Holiday Dinner Party with Friends
A Wine Swap, A “Best Of” Playlist, Good Friends & Food Make a Festive Holiday Affair
It’s always fun to put together an event that I am able to enjoy with my friends or family. This year, my husband and I hosted an intimate holiday dinner party with a close group of friends that was as much fun to plan as it was to execute.
I chose a design “theme” for this holiday season of deep crimson with black and white damask. The table scape started with a rich red tablecloth. I dressed the chairs in alternating black and red chair covers. I used silver chargers with alterating black and white plates and linen napkins. Four tall, black candle holders with red candles made a dramatic line down the center of the table. Large square vases with full bunches of deep red carnations offse the candles and I used a black and white damask pattern ribbon on both the candles and the vases. I custom ordered a damask runner from Darling Damask for the side table that housed the take home goodies for the guests which were Cigars for the guys and Cranberry Bubble Bath for the girls.
Having a small group allowed me to serve a delicious 4 course meal incorporating an old favorite ours from a restaurant we loved in San Francisco – Loster Pot Pie. I adapted the dish from Michael Mina who thankfully shares the recipes from his amazing creations online. My husband, who loves to cook, came up with a unique take on risotto as the appetizer, making it into “cakes” rolled in panko bread crumbs, baked and served with chipotle aioli. I made a festive salad with dried cranberries, candied pecans and blue cheese and a rich chocolate mousse from scratch. We picked dishes we could prep the day before so we spent very little time in the kitchen while our guests were here. If you need some more ideas for other dishes, you can use this http://frugaldad.com/williams-sonoma/ resource from Williams Sonoma to help you out!
We started the night with wine and various cheeses but we also asked our guests to bring a favorite bottle of wine to “swap”. Everyone went home with a different bottle and it made a fun gift exchange for our group of vino loving friends. I ordered customized wine bottle lables to carry the design theme through from Bottle Your Brand. They came out beautiful and were easy to affix.
This is an idea that spawned over cocktails one fun date-night with my husband. We asked our guests to send us their three favorite songs to create a playlist for the evening. It was fun to listen to the playlist and try to guess who picked what. We all were introduced to a couple new tunes and definitely learned a little about everyone’s taste in music. As a suprise I burned CDs for our guests of the playlist so they could take them home and enjoy the music again and again.