The Birthday Party

by Nicola Williams


Is a party still a party even when there are only two of you?

Each and every year for my wonderful boyfriend’s birthday I like to create a little world for us to while away the day, something special for just the two of us in our home!

All the fun begins the moment you start day dreaming about what kind of picture you want to paint, the atmosphere and ambience must be thought out along side the delicious food and oh what fun can be had thinking about all the possibilities when it comes to the  decorations!

I love to create a moment for people, a moment where they can just be somewhere else.

He has enjoyed a Belagio inspired buffet with all his favourite bites, I have spent the day transforming  the room into a sumptuous fort and created a Masterchef inspired 4 course dinner. Together with his sister, we created a night at the Oscars, red carpet, oversized gold cardboard Oscar statues and of course his favourite directors and actors, the works……….oh but of course I lost my camera!

This year, for helping in the creation of my business, our room was turned into Nelipot Lane Teahouse for the evening. We would be sharing a three course meal that may have ended up being a two course meal because I might have gone slightly overboard on the amount of shellfish I brought!

The Birthday Party

Green ink wash on beautiful textured paper keeping the natural and kwirky feel with hand stamped titles and ornate stamped edging.

I wanted a natural feel to the space, open for reverie and nostalgia. Cut paper lantern, white flowers and jute tied napkins.


First course – Sea food Platter, with marinated lobster tail, calamari, Scottish scallops, king prawns and longustines in lemon and herbs.

Little glass jars of home-made seafood sauce, lemon aioli and avocado cream. Longustines in mini metal bucket. Its all about the details.


Steamy mussels in creamy white wine and herb sauce in a wonderful little French style metal casserole dish.


As for the main. we had to eat that the next day!! Rib-eye steak with chunky sweet and white potato chips, asparagus and rocket salad with home-made Bernaise, garlic butter and peppercorn sauce!

I didn’t even get to chance to take a proper picture before he had delved right in!

And for desert….So its not quite perfection but heck it tastes delicious. Geniose sponge with strawberry marscapone mousse and pistachio macaroons.

Oh and of course there couldn’t be a birthday without the cake…….


A plain (this is what he likes!) chocolate cake it may, be but it was a very special cake indeed….

The Jump Cake is a recreation of a photograph that he took at a beautiful little oasis in the Nevada desert called China Ranch.

This place was magically intriguing and the picture of him, his mama, me and his sister jumping for joy captured perfectly how we were all feeling at stumbling upon this little jem.

I wanted to create that moment that was so special, to invoke the feeling of the cool breeze sweeping off the lake with the sound of the cicadas slowly getting louder as the sun went down, the weird but wonderful brick a brac market filled with everything you want but might not necessarily need and that sight of a beautiful crystal clear sky against huge date trees as we opened our tent in the morning!


I loved the fact that the cake stand reminded us of the rusted tins and cans laying around the old 1940’s cars (together with bullet holes) that we found on our hike, like we were back at the scene of some prohibition shot out!

Its all about the detail for me, right down to the rips in my jeans and the laces on the trainers, but the best bit for me was seeing his face as he saw each and everyone of them, this makes it all worth while.

Well now, what am I going to do next year…………