A Glamorous New Year's Eve

Colin recalls a fantastic New Year's Eve celebration of his own design

The days leading up to New Year’s Eve are always filled with excitement and anticipation. Year after year I put a lot of thought into who I’ll be spending the evening with, where I’ll be going, what I’ll be wearing, the music we’ll listen to and the wines or cocktails we’ll enjoy. I prefer celebrating the New Year with my nearest and dearest friends, so I always invite a small group of friends to celebrate with every year.

This particular New Year’s Eve, I decided to pull out all the stops and have a major full production, sit-down dinner. I asked all the girls to wear red gowns with their hair up, and to come adorned in big jewels. And for the men, tuxedos were a must. It’s the one holiday of the year where you’re guaranteed that everyone wants to get dressed to the nines.

An elegant evening requires an elegant table, and the glamour of walking into a dining room with one long table for the dinner can’t be topped. I’ve always been one to appreciate ritual and ceremony. It’s part of my upbringing, and I like to bring elements of both into my own life and into those of my friends. Since my dining room wasn't large enough for such a special occasion, I went to quite a bit of trouble and moved the furniture around in my apartment so the living room became the dining room, and the dining room became the living room. The décor was sexy and chic with rich colors and bold metallics; ideal for a party ringing in the New Year. The table was dressed in a stunning buttery caramel-colored damask tablecloth with a gold embroidered runner down the center. For drama and height, I anchored the table with tall candelabras with dramatic black tapers alongside vases packed with bright coral and orange roses. Each place setting had an over-scaled handwritten menu on red card stock with gold writing that mirrored the red invitations I sent. All of the china and crystal on the table were pieces I either collected over the years or designed myself. On the sideboard next to the table, I set up a wine station with individual ice buckets for each of the different bottles we’d enjoy throughout the evening. 

I’ve always been one to appreciate ritual and ceremony. It’s part of my upbringing, and I like to bring elements of both into my own life and into those of my friends. Since the egg symbolizes new beginnings, I started the meal off with an egg holder carved out of ice that I designed in the shape of a chalice. Inside, I placed a hollowed-out ostrich egg filled with crushed ice, and inside that I filled a smaller egg with Triple Zero Imperial Beluga Caviar.  Next up was a salad of mache lettuce dressed in a light truffle vinaigrette topped with a slice of homemade foie gras and some brioche toast, paired with a legendary Chateau Y’Quen 1993. In keeping with the indulgent theme, the third course was an architectural Mielle Feuille of salmon and caviar, and for this dish, I chose a Corton Charlemagne Lafolatier 1995. For the main course, a handsome rack of lamb was served with white truffle potato cakes and magnums of Lafite Rothschild 1975. For a sweet ending, the dessert course was the triple chocolate delight topped with chocolate sorbet and a champagne chocolate truffle drizzled with chocolate sauce, accompanied by Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame Rosé. Needless to say, my guests were blown away. 

Post-dinner, sparklers were passed around and we made our very own fireworks in the living room as the official countdown began. It was my interpretation of Babette’s Feast. I worked on my menu and collected wines for well over six months. It was both fun and challenging to create such a spectacular New Year’s Eve celebration, but my friends are well worth it.


--Colin Cowie

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