I was honored when the talented and gorgeous Rachelle over at Use the Good China requested I create a lovely brunch for her birthday morning (which is today!) She and I have eerily similar taste for all things lovely in life from decor and food to what we deem a 'good time' (which varies a lot from many in their twenties). This is my idea of a good time. Planning and executing little events like this one. If I could do it for a living, I would. I get so into jotting down ideas, making lists, dreaming of placemats, tableclothes, placecards, flower arrangements, dish settings, colors, design, you name it. . . Granted, to do it professionally I'd likely need a gaggle of amazingly organized assitants to get events like this done without a lot of stress (and loss of sleep). Currently I clean, cook, assemble favors and decorate into the wee hours before and the morning of a party. Still, to me, there is nothing more rewarding than showering the one's I love with an incredible soiree! This brunch was spot on. Many of the dishes I whipped up can be found elsewhere on A Sofa in the Kitchen, many of them right here. The table however, was uniquely created for Rachelle's birthday. If you like this table setting, and would like to recreate it, I'll attempt to break it down for you piece by piece.
The color palate I was going for was primarily neuteral with little accents of vibrant color. The birthday queen adores creams, golds, and pinks. I wanted to set a table that would reflect her style and personality. So, I started by dressing the table with a very classic khaki colored linen tablecloth. The first layer of place setting consisted of four hammered copper chargers. Similar chargers can be found at your favorite home decor store, or even on the internet. I found a similar set of six at this website. For the dishes, I was lucky enough to borrow some of my mothers Lennox cream and gold wedding china (harken back to the birthday girls favorite color combo). First a dinner plate directly on the charger. Then, a large floral paper napkin with lots of green, pink, and white. On top of the napkin sat the saucer and coffee cup. Layering a napkin between the larger and smaller plates (particularly since they match) adds dimension, color and a bit of texture, as opposed to stacking one dish on top of another. It brought a pop of color to an otherwise monochromatic setting. I planned to serve homemade caramel macchiatos in the coffee mugs, but I also had a large pitcher of fresh squeezed citrus juices and champagne chilling in the refrigerator. For that I needed tall, stemmed glasses. On a recent trip to TJ Maxx I scored a set of four gorgeous, heavy, etched Kate Spade wine glasses that were perfect for this table. On the rim of each I placed a candied orange slice. One glass sat to the right of each setting. The oranges looked a bit like stained glass and brought the most vibrant color on the table. Finally, I crowned the table with a large bouquet of flowers and greens, from white mums, to pink roses, verigated green and white leaves to green buttons as well as a few giant white lilies, all of which were placed in a footed round vase.
I don't always incorporate 'favors' on my tables, but for birthdays or showers, it's fun, especially when you're not hosting a large group. For Rachelle's brunch I wanted to have things that also represented her. So, inside of the coffee mugs I placed a miniature clay pot freshly planted with herbs. Two pots had lemon thyme (an herb that can be used both in savory and sweet dishes), the other two flowering oregano. The birthday girl is a gourmet goddess, so something that could be used in the kitchen was a must. When it comes to favors, especially for birthdays, it's thoughtful to include things the guest of honor is fond of. Sitting just to the left of the setting I placed the second favor. On a recent trip to Bellevue I ran across one of my favorite entertaining spots, PaperSource, and found these fabulous DIY cream colored pocketbook boxes. Just big enough for a bit of tissue and a little treat. If you'd like to use these easy to assemble boxes for yourself they can be found online at PaperSource in a variety of colors. I also scored these fun little 'tags' of paper with scalloped edges at PS. On these I wrote an 'on this day' fact, so that everyone could learn a little more about the date of Rachelle's birthday, and secured each one with a pink ribbon. Inside the boxes were small french guest soaps that she loves, of different varieties, from green tea to pamplemousse. Each soap was delicately wrapped in black and white floral tissue paper before being placed inside the box. The guest of honor also got a few extra gifties (naturally), including a set of gold bangles and a travel tube of Lollia hand cream (I really love Lollia products, plus, they seemed to fit in with the whole theme of the morning).
We feasted upon slowly roasted potatoes anna, king crab savory waffle benedict, sweet and spicy oven roasted bacon, whipped cream stuffed strawberries and a large fig and peach salad. Although we had quite a few bee visitors, likely interested in the candied oranges, sweet meat, and fuits galore, we relaxed, and enjoyed the sun and spread set before us. Rachelle was quite nearly speechless and over the moon.
This is a simple setup, perfect for any backyard soiree. I hope that I've inspired you, even just a bit, to whip together something similar!