A Moroccan Dinner Party
I’ve been wanting to throw a full-blown Moroccan feast for a while now… mostly because tagines are the burlesque dancers of the cuisine world. All covered up at the beginning of a night only to release their awesomeness layer by layer, in the most dramatic and exotic way possible. Who doesn’t want to eat a food like that?! But also the spice, the saturated hues and the general merriment. So I decided to throw one and White Knight Paints decided to get on board! Which is just about the most perfect pairing of colour and cuisine ever. Here’s how it went down…
To set the scene, I nabbed three ‘Long Johnny’ benches from Timbermill Rentals to make the table. Although they’re usually used as seating at weddings and events they’re the perfect height for a lazing-around-on-the-ground feast. And the arch! Don’t even get me started on the Timbermill arch. Ideal scenario.
Of course, blooms are the most important part of any event, ever. You can bet when John Hancock was signing the American declaration of independence he was doing so while whiffing some magnolias. THAT IMPORTANT. Roses are obviously key to a Moroccan feast but I also chose to include some flowering gum for a chromatic Aussie twist.
My table settings were a medley of mixed metals. I used copper mules as vases, pressed aluminum bowls as water glasses and gold LED tealights for a little Middle Eastern somethin’ somethin’.
But the real stars were the place settings! I took a bunch of thrift store buys and updated them all with White Knight Paints. The plate chargers were of the dinky, plastic picnic variety so I sprayed them with Squirts Multi-Purpose Enamel in Gloss Mocha. They came up a glorious chocolate-y colour in a super shiny finish. The old cutlery I then dipped in Splashes Water-Based Enamel in Sun Yellow, Fuchsia and Orange which I left hanging on a clothes rack overnight to dry. Garden rocks were also sprayed with Squirts Enamel in Gloss White before I drew individual Moroccan-style patterns on each one with a black felt-tip pen.
Just pausing this regularly scheduled blog to bring you some flora in all its botany-like perfection…
Of course, it’s not a party without a welcome cocktail and mine was a whiskey old-fashioned with a twist. The twist being that I used fairy floss instead of sugar syrup. I dipped regular ol’ paddle pop sticks in Splashes Enamel in Royal Blue and then topped with some gold leaf to turn them into drink stirrers. These were a big hit, I tells ya.
I also dipped old fetta tins in Splashes Enamel paint in Orange to create big-impact vases for my roses.
Did I mention how much I loved this arch?!
The hand-painted rocks served as both place markers and something of a party paper weight, helping both the gum leaves and napkins stay put in the wind.
Can you tell I enjoy bubbles much?
I also painted an old wooden chopping board with White Knight’s Chalkboard Paint in Green. It then became a centrepiece for a bevy of dried figs, which obviously no good party can be without.
The gum leaf in the place settings I sprayed with Squirts Enamel in Gloss Forrest Green to give them an extra lush vibe before hand-painting bits of gold leaf onto some of the individual gum leaves for a luxe touch.
Dem whiskey cocktails tho…
My chef for the evening (a great foodie and friend of mine, Anna, who runs the @swillsandswallows Instagram account) whipped up an almost metre-long crudités board for the entree. Matched with her Moroccan-style dips, it was about as fresh as a first course comes.
Watching the fairy floss dissolve into the whiskey was so fun I didn’t even have to hire any extra entertainment…
Some of the guests enjoying the Sunday afternoon sun.
Fair to say the dipped cutlery really helped make the enamel plates and freshly coated plate chargers pop. A confetti canon would have had trouble competing.
A good dinner party relies on even better conversation. I’m pretty sure someone was telling a story about a suicide cult at this point…
The menu included a chicken tagine, green bean salad, carrot and rosewater salad and cous cous.
Extra rose petals were scattered over the table and ground to great effect. Living confetti; how very glorious.
Everyone had seconds. EVERYONE.
We were also paid a visit by Luca The Bull Terrier, who no doubt wondered what we were doing with her backyard.
Oh yeah. And then most people had thirds.
Luca seemed to take a liking to my napkin and I never saw it again. #RIPnapkin
Guests also sipped on Macquariedale Organic Wines, which all come from a certified organic and biodynamic vineyard in NSW.
And then of course came dessert, hola! Chef Anna whipped up pomegranate, rhubarb, meringue and rose petal concoctions which quickly became known as Eastern Mess.
The night ended with us turning the area under the ‘Marry Me’ archway into an impromptu dance floor. (Side note: despite the name, no one actually got married. Unless you count the preserved lemons and olives because that, my friends, is a union made in the heavens above.)