Birthdays not only remind us that we’re growing older, but they also symbolize just how far we’ve come.

This week, we celebrated the birthday of our co-founder, Melissa. Usually such an occasion would warrant an impulsive city break or glitzy night out with friends, however, for obvious reasons these options were simply not on the cards this year. Instead, we decided to throw an intimate surprise party for Melissa featuring her very own Mimosa Bar.

No matter the circumstance, Birthdays are a cause for celebration and a wonderful opportunity to show someone how much you appreciate them. With the usual modes of celebration unavailable, here are a few guidelines we kept in mind when planning the surprise to make the occasion extra special still.

Pick a theme.

Pick a theme based on a personal experience

The theme of Melissa’s surprise party centered around the Mimosa–the official drink of leisurely brunches.

Last December, we visited New York and were struck by the volume of restaurants offering boozy brunches at every turn of the corner. Fresh bread baskets, eggs every way, bottomless mimosas and some gentle jazz to set the Sunday mood. During our time spent there, we became endlessly fond of the ritual and made it our mission to squeeze in as many brunches as possible. By the end of the trip Melissa had well and truly earned the title of Mimosa Mel.

The Mimosa itself has an elegant history and like many cocktails, its origins are widely disputed. Some accounts assert that it was invented by bartender, Frank Meier at the Ritz Bar in Paris in 1925, whilst others argue the competing claim of the Buck’s Fizz, which debuted at Buck’s Club in London around the same time and was rocketed to fame when it was reported to be the breakfast drink of choice for the Royal Family. Fast forward 90 years to today and a european-born drink has become an iconic drink of regal status on the American brunch table.

”The Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, and the Queen Mother all have adopted a Champagne cocktail they call mimosa.”

the Sydney Morning Herald’s London correspondent reported in 1961.

Decoration.

We chose to dress a table rather than the whole room so that one space could be abundant. The concept of adorning tables is nothing new, having been popularised in the 18th century by aristocrats seeking to impress dinner guests with their lavish displays. But when the pandemic hit and took away the enjoyment of dining out in our favourite restaurants, the decorative trend saw a huge resurgence.

Like a landscape, a tablescape undulates. It has to go up slightly and down slightly, it’s about the eye travelling. To achieve this, we incorporate elements of symmetry and layering across the table. Using just foliage, candles and glasses you can create an engaging design by spacing items certain distances apart from each other and working in groups of three to achieve different layers of height.

Using gold wherever possible also gives instant warmth, richness and an aura of glamour to everything. Don’t be afraid to mix and match and include items that mean something to you and bring you joy. For example, on a whim we decided to flourish the cheesecake mini eiffel towers – perhaps a nod to the mimosa’s disputed origins.

Make it personal.

Create something unique to them that you can’t buy.

A personalised touch is the ultimate way to make someone feel special. In Melissa’s case, we designed a Mimosa Bar menu which also could be used as a keepsake and used balloons to spell out the birthdays theme.

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