A few weeks ago I was invited to attend the official opening party of #DxDCgy. Having heard about it last year, but too late to get tickets, I was pretty excited this time around.
The night swirled around delectable and creative cocktails, paired to match the creative interior designs set up by local artists.
Awe-inspiring dining installations were located throughout the hall, bringing you into a new world and engaging all your senses.
And, although the installations were the focus for the night, the event was so much more.
We walked into the transformed space and headed to the VIP lounge for a beverage.
Here, they were making two feature drinks with unique spices and smoky flavours and handing them out a lineup of guests that led outside the door.
We watched, enthralled by the techniques and fascinated by the flavour combinations, before making our first pick and heading out to explore.
In the main lounge, guests were mingling and commenting on the artwork, while classical piano played in the background.
I quite enjoy interior design. I find it interesting to see what elements are paired together and whether the artist favours subtle or bold colours. The ability to transform a space is such a talent, and right away I was impressed by what was displayed at this event.
Starting, with an Alice in Wonderland themed outdoor space by Leanne Bunnell.
Completed with “drink me” and “eat me” features, hanging lights, and gold accents, it was glamourous and elegant, with a hint of mystery.
Next, was a rustic yet comfortable setting, featuring birch wood, roses, and dark grey tones.
Curated by WW Design Studio, the vision combined rustic elements that were recycled, repurposed, and re-imagined, using a live-edge walnut slab, metal sculpted trees, and chrome table legs. Stepping into this space felt like stepping right into the woods.
Of course, the next “installation” wasn’t one of design, rather, it was one to feast.
Poached prawns, pulled pork tacos, and bison tartare were carefully crafted to look as artful as the tablescapes, encouraging guests to grab a bite or two…or three.
I helped myself to a pulled pork taco with mango chutney and a spicy mayo, while Cole ate his fill of the tartare. Both were delicious and as flavourful as their appearance.
We continued through the designs, making our way to the back of the space.
One of my favourites, was this old world scape, balancing industrial elements and fresh light layers, designed by Rochelle Cote.
Simulating a Mediterranean meets Tuscan décor, whimsical characteristics were infused such as mis-matched chairs, hanging lights, an array of glowing candles, and large flowers.
And beside it, another Mediterranean meets Moroccan theme, complete with a ceiling of paper flowers.
With large weaved chairs, an assortment of frames, and colourful place settings, this theme transported to you to what felt like a fabulous and intimate dinner on a backyard patio. One that I would certainly like to attend.
Different from the rest, was a modern Japanese setting by Nyla Free designs. Steeped with undertones of simplicity and respect.
The paper umbrellas hanging from the ceiling, handcrafted origami, and intricate details made this design look comforting and relaxing. And, paired with a long concrete table and wooden elements, the mix of industrial yet rustic vibes was very welcoming.
We wandered through a few more settings, noting our favourites and discussing each of the elements, before deciding it was time for refreshments.
And even spotted a popup shop from my favourite, the Silk Road Spice Merchant. With all the Moroccan themed settings, they fit right in.
After the main entrance, there were at least four more bar areas, each drawing up different feature drinks and playing with your taste buds.
One of my favourites, was the fizzy marshmallows.
Plopped into whatever concoction this was.
Luckily, there was more food outside, including my favourite – a fiasco vespa.
Loaded with three enticing flavours, the Fiasco area was one of the hottest destinations in the bunch.
We found our place in line and fended off a few line-cutters, before settling on a combination of white chocolate pretzel and dreamy peanut butter bar.
When it doubt, always go for both!
I did my happy dance, spooning gelato after gelato into my mouth. #noshame
This is my happy dance – usually done when free food (or more specifically, ice cream) is involved. 🍦🍦 especially, when it's @fiascogelato | And yes, I'm half drooling because it's that good 🙈 #noshame . . . . #yycfood #yyceats #yycliving #gelato #foodblog #yycbloggers #blog #delicious #foodblogger #foodie #yycnow #yum #calgary #yyc #instagood #lifeincalgary #capturecalgary #dxdcgy #fiascogelato #happydance #artisangelato #freefood #sweettooth #liveauthentic #weheartit
We stayed in the green area for sometime, enjoying the beautiful spring weather, listening to the sounds of a happy crowd, and spotting some of Calgary’s best in fashion & interior design.
The event was even better than I had expected. Putting the food & cocktails aside (which were awesome), the night felt glamorous and intriguing and left us with a sense of awe and creativity.
It is really neat to come together to celebrate talent and the creativity that builds inside Calgary!
I would highly recommend keeping an eye out for next year’s event. With events in Toronto, Calgary, and Vancouver, check out the Dinner by Design website for one nearest you.