Whether you are planning a romantic evening or a dinner party for a group of close friends, grab inspiration from the Côte d’Azur and surprise your guests with a unique experience that channels the chic French Riviera and captivates all senses.
To recreate the lavish yet laid-back atmosphere of one of the world’s top luxury destinations of all times, begin with choosing the right music. The following playlist with transport you immediately to a sunset on a yatch à Beaulieu-sur-Mer. Curated by French electronic music record label Kitsuné, these fabulous tunes gather some of the hottest DJs and bands in the scene.
Decorate your surroundings to evoke Cote d’Azur. Think of blue waters and white sand for your main palette and add a few touches of bright colours to keep it lively. You can get inspired by the flowers of the region and create lavender arrangements or forget about the flowers and think outside the box: what about a botanical themed decor with herbs de provence or for something bright and zero-fuss a crystal bowl with french lemons (bonus points if they still have their leaves on top).
Now that the atmosphere is set, it’s time to think about the food and drink. Say bonsoir to your guests with a cocktail that expresses the freshness of French luxury: Le Grand Fizz. To prepare it, simply combine 35.5 ml of Grey Goose premium French vodka, 30 ml of St. Germain Elderflower Liquor, thin wedges of fresh lime and soda to taste. Serve it in red wine glasses with plenty of ice cubes.
If the party takes place indoors, you can play with visuals and create a playlist of clips from movies that highlight the French Riviera’s charm. Must-haves include James Bond Golden Eye, To Catch a Thief (starring gorgeous Grace Kelly) and Bedtime Story (with unforgettable Marlon Brando).
If you are celebrating outdoors, a rooftop or a garden will work, just make sure to have blankets at hand in case it gets chilly. Candle lamps dispersed around will give the evening an intimate feeling, go for navy blue and white to maintain the aesthetic. Another eye-catching decor that will suit the occasion are bottled lights. To make them, simply fill empty bottles with led battery-powered fairy lights.
As for the food, surprise with caviar for appetizer. Serve it in a classic way: on top of blinis with a bit of crème Fraîche and in the spirit of vintage allure, pair it à la Russe with ice cold vodka. Another trés French canapé is tapenade, serve it along thin toasted slices of baguette and place a nice block of soft fromage de chèvre (a.k.a. Goats’ Cheese) next to it.
As a light main, you could prepare Salade Niçoise which is very summery and typical from the region, but if you want to awe everyone, assemble a seafood platter with oysters, crab and langoustines. If you’re in the mood for splurging, serve lobster, and do justice to it by paring it with a beautiful wine such as a Chablis 1er of Grand Cru. If you’re going for chilled lobster in a salad, opt for a nice Pouilly-Fumé instead.
Let dessert time be as memorable as everything else and keep it cool with an elderflower and lime sherbet (simply pour elderflower cordial to taste over your favourite lime sherbet recipe).
To help you get started on your fabulous soirée, check out our competition and participate for a chance to win a Grey Goose luxury hamper with the finest French ingredients.
Gabriela’s passion for writing is only matched by her love for food and wine. Journalist, confectioner and sommelier, she fell in love with Ireland years ago and moved from Venezuela to Dublin in 2014.
Since then, she has written about and worked in the local food scene, and she’s determined to discover and share the different traditions, flavours and places that have led Irish food and drink to fascinate her.