Every year, the Philadelphia Flower show hosts a mini-series of special events along with the big flower showcase. I’ve been to the Flower Show in past years but never the special events, so when I was invited this year I was excited to go!
The first event was a LGBT Oscar-themed party, hosted by Mondo from Project Runway. I love & admire Mondo for being so humble and for also sharing his HIV-positive status with the world during an episode of PR. Now, he’s actively bringing awareness to the topic, and I think that’s incredibly brave & amazing. There were a number of local restaurants & businesses there, and it was fun jumping from table to table, learning & (obv) sampling.
There were fabulous drag queens there, impersonating Liza Minelli & Joan Richards – Joan told me I was cute in a sickening, little bo peep kind of way (haha).
PA Wine & Spirits, the State Alcohol supplier, was there sampling St. Germain (which I love), Hendricks Gin, and Art in the Age. I learned that anything they have online can be special ordered to the store closest to you at no charge – great if you’re looking for something special! I also had a surprisingly delicious Blood Orange Cocktail, garnished with rosemary – so unexpected!
Cafe Al Bacio (located on Celebrity Cruises Ships – how cool!) was there with Capogiro Gelato (119 S. 13th Street) in flavors I’ve never tried before, like Pineapple Mint. I’ll definitely get it next time I go, the flavor was very refreshing. Luke’s Lobster (130 S. 17th Street) served up Shrimp rolls, but I took too long getting to their table & they were all out =(. 10 Arts (10 S. Broad Street) had interesting little shooters with ingredients like beets & goat cheese, which I could totally see being a hit during happy hour. There was no delicate way to eat them, you just had to down it as fast as you could & hope for the best. Definitely would get some laughs & conversation going at the bar! My ABSOLUTE FAVORITE dish of the night was from Circles Thai (812 N. 2nd Street), and I don’t even LIKE Thai food! My mouth is watering now just thinking about it… AND they deliver to Center City. This was beef cheeks (so. frickin. tender.), braised in a yellow curry sauce, over a wonton cracker, with pickled veggies on top. I’m really hoping this is a menu item, because I could live on it.
After visiting all the tables, Mondo held a Q&A session about what he’s been up to lately & new projects on the horizon. He worked with Crocs on a new shoe line that will debut later this year, and is already designing a second collection for them. I’m really excited to see what he came up with, because I don’t think of Crocs as a stylish shoe line – interested to see how he changes that mindset! After the Q&A, we heard a lovely performance by the Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus, and finished out the night with an oscar-themed awards ceremony. I loved the outfits worn by the winners – check out that fierce fascinator!
The next event was all about weddings – there was even an actual wedding that took place! Philadelphia Police Officer Frank Kennedy and Philadelphia school teacher Roxanne Wilson entered Philadelphia Wedding Magazine’s Greatest Groom Contest, and won an entire wedding + honeymoon package! The flower show was a gorgeous backdrop for the ceremony, and the wedding party practically glowed on stage!
Once inside the ballroom, it was a crazy display of everything you’d ever need for your wedding. Did you know you can get married at the Franklin Institute? I had no idea, but I know now!
Red Sage Salon & Spa (9649 James Street) gave women glamorous mini hair, airbrush, and makeup makeovers.
Cupcakes & Cake Pops were literally everywhere, but I was pretty impressed by the Velvet Sky Bakery‘s (307 Leedom Street, Jenkintown) Salted Caramel mini cupcakes. They literally grate fresh pink (!!) Himalayan salt on the cupcake while you watch! Tasted amazing. Obviously. By far, my FAVORITE dessert was by Stephen Starr, and sadly they’re only available in Atlantic City =(. Ready? Marshmallow covered GINORMOUS strawberries. They had them skewered & on display in a field of “grass”, and I died like 3 times. I don’t know why I’ve never thought of combining the two – the juiciness of the berry combined with the sweet & slightly crunchy marshmallow was incredible. I’ll be honest and tell you I went back three times. Not ashamed. I fell in love with chef Mary Wong of New Street Catering & her upbeat, cool personality – I think I asked her to marry me at one point. She was sampling endive lettuce cups with fresh veggies & an edamame spread, which was so light & fresh compared to the desserts surrounding me.
And now for my favorite part of the evening……. CinemaCake is a company that specializes in film & slo-motion booths. They cart everything you need to your event (backdrop, props, lights, cameras), film you playing with silly things like glitter, balloons, hats, masks, etc, clean everything up before they leave, and provide you with a sweet video of your event. Melissa & I popped a balloon full of glitter for their cameras, and luckily I asked someone to shoot a series of photos with my camera while we did it. Magic moment.
The final event was dedicated to women & the things we love – the Flower Show’s take on Girls Night Out. Again, I was surrounded by local businesses, glamourizing stations, and amazing food (not complaining).
Some serious pampering was going on around the room! Deneen Marcel was there demonstrating her eyelash extensions – she attaches individual strands to your natural lashes to give them a gorgeous little oomph. Blo Out (1804 Chestnut Street) and Giovanni & Pileggi (258 S. 11th Street) were twirling curling irons – I saw a bunch of ladies with lovely heads of curls. Massage Envy and Hand & Stone (2000 Hamilton Street, #114A) were working out kinks with chair massages, and their wait-list quickly maxed out (not surprisingly). The ladies from About Face Skin Care (1015 Chestnut Street, Suite 1205) were offering complimentary eyebrow shaping, skin consultations, and Botox injections (!!). I wanted to snap some pics of a woman getting Botox, but missed it =(. The Bronzed Bee (406 S. 20th Street) was there to give mini tan sessions to fake a summer glow.
Food-wise, IndeBlue (205 S 13th Street) was by far my favorite. They had some delicious dishes for sampling, and I loved it all even though I’m not really a huge fan of Indian food! Considering their center city location is literally steps from my apartment, I see serious issues in my future.
I had an absolute blast at all three events, and can’t wait til next year! Until then, I’ll keep myself busy with all the great vendors I met =)