Thursday, October 23, 2014

Fall Farm to Table Soiree

There are parties, and then there are parties…meals eaten and moments shared with friends that you will remember for the rest of your life.  This last weekend was one of those.  Someone called me brave to invite a few quasi-strangers to come spend the weekend at our home, and have a dinner soiree in their honor.  Well, I just trust my intuition I guess, and that is always confirmed by my dogs, who gave our guests the full kissy terrier welcome.  Roll out that red carpet… my guests and we were going to party the weekend!!!  The petals that dropped off the garden roses just went right on the table….we roll with it here…make use and have fun was our motto~


Not having a staff, I had friends descend, and we had a work party and a whole lot of fun and a little instruction.  The scene was finally set.  Mo and Linda, you are the BEST.  Love you ladies and can’t wait to be in Beaune with you…it is significantly easier than this, I promise, but WOW was this fun??


I made a run to Los Angeles Flower Mart for some flowers, ok a bit obstructive but they looked great….hired the chairs, GOLD as we have in Paris.  My Dad said it looked like an insane asylum and Ophelia should parade at any moment.  But the rest of us, I think, thought it was divine.  Yes, I am a hopeless romantic,and this is my style…..grey tulle x 300 yards, Limoges and vintage crystal, linen, French sterling, and fragrant pink garden roses.  Hand-picked guests who will connect.  Oui.  My style~


I was absolutely blown away by my guests and their generosity and their joy.   Like long-lost sisters, Elizabeth from Vintage Henhouse, Jennifer from A Well Styled Life and Terri from La Dolfina all came from San Francisco, and we had dinner the night before, so we could visit a little.  Only a little…we have to get together soon or go to Beaune to really visit.  But OH what ladies… do you know how I LOVE you!!!!  For the Saturday dinner, we started with pumpkin soup in a real pumpkin that burnishes to a nice shiny color as in France.  This was just one of a bunch of appetizers.  Olive branches in the candle hurricanes, my touch.  lots of Pretty for my girlfriends~…Terri’s vase of roses next to the pumpkin were so lovely~


We had dinner, a lengthy, fantastic dinner.  I didn’t get any pics of it.  Someone will post the menu or I will later.  I spent weeks working it out and then redid it all based on what was fresh at various farmers markets that week.  Dang we ate well…..I came out at the end of the meal to a thunderous clapping of hands….oui, it was good and I love that you all enjoyed it… all I want is for you all to be happy and eat and drink well this evening!

I know some thought we were slaving away in the kitchen.  In reality, we were having our own party, a food-fest and great joy rolling out the pasta and assembling the salads.  And speaking of great Joy, we sent eight year old Joy our guest out to “parade the pasta” which she did to perfection.  As we rolled and cut it it was hung over chairs and French cloths in the kitchen, screen grab below from Mary’s Instagram, who thought this was a real hoot.  Yes, we could hire staff, but this is infinitely better.  This is how we party, together. 


My most awesome guests insisted on doing dishes the night of.  The next day, more to be done, but not too bad; it was manageable.


As we inhaled the aromas of silver dollar Eucalyptus gifted by Mary….


and as we listed to Chopin and had our tea and coffee together….it was a lovely way to start the day with Elizabeth aka LaContessa  and Jennifer of A Well Styled Life….love love love love love you ladies….


We had the company of the dogs too; providing us with a little entertainment along the way…screen grab from Jennifer’s Instagram….


Meanwhile marble and Eucalyptus are divine….we are still enjoying them and thinking of the party several days later.


The tables were cleaned and yesterday I took the tulle down, until next time.


I candied the rose petals from these roses to use at the next cooking class.  These are beautiful little reminders of the party.


Meanwhile I will continue to relive the party a little…


And continue to enjoy my sweet gifts brought by my friends.  Terri had it nailed….she brought me so many amazing things that you will see pop up here and on Instagram….a Bonjour flag?  Yes Please!  Love this!!! 



Making memories….and planning new ones.  I think we will be on party hiatus until the spring, but now we have got something else in mind, something very fun and slightly different. 


You can see more pics of the party and prep on my Instagram feed HERE.

Next up is my Christmas/Holiday 2014 workshop and cooking class….look for more images and details here soon…


  1. Wow what an awesome are such a hostess with style. Must have been a wonderful night. And the table looked so lovely with the beautiful flowers. I missed a great party.

    Sheila in SF

    1. Sheilaa, it was a great party....I would love you to come join us sometime!

  2. I just read Elizabeth's post and all I can say is that I WANT TO GO TO FRANCE WITH YOU GUYS!!!
    And, I may move to California from Texas. I mean, seriously, you guys do it up right don't you? And, it's just exactly what I like so much. Elizabeth's photos are simply splendid of your beautiful place and all the guests. I am dying with envy....

    1. Marsha, Contessa is even more fabulous than I imagined, and we are looking forward to having more time in Beaune together...planning for next July and early August. She or I will keep you posted on dates. Would love you to join us...

  3. Gorgeousness ! All of it! I have had that feeling after a great partay! N.xo

  4. Yes, it was indeed a SOIREE to remember..............all thanks to YOU and your GENEROUS SPIRIT!I hope you ate something???Your guests were AMAZING as was your FAMILY.ADORE the MAMA!!I too have done a POST To share your B E A U T I F U L PARTY with my Followers........if your readers want to see more images step in to WWW.VINTAGEHENHOUSE.COM.
    I think WE have one cooking class filled already!!!!!You may have to stay for a WEEK!!
    THANK YOU!LOVED the whole experience..............XOXOXOXOXO

    1. The work for a big party is always worth it when guests are as fabulous as you are....just had an amazing weekend, and can't wait to host you in Beaune in relative tranquility and French Style. I can say, I know you will love it...

  5. Beautiful Andrea, You know they will compare everything going forward to this! You have set the bar high for a girls evening!! Love that you do this...
    A beautiful weekend to you!

    1. Gail, you are so sweet; planning now for spring, love it if you could join us...xxooA

  6. It was all so beyond amazing!! Your friends are fabulous and you, are quite simply a star! I feel so honored to have been included, and to stay in your fabulous guest house...outstanding. I wanted to just move in. Thank you for letting me be a part of this extravaganza!! I'm still reliving it and find it more amazing every time I do!! I left my hat on purpose so I would have to come back! Love to your Mom & Dad and of course Bisquit & Honey. Hugs to you my friend. Open door at my home for you anytime! xoxox

  7. Oh my am I the last to relive this glorious fete of yours? I have been sidetracked by the World Series but I will be recounting our amazing weekend on La Dolfina this week!!!
    It was a weekend to remember Andrea!!!!
    Chris and I enjoyed your world immensely and cannot wait to roll out the red carpet for you chez nous!!! You are the sister I always dreamed of!!
    Love you to pieces!!!
    C and T

  8. I'm watching the Series too! Just can't say enough how fun the weekend was...I filled the little perfume bottle today and so will think of you each day in the kitchen!

  9. Dear Andrea, I thought I had left a comment. Another splendorous soiree at your Laguna Beach abode! Of course I wish I could have been there, however I am reliving the fabulous party you gave for Isabella and I in early summer, so many wonderful memories! You are the best!

    The Arts by Karena

  10. Okay I just figured out this was posted....I am so happy to see the pictures although I'm trying not to be too jealous that I'm up here in Oregon. Oregon is nice, Oregon is nice...that's what I'm chanting today :-) Thank goodness for Insty and blogs so I can sit in the rain and enjoy this loveliness from afar! Everything looks beyond perfect and such fun! Yay that you all got to enjoy such an awesome weekend and congrats Andrea on a really special event~I know you got to really do what you love, and it shows!

  11. wonderful blog, I love to follow you.

  12. love your baskets. do you have a website?

  13. Hi Country Brocante Home....yes, go to and I wholesale and retail...all best, Andrea