Shelby About town
The most exotic birthday party ever? This wildly grand 40th stretched from India to Houston
Not all of Nidhika Mehta's friends could join her in Jaipur, India, in March for the grand multi-day celebration of her 40th birthday. So a few of her BFFs joined together to provide the next best thing — a Jaipur-inspired luncheon in a beautiful garden setting.
Think strutting peacocks, exotic flowers flown in just for the occasion, a rainbow of colorful umbrellas and table decorations and Indian music. Every detail was carefully orchestrated down to the napkin rings which were tiny children's bracelets from India.
Joining forces as hostesses were Donatella Benckenstein, Katie Brass, Mehrnaz Gill, Sally Qasem, Rosemarie Johnson, the birthday girl's daughter Arusha Mehta and Jaleh Sallee, who opened her home and vast garden for the party. The ladies had been planning this party for their dear friend since September.
Think strutting peacocks, exotic flowers flown in just for the occasion, a rainbow of colorful umbrellas and table decorations and Indian music.
"From the music, to the colors, to the peacocks and down to the custom weather," Nidhika said, "they did everything to transport me to the Rambagh Palace Hotel in Jaipur, where we celebrated for a couple of days with friends and family from over the world." Thirty friends from Houston made the trip and are still talking about the grand fete.
For the Houston celebration, the hostesses called on Tony's to provide the scrumptious Indian/Middle Eastern themed buffet featuring stuffed grape leaves, hummus, garbanzo bean salad, kebabs and more. The popular soslu patlican (eggplant with tomato) was the only dish not from Tony's kitchen, credits for that go to the Turkish Empire Grill.
Arusha Mehta's task was to arrange for the birthday cake — a job beautifully accomplished with the help of Edible Designs by Jessie, which created an exotic, resplendent Indian-themed design. Add baklava and almond cookies from Tony's to the dessert mix.
Among those living the good life on this perfect afternoon were Zeina Fares, Lucinda Loya, Gina Gaston, Aku Bedi, Phoebe Tudor, Eva Farha, Ericka Bagwell, Ghyda Midani, Diane Lokey Farb, Alicia Smith, Kimberly DeLape, Pinder Gill and Yamile Salomon.