I’ve collected Eiffel Towers for awhile. And, over the years my friends and family have added to the collection with various Eiffel Tower items. I always thought I should have a French themed dinner party, but until now never got around to it. This year for Valentine’s Day I invited a few couples over for an evening of French music, French wine, and French food. We had a great time and I wanted to share some of the details with you.
I used my Eiffel Tower collection on the dinning table, along with some sweetheart roses. The French like to group one flower together, so I went with red and pink roses , and love how easy and pretty it turned out.
I set the table with a simple white cloth and pink napkins, wine glasses, and these cute Eiffel Tower glasses.
They were great for water, and I made sure to have Evian and Pierre on hand to match our theme. I also got to use my Eiffel Tower salt and pepper shakers.
I made French chocolate truffles for everyone, mostly because I wanted to use these beautiful little stemmed cloches that my sister got me for Christmas. You can see how to make the truffles here.
When my friends arrived they were greeted by the beginnings of French love letter in my antique type writer.
I shared the “amour” art I made for the mantel earlier on the blog -you can see how I made it here . It looked really pretty with all the candles lit.
Another little detail was this sweet “Amour” banner on the china cabinet.
As guests arrived, we started off the evening with Kir Royals, a delicious French cocktail of sparkling wine, and black current liquor.
We were seated for the appetizer of pate, with cheese and baguette, along with a few crackers, jerkins, pickled onions and a grainy dijion mustard. I came up with the idea of serving it on an individual cutting board for each person, and I really loved how it turned out. Unfortunately in the busyness of plating, I forgot to get a picture. I bought the pate, and all the elements, which made for a little easier first course, and saving some energy for dessert!
After our appetizer the men went downstairs to the family room, and the women stayed here to play part one of a little game. I made up some questions for our “Not-So-Newly Wed Game”, and we had fun answering them together. Click here for the printable.
I had planned ahead for the main course, and it worked out really well. I made the Barefoot Countessa’s Chicken with Forty Cloves of Garlic. I started making if around 4pm, and it was finished by the time the guests were arriving at 6pm, I turned it off, and set it on the back of the stove until dinner, when I just brought the sauce back up to the boil before serving. I also made the mashed potatoes around 4 and them kept them warm in a bowl covered in foil, over a pot of water on a low simmer. This worked out so well, and avoided having too large a gap between the appetizer and main course. I also blanched the green beans for 5 mins. in advance and just sauteed them in butter before serving, they were so good, and so easy. Everyone raved about the chicken, and I would definitely make it again. Following the tip in the recipe to blanch the garlic before peeling really worked well too.
After dinner we played the second part of the “Not-So-Newly Wed Game”. It was pretty funny to compare answers between husbands and wives, and by the end everyone was laughing.
We had saved the best until last, a French dessert trio. We served crème brulee, profiteroles with vanilla whipped cream and chocolate sauce, and French macarons. It was so good, but we were all so full afterward! One of my favourite little details was the little chocolate Eiffel Towers I made the day before to decorate the plate. I just melted some chocolate candy melts and used a ziplock bag to pipe a little Eiffel Tower onto some wax paper. When it hardened I had these sweet little Eiffel Towers to lean on the dessert plates.
My other favourite were the sweet little individual jugs I used to hold the chocolate sauce. I used Julie Child’s profiterole recipe, and bakedbree.com for the recipe for “The Best Chocolate Sauce Ever” -and I have to say it really lived up to it’s name, this chocolate sauce recipe is definitely a keeper (I doubled it). The Crème Brulee was from the Joy of Cooking, my go-to recipe book. I picked up the macarons at a little bakery. And if you’re wondering what all the fuss is about with macarons because you’ve never tried one, they really are that good!
It was a wonder evening. With a Paris themed Valentine’s Day dinner, life really is a party! Happy Valentine’s Day!