Making Mexican Modern.

When I was in London last year I had a truly memorable meal at La Bodega Negra- a super hip restaurant in the Soho district.

It's not just the unusual location (the bottom of a strip club) that's made this eatery one of the coolest places in the city - it's the delicious, modern Mexican food.

The menu is full of classics like tacos, sliders and churros reinterpreted by twisting up the ingredients and presentation.

The whole experience inspired me to wrap the same vibe into a dinner party for friends back home.

I wanted to take to the best of Mexican - colours, sounds, spice - and chic it right up.

This Sunday is International Margarita Day, so why not spoil those you love with food, music & a little tequila.

Set The Scene.

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I always send invitations. Always.

No matter how small the event a fabulous invitation can turn a picnic into an occasion.

I made this invitation on PhotoShop. And yes it's written in Spanish. I figure everyone has Google.

Check out Paperless Post - they have a great range of cool Mexican designs that you can email or print.

Think skulls, not sombreros.

Make It Magical.

 Make guests feel special by creating a gorgeous dining space.   Mexico is full of beautiful colours, so I decided to choose two strong shades - red and fuchsia - and work them back with neutrals and the green of the garden.

Make guests feel special by creating a gorgeous dining space.

Mexicois full of beautiful colours, so I decided to choose two strong shades - red and fuchsia - and work them back with neutrals and the green of the garden.

I started by stringing layers of paper wedding bunting up above the table.

This is an easy way to create instant impact.

Traditionally used at Mexican weddings, you can buy these paper flags in bright colours but I chose white because they look like tulle tutus floating in the wind.

For the table, I bought some natural calico from Spotlightand then ran plain brown paper as a runner.

Not only is this inexpensive but at the end of the night you simply roll it up and throw it all away.

 

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For the table, I bought some natural calico from Spotlightand then ran plain brown paper as a runner.

Not only is this inexpensive but at the end of the night you simply roll it up and throw it all away.

I created five floral vignettes down the centre of the table. Always use an odd number three, five or seven because (paradoxically) it balances the table.

Using a combination of vases, hurricane lamps, jam jars and old bottles I mixed classic red roses with Mexican dahlia's and long pointy green things (the name of which I don't know) which reminded me of cactus.

I supplemented the blooms with crystal candle sticks and vintage candelabras.

TIP: Empty Patrón Silver Tequila bottles make great vases. They also make cool olive oil and vinaigrette dispensers.

Shoot The Guests.

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Nothing starts a party quite like a photo shoot can.

Except for a photo shoot with hats. That really gets things going.

I always set up a mini-studio at my parties and photograph guests before we sit down.

I borrowed this backdrop idea from the photo wall backstage at this years the Golden Globes.

Everybody looks good on GOLD

I used two metallic streamer curtains which you can attach to any wall and fits about four across.

CLICK TO BUY: Metallic Foil Curtain, $18.70

The Bandit Hat was my nod to traditional Mexico. But finding a cool, black sombrero wasn't so easy.

But I did and now you can too.

CLICK TO BUY: Mexcian Black Bandit Hat, $19.95

InteriorsPaula Joye