We’re midway through May at this point, and sadly I think it’s just safe to say that winter is officially behind us. The trees are in bloom, the weather significantly less crisp, and beautiful, timeless, elegant spring inspired brunches are aplenty. From Sarah Drake Design to Julia Franzosa, there’s a whole lot more fresh lovely over in the gallery.  Plus a boozy grapefruit sorbet recipe just waiting to be unearthed…

From Sarah Drake Design… In the slushes of winter in Chicago, I felt it was essential to host an event that would not only celebrate the colors and flavors of spring, but thank the vendors that have supported our business throughout the years. So I invited everyone to a brunch in my studio in Chicago. To reinforce the feeling of intimacy and personal connection with each person I invited, I hand wrote each invitation on cotton letterhead. The response card, edge painted in yellow, was intentionally left blank – it was so touching to receive their handwritten responses, even if they couldn’t attend!

We asked our friends at Nimble Well and Plate to help us with the table decor- I’m a big fan of neutrals, so Plate pulled all of her understated dishware for us to use. Nimble Well’s etched glassware and vintage silver were one of my favorite touches to the table.

The four course menu was designed and created by Boutique Bites. The Prosecco Infused juices, bright colors and flavors of the Parisienne Melon Salad and perfectly tart Grapefruit Campari sorbet at the end complemented the savory fish and risotto course and the scrambled egg cup starters. I really wanted everyone to feel full and well taken care of on this cold Monday in February! If you can’t be in warm weather, eating bright, fresh foods certainly helps!

My studio manager moonlights as a floral designer, so we ordered some floral through our friends at Pistil and Vine, and created the natural, casual floral with Mimosas, Chamomile, Queen Anne’s Lace, Ranunculus, and my favorite, and a nod to California, a long Olive Branch runner. They were placed in the vintage bottles I used at my Santa Barbara wedding, and I kept joking that this is what my wedding would have looked like had I had a bigger budget!

The linens were from our monogram collection. The light grey Vence napkins and runners were the perfect complement to the rustic farm tables we rented from Halls. Instead of personalizing each linen napkin, we created a small linen bag to hold the menu, embroidered with each guests’ name in light grey, serving as their place card. A new guide we created for the event, defining the custom process of creating custom correspondence, Menus calligraphed by Stacey Shapiro, and a little olive branch were tucked into each bag as well.

I don’t know about you, but that grapefruit campari slushie has my name ALL over it… and, luckily, the sweet folks at Boutique Bites were kind enough to spill their secrets:

Grapefruit Campari SorbetA little sweet, a little sour, the perfect way to end a meal.
prep time
cook time
total time
Serves 0Ingredients
  • 6 large pink grapefruits – juiced (need 3 cups liquid)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup campari
Instructions
  1. Juice the grapefruits
  2. Bring 1 cup of juice and sugar to a boil until sugar is dissolved
  3. Remove from heat and add remaining grapefruit juice and campari
  4. Chill until completely cooled and then churn in ice cream machine until solid
  5. Serve in a coupe glass with an apple chip

Photography: Julia Franzosa | Invitations: Sarah Drake Design | Catering: Boutique Bites | Calligraphy: Stacey Shapiro | Linens: Sarah Drake Design | Plate Rental: Plate Chicago | Rentals: Nimble Well