Happy Friday Food Nerds!  Last week, I celebrated my Champagne Birthday. It was a full day strictly reserved for all my favourite things with most of my favourite people! 

The day started off with a visit to Body Blitz Spa for their therapeutic water treatment. I cannot say enough amazing things about BBS. I made a group booking through Ana and she was an absolute pleasure to work with. I kept changing my reservation to add more girls and had about a million and one questions. She was on the ball with responding to my emails and the BBS property itself was superb and zen like. Each guest got their own kimono and flip flops to use while you’re walking around the facility and there is even a juice bar that will deliver your drinks while you’re in the waters. It’s an all women facility which made it even more relaxing and comfortable. I highly recommend BBS and ‘taking to the waters‘ with them and following the full circuit. We all walked out feeling amazing & well rested. The treatment was a lot more affordable than a massage or facial, and you walked away feeling like  a million bucks! I can’t wait for my next visit. After a spectacular day at the Spa, we were all ready for dinner and champagne!

After spending my 23rd birthday on the mountain, my 24th in Mexico and my 25th in Vietnam, I knew my 26th birthday had to be a day spent with my girlfriends and indulging in all my favourite things: Champagne and Hot Pot!

I had a blast spending most of the previous week crafting and getting lost in DIY projects for the party. I spray painted an old Champagne bottle gold and used it as a guest book. The “twenty six” piñata was an easy DIY project. One of my favourite parts were the Champagne & Pink Lemonade spritzers waiting at the door for my guests as they walked in. The stir sticks were also DIY. I glued gold tinsel onto the ends of wooden skewers and used a melon baller on some dragon fruit and cantaloupe then added the raspberry and blackberry. I printed out name flags for all the attendees and added those with a glue gun as well.

I wanted to do as little work as possible during the actual party so I laid out everything buffet style. I set up two food stations and one champagne bar. I also provided juice and pomegranate seeds, raspberries, lemons, and dragon fruit slices as garnish for the champagne bar. I also made raspberry ice cubes for those who wanted a chilled glass of water or juice.  My guest were free to mix their own drinks, and cook their own food. I know, the laziest hostess with the mostess! 

The menu for the night involved all my favourite things! Summer rolls, spring rolls, dumplings, smoked salmon, melon & prosciutto, chicken wings and a cheese board with cured meats & cheese! My mom who was a big help that day, didn’t want anyone to go hungry!

Although Hot Pot is generally a sit down meal, I couldn’t possibly fit that many people around one table so we decided to serve it buffet style. There were two burners set up and everyone was free to come up and cook throughout the night. There were platters of tripe, quail eggs, enoki mushrooms, muscles, shrimp, watercress, broccoli and about everything else under the sun. Hot Pot is my favourite thing to have so I definitely didn’t want to cut any corners when it came to providing for my guest. Unlike the Sukiyaki I previously posted about, we used a Tom Yum broth and instead of a raw egg, we used a spicy tofu based sauce. It was absolutely delicious! 

Of course, you can’t have a birthday without cake & dessert! My friend Kandi, who is well aware of my love of watermelon and Beyond The Batter’s watermelon cupcakes, spoiled me with a HUGE watermelon sized cake! My good friend Marny also whipped up some chocolate fondue and I had fruit slices and marshmallows ready to get drenched in chocolate. The “Yay Me!” and pink sparkle cake toppers were also a DIY addition. 

The party favours were my favourite part. I had customs labels made by Jones Soda with pictures of the girls from Fifth grade and this past summer side by side. Its mind boggling to see how fast fifteen years of friendship has flown by! 

A big thank you to everyone who came out to celebrate Me. It was an amazing day and I feel completely blessed to have such amazing people in my life. Have a great weekend everyone, I’ll be back Monday with more food porn!

//Pictures for this post are courtesy of my generous friend : Chandary Sok. Check out her work here

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