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

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Hop To It Bunny – At 14th Street Antiques!

Friday, 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

Tuesday, 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

Tuesday, 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

When Life Gives You Lemons…

Wednesday, February 8th, 2017

Good Morning Darlings!

It’s February. Which means winter. It also means it’s my birthday month!

I needed a pick me up to hold me over until my Florida vacay in 10 days (please let it be warm and sunny!) and I had a surplus of lemons I was going to use for that detox drink that gets Beyonce to her fighting weight.

But I never got to making those detox drinks and the lemons were waning.

You know I’m always up for a party, so I decided to use those sunny little orbs to make my first ever batch of limoncello!

First, we have to find a terrific recipe. I found this precious blog called Garden Betty and decided to follow her recipe for my first foray into making adult bevs. Go follow her and get her recipe and then we can make limoncello together!

Aren’t lemons the happiest of fruits? So sunny and they smell soooo good.

So sunny and fresh!

You have to zest them all and then you can’t just leave the juice – those lemons need to be juiced, too! I ended up with about 3 cups of juice from 15 lemons. I can’t lie, Eric juiced most of the lemons. He’s the best.

Thanks, Eric for juicing all those lemons!

You put all the zest into a glass gallon jar and add a liter of vodka. For some reason, friends have been gifting us with vodka, so we have a boodle at the house. It looks like this.

I bet that is so tart!

At second glance, that may be bigger than one gallon. Anyhoo. The jar goes into the dark pantry for 6 weeks.

Have you ever made limoncello? Tell me all your stories!

xoxo, Patti

Australia Day Party!

Monday, January 30th, 2017

G’day Darlings!

Last week we were invited to celebrate Australia Day with our friends Liz and Vance at their swanky midtown pad.

I have to admit, I didn’t even know this was a thing. But it is and it was delicious!

Liz and Vance served Australian Meat Pies, which are scrumptious. Topped with mashed potatoes and minty mashed peas, they made a hearty meal on a very cold night.

Pics!

Our sweet hostess, Liz and me – all smiles with them every time we get together.

 

 

 

Yummy meat pies.

 

 

With Jen and James.

For those of you in Atlanta, the Australian Bakery is our go-to for these treats. Buy in bulk and freeze them, because you are definitely going to want more once you try them.

Big thanks to Liz and Vance for hosting and darlings, I promise to get a better camera pronto!

xoxo, Patti

Atlanta’s Restaurants By The Numbers!

Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

Good Morning Darlings,

Today, I’m handing over the reins to my good friend, Travis at Wanderlust Atlanta. If you aren’t reading his blog, you can start now! He’s always up to fun things to do and fun places to see.

He is starting a new series called, “Top 10 Atlanta Restaurants “By the Numbers”.

Number one is, of course, One Midtown Kitchen.

Read all about it here.

Try a new restaurant tonight! New Year, New Tastes.

xoxo, Patti

Happy New Year!

Monday, January 2nd, 2017

Good Morning Darlings!

Happy 2017 to you all. Hope your celebrations were fabulous and safe.

We threw a tiny party for 8. The menu:

Cheese & Salami Platter with Sea Salt Crackers & Holman & Finch Semolina Bread

Caviar Service with fresh buckwheat blini, sour cream and chives

Veggie lasagna

Salad filled with olives, artichokes, bermuda onions topped with a lemon basil dressing
Garlic Bread
Assorted Cupcakes
More than our share of Segura Viudas Cava

Table Decor provided by my friends at TLC Rents. I chose a purple and gold theme. Purple tablecloth with a gold sequined overlay. Purple napkins. Tons of votives. And for extra interest, small plastic dinosaurs were placed all around the table. Always opt for whimsy when you can. Look around the house – you will surprise yourself.

Since our party was so tiny, I decided not to post any photos of the guests. But – you can see the table below.

It’s like you are right there next to me!

Tell me about your night!

xoxo, Patti

Ready, Set Bubbles!

Thursday, December 29th, 2016

Good Morning Darlings!

NYE 2017 is just days away – how will you celebrate?

We will celebrate in a very different way this year. A tiny little fete’ for 8.

If you have been following me for any time at all, you know my absolute go-to for bubbles is Segura Viudas Brut Cava. Honestly, it’s as tasty as wines that are 3 times the price and its $8 price tag allows me to buy in bulk (truly, I have 3 cases at the house – you never know who will stop by!) My friends can always count on me to provide them with a glass of bubbles. Life is a celebration, drink it in. Does that sound cheesy? It’s okay to be cheesy!

When the lovely folks at Segura Viudas got in touch about their new Reserva Heredad (SRP $25), I jumped at the chance to try it. Look how fancy the bottle is!

THE Drink for NYE 2017

With only a few faves gathering, a few bottles are affordable and why not spoil your besties? We will be feasting on roasted veggie lasagna bathed in bechamel sauce, yummy garlic bread, crisp salad, caviar and a surprise dessert.

The pop of Segura Viudas Reserva Heredad will be our soundtrack as the clock strikes midnight.

It should be your go-to, too! Happy New Year!!

xoxo, Patti

ps – Check out the fabulous music video on their site. It will get you all revved up to party! 🙂

Hocus Pocus – Yumtastic!

Tuesday, October 25th, 2016

Good Morning Darlings!

I love Halloween. Not only is the dressing up fun, but CANDY! And not only candy, but all kinds of adorable treats.

This past weekend we went to a Halloween Baby Shower for our friends Laura and Evan. That was a first. Tons of fun. Our fabulous friends, Paige and Alex dressed their 3 yr. old son, Lucien up as Michael Meyers. Which I thought was hilarious.

Here’s our photo together.

How awesome (and scary) is this little killer? I

How awesome (and scary) is this little killer? 

Are you looking for a new, easy, adorable recipe to feed your party guests? How about this Hocus Pocus inspired smores pop? The folks at Delish have got it going on.

I need these. Well, I don’t actually NEED them, but I sure would love to have one. 🙂

Love these!

Love these!

Let me know if you make them and how they turn out!

BOO!

xoxo, Patti

 

Cube The Ice at Alma

Monday, October 24th, 2016

Good Morning Darlings!

Eric and I recently visited Escape The Room, right downtown on our beloved Peachtree Street. It was an hour of finding clues to unlock the locks that held us captive. We had one hour.

Good thing that door opens automatically after 60 minutes. We did not solve all the clues.

Sleuthing is thirsty work. We hopped across the street to Alma Cocina, for the Lay of the Land margarita and some chips & salsa.

The bartenders are new. Kit is the only one who knew how to make it! Luckily for us, Kit had returned to Alma as Beverage Manager and was in the house to whip up said Lay of the Land margaritas. They are spicy and sweet all at the same time.

Lay of the Land and chips & salsa consumed. Now what?

We spied a gentleman at the bar enjoying a giant ice cube and a shot of tequila. Kit, what’s that?

It’s THE CUBE! Ice cubes made with fresh ingredients and paired with a shot of different tequilas to enhance the experience.

We needed THE CUBE. I tried the cube made with pineapples and Eric chose the cube made with coffee and maple syrup.

Our cubes and tequila shots.

Our cubes and tequila shots.

They come with tiny little spoons to break up the cube after you pour the tequila in. Or you can shoot the tequila and wait for the cube to melt, but that seems silly.

Go see Kit at Alma. Get THE CUBE. Impress your friends. Be cool.

xoxo, Patti