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My Birthday, A Chocolate Cake & Sabering at The St. Regis

Another year of life means I’ve made some  mistakes, made some great friends, continued growing my business, tried new things, both good and bad and most of all have had another opportunity to get IT right.

Every morning, I strive at being a better person in all facets of my life. Not the easiest feat to accomplish, but it’s such a wonderful gift to have the opportunity.

It was pouring on my birthday just less than two weeks ago! Blah. I woke up and decided to cancel all of my serious partying plans. I mean come on, who wants to get dolled up and be sexy at one of Atlanta’s chicest hotels in all the precipitation?! It was not happening! Then I got to thinking? Why the hell not? I work hard, sleep little, share with others and darn it, I want a few glasses of bubbly!

After a full day’s worth of pampering, the real fun ensued.

Mind you, this was Tuesday the 2nd, but I had already started partying the Friday evening before with extremely delicious tastings and dinner dates, all of which I’ll reserve for the Restaurant Review section of this blog. Arriving at the St. Regis Buckhead (another treat coordinated by a new friend I met at Whole Foods) was all I needed to do.

This won’t turn into a review of the über swanky spot, located in Buckhead, but I will indulge you a bit with  their  attention to detail and extravagant interior design. Think a modern home owned by Coco Chanel. Or perhaps Ralph Lauren’s home. It was like that. Lovely, classy and stunning.

I made my way up the curved staircase to Paces 88 Restaurant. I had requested my party be in the lounge/bar area, so as to minimize the uppity aura the formal dining room offers. However, as soon as the host greeted me, she whisked me into a beautiful, wine bottle-lined room, where personalized wine and dinner menu’s were placed on the table.

(formal wine room)

Clearly, I was grinning from ear to ear, but I felt a bit too VIP, so we snapped a few pictures just to say we were there and I asked to be moved to the bar/lounge area. Much better. A relaxed and unpretentious ambiance was perfect for the group of friends that joined me.

As friends trickled in, the host came back and introduced me to their sommelier. He was going to saber a bottle of champagne they gifted me. It’s actually something the boutique hotel does every evening at 6, but I was late to my own party and missed the whole thing.

(Sommelier at West Paces 88 preparing to saber)


Which, ultimately, I was totally okay with because it meant we had a sweet little private corking. We all asked questions about the history of sabering and I pretended to know what I was doing!

(Perrier-Jouet Champagne, barrel)

I need to learn how to do that! How sexy would that be? Do any of you know how?

We all raised our flutes and went to town! I quickly downed 2 glasses of the bubbly. It was sweet but not over powering and had the perfect amount of sparkle. Two glasses was enough for me to have to order food.

Unfortunately, the heavy hors d’oeuvres [and small plates] were just okay. I opted for the local goat cheese tart with caramelized onions, wild  mushrooms, arugula and truffle oil. It was divine, but not enough for the $22 it cost my clutch. And green tea at $6 a cup is robbery. But, I consider where we were, though not DC, LA or NY. It’s Atlanta people. I  gently devoured my small plate.

My friend Derek had the hamburger below and was disappointed.

(standard burger; variety of wines for the night)

(goat cheese pastry tart with wild mushrooms and truffle oil)

(my friend Rohan & me, lobster spring rolls, Simone and me)

But, all was rectified when the cake came out.

This is where it was all at! Here is a perfect example of how expensive food, lavish decór and fancy plating can be completely overshadowed by a middle class, 2nd rate baker. My good friend brought me the most decadent chocolate ganache cake from Publix. Yes, Publix, the grocery store.

(Chocolate ganache cake from Publix)


Our lovely server lit my 3 candles, I made a wish and faster than the plates could be given out, I was slicing into that pure and sinful lusciousness. I’ve had a lot of cakes. I’ve had a lot of desserts and yet still I find that our most unassuming bakeries and home pastry makers are totally underrated and actually yield amazing delicacies. The cake was luscious, moist, not too rich and creamy.

Everything I look for in chocolate.

(Counter clockwise: A & me; my fab make up artist Jenny & her husband Terry; Simone & Bridget)

After 3 hours of chatter, side bar conversations, wine, singing happy birthday and devouring the cake, cocktails, an encounter with an elderly man who shared he’d just had Viagra and had a hot date for the evening, I was a happy gal.

I didn’t publish a picture we took to spare him some potential problems!

(the few that could hang all night. Others slowly peeled away. It was the Champagne)

(L-R:Donnie & me; Sean & me; fresh greenery; shot of A, Nyema, Jennifer & me)

The evening didn’t end without a random man named Donnie visiting from Tampa, crashing my party! I made him pay for that. Within 15 minutes, he discreetly entered the amber lit bar room and bought my entire party two rounds of 1800 tequila shots. I hesitated for what seemed to be an hour but finally swigged.

3 glasses of Champagne, 1 glass of Riesling, 1 shot of tequila and chocolate ganache.

That’s how I like to party! [At least on my birthday!]

Happy birthday to all my November friends! Party hard!

* special thanks to my intern Nicole for capturing all of the evening’s pictures, Jenny from J. Mont Studio for doing my make up, Spa Sydell for their generous services and lovely flowers, the St. Regis hotel and Paces 88 restaurant for their awesome service & champagne and for my lovely friends that gave me funny cards and gifts. Smooches!


Eat well, love unapologetically, pray with true intention, and take care of yourself.

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92 thoughts on “My Birthday, A Chocolate Cake & Sabering at The St. Regis

  1. That Publix cake looks phenomenal. Being able to go to Publix is the main reason I want to move South.

    You know you are looking fly as ever and I love those shoes. They are too hot, honey!!!

    Now, they ought to be ashamed of themselves for putting out such a dry hamburger and those lifeless fries. I mean so much thought went into a lot of the other details and the food is just so-so. Tsk tsk tsk!

  2. I have to be where ever you are during your next birthday or have you plan mine. Looks like it was a awesome time.

  3. Rosa: Oh honey, it was so awesome. In fact, I’m still partying!!!! So much fun over here!

    Kathy: Gracias, chica! It was fab, fab, fab. What I didn’t mention was that I had a a full body massage earlier in the day which really set it all off! 😉

    AJ: Girl it was so off the chain! We literally ate it all; even the server asked for a piece. I reserved one small slither for me to have for breakfast, which was great! Shoes were hotness, as always. You know how I have to do! The food was not to par with their brand, ambiance and service… burger should have been Kobe beef with home made ketchup and other fabulous condiments. Oh well? What do you do? Drinks are good, though!

    Andre: Well (in Antoine Dodson voice), I’ll be home for Tday so we can def. hang since I do party all month long! 😉 Thanks for stopping by–it’s been a minute!

  4. Lys: You too chica! How was yours!?! Did you share anything on your blog? Mosey’ing there now. Thanks on the shoes.

  5. Happy, happy birthday! There was no doubt from those pics who the birthday girl was–was a glam! Glad you didn’t have to cook your own b’day dinner and were surrounded by friends. Who could ask for more!

  6. Bren, sounds like it was a truly fabulous day. Much deserved for you and all of your divaliciousness! Publix huh? Who knew?…

  7. You know I was so sad that I could not make it. You know I had Twitter Tuesdays that night. I promise I have something special for you though. Clue: Something that transforms and flys. (its not a toy)….lol

  8. Why not make it an extra special day on your birthday. They only come once a year, although if you are me you celebrate more than once. Happt belated birthday Bren!!

  9. 5 Star Foodie: Thanks, chica. Was a ball for sure!

    Suzanne: hiiiii! Thanks Sue. So nice to see you stop by. Def. had a great time. Drank a bit too much, which I haven’t done in about 4 months so you can only imagine how I was feeling! And yes, I did not have to cook. Score!

    Heidi: Si mija… que rico, verdad.

    Danita: You my friend would have had a grand ol time with us. Dule was off the chain as usual! 😉

    Taylor: I’m sure your bit was great, too. We’ll have to make it out to one of them… And I can’t wait to see what you have for me. Just say it ain’t no butterfly that will scare me! lol

    Val: Exactly!?!?! 😉 You understand! Thanks woman.

    Gunpowder: Yes, yes, yes, you know it! Gracias.

    DuoDishes: Let’s make it happen. we owe a call anyway!

  10. The party was great!! A lot of fun. Enjoyed the tequilla shots at the end. Also you didn’t have enough to drink, BIRTHDAY GIRL!!

  11. Dullah: Oh my gosh, you know I had entirely too much to drink. Won’t do that again. Well, til next b-day! 🙂 Thanks for being there!

    Dimah: thanks so much and it was a pleasure coming across your blog! 🙂

    David: I know, I know! It would have been fabulous with you and the rest here to enjoy! Hawai’i HERE we COME!!

    Lori Lynn: Thanks, pretty woman. I appreciate the luv. Funny you like that pic. I’m not crazy at all, but I’ll take the nicety! 🙂

  12. Happy Birthday Bren! Looks you celebrated in style and with special people:) gorgeous cake too!! Xx


  14. Awh how fun happy belated you looked fab and loved the hat! Pinktastic! Tell Jenny hi she did my face several times xoxo

  15. Michelle: Thank you, lady! Happy birthday to your sister, too! Cake was awesome to the 10th!

    Blackbookktichendiaries: Thanks, thanks! loved your blog. Will def. be back!

    Lora: Thank you! I sure did have tons of fun, just not enough cuties near me!

    Juliana: Thank you honey. I need to have a big birthday celebration with all my food blogger friends! Maybe next year! How fab will that be!?

    Carmen: gracias, mami! todo estuvo precioso y de lo las menos la absencia de ustedes 🙁

    Tami: Thanks pinky! It was great, sexy and delicious! You’re so busy, I didn’t even think to invite you. Next year!! And yes, Jenny is awesome! Love her.

  16. Hi…a very happy belated birthday to you…I can see you have a radiant smile, brimming with contentment…may it be the same and more in this coming year…
    Joyeux anniversaire!!

  17. YAY!! Bday celebration looks like it was tons of fun.. too bad i wasn’t there.. then it would have been astronomical!. haha! Everything looks like it was amazing! So glad you had a great time with wonderful friends! As for sabering.. hhmm. give me a sword and a bottle and i’ll figure it out.. haha!! just don’t stand too close!

    Glad you enjoyed your b-day! Here’s to next Year in Europe!!

  18. Always with class and an immaculate taste from head to toes, an artful display of culinary skills.

    By far a great combination of an intrigue personality, an unprecedented respect and admiration for friendship, fashion and culture.

    I salute you! Happy Birthday!


  20. Brava,

    I can not thank you enough for always keeping my mouth watering with all your delectable delights. Anticipating the next culinary treasure!!

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