Let's get this party started Posted by Reef Magazine - 19 October 2013 Whether you’re spending one hundred dollars or ten thousand dollars on any kind of dinner party or event, there are certain rules that always apply. 1. For me it all starts with a good colour palette. If you aren’t completely going with a theme like Gatsby or something else, then this is the easiest and chicest way to pull it together. I use a combination of three colours: a hero colour at 70% and then the other two at 20% and 10% – they can be contrasting or tonal but it always seems to work, it’s just enough and makes everything look really integrated. 2. Guests always want to feel special and to feel as though it’s all been created just for them - whether it’s with an extra delicate tie of the ribbon on something, or a little beautiful cutlery rest on the table. 3. It’s very simple but a nice big helium balloon goes a long way, it says ‘this is a party and it’s going to be fun’. Or one big grand gesture that says the party starts here. 4. You must have good music, the scene has to be set – and I don’t just mean a playlist but actually working out at what tempo you’re going to start out at. When people walk in they need to know what’s expected from the outset. It can tell them game on, let’s have fun – or soft and beautiful, and let’s relax. And so I applied all these rules to the World Champagne Day Dinner. The challenge I faced was that the setting is spectacular, dining on Pebble Beach at qualia is something special already. Guests of qualia, Vogue Living and the Champagne Bureau were drinking the best Charles Heidsieck (Brut Millesime 2000) and Bollinger (La Grande Annee 2004) and eating the finest four courses by resident Executive Chef Alastair Waddell, which is quite decadent. And so it made sense to borrow a few elements of the infamous white party, from Gatsby, and reinforce the hedonism. The colour palette we used was silvery/ gold/bronze, with touches of black and white. To counter the epic outdoors we needed to make it feel intimate, so everything was intricate and small scale on the table, we put ‘eye candy’ in front of the diners. And we created things that were deliberately hand made. James Gordon created twelve different paper party favours; we had Daisy Buchanan style glasses, confetti and balloons with streamers. I think we bought about twenty copies of The Great Gatsby, and then we scattered the pages all across the promenade, and as the guests entered they walked in over them. The place cards were also pages with handwritten names, they were almost like fortune cookies so that everyone had a piece of what was going on in the novel. I think it’s good to give everyone something to do at a dinner party and then everyone has fun together and it helps break things down, especially if people don’t know each other. And finally there was the music – the soundtrack from Baz Luhrmann’s movie. There was lots of laughter and a good energy, and by the end of the evening everyone picked up the tiny trumpets on the table and started playing them. About the Author 'REEF Magazine – Hamilton Island & the Great Barrier Reef' is a magazine that showcases all that Hamilton Island has to offer, from events, to an exciting array of activities, attractions and more. You can pick up your complimentary copy of 'REEF Magazine' at any Hamilton Island hotel, and you can also access some of our feature articles right here on The Island Blog.