The hardest thing about living in San Francisco is that people are always leaving you. Our good friends Christian and Brooke are moving away and Brooke mentioned she wanted to do some sort of special party for their friends. We talked it through and decided on doing a 20 person pop up dinner party on the beach under the Golden Gate Bridge. I have never done a dinner party outside for that many people (see my first dinner right here) so I called in for reinforcements. I asked my genius friend Andrea Pimental to do the food and so I just had to worry about logistics (ie: carrying tables and 20 chairs, and dinnerware all the way down to the beach.) It was a pretty epic party and a really special night. The weather was beautiful, the food was amazing, and it consoled our broken hearts a little to be able to toast our friends and say goodbye.
We held the party at Kirby Cove. We rented a picnic spot for the day which gives you permits for four cars. We had guests park at the top and then shuttled people back and forth down to the beach. Brooke’s sister Kelly chose the tablecloth to match the Golden Gate Bridge (it was perfect) and did the flowers and Brooke and Colleen made these photobooth favors for all the guests. They were little boxes with macarons and then they copied a photobooth photo they had and tied it around with twine. So clever, right?
Read more for more details and photos.
I rented the tables and chairs and dinnerware and then Paul helped me take it all down to the beach. We planned dinner around the sunset at 7pm. Paul and I arrived at 4:30pm and we had a few friends arrive early at 5:30 to help with set up. Everyone else arrived a little after 6pm so they would have some time to take in the view before it got too dark.
The food was amazing and honestly I couldn’t have done an event this big without Andrea handling all the food. The menu was seafood themed. The appetizer was a crab cheesecake, then the soup was a roasted corn and coconut chowder (Andrea brought it hot in an insulated cooler.) The salad was zucchini and prosciutto and the main course was a salmon pot pie she kept hot in a cooler. For dessert she served an almond cake with honey buttercream frosting and fruit.
For lighting this time we just had a lot of led candles and then brought some flashlights for clean up time. Cleaning up a party like this is a lot easier than setting up because there are more hands to carry chairs back when it is time to clean up. Since we had a lot of people helping with the food and preparations the costs for this dinner were surprisingly affordable. It was a really beautiful night and it makes me want to try something on a bigger scale again. (Read here for more pop up dinner parties.)
Goodbye Brooke and Christian, we love you and come back soon.
All photos by Paul Ferney for Oh Happy Day