I returned from the UK a week before the party with an upper respiratory tract infection and a vicious fever so I spent my birthday in bed, and was only just feeling human again in time for the party! But, thanks to a lot of Mybulin and some antibiotics I was fine by Saturday. Thank you, Western medicine!
The restaurant, Carmine's in Fourways, has a mafia theme so I incorporated that; although guests were expected only to wear red and black.
I have wanted a live band at this party since I started thinking about throwing it, and my wonderful husband let me indulge this ridiculous notion. We had seen the Red Hand blues band a few times live around Johannesburg and between their enigmatic presence, lively sound and slightly gangsta look I just had to have them. And what a decision, they were great. And they couldn't be nicer! They did it for a lot less than their usual asking price, they gave up doing a (much more lucrative) wedding, they paid for their own drinks after I offered to, and they played for ages longer than my money covered! Very, very pleased I got in touch with them.
I was going to get a cake made, and then I spent the days available to get this sorted in bed, so I decided to bake something myself. I refuse to bake something that isn't cupcakes myself as it's far too much pressure to decorate etc. Sticking to the red and black theme, I made red velvet cupcakes in black cases with a cream cheese icing, decorated with strawberries enrobed in chocolate. They were lovely!!! I have always loved buttercream icing and proclaimed it to be my favourite, but I don't know now; cream cheese icing is giving it a good run for its money.
It is now two days later and there are still five cupcakes left, but fear not; I am valiantly making my way through every last one of them! The strawberries have past their best and been picked off, leaving behind an oddly shaped chocolate shell like the abandoned cocoon of an emerged, escaped moth. But the icing is only getting better. We've already managed to polish off the two pizzas that were left over from the catering. Om nom nom.
Thank you so very much to all my friends that attended, and particularly for the loot ;-) ! And a special thanks to Laura, for the beautiful flowers.
Photos are here.