29 July 2015

La Café de Paris Party - c'est magnifique!

La cafe de paris Party

The day finally arrived - Sunday was Miss Fab's Paris Party at long last, after months of planning and preparation. The cakes were baked, the croissants and macarons purchased. The bunting was hung, and so were all the other homemade decorations: the Patisseries canopy, the Paris street scene sketch, the blackboard menus etc. Ooh la la, but it was all looking très magnifique!
This was a party that looked absolutely gorgeous (if I do say so myself), but the true test of a party is not whether the photos get repinned a gazillion times - it's whether the guests and the birthday girl have a fab time. By which standard this was (and I quote the birthday girl): THE BEST PARTY EVER. Which is saying a lot.

Here's some scenes of party gorgeousness:

The "Café Entrance" and Paris street scene backdrop (sketched freehand by me on a $2 plastic tablelcloth). Note the pretty bunting which I sewed myself and the clever faux helium balloons that everyone thought were real ("nude" confetti balloons from PopRoc parties)...

La cafe de paris Party decor

The pretty pretty table...

La cafe de paris Party table setting

(Pink Striped wax paper Tablecover from PopRoc Parties layered with my grandmother's lacy vintage tablecloth; Eiffel tower from Ali Express (2-pack for $8.99 with free shipping); Popcorn served in two-types of muffin cups from PopRoc Parties; four complimentary styles of serviettes - my faves are the black and white damask ones from PopRoc Parties)

La cafe de paris Party drinks station

The Drinks Station: serving strawberry milk (du lait en fraise), strawberry iced tea (thé fraise glacé), water, sparkling or tap (l'eau pétillante ou du robinet) and café au lait for the grownups.

(Mini Blackboard bunting, paper straws, spotty pink cups and serviettes, from PopRoc Parties; straw dispenser from Look Sharp; gumball machine from Typo filled with Kool Mints.)

La cafe de paris Party table
Party at La cafe de paris - patisserie buffet canopy
[How I made the patisserie buffet canopy here]
Oh the prettiness. I was starting to feel like we might really be at a Paris Café.

La cafe de paris Party blackboard Menu & backdrop
Party at La cafe de paris - entrance
[DOTTY CONFETTI BALLOONS: Add confetti dots to your nude balloons using a funnel before blowing up the balloons. FAUX HELIUM BALLOONS: Pop a square of double-sided tape on the top of each balloon; Tie on a ribbon tail and let the balloon cling to the ceiling with the ribbon trailing down - looking for all the world like they floated right up there...]

The plan for the party was very simple: Let the girls loose in the bedroom with the dressups, props and a camera, teach them a bit of basic French, then bring them into the Café where they would order their food from their menus en français, waited on by our family Garçon. There were no other structured activities or games - this was a very creative, crazy bunch of girls and I knew that they would pretty much entertain themselves, given the right environment. 

Here is Miss Fab's bedroom set up for Paris Photo Fun...

Paris Party photo background - blackboard eiffel tower
Paris Party dress ups for photo booth

Black dotty garlands sewn by me; Eiffel tower wall decal from TradeMe; polystyrene heads found on TradeMe; scarves, glasses, masks and accessories found at SaveMart; black French berets from Ali Express ($2.50 each with free shipping). Giant papier mâché baguette made by a friend and donated to the cause!
Paris Party props for photo booth
[Eiffel tower accessory tree from PopRoc Parties soon-to-launch hire collection; free printable speech balloons for photo booth here]
After providing all this awesomeness for these creative girlies to dress up in, and an intricately attempted chalkboard Eiffel Tower background, I was hoping for a bunch of very cute photos to show for it. Er, I should have remembered how amped my daughter gets in company. All seriousness flew out the window, her alter-ego "Sonya Ladean" came out in full force and, well, that was that. This is all I could get...

Paris Party photo booth craziness

And that was before they ate all those patisserie goodies. Ah well. The main thing is they had FUN right??? Cos, boy oh boy did they have fun - the volume was at fever pitch. I was afraid to let that rabble anywhere near my beautiful Parisian Café.

I had no choice but to ban silly "Sonya" from the Café. Ha ha. Abby is welcome but Sonya can stay outside. Really, if you'd seen Sonya in action, you'd know why I had to do it.

With things calming down (and the birthday girl washing off the pink lipstick that was all over Sonya's face) I gave the rest of the girls a quick lesson in Parlez vous-ing  français.

Paris Party - french lesson!

Time to eat! Bienvenue à Café de Paris!
Meet our "garçon"...

Paris Party - french waiter = "garcon!"

My hubby is always a good sport at our parties, willing to wear a moustache, put on a silly accent, and be ordered around by a bunch of hungry girls whose French leaves a lot to be desired, but who have no trouble calling loudly, "Garçon! Garçon!"

Paris Party - french waiter at cafe de paris
Paris Party - french waiter at cafe de paris

Ordering food from the waiter made the process of eating the party food very entertaining...

Having fun at our cafe de paris

On the menu we had: croissants with ham and brie, garlic bread (pain a l'ail), macarons, madeleines, eiffel tower cupcakes, a fruit platter, popcorn and chips (pommes frittes), fancy "cafe de paris" biscuits and donuts. Giant pink iced donuts, just the way the birthday girl loves them. We called them "beignets" and figured what the heck.

French party food at cafe de paris
French party food at cafe de paris - macarons and madeleines

(Beautiful black footed cake stands from the PopRoc parties soon-to-be-launched hireage collection)

I learnt how to do the fancy rosette frosting techniques, make proper buttercream and use fancy fondant molds from my amazing party partner Sandra, from Kiwicakes. I'll be doing a whole post with recipes and how to's and recipes for the cupcakes, cookies and birthday cake soon....

French party food at cafe de paris - eiffel tower cupcake

While me and my lovely friend Mel cleared the decks a bit, I handed the girls my camera and sent them off to take more photos. Ahhh well...

Paris Party photo booth selfies

Like I said, at least they had fun.

Time to light the candles on the birthday cake and sing happy birthday.

Pink rosette birthday layer cake with eiffel tower cake topper
Pink rosette birthday cake - blowing out the candles

The birthday girl LOVED how her cake turned out. I, myself, was pretty pleased with it. (Just you professionals don't look too closely at the wobbly frosting rosettes or the hole in the middle that I managed to disguise)....

Pink rosette birthday cake

We sent the guests home with a goody bag containing an Eiffel tower pendant (how to make them/where to get them here) and a gorgeous rock-candy swizzle stick from Pop Roc parties...

Paris Party goody bags - eiffel tower pendants and pink rock candy
[Get the Free printable "Merci" tags along with loads of other useful stuff on my party  Prep post]
(They were also meant to take their french berets home but most of them forgot; I've now got a massive collection of black berets. French theme party anyone?)

All in all my amazing crazy amped-up-on-sugar-and-life birthday girl declared this party HER BEST BIRTHDAY EVER. I'm inclined to agree. This party was fun to dream up and create. It was fun on the day and the guests had a ball. And it was beautiful (so beautiful I can't bear to take down the decorations yet). What more could you want?

Paris Party birthday girl
Paris Party crazy birthday girl and posse


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