Whimsical. That’s the word that instantly comes to mind when I think of last weekend’s dining event Table for 1200. The words I heard the most from my dining companions were “This is AMAZING!” And they weren’t wrong.
I wasn’t sure what to expect at this event. I knew it was happening at Esplanade Riel, everyone was to wear white, there would be a ton of tables stacked in one long row, and that the Team Captains were responsible for coming up with a table design, but I had no clue that we were in store for one of Winnipeg’s most unique dining experiences… like, ever. (Ok, maybe this experience beats it, but that one didn’t feed 1,200 people… at once!)
Table for 1200 was the brainchild of StorefrontMB and 5468796 Architecture. Their mission was to “highlight Winnipeg’s emerging design scene by bringing together architecture, design and the culinary arts to create an evening of entertainment and stimulating conversation in an absolutely unique setting.” Umm, mission accomplished! The setting was sick.
For the table designs, the depth of thought and creativity used was unparalleled for this city. Some tables went for a large POP of colour or a big statement, while others went for small personal touches and hints of whimsy. Both worked. There wasn’t a table that didn’t have a bit of uniqueness or WOW to it. Good job, Winnipeggers!
And asking everyone to wear white was a great decision. Not only did everyone look crisp and summery, the colourless clothing palette showed off the table designs even more.
There were so many fantastic designs, but my personal faves were: Alice in Wonderland, pretty in shocking pink, colourful paper birds (which had over 100 handmade origami birds folded from old magazines. Hello! A+ for effort!), Architecture 49’s beauty in numbers, and the paper bag roses. (All shown below.)
Travel Manitoba’s two tables featured summer country fairs — the Corn & Apple Festival and the Sunflower Festival. Our tables were colourful and bright, which was the perfect companion to the lively crowd. And it wouldn’t be Winnipeg without someone starting the Wave.
The meal itself consisted of a few interesting salads like quinoa with braised carrots, beets and watermelon, pickled mushrooms with lentils, and grilled zucchini with chickpea hummus. A couple I loved, a couple were ok. The main course consisted of grilled sausage with mustard and some lovely Manitoba brisket. The chocolate and toffee brittle for dessert was the best part (it certainly made Felix, one of our table guests, jump with delight).
The weather was warm, the location was stunning, the tables were whimsical and the company was delightful. What a way to kick-off summer 2014!