If, like me, you plan to stay home of Valentine’s Day, but still want to feel festive, there’s nothing better than a Kir Impérial. There’s just something about adding a dash of color to your favorite Champagne that makes it just that much more special. Since this drink is all about being over the top, pull out the fancy Champagne flutes that you never use, and make a toast to your health. Santé!
Kir Impérial Recipe
Prep time: 10 minutes // Cook time: 2 minutes // Total time: 12 minutes
1/2 oz. Chambord
1 Bottle Champagne
Chill Champagne flutes and Champagne. Once chilled, fill each flute with 1/4 oz. Chambord. Top with Champagne. Enjoy!
My friend and neighbor, Claire, is starting a dinner series. She has a vision of curating fabulous dinners in unusual places be that a bank, a boutique, or a wildflower field. Last weekend, I joined her for the first iteration at her apartment and snapped a few pictures of the evening. As guests arrived they were greeted by Sangria, passed hors d’oeuvres, and an inviting tablescape on a terrace overlooking downtown Charlottesville. I fell in love with the turquoise plates, which set the stage for a beautiful meal. The three-course dinner prepared by a local chef featured a colorful summer salad, delicious paella, and to top off the meal, a trio of desserts. Not only does Claire have a knack for creating a visual feast, but she always makes sure to include the most interesting people in order to create a night to remember. I’m already looking forward to dinner number two!
Over the summer, my friend Lindsey sent me a link. It was the kickstarter video for the The Yellow Table Cookbook by Anna Watson Carl. In her video, Anna tells a story about seeing a sign that says, “you can make a wish or you can make it happen,” which prompted her to start working on her dream, a cookbook. After I watched the video, I emailed Lindsey and said, “her video makes me want to have a dinner party.” She replied, “do you want to!?” Me: “Yes!!!” It took us several weeks, okay months, to get it together, but here before your very eyes is our own iteration of The Yellow Table. I was responsible for the decor and Lindsey cooked all the food using recipes from The Yellow Table.
Rosemary Lemonade with Thibaut-Janisson Blanc de Chardonnay sparkling wine
Heirloom Tomato Panzanella
Haricots Verts with Dijon-Shallot Vinaigrette
Apricot-Dijon Roasted Chicken with Couscous
Gluten-Free Almond Cake with Lavender Honey
For the table, I wanted something girly with a slight Moroccan theme to match the food. My hope was that our friends would feel special and inspired, and I hoped that the calm setting and good food would spark conversation about what we wanted to make happen in our lives. This was the first time I’d thrown a “proper” dinner party with invites, place cards, a signature drink and more than one course! It was definitely worth the extra effort. I felt so proud, and I’m so glad to have these photos to share with you. My favorite part of the evening was when everyone showed up dressed to the nines. We hadn’t put a dress code on the invite, but everyone felt like dressing up and it really added to the festive vibe of the evening.
Have you ever thrown a proper dinner party? What was it like?
[Pier 1 Pillows // Pink Linen Tablecloth // Moroccan Tea Glasses // Pier 1 Bench // Caspari Le Jardin de Mysore Place Cards // World Market Napkin Rings // Pier 1 Yellow Salad Plates // Apilco Tradition Dinner Plates // Caspari Le Jardin de Mysore Paper Guest Towels // Sir Christopher by Wallace Silverware]