Ohhh hello May! Happy Cinco De Mayo! In San Diego this holiday is heavily celebrated.  Tacos, guacomole, polomas & margaritas.  The day is a bright light of fun in a month us locals dubbed “May Gray”.    Now from my shivering perch in New England I can balk at that dramatic term for 60 degree “cold” and overcast. Rain or shine, this is a fun holiday to celebrate. I’ll take any excuse to throw a dinner party.  

This Cinco De Mayo dinner is a blast from my Cali past, but still feels cheery and relevant. 

MOOD & SETTING

Mood: Boho, playful and casual.  We splashed sunset colored flowers (& drinks!)  paired with neutral khaki, black & white.   Feathers, furs, antlers, eclectic flower vessels, and designer textiles make this dinner come to life. 

Setting:  I love hosting a party at a restaurant.  Choose the location carefully and you have added décor to your vibe by the restaurant backdrop itself.    For this dinner setting we chose Puesto Restaurant in downtown San Diego.  Just look at this place!!  If we hadn’t done a single thing the restaurant still sings with a spirited ambiance.   A big bonus for styling the scene was being able to utilize the restaurants own stylish chairs & tables.   

Florals

Have you caught a theme with me yet?  Although I do like to attempt arranging on my own, for a real-deal party I believe in bringing in the pros.   A super power favorite, Isari Flower Studio brought in the sunset hued flowers.   Tam (owner) and I have always had so much fun together picking unique vessels of all shapes and sizes to create unexpected arrangements.   She’s taught me so much about letting go of pre-conceived notions of flower arranging.  Some tips for this table style:

Fruit:  Add fruit on stem for a unique layer.  In the past we’ve tried it all, pea pods on shoots, rasberries on the vine, grapes.  Incorporating fruit in groupings on the table itself can add an extra visual pop. 

 Vessels:  Mix it up with glassware, old antique vessels, or unique stemware to host your flowers. 

Succulents:  Creating a sculputural moment, they come to life in the simplest ways; placed in an orb, a bowl, a small plate.  

Food

At Puesto we ordered family-style platters, a perfect way to let the guests sit back and enjoy while the abundant plates fill the table.  We brought in some of our own serve ware to accentuate the styling of our table.

Place Setting & Details

Napkin treatments are a great place to add some styling juju.   I won’t lose a moment to add an extra layer.    Here we created a feather “bolo” to wrap the napkins, set upon black rimmed enamelware plates.  Ohhhh, and the jewelery of a dinner table, the gorgeous drinkware!  A playful mix of vintage rocks glasses & metallic cups add to the boho mood. 

Cozy Layers: unexpected luxe layers are a favorite of mine. I’ve layered furs that double as place mats, fur on seats, and toss pillows from “home” to add to to cozy boho mood.

Signature Drink

Every party should have one!  Here we’ve served a classic Grapefruit Poloma, dressed up in pretty vintage rocks glasses.   

GRAPEFRUIT POLOMA

INGREDIENTS

½ cup grapefruit juice

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1 teaspoon sugar

¼ cup mescal or tequila

¼ cup club soda

grapefruit wedges

Combine fresh grapefruit juice, lime, and sugar.  Stir until sugar is dissolved.  Stir in mescal or tequila, add ice, and top off with club soda.  Garnish with grapefruit or lime wedge.  Bonus points for pouring into a fabulous glass.

*****

I had an amazing cast of vendor friends to help bring this vision to life.   

Photography: Half Full Photography

Flowers: Isari Flower Studio

Tabletop Rentals: Hostess Haven

Paper Goods: Brightly Designed

Food & Bev/Venue: Puesto at The Headquarters

Textiles: Rais Case

Model: Savannah

Cinco De Mayo Sunset Party