Party Like a Star @ Planet Hollywood!

For months I was looking for the perfect venue to have my sons second birthday at. I wanted something that wasn’t too plain, was easy to get to and served nice food, obviously! I ended up landing on Planet Hollywood.. But what’s it really like to have a kids birthday meal there?

Menu options 
I’d recommend booking ahead and opting for a set menu for your special day (for groups of 10+) They have options for all budget types – ranging from £16.75-£29.75pp – extremely reasonable given the area and quality of the food. I opted for the Big Kahuna menu for the adults because there were quite a few options even for the pickiest of eaters and the Harry Potter menu for the under 12s (£10.25pp). It’s important to note that set menus have to be paid for in advanced. All of the menu’s and prices can be found here
Top Tip: If you plan on ordering items outside of the set menu you have the option of paying a tab in advanced to contribute to your spend.

Booking Confirmation
Firstly, what I will say is that the team at the restaurant are very easy to get hold of. After a 2 or three emails explaining what I wanted (in terms of the date, time, party size and menu options) and a quick phone call from Adam, the sales manager, my booking was secured. During the phone conversation he went over the restaurants policy on cancellations and no shows – I found their policy to be pretty lax on no shows. Although they don’t offer refunds they put the money towards any additional costs that amount on the day (e.g. additional drinks). 

I also loved that they were open to me bringing my own decorations and giving me a grace period to go in and set everything up before my guests arrived (a lot of other venues that I spoke to were against having balloons). Unfortunately you’re not allowed to bring your own cakes into the venue but you can purchase chocolate fudge cakes for £25 each (sparklers included) which serve approx. 14 guests. Personally, I didn’t mid as it meant I didn’t have to worry about squashing a cake when hauling it to the venue along with everything else.
Top Tip: book early to avoid disappointment. It’s good to get in contact with them ASAP even if it’s just to let them know when your party is taking place and when you plan on paying by. It also gives you enough time to get your finances in order.

On the day

Getting there
Planet Hollywood is within walking distance to Piccadilly Circus Underground Station as well as Charing Cross train and Underground stations. Leicester Square Underground Station is also close by. If you’re travelling by car Q-Park Leicester Sqaure is the closest car park.
Top Tip: If like me you opt for a cab the best drop off point is Carlton Street/ St James’s Market Pavilion, which is located right behind the restaurant.

My Experience
On arrival we were taken to our section and introduced to our server for the evening. So far so good – all of the staff seemed really friendly and professional. Straight away we were offered drinks and given crayons and colouring sheets to keep my boy occupied, who was sat comfortably in his booster seat (highchairs are available too). Our section was upstairs towards the back/left overlooking the restaurant – far out enough not to feel like everyone is rushing past us but close enough to still feel like a part of the action. I’d have to say that looks were most definitely deceiving – although the area looked small there was more than enough space to fit all 16 of us with enough space to crowd around and watch my son open his presents at the end of the night.

Aside from my Dad and son, who I travelled with, all of my guests were over half an hour late sending me into panic mode as we only had the booking for two hours but the staff were very understanding – I didn’t feel rushed at all. The venue ended up being very lenient with time and allowed us to stay until well over out allotted time – usually if its packed you get moved to the bar area. Our food came out fairly quickly after ordering and I must say the quality was amazing; I had the Five Cheese Dip, Chicken Chow Mein and the White Chocolate Bread Pudding (which was my favourite! Seriously, it was perfectly baked, not to stodgy.. Not too moist) and a few of the Pink Panther mocktails.

Top tip: All of the portions seemed very generous, even for the kids meals. I found the Five Cheese Dip with nacho’s is enough to share between 2-3 people so order a variation of starters to share between your guests. 
I can’t remember the atmosphere being anything but upbeat. From the music selection that seemed to go down a treat with all ages, the ‘guess the celebrity’ placemats that had the adults competing to name the faces first and the multiple screens spread out around the entire restaurant which flitted between playing music videos, displaying special messages to diners and live CCTV style footage of diners who waved and cheered when they saw their faces appear on screen, you can tell that a lot of thought was put into making every diners experience special from start to finish.
Top tip: Special messages can be shown on the screen for the duration of your visit, just ask beforehand or speak to a server on the day.

Another thing I can’t fault was the level of customer service – it was exceptional! There was always a server at hand to assist so the drinks were always flowing. The team was exceedingly attentive and they went above and beyond to make sure my entire party was happy throughout the evening. The venue itself went down a treat with my toddler who spent a lot of time admiring some of the eye-catching artwork and wax figures that were dotted around the venue – from the famous handprints, a space ship, Arnie Schwarzenegger and a Power Ranger. The scenery adds to the playful feel of the restaurant.

Everybody who knows me knows that I’m a very fussy person, especially when it comes to planning – I’m a perfectionist. I honestly can’t fault my experience at Planet Hollywood at all! The food was mouth-watering, the vibe was perfectly upbeat, the customer service was exceptional and it ended up being a great value for money. In terms of hosting a kids birthday meal at the venue I would definitely recommend it. My toddler was more than happy with the venue and his cousins (ranging from primary to secondary schoolers) loved it too. For more information visit here

*****Disclaimer***** All of the information was correct at the time of publishing. Remember to confirm all of the fine details with the venue beforehand.

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