Two luxe events merge gastronomic and aesthetic excellence under one roof.

Everyone knows a truly memorable meal is about more than food—environment is also key. Even the most perfunctory takeout sandwich somehow tastes better in a comfortable chair, at a well-set table in a tastefully appointed room, rather than forlornly masticated in a windswept doorway near your work. This is the thinking that informs Cocktail Art! and Dinner by Design, a pair of annual events in which more than a dozen acclaimed West Coast interior designers are each given a 12-foot-square space in which to create a “tablescape” that subsequently hosts guests for two nights of exclusive dining and drinking experiences. (Three bars have also been offered up for unique artistic treatment.) First, Cocktail Art! (Sunday, Sept. 20) brings together 750 guests to enjoy the talents of Absolut brand ambassador Jacob Sweetapple and a team of mixologists. The following night (Monday, Sept. 21), Dinner by Design sees 150 guests assemble in the tablescapes to share a multicourse meal and wine pairings presented by chef Taryn Wa of Savoury Chef Foods. As well, those not attending the dinner can view the tablescapes Monday afternoon (all ages welcome) at a by-donation showing. All proceeds go to CANFAR and Emily Carr University of Art + Design. Tickets for Cocktail Art! are $50; for Dinner by Design, $300. Find more info and purchase tickets here. Cocktail Art Sunday, Sept. 20, 8pm Dinner by Design Monday, Sept. 21, 6:30pm Both events at Studio 40 (700 Hamilton St.)