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When you book a service you’ve never used before and without a recommendation, you have to cross your fingers and hope for the best. 
Well, my fingers were crossed yesterday … quite unnecessarily I might add.

We booked a lunch party for my father’s 90th birthday at Southsea’s Royal Beach Hotel (  In true Scottish style, I also arranged for Daniel Del Piccolo, a Highland Bagpiper, to play both at the hotel and afterwards at the Nursing Home where my father now lives. 

From start to finish my father’s special day was everything we hoped it would be.  From our first enquiry, the staff at the Royal Beach Hotel were helpful and professional.  Davina and Sally from the hotel’s events team couldn’t do enough to make the day a success.  We were greeted like old friends and treated like royalty from start to finish. 

Birthday party announcement!

Birthday party announcement!

I have now quite forgiven them for aging me by several decades … whoops!  The display board in the hotel foyer announced MY 90th birthday party was being held in the Ark Royal Restaurant.  Needless to say this caused much hilarity and the board was well photographed by several members of the family! 

The food at the Royal Beach Hotel was first class (no small comment from a former caterer and restaurateur!) and the wines excellent.  There’s no doubt we’ll be treating ourselves to lunch there again at the next opportunity.  So a big thank you from the WORD-right team to all the staff at the Royal Beach Hotel, Southsea.

The highlight of my father’s day was the surprise arrival of Daniel del Piccolo.  In full regalia Daniel, a member of the Rose and Thistle Pipe band,  piped in the birthday cake and brought tears to an old man’s eyes. 

Daniel - the South Coast Piper

Daniel Del Piccolo - the South Coast Piper

I had no idea where I would find a piper for the event and found Daniel on a Google search.  We communicated by email and phone to tie up the arrangements for the day.  Daniel sent me a copy of his repertoire and even went so far as to learn to play ‘The Dark Island’ at my request. 

Daniel Del Piccolo is an incredibly talented young man!  Not only is he an accomplished musician, he is charming, helpful and a sheer delight to work with.  If you’re looking for a piper in the Hampshire or South Coast area, don’t hesitate.  Check out his website (  He comes highly recommended!

Finally a big thank you to all the staff at The Regency Nursing Home who do so much to care for all their residents.  Everyone’s birthday is marked by a tea-party complete with cake.  They do a great job and it’s good to know there are so many dedicated professionals helping look after my Dad.

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