I have always wanted to host a fondue party. I’m not sure if it’s because I am a child of the seventies or I just really like chocolate and cheese, but this idea has been on my mind since I saw my first vintage orange fondue set at a local flea market.
Because great minds think alike (translation: we are both crazy,) Liz was obviously also on board. In fact, she was so much on board, we ended up putting together not one, but two full menus and tablescapes for your next Galentine’s or Valentine’s celebration. Here is part one of what we are calling the “I’m So Fondue of You” parties. Sorry, I just had to go there.
A Fresh Look and Loads of Improvisation
I am not going to lie. The inspiration for this table started with a funky color palette that became almost impossible to execute. But once I get an idea, I am determined to make it work. So as usual, I improvised.
Let’s start with that tablecloth, which is actually 2 curtain panels from World Market. There is no rule that says you must use curtains as curtains, you just have to make sure your substitution isn’t glaringly obvious.
Since these panels are fairly thin, I recommend using a neutral tablecloth as a base. Then, layering the curtain panels on top of it being careful to match the pattern down the center as best as you can. I didn’t sew these together because I knew my table would be so full, you’d never see the overlap. We all know I’m a more is more kind of woman.
I could have also used one panel as an extra wide table runner or table throw. And, if I were doing this for a client, I would take the time to make sure all the edges were hemmed identically, so that your Aunt Edna can’t call you out for using curtain panels as a tablecloth.
Pot Luck and More Crafts
Curtains weren’t the only thing I had to go rogue on. I knew I wanted several fondues for the table and didn’t want to use actual fondue pots, since they would be too large. Instead, I Macgyvered some handled soup bowls into fondue stations by setting them on top of votive candle holders. Pretty ingenious right!?! These bowls in particular fit the holders perfectly, however, if they hadn’t, I would have used a few dots of super glue or alien tape to make sure they didn’t tip over.
Since I didn’t have actual fondue skewers, I bought a cheap pack of wooden ones from the grocery store and then embellished them with cute heart that doubled as place cards. You know sometimes, it’s like I get paid to come up with this stuff.
Everything else on the table was easy to set up in comparison. I used these Looped Natural Chargers from World Market topped with Belmont Dinner Plates from Target and Jade Salad Plates from Walmart. The Cotton Slub Napkins were from World Market and the Edge Champaign Glasses were from Crate and Barrel. And yes, that is a lavender sparkling drink, but I will get to that later.
Fresh Florals in February
Unless you are buying overpriced red roses, it can be difficult to find decent flowers in February, and I almost always make it a point to not use red roses in any of my Valentine décor. This time I went for red gladiolas, lavender sweet peas, blush cottage roses and a few gorgeous white rose lilies, most of which I found at Trader Joes.
The main décor on this table, however, is the actual food, so there was no need for elaborate arrangements like I normally do. A few buds in each bud vase scattered down the table was all I needed to tie everything together.
Finally, the Fondue
So obviously the most important part of this party is the fondue. There are literally a million fondue recipes out there, but these are some of my personal favorites. Obviously, this is only 3 of the 6 that I selected, the other 3 are featured on Liz’s table. But if I was actually throwing this shin dig, you can bet I would put out all 6 recipes.
Let’s start with the cheese course – a traditional Welsh Rarebit Cheese Sauce. Obviously, it’s a little different than a traditional Swiss mixture, but even the Welsh can melt some damn cheese together. You can serve it with a ton of things like fried potatoes, potato chips, potato wedges, French fries, tater tots… Ok, I tend to like potatoes the best, but for you weird non-potato people out there, you can also serve it with pretzels, bread, veggies, sausage and even fruit.
Next up is the main course, butter. Yay! Ok, maybe there is more to that, but hear me out. Both Liz and I agree you can’t invite people over to your house, only to make them cook their own food. No one wants to hold meat in a pot of sauce indefinitely while it cooks through. There are much more important things to do like drink purple alcoholic beverages. Again, more on that later.
That being said, we actually prepared some meats – seared tuna, filet mignon bites and blackened chicken and then paired them with Cowboy Butter to make it feel fondue-ish. Your guests with thank you for not making them work for their meal.
Finally, a dessert course is for all you Nutella junkies out there – Chocolate Hazelnut Fondue. It is as delicious as it sounds and really easy to make. The fun part is pairing it with other goodies. Obviously, strawberries, raspberries, and other fruits are perfect, as are cookies, marshmallows and biscotti. But, my personal favorite is pretzel sticks, the sweet salty equivalent of heaven in your mouth.
And now to the part you have all been patiently waiting for – the big reveal of bubbly purple drink. It’s a Sparkling Aviation and the Crème de Violette makes it purple. I honestly decided on this drink because it looked really cool on my table. But, it tastes pretty good too. Just be careful, it’s mostly gin and potentially bad decisions – so when you drink these with your besties make sure someone is sober enough to take away your phone before you text your ex.
Happy G-Day Bitches!