One of my favorite spring combinations is purple, lilac and light green and when the flowers are ready, it is time for entertaining. My love of this combo was inspired by a birthday cake my grandmother would make for me every year in May. The cake was always decorated in violets, and sometimes narcissus with spring green leaves as the background. It was an angel food cake with fluffy meraingue frosting, and just thinking about it makes me smile. Once in a while she would take the same theme but ice the angle food cake with whipped cream and coconut. I loved both!
I transferred this theme for a special birthday party I threw for a friend. To me, having a theme for a party is essential in creating an impact, and it gives even amateur event planners a focus. This makes decisions around decorating so much easier.
The tone of the lunch was set with hand delivered invitations that I managed to create on the computer. By attaching a sweet bouquet of vintage velvet violets it helped set the scene, and grabbed the special attention of the invitee, giving them a taste of what to expect on the lunch itself. Perhaps it’s just me, but I always feel my excitement rise with a good looking special invitation. As the old saying goes “God is in the details,” evidenced by the effort put into the invitation – it gives the invitee a harbinger of more beauty to come with the actual event.
A three-tiered cake was the main feature of the table. Created by baking genius Sylvia Weinstock, the icing mimicked an eyelet wrapping paper (I used to sell on my web site.) The cake was topped off with edible violets and a beautiful picot ribbon made in Icing. It is this sort of detail that really enables a theme to be effective.
Individual, smaller, three-tiered cakes were included at each guests’ place sitting, and we boxed these to take home and enjoy. These were decorated with faux violets, so of course couldn’t be eaten, but you could replace them with candied or old fashioned sugared versions, that one can find online. This is one my all time favorite individual cakes, also produced by the brilliant Sylvia to complement the big cake.
Above is the paper that Sylvia copied to create the icing, it is magnificent!
All the gifts were color coordinated in various combinations of paper ribbon and flowers. I sent the various guests the wrapping elements so we would not have distracting wrappings if left up to everyone’s discretion. I know I am compulsive but I always disliked Christmas gifts that did not go together under the tree!
The flowers I used for the bouquets were all in the purple palette – hyacinth, anemone and sweet peas – the violets tied into the bow of the gifts were all faux, and the tag for the present was produced by me on my computer, tying everything together.
The green glasses I purchased in Italy for the collection sold on my website were the perfect green. You all know how much I love colored glass.
The menu stayed true to the green and violet theme, starting with a chilled asparagus soup, followed by seared bay scallops served on arugula. followed by the cake.
I also recycled all the ideas (presented above) for a wedding shower luncheon – substituting the individual cakes for more affordable favors as the numbers of guests was much greater. Petit fours look particularly inviting with an individual violet on each. For lunch favors I arranged dragee in pale green and violet, and as another option I filled adorable pyramids with silver heart shaped candy.
Now waiting for the peonies about to burst and then what promises to be an extraordinary season for the roses. Can’t wait!