thrown a party before,” whilst The Telegraph’s Christopher Howse wonders: “What is the point of this thick, colourful book, except as a sort of cultural tea bag for the American market?” But let’s not be so quick to judge, here at The Drum we’ve compiled a list of Pippa’s best party ideas to allow you to decide wither it was worth the £400,000 advance publishers, Penguin, gave her. 1. How to prepare for a party? “When hosting a party, move any clutter from the space where you're entertaining.” 2. How to entertain bored children? "A sack race. Everyone stands along a starting line and, on ‘Go’, players start jumping in their sacks towards the finish line. Over-enthusiastic racers will most likely get themselves in a tangle and fall. The first person to cross the finish line is declared the winner.” 3. How do you roast marshmallows? “Spear marshmallows on long-handled forks or clean sticks that have been soaked in water for a few hours, and then pile them up in baskets to roast over the flames.” 4. What should you buy for a Valentine's gift? “Flowers are a traditional Valentine's token and red roses are the classic symbol of romance." 5. What is breakfast in bed? “Nearly any breakfast becomes special when it’s brought to you in bed. Breakfast in bed can be anything from a simple pot of tea with a few digestive biscuits to a tray laden with early-morning goodies and flowers". 6. Stuck for a Halloween outfit? “For Halloween, a pointy hat, fake hair and a broom make a witch’s outfit.” 7. How to organise an Easter egg hunt? “An adult hides a selection of eggs. They should be low down within easy reach of children.” 8. What is this game called ‘Conkers’? “Each player has a conker threaded onto a piece of knotted string and pairs of players take it in turns to hit each other’s conker. The conker should hang perfectly still, ready for your adversary to strike. The game is won when one conker is destroyed or knocked off its string. And finally, The Drum has come up with its own entertainment tip. Spend an afternoon deciphering from the spoof Twitter page, Pippa Middleton Tips (@PippaTips), what is genuine Pippa advice and what is, well, not. It is trickier than one might think.