When one of my clients approached us a few months ago to create a special surprise birthday party for his lovely partner and her friend from across the world in Venice, I knew we were going to create something truly extraordinary as only very few cities in the world carry that unique mix of charm, mystery, history and romance so typical of Venice. And so we began the planning …
Just a week ago we made magic happen! Our client’s vision for this event was clear; an entertaining, fun and elegant event with sublime food and wine that would truly showcase Venice and its local excellence.
On Friday night, we kicked off with a classic Bellini at its place of birth, the renowned Harry’s Bar. I often drink Bellini myself but at Harry’s Bar, they put their magical touch in their bellini, making it so delightfully creamy yet delicate and refreshing at the same time…its like the ultimate adult fruit juice! After a few of those, our appetite was inevitably building up so we headed for dinner in a charming trattoria, famous for its rustic take on local classics. The food was delicious as always and in particular their creamy spidercrab tagliolini. But what really made it special was having a taste of their homemade Fragolino, a simple semi-sweet red wine produced in their back garden. A wine that is illegal to sell to the market but what a treat to have it in Venice!
The weather conditions were quite challenging on Friday as it was raining heavily and it was forecast to be even worst on Saturday with floods across the city of Venice. Although the floods would have been an authentic Venetian experience for the time of the year, it would have been an utter shame as we had a wonderful boat excursion planned.
Luckily it turned out to be a glorious day allowing the guests to enjoy the beauty of the Venetian lagoon to the fullest. Two private boats took them to the island of Sant Erasmo through a charming route of various islands. After a brief guided tour of wonderful historic sites such as Lazzareto Vecchio, unknown even by many Venetians, they enjoyed a marvelous private lunch in an artisanal winery cooked by a great chef that only uses fine local ingredients and had a tasting of a unique wine which is only produced in the lagoon: Orto!
The sun was shining, people were enjoying a post lunch walk around the vineyards and lying down of the grass. It felt like a hot day in May and we could not ask for better weather! After such a glorious day out, they headed back to the hotel to rest as they all knew that the big event was only just beginning.
Around 8:00 pm, special boats picked up the guests in their elegant dresses and tuxedos from their hotel and led them to a stunning Palace on the Grand Canal. At the private pier of the Palazzo, they were welcomed by hundreds of flickering candles and ruby red rose petals, leading them up the historical staircase. On the to floor, a stunning imperial table was set up with an impressive flower display and a staggering Murano chandelier hanging from the ceiling. All guests were wearing a bespoke Venetian mask, which made the atmosphere quite mystical. Champagne was flowing, the full moon was shining across the canal and the guests could admire it from the lovely terrace… it was like being in a James Bond movie!
The evening progressed with a delicious four course meal paired with stunning wines. At the stroke of midnight the birthday girl was surprised with a glorious cake and the Palazzo filled with the festive songs of celebration. That was only the beginning of the mad celebrations that carried on during the night…
The next day, the sun was shining across the roof tops of Venice and one by one the guest revived from the grand celebration of the night before. They enjoyed their final Venetian meal in a relax setting overlooking the canal just moment away from the hotel. After their hearty lunch, they all said their farewells with a heavy heart and warm embraces and said goodbye to this glorious city called Venice.