“Of course, personally, I think it’d be tacky to wear diamonds before I’m forty.”
– Holly Golightly, Breakfast at Tiffany’s
It’s time to pull out the diamonds, ladies, because this January I celebrated my 40th birthday.
To be honest…it’s surreal. I really don’t feel like it’s possible I could be 40. I identify with being younger, but I guess I’m officially a grown up now.
My mother planned a surprise dinner at a local restaurant the weekend of my birthday. Several friends and family members joined in on the celebration. It was a lovely surprise, but I still wanted to have a little celebration with my lifelong girl friends, so I planned a little something fun for this past weekend.
I decided to loosely theme the evening after one of my favorite movies, Breakfast at Tiffany’s. This is the invitation that I ordered from Etsy and sent to my friends (via text message) who were able to attend.
We were running a little late, so we modified our schedule a bit from the invitation shown above.
Our first stop was Letterpress Distilling. I read about it in Seattle magazine during my recent visit to the hair salon. They are known for their Italian liqueurs, like Limoncello (made me think of my first trip to Italy, where I purchased my first limoncello in Assisi), Arancello Rosso (blood orange liqueur) and Amaro Amorino, but they also produce their own vodka, which is the base for their liqueur. I purchased the tasting for up to four people on Groupon for around $40. There ended up only being three of us, so we split the ration for the fourth guest.
The place was a bit difficult to find, it’s a nondescript doorway with a red awning, sort of in an alleyway. Our Uber drivers (coming and going) had a difficult time finding it.
The owner grew up visiting Italy every summer, where his mother is from, and decided to end his career in printing (hence the name), and get into the distilling business. He said that the name Letterpress came about one day when he was holding something that was hand printed. He said that your first reaction is to feel the paper, smell it, etc. When something is hand printed it there is something about the quality (paper weight, ink, etc.) that allows you to feel the difference and appreciate the craft. And that was the same way he wanted people to feel about his liqueurs.
You can tell that he really has a love for it and I was amazed at the amount of knowledge he has about the history of alcohol and the process in which it’s made. Sounds like you need to be a chemistry major.
The ingredients for their product is primarily sourced locally from the Pacific Northwest. The wheat is purchased from La Conner, Washington (if you’re familiar, this is also where the beautiful tulip fields are located). Their honey is from Washington and Oregon, purchased from a company based in Eugene, Oregon.
Yes, I said honey. One of the things that makes their liqueur different from others is that they sweeten it with honey instead of sugar. Apparently back in the old days in Italy, it was honey they used to sweeten Limoncello, because it was native to the area, and sugarcane was not. It gives it a lovely smooth taste and really brings out the flavor of the fruit. He also shared with us that they only distill their vodka twice. Most vodka companies brag about the number of times they distill their product (like Gray Goose and Tito’s), but essentially that is designed to make the product tasteless. This is great if you prefer it to be tasteless, but he wanted to keep some of the natural flavors of vanilla and such. I was surprised how much the vodka, when only distilled twice, really did have a good flavor.
All of the products tasted great. They are high quality, and made with care. I was most fond of the Amaro. It has a spice taste to it. They use orange peel, cloves, chamomile, etc. in the list of ingredients. To me, it tastes like Christmas. They also served a sample of it made into a hot toddy. It was quite delicious. The type of drink that you would sip fireside.
The tasting ended with a tour of the process, which is in the warehouse connected to their small tasting room.
About four to six or seven samples later (remember we split the fourth serving), we made our way to Alchemy in West Seattle. I’ve been wanting to try this restaurant/bar since before they opened, which I believe was about a year ago. This place is so cool! It’s like Lydia Deetz meets Dita Von Teese. The decor is what I would call Gothic Glam. We were seated on a black leather tufted sofa, where we shared several small plates between the three of us (deviled eggs, beet salad, brussel sprouts, cheeseburger sliders, cheese plate and candied bacon). Every dish was delicious! The cocktails, however, are not to be missed. The presentation is beautiful, and matched in taste.
Even the bathroom in this place was cool. The wallpaper looked like an apothecary’s shelf filled with special potions.
The last stop on the agenda was Lady Yum in Seattle (located at the Amazon campus). This is my favorite macaron shop in the city of Seattle. I mean who doesn’t love a Champagne and macaron combo? Oh, and in case you’re in the Seattle area, you should know that they have Bottomless Champagne Tuesdays!!!
The shop itself is darling, with a pink coral front counter topped with a rainbow variety of scrumptious macaron flavors like Apricot Prosecco, Salted Caramel and even Unicorn (tastes like cotton candy). There are small marble tables with bar stools that sit under beautiful crystal chandeliers. The center of attention is an amazing accent wall (#Instagramworthy) with two peacock wicker chairs placed on each side of a brass peacock table (now this is a “service peacock situation that I can deal with). If you take a peek behind the black and white striped curtain in the back, you’ll see pink and green wallpaper reminiscent of the Beverly Hills Hotel’s Martinique wallpaper (I love it even more with the pink added).
P.S. If you don’t make it to this location, they have a kiosk in the Seatac Airport and a location in Kirkland.
And lastly, per the theme, party favors for the BFF’s from Tiffany & Co. They each got a Tiffany & Co. paper cup (made of fine bone China, of course) from their Everyday Objects collection. They come in a set of two for $95. I bought a set of four for myself, too. I think they’d make for a darling brunch tablescape. Drinking your morning coffee or tea from one of these is sure to make you feel like you’re having “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” every day. I think they’d also be cute for displaying flowers or holding brushes on your makeup vanity in your boudoir.
Overall, it was an evening of special memories made with great friends.
Tell me about your best birthday celebration in the comments…