Major party envy today! I wish that I had been playing host for this super fun and relaxed cocktail party that my friend recently threw at her gorgeous home. By way of background, my friend asked me if I could help her organize an “un-birthday party” to toast to her husband’s (and her own!) recent birthday. No balloons, no gifts, no fuss — just a special evening with great food, great wine and great company. We decided to celebrate their love of wine and fabulous food with an Italian themed party complete with an Italian inspired menu, decor and hospitality. Prego? We selected a shiny red Vespa as the motif for this saucy affair and had one stationed near the front door to greet guests!
…Outfitted with a “La Dolce Vita” license plate to set the tone for the evening.
Inside, guests found more Italian icons, including a pizza paddle — foreshadowing the gourmet pizzas that would be served throughout the evening!
Taking a closer look at the favor tags…
You can see that the layout was inspired by the logo of one of the hosts’ favorite restaurants — Mario Batali’s Babbo.
In the living room, red and white checked tablecloths…
And piles of fresh tomatoes and basil transformed the entertaining space into a welcoming “Enoteca” for the evening.
The coffee table…
Loved this fun focal point loaded with Italian specialties!
And the bar…as the bartender was in the process of setting up his workspace.
Much of the decor was comprised of simple, relatively inexpensive elements — including colorful cans of tomatoes filled with basil plants, wine bottles (that my husband dutifully drank through!) topped off with taper candles,
…and mason jars filled with breadsticks. Small, special details included: custom coasters splashed with the Vespa motif,
Wine menus on the cocktail tables (which also listed the hostess’ famous tequila, lime juice, cucumber, agave syrup, jalapeno and cilantro specialty dubbed “La Dolce Vita!”)…
And a classic “Rooster” chianti pitcher.
The menu included a selection of gourmet pizzas, a tempting array of passed hors d’oeuvres, bite sized sweets and shot glasses filled with gelato — all courtesy of Marge Foster Catering.
At the end of a very late night, guests went home, happily, with their olive oil and a rose. Bellissima!
A huge, special thanks to the hosts for letting me share these photos of their fabulous party. What I love about the Italian theme is that it translates so well to a variety of party budgets. The hearty, crowd pleasing food can be prepared by a swanky caterer just as easily as it can be picked up from your favorite pizzeria or trattoria. And, the decor options are refreshingly inexpensive and simple to execute. My personal favorite are the red and white checked tablecloths and wine bottle candle holders — instantly charming and festive!
Finally, if you happen to think the hosts’ home is beautiful, your eyes do not deceive you. It is a study in gorgeous, effortless family living thanks to Greenwich based interior designer Lee Ann Thornton. In fact, the home even graced the cover of House Beautiful earlier this year.
Hope you enjoyed this little Roman holiday! For my part, I left longing to whip up a lasagna or spaghetti with meatballs. Buon appetito! Arrivederici!
|PARTY OF ONE||WINE COUNTRY WEDDING WEEKEND|
|PARTY OF ONE|
|WINE COUNTRY WEDDING WEEKEND|