So Cal’s Big Bear Lake is surrounded by San Bernardino National Forest, ski resorts and tons of mountain trails. In the heart of it all sits an adorable 1950s style boutique getaway with 15 charming cabins, a giant swimming pool and a whole lot of space for a get together. One of the gorgeous founders of anti-bullying organization Kind Campaign, Molly Thompson recently celebrated her 30th birthday at Noon Lodge (a surprise gift from her lovely hubby, Chris) and we couldn't imagine a better spot to host such a gathering.
The pop-up dining gurus from Create Dinners are here to give us the scoop behind this grand birthday occasion. Plus, they’re spilling the beans on how to spark creative conversations at a gathering below. We love this idea and think you can translate it to any intimate birthday or dinner party event.
Tell us how this gathering came about and how you became involved?
Molly was turning 30 and her husband Chris wanted to surprise her with a special dinner on the final night of her weekend getaway with her closest friends.
What made each venue/backdrop ideal for what you wanted to capture on that day?
Noon Lodge was not our pick, but if we'd had any say in the matter, they still would have been and we'd choose them over and over again. They have such an amazing communal area with tables, fire pits, and beautiful views. The weather on this particular day was warm, but as the sun started to set, it was truly perfect. We couldn't have asked for a better spot in terms of it being easily accessible, lit by cafe lights once the sun set, and spacious.
Is there anything special you incorporated from the surrounding area into the day/weekend?
There were SO many things that were special about the day. The most special thing incorporated into the dinner were surprise name placeholders at each guest's setting that Molly's mom, who runs her own calligraphy business, Letter Bliss, made and dropped off at my home (SO sweet!) the night before we headed up to Big Bear.
Did you eat/drink anything in the area that was especially memorable?
Our chef, Kylie, who runs Cooking With Cocktail Rings created a custom menu for Molly that included some of her favorite things: Cheese and charcuterie boards, white bean rosemary dip, her infamous broccolini with garlic and red wine vinegar, a mesclun salad with bacon and truffle cheese, and sea salt caramel brownies. The cake was from Sister My Sister Bakeshop in Big Bear, but we had the pleasure of dressing it up with wildflowers that really tied it to our overall aesthetic.
Any fun stories or moments that stand out from the day?
One of my favorite details from the night were the bed sheets that we used as table linens, lol. Due to a mix-up before the dinner, we weren't able to access the real linens, so... we improvised! Everyone got a kick out of it, and you never would have noticed the sheets unless you were looking reaaaal hard. I also always love the conversation question portion of the night. At all of our Create Dinners, we write custom questions that go under each person's seat and about 30 minutes into the meal, we begin to go around the table and answer. All of the questions at this event were, of course, about Molly. It was amazing to listen to all of her friends shower her in love and stories. There were points where everyone was crying happy tears, myself included.
Start planning your trip to Big Bear with this guide to 15 essential places to see, stay and dine at in Big Bear →