I love our Select vendors – they produce some of the most wonderfully creative events! Like this fun Vienna-inspired birthday party from Allison Jackson of Pineapple Productions and photographer Kate Headley.
From the guest of honor’s wife:
“After living in Vienna for four years, I wanted to celebrate my husband’s 60th birthday and our homecoming by sharing some of the charm of Austria with our family and friends. I loved it when friends came up to me and said they felt like they had walked into a Viennese cafe! From the welcoming Austrian folk music and drinks served by a lovely young lady in an Austrian dirndl, to the schnitzel and pastries, to the schnapps bar, everything had the warm, lively feel that I was hoping for. And the cigars were a huge hit with the guys! The cake, though, was really the highlight – the entire family depicted on an Austrian alp (even the dog). Add a fantastic dance band and it was the perfect evening.”
From Allison: “We were inspired by highly decorative motifs and graphic patterns from the Vienna Secession Movement. Cheree Berry created a brilliant custom invitation suite in a forest green, orange, warm red and gilded gold palette.”
Europeans traveling to Washington D.C. for the party were welcomed with all-American treats, like mini Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pies packaged in kraft brown pie boxes and tied off with red and white pastry string.
Guests were sent home with take home breakfast treats – homemade Austrian breakfast rolls and Austrian jam and kakao (cocoa) from Julius Meinl. The rolls were packaged in custom pastry bags foil stamped with the wording “Essen! Essen!” (Eat! Eat!), and rolls, jam, cocoa and wooden knives with red linen napkins were placed into simple muslin sacks.
“We turned the library of the Meridian House into a Men’s Hunting Lodge with handsome tufted leather furniture, fur and woolen knit throws, natural animal hide rugs and wooden furniture,” says Allison. “In this room, we offered grilled to order Austrian sausages and a schnapps bar. Mountain foliage, herbs, candles and antlers were placed on the tables and fireplace mantle.”
The signature cocktail for the evening was an Aperol Spritz – served by ladies wearing dirndls of course!
“Under a grove of European linden trees we placed café tables and wood chairs with a variety of cable knit and woolen throws for an après ski feel. Large bulb café lighting was strung through the trees, and outdoor heaters kept everyone comfortable. A cigar station was set up on a rough hewn wooden tavern table. Vintage standing ashtrays were placed nearby. Oversized wooden lanterns were placed around the perimeter for a magical Alpine glow.”
“We turned the dining room of the Meridian House into a Viennese Coffee House, complete with an authentic pastry case filled with traditional Austrian tortes and treats. Made to order Viennese coffee drinks were prepared for guests who lingered at marble topped tables with bentwood chairs. Servers prepared crepes with raspberry jam, apricot compote and Nutella, with ice cream and whipped cream garnishes. Candles and thin bud vases adorned table and the fireplace mantle to complete the café look.”
Passed Hors d’Oeuvres: Espresso Crusted Smoked Venison on Black Bread Crisp / Foie Gras with Raspberry and Brioche / Salmon and Sole Pinwheels / Curried Carrot and Zucchini Pancakes / Olive and Goat Cheese Beignets / Spring Pea Soup Sips //
Traditional Beef Goulash over Egg Spaetzel
Charcuterie, Smoked Fish and European Cheeses
Bistro Leek Tart
Assorted Grilled Austrian Sausages with Homemade Pretzel and Kaiser rolls and a Variety of Mustards / Hot Apple and Potato Salad / Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage
Classic Austrian Wiener Schnitzel Served with Green and White Asparagus with Hollandaise and Six Spring Vegetable Chopped Salad
Desserts: Sacher Torte / Apple Strudel / Opera Cake / Hazelnut Linzertorte / Charlotte Russe / Crepes with Nutella, Raspberries, Apricot Preserves, Caramelized Bananas, Whipped Cream and Ice Cream