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Unable to attend a friend’s birthday party, I decided to invite the birthday boy and his girlfriend over for dinner to celebrate, on his actual birthday.  Now I needed to create a menu and setting to make the dinner extra special.

After looking through my recipe books, I put together a delicious dinner menu consisting of; goat’s cheese toast with beet and walnut salad as the appetizer, maple and paprika glazed pork loin and mushrooms with tarragon for the main, and a delicious giant red velvet cupcake for dessert.  The appetizer and mains are from Ross Dobson’s newest book, “grillhouse: gastropub at home” while the cupcake recipe is from a food blog.  You can read more about the giant cupcake in a separate article dedicated just to that, check for that soon!

With a dinner plan firmly established, I went out to search for ingredients. While at “the Frills”, otherwise known as my local No Frills, I came across some hot pink Gerber Daisy’s which looked so fresh and beautiful, I couldn’t pass them up. Inspired by the vibrancy of the flowers I decided to create a very colorful table setting to match.

To get the setting started, I used a Marimekko tablecloth, whose French inspired pattern and spring hues went well with the colourful table theme I was putting together. Marimekko is a fun textile and clothing company which designs and manufactures original prints and colors into high-quality clothing, interior decorations, and other accessories. You can get your hands on Marimekko at any Crate & Barrel, or you can go direct to their online website at www.marimekko.com.  I really like to get a feel for the texture and what it looks like, so I go to Crate & Barrel, but getting it online is a convenient option if you’re already familiar with their products.

With the tablecloth in place, I focused on flowers next. I placed the Gerber Daisy’s in three regular drinking glasses, creating a simple yet elegant centerpiece low enough to allow everyone to see one another across the table.

For water glasses, I used my “Happy” printed glasses, another great purchase from Crate & Barrel. The “Happy” glasses were particularly well suited for the occasion because, well “Happy Birthday.” I also used two identical water pitchers, one for carbonated water, and the other for flat (aka Brita filtered tap). The pitchers are from Home Sense and they have a unique frosted pattern printed on the glass. The pitchers look good with water, but especially great when filled with coloured drinks such as orange juice, cranberry juice, or Coca Cola. Filling the pitchers with coloured drinks makes the pattern really stand out!

Putting it all together resulted in a really colourful and festive birthday setting, which went really well with all the great food we served!