Today is the second day of November, and as the leaves are turning the colors of autumn in Santa Barbara and the temperatures drop (finally!), our minds are turning to all the upcoming gatherings with friends and family, including my favorite holiday--Thanksgiving. Why is it a favorite, for a person who did not grow up with it, you may ask? I have grown to like it for the simple reason that at the center of it is, first and foremost, a meal. A meal that is more often than not is eaten together as well as prepared together, with all the competing traditions, family recipes, and new takes on old classics. There are no gifts to fret about (other than a hostess gift perhaps), no resolutions, since at this time of the year you can still surrender to all the abundance and extravagance with food and the diet "cheating", unlike the later holidays, when the aftermath of overindulgence sinks in. As I think about Thanksgiving, I look back at this dinner party I had a pleasure of attending as a guest and help the hostess set the table with our rental linens and all the extra dishes and glassware I collected over the last couple of years for various styling projects and photoshoots.
The dinner took place at the home of Margaret and Mark Lloyd. Margaret is a local floral designer who works under the name of Margaret Joan Florals. The arrangements she made for the long tables were nothing short of unique, quirky, and seasonal. Herbs, berries, vegetables got along marvelously with simple white flowers, pillar candles and mercury glass votives, and worked really well with the 5-course meal prepared by Dinner With Two Girls. The full list of contributors is at the end of this post.
For the place settings I chose FOLD Cloud Grey linen napkins from the rental collection. Tying a sprig of rosemary with a piece of twine on each napkin went along really well with all other edible herbs Margaret used throughout the table. Mismatched but cohesive glassware and silverware added the eclectic, collected over time touch, the kind you see in someone's home rather than a restaurant or an event venue.
Susan Silverberg designed and hand-lettered the beautiful dinner signage and place cards. The place cards was a last minute addition, and she impressively whipped them out minutes before the first guests arrived.
When the guests arrived, they were greeted with the prettiest Prosecco cocktail, served in Margaret's floral studio adjacent to the house. The guests got a mini-tour of the studio while sipping this refreshing beverage.
Charlotte and Lauren, the chefs of the LA-based duo Dinner With Two Girls, made all 5 courses in Margaret's spacious kitchen, and paired each course with red and white wines. After giving a brief taste notes description of each, the guests decided which one of the two options they wanted to have with the dish.
And last, but not least, the dessert. Home made ice cream from scratch served with fresh grilled peaches. A beautiful finale to a beautiful dinner!
Host and Floral Designer: Margaret Lloyd//Margaret Joan Florals (website)
Linens and table styling: FOLD. Link to rental collection here.
Dinner and paired wines: Dinner With Two Girls (instagram)
Calligraphy: Susan Silverberg (website)