A few weeks ago I gathered a wonderful mix of friends to celebrate the first Popover gathering. It was a spring inspired lunch meant to kick off the season, showcase some deliciously colorful and fresh food, and mingle with a great group of people. Popover is inspired by the conversations that are sparked over drinks and food so a pristine styled event where no one could touch anything was not the goal of the afternoon. Guests were invited to engage with the people around them, eat food, toast glasses of champagne and wine, and above all make the party look like a real party, empty plates and crumpled napkins welcome. I even encouraged a few wine stains because in the real world, a good party means making guests comfortable. The afternoon could not have been better and as I looked around the table at the friends who had gathered, I felt that the true reason Popover was created had been realized.
The afternoon began at one of Los Angeles’s newest co-working spaces called The Unique Space. Situated prominently on a busy street in the arts district, the transformed warehouse is everything a creative design space should be. Wall hangings in every corner, bikes to borrow, mid-century furniture scattered throughout, and a turquoise kitchen sink just to add a culinary twist to the envious space. We filled the upper level with a long banquet table styled rustically with a muslin tablecloth, linen napkins, hand crafted place mats and paper goods from Soda Paper, and mismatched wood serving planks. The original hardwood floors and large metal frame windows completed the vibe of the loft. I crafted a large linen strip wall hanging to accent the background and give the space an airy feel, while cherry blossom branches were arranged in big recycled glass vases on the ground.
The food was the star of the afternoon and since spring means fresh eats, our menu was full of green asparagus, heirloom tomatoes, dark leafy kale, crispy sugar snap peas, green onions, and rainbow carrots. That morning, in true spring season fashion, I headed to the farmers market to pick out the most colorful food selections for lunch. I indulged a bit and packed my bags with bright pink radishes, the carrots mentioned before, and bundles of freesia and hydrangeas. The slightly cool yet sunny morning was the best inspiration for the spring themed menu that was to come later in the day. The food was fairly light and simple to prepare, the perfect menu for a stress-free lunch with items that could be cooked the day before. Chilled quinoa with tomatoes and green onion, a kale caesar salad, mushroom and asparagus tarts, crusty bread, raw crispy veggies, and a big bowl of strawberries and whipped cream to end the meal with something sweet. The incredibly talented Sara from Onelove Photgraphy was on hand to capture the afternoon shooting every little side conversation, sip of a cocktail, and lovely faces of the guests (little tidbit, she photographed my wedding too!). Of course, Popover gatherings are all about the interaction and not just a pretty set up so the conversation was another major highlight of the day. Friends from different stages of life were there, from elementary school to college roommates, there were even some new faces that fit in perfectly.
After the guests left Paul and I stayed behind to clean the plates and tidy up the area. The scattered dishes and glasses left next to empty bowls and platters that once held tarts and salads could not have been a better sign of the successful afternoon. The Unique Space’s loft features an incredible home-style kitchen for the resident workers so I didn’t have any problem pretending that the setting was in my own home. I tend to enjoy that calm after the guests leave a party so as I folded up the linens and Paul rinsed off the dishes the two big windows, that offered an unobstructed view of the city, made it feel exactly as a leisurely spring day in the city should feel. Although Los Angeles has had one of the most mild winters I can remember, hosting lunch on a sunny day with farm fresh food definitely proved that spring is near and should be celebrated.
To view all of the photos from the day stop by our Facebook page.