We did it again! For 3 years running my mom, myself and some of our friends have been a part of this magical event called a PopUp Dinner. Think part wedding-without-a-wedding-party, part picnic, part gourmet self-catered restaurant and part whimsical preposterousness (spell check tells me that is not a word, but I believe it should be).
Handmade Events hosts the dinner and sets up the surprise location with tables and chairs. The location is revealed by email 2 hours before the event.
Everyone shows up in white, bringing with them the supplies for elaborately decorated tables and colorful, gourmet feasts. In the past, we have hosted a table of 8 friends and family. This year the interest grew larger than 1 table could house, so we expanded to a second table! Here is what this event looked like in 2014 and 2013.
When it was looking like we were going to expand to a second table, my mom cried uncle and suggested that we split the table decorating duty. The first year we attended, I had no interest in decorating a table. It just didn't feel like my thing, but I think I have come around. The beautiful tables at this event have helped me see how creative and fun it can be to set up an elaborate table. We pushed our two tables together and I decorated this one:
And my mom took care of this one:
I have a bit of a thing for mason jars and a collection of vintage ones, so I used quite a lot of old and new ones on my table. The ones on the end of the table have lemon slices and rosemary sprigs in water as a base for floating candles. In addition to looking pretty, the internet tells me that the combination is a bug deterrent. If the number of dead bugs on the tablecloth near them at the end of the night is any indication, I would say it works.
I got champagne grapes and picked some mint from my yard to garnish the plate. Those are some delicious little grapes!
I was counting on the Midtown Farmers' Market to supply flowers for my table and it did not disappoint! I am very smitten with those giant dahlias.
A huge part of this event is browsing other people's tables. It was fun to see what caught people's attention, similar themes between tables and just how far some people are willing to go. After we finished setting up our tables, it was off to browse we went!
The albino squirrel from 2013 made a comeback this year in a new and improved base. As you might imagine, the folks at this table were quite friendly and fun to talk to.
Sarah came for her first PopUp dinner this year and mentioned that it feels like a Home and Garden magazine came to life and it is so true! Especially the folks at the table next to us. They had an elaborate bar set up in addition to their stunning table.
Pop! With the arrival of Kate and her bottles of bubbly, we began the imbibing part of our evening. Sarah is trying her hand at popping the cork.
It was a super hot and humid evening, so the white wine and champagne were really refreshing. The appetizers were also quite spectacular with some homemade jams to accompany them.
|L to R: Megan, Melanie, Sarah|
|L to R: Flannery, Tessa, Lisa, Deb, Kathy (with a phone in front of her face, darn!)|
|L to R: Charleen, Jamie, Kate, Molly|
The beneficiary of the event was the Minneapolis Park Board. A representative from the board kicked the meal off with a quick thank you to all who came and to the organizers of the event as well as a shared toast to the splendor that is the Minneapolis park system.
From there, we swirled our napkins in the air and the meal began.
In addition to the appetizers, we enjoyed this great collection of fresh, healthy and delicious food. I wish I could eat it all again for dinner tonight!
Not pictured were the fabulous desserts. We had homemade chocolate drizzled macaroons, fresh fruit and rhubarb cake.
We were not as good at getting posed shots this year as we have been in past years (this was the only one I was in), so I am glad Sarah and I got this picture before it got too dark out.
|Photo credit to Tessa|
After dark, my focus shifting to dancing and mingling so the only photo I got was this one from the event's photo booth. We had 14 people between our 2 tables, so this was just a portion of our fun group.
|L to R: Kathy, Trinity, Missy, Sarah, Megan, Kate|
The word is that everyone had a good time and requests that we do it again next year. I guess that means I should start collecting ideas and supplies for my next table!