Send out an invitation that will reflect the theme. A card that features the Eiffel Tower on the cover, or one with the Arc de Triomphe, would be a beautiful way to broadcast that. Why not ask the guests to come as chic Parisiennes in the spirit of fun? Drop in a few French words into your invitation, too.
If you can get a miniature of the Eiffel Tower as the highlight of your party area, do! Highlight it with fairy lights to simulate the tower at night. Set topiary trees around the party area decorated with fairy lights, too. Change the light bulbs in your room to a soft yellow to mimic the soft Parisian light.
Use little cafe tables like they do on the sidewalks. Covered with red and white checked tablecloths, these are perfect copies. Use white napkins and plates for each place setting. Have a tiny vase in the middle filled with tiny pink roses. Keep the tables very clean and simple, the French are masters of restraint.
Beside your buffet table, set a large blackboard on an easel with the menu written out in white chalk. Cover the table with a pure white cloth and white toppers. As your centerpiece, set three to five miniature topiaries near the center of the table. Arrange your food around them on white platters. A few candles here and there in white votive containers would be perfect.
Serve a typical Parisienne menu – flavorful yet light. A great selection would be a simple Croque Madame with a mixed green salad tossed in vinaigrette with a side of thin pomme frites? Easy, earthy, homey, and very Paris. With that simple meal, have a light fruit dessert, perhaps one of baked apples with a topping of vanilla ice cream? Appropriate yet slightly heavier is the classic dark chocolate mousse. Or be really French and end with a platter of fresh and dried fruits paired with fresh cheese and honey? Serve a dry, light red wine with the main meal and a sweeter red with the dessert. For the teetolers, red grape spritzer is a delicious alternative.
And why not have a cake? You could choose between a simple round sponge topped with a replica of the Eiffel Tower or have a classic croquembouche with its crunchy caramel coating and luscious vanilla cream filling. Of course, if the mommy-to-be want to eat something else, that is the perfect choice.
Why not play a game with the French language? See how many of your friends are Francophiles? Make a list of baby items and using a translator program on the net or a good English-French dictionary, translate all the words into French. Scramble the words and print them out on a list, while keeping the master list to yourself. Hand each guest a copy and let them unscramble all the words – correctly – within five minutes. The first one to correctly unscramble the words wins a prize – a CD of French music (Putomayo has a great selection).
As favors, what can be more Parisian than French Macarons? Package
together a selection of flavors (lemon and rosewater are really
“Frenchy” flavors) in a clear cellophane bag and wrap
up with a gold ribbon.