Hosting Tips

This Hidden Hacienda Was Begging For a Cinco de Mayo Party

By Carmen Collins
cinco de mayo party

Why wait for Memorial Day? Here at the CS office, we say summer starts on May 5, and Cinco de Mayo may be our all-time favorite holiday. We’ll do anything for a mouth-watering margarita on a warm spring day, and can’t get enough of Mexican-inspired ruffled tops and embroidered blouses. After hearing about Jenn’s recent vacation to Hotel San Cristóbal, we wanted to transport ourselves straight to Mexico to celebrate Cinco this year. But instead of breaking out our passports, we found the perfect location for our fiesta right in the heart of Austin. We whipped up roasted veggie tacos and prickly pear margaritas that made our taste buds sing, and learned how to play a classic Mexican board game. Scroll down to get the recipes, become inspired by our vibrant color palette, and discover the next location for your weekend getaway.

photography by ashleigh amoroso

We couldn’t believe it when we found out Jennifer’s Gardens was right in our backyard. Hidden in central Austin among a blooming green garden, this hacienda has an old world, Mexican feel with modern-day amenities. It was truly our personal oasis.

We went all-out when it came to color. Erin from Rosehip Flora created these gorgeous, overflowing centerpieces for our party. She used a mixture of:

  • hellebores
  • ranunculus
  • blooming sage
  • salmon spray roses
  • peonies
  • coleus
  • white spirea
  • boronia
  • yellow butterfly ranunculus
  • white columbine
  • japanese sweet pea

The owners of Jennifer’s Gardens have been collecting vintage furniture and decor pieces for years. Their collection ranges from worn-in wooden tables and chairs to handmade art and dishware.

To create our colorful tablescape, we used a beautifully embroidered, otomi table runner and fringed napkins from Ara Collective. I created these papel picado place cards to mark each of our seats at the table.

A little corner of paradise…

Chanel’s off-the-shoulder, ruffle top was right on trend with our laid-back Mexican vibes, and this woven serving tray was the perfect piece for passing out margaritas.

Our hot pink margaritas were super eye-catching in these handblown glass tumblers. Candice from Oh! Fox Creative designed these herself and had them made in Mexico.

Get the recipe for our prickly pear margarita here!

When planning out the menu, we went for a vegetarian vibe. These roasted veggie tacos were crunchy and fresh, and kept us feeling full throughout the party because they were made with such hearty ingredients.

We topped ours off with a delicious chipotle mayo and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.

Get the recipe for our roasted veggie tacos here!

For a fresh side dish, we grilled beets and topped them with cotija cheese, cilantro, and chimichurri sauce, and served them up alongside endless chips and guacamole.

Get more beet-inspired recipes here!

Our color palette had no bounds! We were inspired by the bright colors of the season – hot pinks, sunny yellows, and soft oranges.

Family-style was the way to go when serving up our dishes to ensure everyone got as much food as they wanted. We even went back for seconds!

Our soundtrack for the party consisted of the classic country music playing off our FM radio.

Jenn tried to help us brush up on our Spanish…

But the only words we could seem to nail down were, “Muy delicioso!”.

We sipped on margaritas while Jenn serenaded us with old school tunes.

And then we broke out the board games for a few rounds of Lotería. I called my dad, who was born and raised in Mexico, for a quick rundown of the rules, which are much like Bingo.

One person shuffles the deck and places the cards face down on the table. That person then calls out the cards one by one, and if the picture on the card matches a picture on your board, you place a marker on your square.

The first person to mark off four squares in a row is the winner and shouts out, “Lotería!”

Our competitive sides kicked in once we noticed all the pesos on the line, and we had fun trying to perfect the pronunciations of all the cards in the deck.

We left the beautifully carved front doors open for most of the party so we could enjoy the nice springtime breeze inside. The girls at Loot Vintage Rentals let us borrow these glass demijohns that Erin filled with blooming branches.

Our thoughts all day were, “When can we move in?!” Lucky for us, the owners offer up the space as a vacation rental and event venue. We predict many staycations in our future…

At the end of the party, everyone took home a small succulent in a classic terracotta pot. I created the gold leaf detailing by using gold leaf flakes, clear tacky glue, and a soft paint brush.

Feliz Cinco de Mayo, amigos!