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Christmas Is Upon Us

The Deans

Thornwillow  has more illustrations by the talented Tania Lee.

Thornwillow has more illustrations by the talented Tania Lee.

We love going to other people’s parties because we always get ideas about what to do and sometimes about what not to do. 

A Sample of a Dean’s weekend

Birthday cocktail party… the guests were from all over the country so not everyone knew each other. The hostess made sure all guests connected and provided a real bridge during the introducing of two people.  She highlighted unusual and quirky facts that immediately elevated the tone and facilitated cutting through miles of bullshit.  Once you knew that you were in the presence of the greatest hairdresser on Broadway, discussion of the weather seemed insignificant.  The birthday girl’s enthusiasm and excitement infused the atmosphere with zest and verve.  The Deans proclaim that jaded attitudes are over this holiday season.  We only want to be around the passionately positive.  All ennui must be left at home. 

Sunday Caroling

If you want your guests to move twice during your party all together as one group, be warned.  This is not as easy as it may appear, so when we see it pulled perfectly, we nod our toque in appreciation.  Dean Pollak went to a Caroling party with a masterful hostess who exudes power.  She marshals her guests with a velvet glove that is no less authoritative than a bullwhip.  When she says its time to move to the next room, her guests are only amazed they had not thought of it themselves.  They sang in one room, decorated the tree in another, and ate in yet a third.  This hostess also knew that more is not always more. A smallish plate, not over laden because the food was rich, was ample reward for jobs well done. And somehow, just when we were thirstiest, a glass of Pellegrino was at the ready.  How did she know that, too?! The menu was so fantastic we included it here:

  • Grits and Wild Mushroom Stew
  • Stoneground Grits
  • Crispy Sausage Biscuit
  • Christmas Cookies

Intimate Dinner Party 

Dean Pollak went to the most elegant evening that she has enjoyed in as long as she can remember. One of Charleston's preeminent museum houses, the Edmondston Alston House  was returned to its original purpose. Guests descended the staircase into a vast candlelit chamber under a twinkling chandelier.  The table was set for eight and covered with a lace tablecloth, strewn with camellias, and each champagne glass was a different Murano stem. Add to this excitement the food was beyond comparison. A seafood gratin was the centerpiece. The Deans were filled with jealousy that we do not have this recipe in our arsenal.