What do you get when you combine a road trip, delicious food, good company and a gorgeous sunset? No, this isn't the start to a bad joke... it simply sums up my perfect weekend adventure to the Northern California coast last Sunday.
I was recently asked to plan an intimate dinner for a friend's surprise birthday celebration at a private home in Inverness, CA. I couldn't wait to get started planning the menu and to try out some of the seasonal recipes I had been eyeing for months as well as come up with a couple of my own. My only boundaries were to keep the bulk of the menu dairy free and gluten free, but it was okay to splurge a bit on the dessert. Done and done.
I decided to (in traditional Sevenkind fashion) serve up the food "family style" on a few specially sourced platters. I prepped at Grace Ranch, then packed up all my goodies and enjoyed a nice coastal road trip, passing a few of my favorite Nor Cal foodie destinations like Tomales Bay Oyster Company and Point Reyes Station. Once I arrived at the gorgeous private home in Inverness (which was like a contemporary, sophisticated adult treehouse), I quickly set the table, finished prepping the remaining ingredient details, and waited for the mastermind of the surprise and the birthday girl to return from their day of yoga, bee-keeping and more. The surprise?? Success. Her smile and reaction was the perfect exclamation point to the end of a month of back and forth planning!
We quickly got seated and took a moment to enjoy the ambiance before we started passing plates and sharing stories of their amazing day of adventures. My inspiration for the decor was a modern Fall bohemian tabletop complete with a perfectly imperfect, wispy and warm floral centerpiece, a simple, printed menu with botanical illustrations, macrame table runner from Anthropologie, and gold accents. I kept the tableware fairly modest to highlight the main event - the delicious and aesthetically enchanting food!
Once the dinner was over, we said our goodbyes and retreated to our various locations around the Bay Area. I made sure to take full advantage of the beautiful drive home, by pulling off at Nick's Cove to enjoy the sunset. There's something extra special about taking in a sunset after a long fulfilling day that allows you the unique space to be present in a deep, peaceful gratitude for it all. And that I did. Can't imagine a much more ideal day for myself and can't wait for the next excuse to do it all again!
Detailed recipes for the items I created will be up soon - stay tuned! For some of the recipes I borrowed from favorites like Simple Fare and more... check out the images and captions below!
Thanks for stopping by for another "uplifting" intimate celebration! Hope to see you around the table soon!
Lots of love,