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50th Birthday Fête

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To mark an important milestone in her husband's life, a wife and mother of four reached out to chat about her vision of a special evening with close friends and family.  What resulted from that first conversation over coffee was an amazing evening of incredible wines, imported cheese pairings, a four-seasons tasting menu over four-courses, capped with a trio of desserts to make a pastry chef cry.

As a lover of fine wines, it was an easy decision to theme this event around providing guests with an authentic wine experience.  To set the tone of the event, we designed a special commemorative crest to be printed on invitations, menus, and welcome notes.  Invitations were printed on linen paper and envelopes sealed with a sticker kiss letting guests know what was to come.

The event was hosted at the Vista Ballroom at the American Club in Tai Tam, Hong Kong.  A long spiral staircase was wrapped with grapevine garlands, aged paper ribbon, and bolts of 12 inch-wide burlap, 100's of candles and reclaimed wine bottles were used to warm the space as guests walked down into a four-station wine tasting "marketplace".  Wines were clustered by region and placed on old oak wine barrels.  Vintage mercury glass vases filled with small delicate flowers in deep hues sprinkled the cocktail reception. 

Under the market lights strung across the venue, guests could take their picture in front of a quintessentially French wine vineyard with an old chateau peaking in the background. The pièce de résistance, however, was an amazing eight-foot long cheese table.  Meticulous cheese pairings were made to complement each of the 12 wines served during the cocktail reception.  Artisanal breads, jams, and nuts accented the rustic table hand-made for the event out of wine crates.  A vintage rod-iron frame draped with oatmeal linens formed the backdrop for the gourmet cheeses. 

Subway art with vintage text on a chalk-board finish was also designed to capture the things most loved in the celebrant's life.  It hung with pride of place above the cheese table. 

Once guests were welcomed into the main event, they were treated to a culinary journey through the four seasons of the freshest ingredients flown into Hong Kong exclusively for the event.   

The Menu:

Course one: Wild Caught Seared Scallops from Nova Scotia Crispy Risotto Croquette, Spring Vegetables, Lemon-Parmesan Foam

Course two: Sud-Ouest White Bean and Sausage Soup

Course three: Brandt Farm to Fork Slow Cooked Beef Short Rib, California Prime Strip, Autumn Vegetables

Course four: Winter Raspberry Macaroon, Chocolate Caramel Tart with Sea Salt, Classic Crème Brûlée

Fabulous wine pairings were made to accentuate the gourmet experience.

The evening was marked by heartwarming speeches from special friends and close family.  A whiskey and cigar bar was opened shortly after dinner, and the DJ played until the sun came up.

 

Reclaimed wine crates filled with antique English ivy, evergreen topiaries,

deeply hued flowers, and wine bottles, lots of wine bottles, 

greeted guests as they entered the ballroom.