Sophisticated decorations and a whimsical theme make for a festive lunch for Martha's granddaughter's first birthday.
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The cake table was set up as a focal point. The three cakes were decorated with handmade marzipan animal figures -- which aren't too hard to make if you have the patience.
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Fun and Games
Jean-Georges Vongerichten and I loved the stuffed-animal theme, and we each found a favorite--a bear for me and a mouse for Jean-Georges.
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Steiff animals found their way onto paper place mats and square pine blocks embellished with printed critters and the names of our guests. Personalized menus were placed atop crisp white cotton napkins. Re-create the table decorations with our clip art:
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Animals on Parade
We pushed all the "tables for two" together and created one long luncheon table. With the modern lamps overhead and clear balloons and cutout animals, the party was beautifully framed and remained contained in that area.
Bubble balloons, in Clear and White, 15", jrballoon.com. Divine twine, in Oyster, $15 for 240 yd., whiskergraphics.com. Kingdom Animalia lasercut animals, in Natural Maple, $60 each, enormouschampion.com. Stuffed animals, steiffusa.com.
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A radiant Alexis and an elusive Jude getting ready to enjoy a delicious meal prepared with such care by Jean-Georges and Cedric.
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Enjoy the Moment
"Uncle" Kevin and I had a very good time at the luncheon table. All we could think of was "What will we do next year?"
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Each slice of brown-sugar layer cake was accompanied by a marzipan animal.
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Dani Fiori of Sweet Dani B baked and decorated the menagerie of animal sugar cookies, sticking to the color scheme (yes, there was one) and cleverly replicating the charm of the Steiff animals. The cookies served as party favors.
Photography: Francesco Lagnese9 of 9
The large glass domes and ceramic stands are from my collection at Macy's. They were the perfect size for Jude's cakes, each of which was embellished with sweet marzipan animals: monkeys, lions, giraffes, elephants, and snakes on the jungle-themed cake; polar bears, penguins, seals, turtles, and foxes on the polar cake; and deer, owls, bears, bunnies, snails, mice, hedgehogs, and squirrels on the woodland cake.