INSIDE MY 20TH BIRTHDAY PARTY
Now part of the twenties-club, I recently hosted a birthday party to celebrate! I originally wanted a summer garden party, with colourful rugs, lanterns and upturned wooden boxes for tables. However, the weather forecast literally dampened this dream, so I had to try and bring the garden party inside! Thanks to an amazing flower wall, a bit of planning and some delicious food, it turned out perfectly.
Below is an overview of the different elements that came together to create the event.
Running with the garden party theme, I chose a magnificent silk-flower Garden Wall from Boutique Backdrops to dress up the outdoor lanai. The lush foliage of the wall, scattered with white peonies and hydrangeas, brought the space to life and was the perfect focal point for everyone to gather around and take photos in front of. Freestanding, with delivery, set-up and pack down all part of the costs, a Boutique Backdrop is a super simple and easy way to add another dimension to your event.
In regard to the table setting, rather than have set seats I wanted a casual, buffet-style, where everything was laid out and people could snack on things as they wished. I’d recommend using brown paper as a tablecloth, with up-turned wooden crates and boxes set up on top of it to create a dynamic, multi-level foundation for you to put platters, cheeseboards and cake stands on.
Sushi is the perfect party food, because it’s small, light and tasty – and when it came to choosing where I got it from, there was only one option! &SUSHI, who have restaurants in New Market and City Works Depot, offer amazing catering boxes filled with their stunning sushi creations and three of these were ideal for the event.
I had snack-size bags of Serious Popcorn, in Salty & Sweet and Sea Salt, around the room. It’s my favourite popcorn because it is organic, contains nothing artificial, is made with coconut oil and features cute pictures and colours.
Cheese boards are always delicious and they are definitely having their day on Instagram – so I took some inspiration from pictures I found, bought lots of different cheeses, crackers, nuts, almonds and fruit from the supermarket and created a couple of extravagant arrangements. I also added some Regal Marlborough wood-roasted salmon to one of the boards, which was flavoured with mixed peppers and spices.
My main birthday cake was a multi-layered masterpiece from Alana Hall also known as Ambrosia by Alana– a chocolate pinot noir cake with chocolate ganache, berry coulis and a nude butter cream icing, decorate with chocolate work, berries and fresh flowers. Rich, moist, beautiful and enough to feed about 30, I would highly recommend one of these cakes.
Note: Between the 8th January and 7th February, Alana will be baking 20 cakes in 20 days and will donate each one to a charity. If people would like to get in contact with her to suggest any charities that might deserve one of these incredible cakes, to say thanks for all the work they do, drop Alana a line at her email: email@example.com
I also had a stunning raw, summer berry cheesecake from Together Bespoke Catering, which was a delicious and healthier alternative to the more decadent chocolate cake. Only available online, this cake was not overwhelmingly rich like some raw cheesecakes and had a fantastic, smooth texture. In addition to this flavour, they also offer chocolate & hazelnut, peppermint & chocolate, salted caramel & chocolate or cherry & chocolate raw cakes.
Smaller raw treats included Little Bird’s macaroons in each of their flavours, being: cacao & raspberry, passionfruit, strawberry & white cacao, chocolate, vanilla & almond and coffee. These are made with coconut, nuts, raw cacao - and are a favourite (and addictive) indulgence in our house.
Last but far from least, we stacked a collection of mini Petal Cupcakes in pastel hues on a tiered cake-plate. Made with a super-flavoursome peach icing and the light, fluffy cake, these were a massive hit with all the girls. I think cupcakes are a fantastic option – particularly around Christmas time – to have at catch-ups with friends or as a gift for friends or colleagues. Order them online or head into their store in Takapuna and New Market.
On arrival, I had glasses of bubbles and also a delicious, fruit punch. Dangerously easy to drink and a wonderful colour with the addition of frozen berries, a punch is a party must.
We used NZ made Spiritual Vodka as the alcohol of choice in the punch because with the addition of natural Manuka honey to the spirit, it complimented the mix of fruit juice, fresh mint and lemon perfectly. Floral with honeyed notes, this vodka is a go-to. Our recipe for this punch is below:
Add large chunks of ice and a good handful of mint to a punch bowl. Pour in 500ml @spiritualvodkanz, juice of one lemon, 1 litre of ginger beer and 500ml apple juice. Check how strong it is and add more mixers to taste! Finish with a sprinkling of frozen raspberries, some grated fresh ginger and lemon wedges. Stir and serve.
Dress: sass and bide
Spray Tan: Cherry Navas
Nails: Cherry Navas