Anatomy of a Dinner Party: a day in the life of a hospitalityaholic
 

St. Simons Island-The Shocking Truth Part 1

Written by Patti on May 19th, 2017

Good Morning Darlings,

After spending four days in St. Simons Island, I must confess. There are secrets there. Many secrets.

And I’m going to share them ALL with you! From the local gossip to how the other half lives, I won’t hold anything back.

Let’s start with the cuisine. What are they feeding folks to give them all that dreamy, swoony looks in their eyes? I went in to get the scoop just for you. Research, of course.

The first night there, I dressed for dinner and made my way to the Solarium. I’m pretty sure I saw Jay Gatsby lingering in the corner, drinking champagne. A well-heeled server offered me a Due West cocktail on a platter. It would be inhospitable not to accept. Research, remember. Our group was met by Chef James Flack and I then spied two gigantic displays of 20+ pound fish and an assortment of seafood on a table facing the Atlantic Ocean and its lulling waves. I was starting to feel relaxed. Too relaxed. Was I falling under a spell?

Chef Flack and his fish

A closer look at those fish

Wine glasses clinked and course after course of luscious seafood was brought to our table. Sparkling conversation ensued. I could see how a mere mortal might succumb to such delights. But not I! I was stronger than that.

You know I can’t resist a beautifully set table.

Luscious Crab Cakes

Grouper over grits

Perhaps just one more bite of the creme’ brulee before retreating to my king sized bed where the only sound was waves crashing on the beach.

The most amazing creme brulee.

No, not I….zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

xoxo, Patti

 

Gift Giving Etiquette In Time For Mother’s Day!

Written by Patti on May 11th, 2017

Good Morning Darlings!

Our newest correspondent, Gwen Lewis created this wonderful infographic on choosing the perfect gift for anyone. It is spot on. Take a look. Welcome Gwen!

 

The Chad – It’s A Drink!

Written by Patti on May 5th, 2017

Good Morning Darlings,

St. Simons Island was a swoony dream. I can’t wait to share all my secrets.

For today, I will leave you with a cocktail I enjoyed when I visited. It’s called the Chad. It was created by, well, you know, The Chad.

Take a look at the recipe here and make one (or three) for you and some friends this weekend. It is divine! Click here to watch the real life Chad show you how to make it! I love that southern accent.

Oh you are going to love this!

Make a Chad or two and welcome the month of May! More to come!

xoxo, Patti

 

AOADP – On Location!

Written by Patti on April 29th, 2017

Good Morning Darlings,

For the next 4 days I will be on location, bringing you tons of fun photos and trip bits.

Where am I going? Can you guess?

Tomorrow I’ll be here!

Join me for more fun!

xoxo, Patti

 

Mushrooms – Guest Post!!

Written by Patti on April 27th, 2017

Good Morning Darlings,

I love mushrooms. Like I REALLY love mushrooms. They are always in my fridge, ready to make something taste even better.

My new friend, Joe, knows all about mushrooms. Do you know they are a superfood? Finally something I love to eat is a superfood (why can’t pizza be a superfood!?!?)

Anyhoo, mushrooms are anti-inflammatory and they taste delicious.

Joe, take it away!

The Science of Mushrooms

ALL the mushrooms!!

Wasn’t that cool? Now go eat some mushrooms.

xoxo, Patti

 

Easter Re-runs!

Written by Patti on April 15th, 2017

Good Morning Darlings,

Still crushing on Easter – only 1 more day!

If you are looking for inspiration, here are a couple of my favorite blog post about my favorite spring day. Enjoy!

It’s a Swoozie’s Easter!

Easter With The Fam

Peeping Easter

I’ll leave you with a link to the lemon meringue pie I’ll be making on Sunday. The recipe is by my sweet friend, Brookie Lark, who created the Anatomy of A Dinner Party logo and makes everyone swoon with her famous blog, Cheeky Kitchen. I LOVE Brooke.

Isn’t this pie a beauty? Thanks Brookie!!

Happy Easter my Bunnies!

xoxo, Patti

 

Hop To It Bunny – At 14th Street Antiques!

Written by Patti on April 14th, 2017

Good Morning Darlings!

Easter is right around the corner. I LOVE Easter – all the pretty colors, the nice weather, the leftover ham. What’s not to love?

My favorite thing is to set the table. I attended a meeting this week at 14th Street Antiques and Modern Home and wowza, do they have gorgeous things to set the table with. Take a gander, my little geese.

All that glitters, might be gold!

Swimming in glamour.

Always welcome your guests with a drink.

And for all you Easter fans like me, there’s even a sale on all things spring and gilded. Love.

Color me glitter!

Go visit my fabulous friend Lisa over at 14th Street Antiques and Modern Home and tell her I sent you. You could spend the entire day in there.

xoxo, Patti

 

Dinner Parties 101 and Traveller Bar

Written by Patti on April 4th, 2017

Good Morning Darlings!

With spring in the air, I am dying to start planning some outdoor parties. Our new (100+ year old) house has a gigantic front porch that faces a very busy and loud road, but I’m still determined to throw a porch party (or three) this spring to bring together friends old and new for adult beverages and fun conversation.

What do I do for inspiration? Why, I do the same as you – I read dinner party blogs! I love this one, Cup of Jo, who gathered tips from tons of party givers. I even learned a new tip or two.

Warmer weather makes us want to get out and enjoy the outdoors. Or a drive to somewhere indoors. Recently, Eric and I enjoyed a night out at Saltwood, the hotel restaurant at the Loews Atlanta. I am swoony for a hotel bar and restaurant and Saltwood did not disappoint. Incredibly charcuterie, and gorgeous craft cocktails at their new Traveller Bar, which may be gone by now. It’s a pop up! Take a look.

Traveller Bar, as seen in LA. It looks the same in Atlanta! 🙂

And here in Atlanta. Photo credit, Eater Atlanta

I will admit, instead of having dessert in the restaurant, we retired to the bar for another cocktail. So good. Special thanks to our sweet friend, Rachel Peavy, who is the PR Maven for the Loews Atlanta. It was so much fun running into her and catching up.

Go forth, and entertain your friends. Mix up some fresh lemonade and add a bit of grenadine to make it pink and then some vodka to make it boozy. It is such a lovely springtime cocktail! Here’s a great version!

xoxo, Patti

 

 

 

How To Be The Perfect Guest

Written by Patti on March 28th, 2017

Good Morning Darlings!

I am asked so often what is the best thing to bring to a dinner party. So many lovely answers. No one ever seems to ask what not to do.

But I am happy to clue you in. Shall we begin?

  1. Never show up early. Ever. Your hostess is putting the finishing touches on everything (including her face). Don’t be early. We expect to give you a 15 minute window to arrive after the announced time. Five or ten minutes late is perfect. We will greet you at the door with a smile and cocktail and welcome you warmly. Showing up early is akin to setting the cat on fire or knocking over an entire bottle of red on a crisply ironed white linen tablecloth (but even that is more tolerable than showing up early). Don’t set the cat on fire, please. And it bears repeating – don’t be early.
  2. Do show up with a small something for your hosts. Wine is always welcome. Bourbon is even better. A couple of fluffy cinnamon rolls for your hostess to enjoy the next morning is so sweet. We love homemade treats. And if you are bringing a beer, something unusual or local is sure to please. What not to bring? Please, for the love of all that is southern, please do not show up with flowers that are not in a vase. The last thing your hostess wants to think about is running around looking for something to put those flowers in.  Also, do not bring a dish that you have not been asked to bring. This is a no-no for a couple of reasons: A. this dinner has been scrupulously planned, right down to the olives & nuts served with cocktails, and B. all of her serving dishes have been coordinated with the table. If you show up with pimento cheese sandwiches on a flowered tray, she (I) might fly into a silent rage. While smiling. We southern hostesses always smile.
  3. Introduce yourselves to the other guests as they arrive. Especially if your hostess has to duck into the kitchen for just a moment. Ask how they know the hosts. That always gives you something to talk about. She has put you all together for a reason and thinks you will be fine friends by the end of the night. If you are shy, think of it this way – you are going to meet your new best friends and it’s way more comfortable.
  4. Have an interesting or funny story to tell. Keep it short. Keep it clean.
  5. Read the crowd. Is everyone drinking and then drinking some more? Well, then. Go ahead and have that third gin and tonic. Is it a school night and the group is having a cocktail before dinner and either a glass of wine or beer with dinner? Follow suit.

That’s a good start. Let me know your favorite ideas. Oh! And here’s a look at our homemade limoncello. Next time we make a double batch. This disappeared in no time. Serve it in a gorgeous cut glass decanter. Or bring some to your hostess. Before serving, put in the freezer so it is ice cold when your guests enjoy it. YUMMY!

Lemon & vodka, ready to mix with the simple syrup.

xoxo, Patti

 

Let’s Get Cheesy

Written by Patti on March 16th, 2017

Good Morning Darlings!

I’m always on the search for the perfect cheese and charcuterie board. How about you? The same old thing gets boring.

My friends over at The Gander NYC shared their ideas with me, and now I’m sharing with you. Take a well, Gander…

What’s on your cheese board?

xoxo, Patti