The Long Table Dinner on the Amalfi Coast
WORDS:: CHYKA KEEBAUGH
Just on two years ago, Bruce and I were in Positano and went to look at a villa for a wedding we were talking to a client about...
After walking up the many stairs and pathways that we needed to take, we ended up at the most beautiful pale pink villa… we started dreaming about how much fun it would be to stay in the villa with friends and to host a dinner along the incredible balcony. Two years later the dream became a reality and the second party for BK50 was held here!
For such a big birthday celebration, we knew we wanted to make a formal dinner, and this pale pink villa in Positano was going to be the perfect setting. We asked all our guests to dress in black tie with the ladies all in long dresses, and we knew that dining in this space as the sun went down - looking out to the fantastic coastline from up above, would be the night where amazing memories were going to be made - and we were not wrong!
Guests made the hot walk and arrived at the beautiful garden at the back of the property. A saxophonist played as guests enjoyed a chilled glass of champagne…Many photos were taken as the sun was setting ... we were in for a great night. To create a once in a lifetime experience for our friends and family, as we were setting up we knew we had to play up the amazing shades of green that was surrounding us in the Positano coastline. So had one long grassy green silk tablecloth made at home was bought over and from there we had a base to work on, 75 guests sat for dinner, so it was a very long table, so the centrepiece had to stretch the entirety of the table for maximum effect.
We wanted to make a hedge arrangement and had seen a couple of nurseries along the road, so we decorated the table with an abundance of fish fern, maidenhair fern, white phalaenopsis orchards along with a few other local plants to bulk out the look. Taking all the plants out of the plastic containers and placing them on the table - soil and all. I have done this once before and have loved the effect it creates, the contrast of silk and soil is an unexpected decorative move and a definite conversation starter.
Our beautiful invitations were made by Betsy at Lemontree Calligraphy, so gorgeous that we had to use her artwork as much as we could so we decided to print the logo on the serviettes for dinner. This was such a unique way to connect the invite to the event in a very personalised way. The menu was printed and placed under the napkin with a selection of gold cutlery and plates to add a spot of glamour to our luscious green table setting. We hired nine gold candelabras locally that we placed down the centre, so we were able to dine by candlelight as the night progressed.
We had music restrictions for this event so decided to get a little creative and change the format of the evening, where the highlight of an evening is often all about dancing ours was to be all about speeches. Bruce asked a variety of people from all the different parts of his life to talk or roast him, and I can honestly say that no one of them disappointed! It was a night of so much love, friendship and pure happiness...When I stood to talk about Brucie, I realised how incredibly special the evening was as Positano twinkled in the background, 300 candles sparkling on the table and the smiles of the friends and family around the table.
We had 45 minutes of DJ Nick before half the party ended up in the pool ... oops... sorry, Con Ilio about my dress but you only live once and have to be in the moment. What a night we will never forget!