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

December, 2010 browsing by month


Stumped on Where To Party Tonight?

Friday, December 31st, 2010

Good Morning Darlings!

Oh my little dawdlers, have you not made plans for tonight? Lets see what I can conjure up for you.

How about the epitome of class and style? Of course you know I am talking about The Ritz-Carlton Buckhead and their spectacular ringing in of 2011.

Miss Sandra sent me all the details and here they are just for you.


There’s no better way to brighten your outlook for the New Year than celebrating at The Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead.

The New Year’s Eve package starts at $499* and includes:
• Deluxe accommodations for one night
• New Year’s Day Brunch for two in The Café, to include Champagne and Bloody Mary Bar
• 2 p.m. late check out
• Overnight valet parking

*Package is valid December 31, 2010, subject to availability and cannot be combined with any other offer. Advance reservations are required; rates do not apply to groups. Rates listed are per room, per night, single or double occupancy, and exclusive of taxes, gratuities and other charges unless noted.

The Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead is located in fashionable uptown Atlanta, the city’s most prestigious residential neighborhood. For information or room reservations, please call (800) 241-3333, the hotel at (404) 237-2700, a travel professional or visit

There is also Atlanta’s famous Peach Drop at Underground. I’m not much for crowds, but if you are, this could be a great time for you and the family!

Another glamour filled place to buss your sweetie at midnight is The Mansion on Peachtree. Go and say hello to my darling friend, Barry, the concierge who knows everybody and everything to do in Atlanta.

Nora at the Wine Shoe has this fun party going on:

Bubbles, Black Tie & Balloons

Join us for an evening of bubbles and balloons while watching the competing fashion designers rush in with their entries for Fashion Uncorked, the benefit being hosted at Artist Trifecta for Easter Seals. Dress fashionably in evening wear and release your New Year`s wish balloon at the stroke of midnight.

What do you get?!?
* Great Atmosphere
* A chance to dress up!
* Your choice of a bottle of wine from the top shelf at Wine Shoe
* Yummy light appetizers
* Champagne Toast at Midnight!
* Balloon Release when Toasting…with your 2011 wish attached
* Free Parking

$60 per person, limited to 40 fashionable people…because we want to keep it intimate and fun at the Wine Shoe!

For umpteen more ideas, Metromix has you covered.

Just for fun, here is the Wikipedia definition of Auld Lang Syne:

The song’s Scots title may be translated into English literally as “old long since”, or more idiomatically, “long long ago”,[3] “days gone by” or “old times”. Consequently “For auld lang syne”, as it appears in the first line of the chorus, is loosely translated as “for (the sake of) old times”.

And I know I’ve said it a billion times, but please be safe and don’t drink and drive.

I send you all a big hug and kiss at midnight tonight.

xoxo, Patti

Today blogging to Les Deux Love Orchestra – Auld Lang Syne

Still Plenty of Time to Plan A Party!

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

Good Morning Darlings!

Sweet Stephanie from Deutsch Inc. clued me into some great tips from her friends over at Pat Glenn Productions on giving your best New Year’s Eve party ever. Trust me, even after years of giving my own parties, I can always learn something new and these handsome fellows from NYC have a few new tricks up their sleeves! Look at this gorgeous event they created – wouldn’t you just love to be a guest at this party?

Here’s some great tips from Event Gurus Pat James & Glenn Jacinto:

1. Know Your Space. Don’t over invite. There is nothing worse than having a space where your guests are crowded and can’t get a drink. (note: oops – I always overcrowd….)

2. Don’t Sweat It. You don’t want your house to feel stuffy and overheated. Turn down your heat well in advance of your guests’ arrival to ensure the temperature will be comfortable. It will also cut down on cost for your heating bill!

3. BYOB – Build Your Own Bar: You can create a bar by simply covering a six-foot table with a crisp, white floor length table cloth. Make sure to situate your bar in an accessible location so you don’t create a “traffic jam” in the corner of your living room.

4. Get Festive with Ice Cubes! Give your guests’ drinks a festive touch by freezing cherries or cranberries in your ice cubes! Any leaf from the mint family also freezes nicely.

5. Custom Cocktails: Don’t waste money on high-end champagnes. Instead create a signature cocktail for your event. It’s not only festive but will help monitor how much alcohol you’re serving.

6. Create a Coat Check: Clear out a hall closet or consider renting a coat rack, which are easy to assemble and can be placed in a spare room or hallway. It’s much nicer than having guests throw their coats on a bed with a sea of other jackets.

7. Kitschy Cocktail Napkins. Buy cocktail napkins with fun/seasonal sayings – they will becoming conversation pieces at your party.

8. Candle Couture. Instead of a large centerpiece at your dining table, decorate with pillar and votive candles. Votives come in virtually every color, so you can buy colors to match your other décor and line them down the center of the table to create a simple, clean warm ambiance.

9. Hello Espresso! Coffee, Espresso and Cappuccino Bar with whipped cream and shaved chocolate toppings are a special sweet treat for your guests. It’s also a great way to keep your guests awake until the New Years Eve countdown!

10. Forget Flowers: Save money by incorporating a common theme throughout your party and sprinkle the room with different objects that connect to the theme to tie it all together. Some great holiday touches are using pine cones, holly, mistle toe and wreaths to create an inexpensive yet elegant decor. Small personal touches really help make your guests feel the warmth of the season.

Or, you could just hire these two and they could turn your party into a once-in-a-lifetime event!

Party on, Dudes!

xoxo, Patti

Today blogging to Shop Boyz – Party Like A Rock Star

What Are We Drinking For NYE?

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

Good Morning Darlings!

Eric and I are back and tanned from Mexico (more on that later) and ready to party. Some more partying. I guess we should take a break for at least a couple of days, but there are so many soirees to attend!

If you are hosting, here are some fun cocktail recipes from our friend Kate at Deussen Global Marketing.

At the World Bar (frequented by major league sports stars and UN diplomats), mixologist Jonathan Pogash created the Cherry Pop, which is a beautiful rosy color and redolent of nutmeg:

Mmm, Cherry Pop

Cherry Pop

3 or 4 pitted sour cherries

.5 oz. fresh lime juice

.75 oz. almond syrup (Monin brand preferred)

1.5 oz. Lucid Absinthe

Crémant d’Alsace

Method: In the bottom of a mixing glass, muddle the sour cherries in the lime juice and almond syrup.  Add the Lucid, then fill with ice, and shake very well.  Strain into a chilled flûte.  Top with Crémant d’Alsace.  Garnish with a few swipes of freshly grated nutmeg.

Another spice that says “holiday” is cinnamon; here, it is combined with warming rum and Cognac, while the sparkle keeps things festive rather than too cozy:

Cinnamon Sparkler

Cinnamon Sparkle

.5 oz. cinnamon bark syrup (instructions below:  cinnamon sticks, water, and sugar required)

4 sugar cubes

1 oz. club soda

2 oz. Flor de Caña 7 year rum

1 oz. CAMUS VSOP Cognac

.25 oz. Marie Brizard Peach liqueur

1 oz. lemon juice

1.5 oz. Crémant d’Alsace


  1. Make the cinnamon bark syrup by boiling three cinnamon sticks with one cup of water and one cup of sugar for 15 minutes; strain; refrigerate unused portion
  2. In a mixing glass, dissolve the sugar cubes in the  club soda (this generally involves muddling to help the process)
  3. After the sugar cubes are dissolved, add the spirits and lemon juice one at a time, stirring as added
  4. Add ice once all of the above have been added, continuing to stir until the individual serving of punch is chilled

5. Strain into a punch glass and top with 2 oz. Crémant d’Alsace

Finally, for a beautiful holiday red color, not to mention the health benefits of rosehips, hibiscus, and lemon (all great sources of Vitamin C), a simple but delicious cocktail is the Xanté C; Xanté is the second most leading liqueur in the Netherlands, where they know a thing or two about staying warm and celebrating the holidays!

Xanté C
1.5 oz. Xanté pear liqueur
2 oz. Rosehip & Hibiscus Tea concentrate (suggested brand:  Teekanne Tee)
.5 oz. fresh lemon juice
Splash Crémant d’Alsace

Method:  In a shaker over ice, add first three ingredients. Shake vigorously, then splash with Crémant d’Alsace.  Strain into a chilled martini glass, garnishing with a red rose petal.

Sweet Bubbly Standard

1.7 oz. Russian Standard Vodka

1 tsp honey

Fresh ginger for garnish

Splash Crémant d’Alsace

Method: Shake Russian Standard Vodka and honey gently over ice.  Serve on the rocks. Top with sparkling Cremant D’Alsace. Garnish with a piece of ginger.

That should keep you pretty busy all night. Don’t forget the number of your favorite taxi service or the number of your favorite designated driver. Safety first!

xoxo, Patti

Today blogging to Pink – Get This Party Started

Dirty Santa Party

Saturday, December 25th, 2010

Merry Christmas Darlings!

I hope you all are enjoying the day with loved ones. I am. Eric and I are at an undisclosed location in the Caribbean with our toes in the sand while our fabulous dog sitter is hanging with Oscar and Karen. Bless You, Abby!

Last weekend we got a chance to hang with the cool kids in Castleberry at their Dirty Santa Party. I think the day after Christmas might be the perfect day for that, to find a new home for those gifts that aren’t quite you. Eric and I walked away with gifts that made us happy, with fully tummies and full hearts from spending time with precious friends. It was that kind of night.

This very happy night was hosted by Nhan at Wasabi, it’s last night before the new facelift and debut on New Year’s Eve as Bottle Rocket Atlanta. It was most exciting. The residents of Castleberry crowded the restaurant – 50+ strong. Clearly the largest Dirty Santa (or White Elephant) party I have ever attended.

How about some photos? These were taken by my new friend James Elliot.

Lots more fun inside

Last Minute Gifts

Friday, December 24th, 2010

Good Morning Darlings!

Oops! One more day til Santa comes. Are you ready? How about a few tips?

Here’s a little stocking stuffer from my sweet friend Char Thian at The Ritz-Carlton New Orleans. A little giggle inducing, but wow – what a gift!

o Behind the Velvet Rope: Velvet Massage, Behind the Velvet Rope Shopping Experience at New Orleans’ oldest men’s clothier and Club Level Accommodations. $549 USD

o Crescent City Comeback: Voluntourism Activity or Donation, Spa Day and Club Level Accommodations. $1,100 USD

o Lundi Gras Ride of a Lifetime: Unforgettable ride of a lifetime for two couples in Harry Connick, Jr.’s annual Krewe of Orpheus parade the day before Mardi Gras. $59,500 USD

o Sportsman’s Paradise: Two guests will enjoy a limo ride to a helicopter and then enjoy a charter fishing excursion in the Gulf of Mexico. Chef Murphy will prepare your catch of the day (Louisiana seafood) at the Chef’s Table in the kitchen of M bistro. $21,000 USD

Okay, that might be a bit much, so how about a gift certificate to Lunacy Black Market, where Chef Paul Luna is treating everyone to $10 Pasta Sunday?

Chef Paul Luna has been hankering to offer risotto and/or pasta in an all-you-care-to-eat environment. The catch? It’s totally at his pace and his pleasure, and you lend yourselves to being our guests for the afternoon/evening. With Risotto and/or Pasta priced under $10 and select menu items at their “criminally low” levels you can leave Lunacy feeling like a stuffed goose without busting the bank!

For the foodies on your list – I would suggest a gift certificate from Cook’s Warehouse. They have everything, including classes.

And my favorite of the year – a subscription to Book Swim. I’m telling you, this will get you some serious love.

If you are just reading this and all done with your shopping, well, goodie for you. You have some time to read this hilarious article from

xoxo, Patti

Today blogging to James Taylor – Mexico

The Chic Boutique Tour

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

Good Morning Darlings!

Like most women, I love to shop. But I tend to go to the same places again and again and then say I can’t find anything.

Have I got just the thing for you! The Chic Boutique Tour is the brainchild of the adorable and fashionable Rosalynn Wilson, who invited me to come along this past weekend as we toured a bevy of boutiques. In style. As in a luxury coach where we were served nibbles and libations as we moved from shop to shop with ease. It is something I could get very used to.

The way to travel...

We met up at The Pampered Nail Spa in Castleberry where we all got a chance to visit before we boarded the coach. And like all good students, I sat in front where I was rewarded with being seated next to the tour’s stylist, Kaira Akita, CEO of A Clothes Encounter (don’t you just love that name?) Kaira and I started talking and realize we had a few friends in common. A natural occurrence in Atlanta. This happens everywhere I go.

Beautiful Rosalynn outlines the day for us.

More stylish fun inside!

Christmas Tree Mat

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

Good Morning Darlings!

Have you gotten your tree yet? Or are you one of the types that waits until Christmas Eve to dress your house? If so, I have a treat for you.

The Christmas Tree Mat keeps your floors safe and scratch free. I asked besties Crystal and Teague to be the test subjects for this product since we didn’t put up a tree this year. Teague reported that it was swell. Made for easy moving and didn’t scratch up their lovely hardwoods. Teague also said it was very absorbent – doesn’t get the floor all wet when you go to water your tree. And it was the perfect size for adding the tree skirt.

The Christmas Tree Stand Mat Picture 1

It’s also reversible, with red on one side and green on the other. Super! And it is available at many hardware stores including Ace, Lowes and The Home Depot.

Wouldn’t it be fab not to worry about scratching and getting water all over your floors or carpet? This is just for you!

xoxo, Patti

Today blogging to Aretha Franklin – Oh Christmas Tree

How Does Palm Beach Sound?

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

Good Morning Darlings!

Still haven’t decided where you should go for Christmas? You suddenly have some time off and want to warm up?

I have just the thing for you!! Our dear friend Christine DiRocco has just informed me of a last minute getaway to Palm Beach (you can read how fab it is here). It is WARM there darlings! You could pack your bikini and sarong and be there in 2 hours from Atlanta. Let The Ritz-Carlton handle everything once you arrive.  Tired? You have got to try those otherworldly beds. I am not kidding. You will sleep like a baby. A tired baby. And awake a happy beach babe.

Lets get all the deets from sweet Christine:


PALM BEACH, Fla., December 20, 2010—The Ritz-Carlton, Palm Beach partners with Mother Nature this holiday week for gloriously warm and sunny weather for celebrating Christmas, New Year’s and 2011. The holiday spirit in South Florida rang loudly with chilly weather and a blast of the North Pole this past week, but the magic of sunny Palm Beach returns with swaying palm trees, splashy waves and balmy temps!

Take a vacation from the cold, wintry weather of early December – grab your bikini, significant other and leave your jacket and gloves behind! Melt into the holidays Ritz-Carlton, Palm Beach style and experience the barefoot elegance of our oceanfront resort.

Our Escape the Chill Package provides holiday cheer with:

  • Overnight accommodations starting at $619, based on double occupancy
  • Warm welcome amenity upon arrival; hot chocolate, hot toddy, tea or coffee
  • (2) 60-minute Eau Spa by Cornelia treatments in a Couple’s Villa.

Select from: Self-Centered Massage or Signature Essence Facial per night stay

  • All day garden access to swings, dipping pools, Eau Zone and Bath Lounge

Soak in the sun, hang out for the holidays and leave your winter worries behind. Escape the Chill rates start at $619 USD based on double occupancy. For more information and to plan your holiday escape or to make reservations, please call (561) 533-6000 or visit

Good heavens – Eau Spa is like nothing you have ever experienced. I would not steer you wrong.

And Santa knows you have been so good this year. Treat yourself.

xoxo, Patti

Today blogging to The First Class – Beach Baby

We Have A Winner…And Chips!

Monday, December 20th, 2010

Good Morning Darlings!

The winner of our CSN $65.00 gift card is Clint! Hooray for Clint! I will email you the code so you can get to shopping.  I would love to hear what you picked out.

Whoo Hoo! Merry Christmas!
More Merriment inside!

Fun Find Friday-CSN – Cool, Super, New!

Friday, December 17th, 2010

Good Morning Darlings!

Well, I’m not sure what CSN stands for, but they have everything! From leather messenger bags to large appliances and everything in between. And, they have been so kind to offer one of my adorable readers a $65 gift card to use as you wish. Merry Christmas!! Just leave a comment and I will pick a winner on Monday, so you don’t have too wait long.

Lets take a look at some of the goodies (one for you, one for me! and maybe one as a gift…or not, your choice).

I know it’s cold outside, but how about pretending it’s spring inside with this gorgeous robin egg’s blue pasta bowl by iitala Teema?

iittala TT016255 - Teema 8.25

iitala's Teema Pasta Bowl - $17.00

And to feel uber chic while sipping soup, hot chocolate or a late afternoon latte, how about this fabulous set of 6 Venice Soup Cups by Ten Strawberry Street?

Ten Strawberry Street Venice Soup Cup - V-17

Pretend you are Sophia Loren and look super glam. Set of 6, $38.94

Oh, I know you will love this next one. Again, from Ten Strawberry Street, these black and white striped cereal bowls will have you clamoring to eat the most important meal of the day. Love love love!

Ten Strawberry Street Ring Black 6" Cereal Bowl - RING-7BLK

Set of 6, $38.74. Um, Santa, are you listening?

And for those of you throwing a little ‘do at the homestead for New Year’s Eve, how about an electric fondue set? You don’t have to worry about the little candle going out and gooping up all your cheese. Or chocolate. I don’t judge. This one is from Cuisinart, so you know it’s going to be swell.

Cuisinart Electric Fondue Pot - CFO-3SS

Cuisinart Electric Fondue Set $54.95

Did you know that tradition dictates that if you drop something into the fondue you must kiss every guest of the opposite sex at the party or buy them the next round of drinks? Isn’t that a fun fact?

Okay, my sweeties, comment away. I can’t believe I’m giving this away and not keeping it for myself, but that’s how much I love you.

xoxo, Patti

Today blogging to Mariah Carey – Santa Claus Is Coming To Town