Winter Dinner Party Boogie

Just a few ingredients for a perfect party.

I love dinner parties. Nothing is more magical to me than the gathering of friends who are like family and setting the scene, planning the menu, and dressing for the event. It’s styling on a whole other level. Some of my nearest and dearest gathered ’round and we kicked off 2014 in a big way. Typically when my gang gets together, we wear headdresses, dance or form a cheerleader-style pyramid, giggle, and in this case, watched the new Beyonce video album.

The party theme was wintery, rustic, and a little bit enchanting ... one phone call to Mahaffey Tent & Party Rentals was all it took to gather the divine “farm sexy” wooden tables and chairs with comfy seat cushions. They had EXACTLY what I was looking for — casual but sophisticated and cozy, farm to table feel and we dressed it up with the most beautifully obnoxious gold flatware also from their stash. The sublime landscape painting above my mantel is by local artist Betsy Brackin. She specializes in hypnotic landscapes — many are familiar Southern scenes and she also has a series from Greece. For more of her work, go here. She’s SUPA cute, too, btw. And that’s my dog, Techno, reclining in front of the rented table.

I was Smiling Huge with this set-up. I threw in some moss, pine cones, antlers, snapdragons, long branches, and my own mix up of china and crystal.

My creative wonder twin power besties, Mary Seay Taylor and Mimi Danosky, both of Brave Design, added elements of magic with gilded disco dinosaurs and boogie balloons. Mary also made some of her notorious headdresses resplendent with feathers and sequins. Unbelievable. If you don’t already, follow them on FB Brave Design and Insta @bravedesign — you’ll be enthralled.


Mimi created a divine little champagne cocktail with Chambord and rock crystals. Oh, and Lucia brought some apple moonshine. I felt that the next morning.

And the food ... please meet Chef Brown Burch (if you haven’t already).

His menu was paralyzing — raw scallops with blood orange jelly and seabeans, raw oysters, tempura fried Manchego cheese, duck breast bites, winter kale salad with roasted Brussels sprouts and beets, seared ribeye with sunchoke puree, poached pear for dessert ... The best part was shopping with Brown the day before. Going to Whole Foods with a chef is like me at NYFW — candy, candy, candy er’where! The next day, he came over around noon to prep and cook. Utilizing my 11-year-old as a sous chef, he knocked out the entire menu and was ready to charm and serve by the time my gypsy clan arrived. Follow him too on Insta @brownburch.

Good friends who are like family are what makes these celebrations so pure. I’m super lucky to have them and it doesn’t hurt that they happen to be really fun and creative. Cheers!

For even more in Memphis living and entertainment news, be sure to follow Memphis magazine on Twitter and Instagram @memphismagazine, on Facebook and Pinterest!

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