Every year, I’m in a dilemma deciding on how to spend my birthday, and this year – all I knew was that I didn’t want to go big, keep it intimate and make it a special one. A few months ago, I was going to work with Ritz DIFC’s new luxury concept called Artful Dining for a work dinner, which never ended up happening due to a busy schedule. So when I wanted to plan a dinner for my birthday, I thought they would be the perfect to team up with for a memorable evening. Artful Dining is a new concept from the downtown Ritz property, The Ritz DIFC – a luxury catering service to be exact for private events and ones that take place outside the hotel. Who does luxury better than the Ritz group? They have a team that plan everything from the concept, the night and of course, the food that looks like art. I was back and forth between a little cocktail party (which would let me invite a lot more friends) or an intimate dinner (which is all about their creative cuisine and the incredible Ritz service)… I went for the second. If you’re planning something special, and want to know what was behind this incredible concept, I thought I’d share it with all of you into detail. Initially, we set up a meeting with myself and the Artful Dining team to talk about concepts, and what I had in mind so that we were on the same page. I wanted to go for something different so I ed my friend, Meredith Damouni of Capital D Studios to steal their studio for the night (thank you Meredith, you rock!) and the rest was smooth sailing – the Artful dining team, which was led by Miriam Pala headed with the chef to check out the location (everything is cooked on site and they bring their drinks, so they need to cross check everything) and get inspired by ideas. A few days later, I received a presentation with idea concepts they had in mind, the menu suggestion – where we started the discussion and then moved on to the little details.
Personally, I can’t think of a smoother process because I travel a lot, and rarely have time to meet – so we did a lot via emails and through imagery – to just make this a seamless journey. The execution was on point, the actual night looked better than the pictures, we had the Ritz chef on board, a full set of staff, a bar set up, and the table & flower arrangements looking magical. Enjoy the photo diary of the night, and highly recommend Artful Dining for anything special you’re planning – corporate or personal. It felt like an events team and luxury catering company in one.
If you’re planning a dinner party, wedding, cocktail party – they’re definitely one to keep in mind. They work with you on everything to bring your vision to life – from the bespoke menu (cocktails, canapés & food) in the most creative way possible. My birthday evening started with a cocktail reception in a different room with a set up bar for drinks (we had two customised cocktails – a yellow bee (Rum, mango juice, honey and ginger ale) and a Passion fruit Martini.
To start the night, we had canapés like the lipstick-shaped gazpacho, charcoal risotto and peking duck. After some time, we then moved to the highlight of it all, the sit down dinner – which we did in a white studio room (white everything – including a range of white flowers such as white roses, hydrangeas, dedrobiums and white candles) with emoji-themed place cards (every person had an emoji that reminded me of them), so that the colours and food art did all the talking. Our mains included a veggie forest salad, king prawns, savoury brûlée and ending with a filet mignon – each of the four courses were paired with wine that worked perfectly with that course.
For dessert, instead of having a traditional course, the talented chefs gave a live demonstration and interactive dessert session with desserts such as a Raspberry crunch tart, Tiramisu, chocolate pot, Jivara brownie and a Banoffee glass (my favourite) to name a few. The evening ended with a surprise birthday cake (which was the red dress dancing emoji!)
It truly was one of the most special evenings I’ve had. For more details, [email protected]