There were the Northern Lights, chocolate lighthouses, an anchor crest, life saver rings, rope piping, sand dollars, and even a realistic nautical map showing Peaks Island. I could not have asked for anything more.

Recently I put together a surprise birthday 40th party for my little sister Molly who lives and works in Boston. I reserved Brain Boru Public House in Portland (my “local” for the last 24 years), hired a DJ, arranged food, and managed to get RSVP’s from nearly 70 friends and family from Maine to New York City.

When it came to the cake I decided to hire Dannielle Allen, Executive Chef of the Wild Duck Restaurant and Pub at Highland Green. You see, she had a little down time until April while the Wild Duck is expanded and renovated. And I knew that besides being an awesome cook that her passion is high-end pastry and baking.

Molly is an advertising executive in Boston. But on the side she has a nautical-style blog called Nauti By Nature that she describes as: “inspired by my coastal roots in Yarmouth, Portland and, most especially, Peaks Island, Maine. I love sharing and finding ideas for house projects, crafts, entertaining and (striped) clothing.”

I sent Dannielle a link to Molly’s blog for inspiration and she sent me a cake sketch that was “a lot more than other options.” My response: “Dannielle, your cake design is ridiculous. It’s over the top and way too much…so let’s do it!!”

The party was a smash hit. And the cake was the star of the show, a three-tiered nautical-themed masterpiece reflecting Molly’s style. The detail was amazing. And the inside revealed Molly’s signature stripes!

The following week was HG Marketing Team member Amber “Tiger” Grant’s birthday. Still buzzing from Molly’s party, I ordered another birthday cake from Dannielle and she hit it out of the park again.

So when you visit the Wild Duck Restaurant and Pub at HG you can enjoy gourmet food in the newly expanded dining room and lighter fare and craft brews in the downstairs rustic-modern Pub. But save room for spectacular desserts!