Did you know 2016 is the Chinese Year of the Monkey?
Mischievous. Curious. Clever. The monkey of Chinese myths is a favorite companion to children of all ages. He’s an underdog who thumps his nose (and tail) at the authorities and somehow always comes out ahead in the end.
Here ares a few of our favorites to help you start your Year of the Monkey right.
Cold weather might bring back plaid and tartans, but they don’t have to make your home look like those oversized lumberjack shirts in the back of the closet. In fact, plaids are a great way to mix things up and introduce different colors. Says renowned NY event producer David Stark in his recent Pretty in Plaid feature for Martha Stewart:
If you’re the type of person that wants things to look cohesive, but not too matchy-matchy, try mixing different colors of the same plaid. For color mixing, pick a particular color that each plaid will have in common. For example, if each pattern contains a vibrant cherry red, it will keep your look together. These flatware sets all have the same base color — a neutral white — so they can be mixed and matched on your dinner table.
And the best part? The stainless steel flatware has ABS plastic handles which are dishwasher safe and treated with Xtra Wash, a unique technology that keeps colors looking like new after hundreds of washes. These are an absolute steal at only $15 per 5-pc setting!
We still remember watching the Martha Stewart TV shows years ago, so it’s a real treat to be featured in her blog now. Thanks for thinking of us, David and Martha!
Does the holiday season have to be snow, snow, snow?
Not for us — we live in LA. But no matter where you live, Coastal Living‘s holiday issue should bring a dose of beach, sun, and lime:
And their holiday table is also a seaside escape:
Featuring Herend’s CV12 Mint service plate, Vietri’s Incanto salad plate, Michael Wainwright’s Truro Gold wine glass, and Vietri’s red stripe napkin, this is a gorgeous, laid-back version of the traditional red and green.
A warm thank you to Coastal Living, and happy entertaining!
In the remote, dreary Jutland coasts of 19th-century Denmark, a pair of spinster sisters took in a Parisian woman named Babette as their housekeeper, even though they could not afford to pay her. For the next fourteen years, Babette cooked the bland meals demanded by the sisters’ late father, whose strict religious beliefs they still followed.
Then, one day, Babette won the lottery. But instead of going back to Paris, she spent it all making the most lavish feast the sisters and their fellow believers had ever seen. Course after course of the most exotic delicacies were served on the most beautiful china. As the feast progressed, its sensual pleasures overwhelmed even the most hardened souls, as the diners reconnected with each other, forgave old sins, and re-kindled long lost loves.
Finally Babette reveals that she was once the head chef of the famed Cafe Anglais in Paris. The sisters were horrified! Babette had spent her last cent on them and could not go back to her glamorous life again. They sob that she would be poor for the rest of her life. But Babette tells them, “an artist is never poor.”
This novel by Karen Blixen, of Out of Africa fame, was made into a movie in 1987 and became an instant classic. It won an Oscar for Best Foreign Language film, a Cannes Film Festival award, and a Belgian Grand Prix. Even Pope Francis mentioned it as his favorite film in a New York Times interview.
Recently, one of our clients from Brazil recreated this very film after some serious research and shared her photos with us. Her table is spectacular:
The first course, blinis demidoff:
Followed by a salad:
A potage a la tortue:
The main course, cailles en sarcophage:
And of course, dessert! The savarin au rhum:
And to make it a really special occasion, beautifully dressed guests at the party!
Did you recognize Haviland’s Imperatrice Eugenie dinnerware on the table? This is the same pattern Babette ordered from France for her feast and is especially appropriate to the story, since the Cafe Anglais was one of the greatest restaurants during the Second Empire, when Empress Eugenie and Emperor Napoleon III were at the height of their power.
We hope this will help you celebrate your Thanksgiving. Remember to be grateful for the kindness of others and enjoy the pleasures of good food, good friends, and loved ones. Don’t forget to share your special celebration with us — just write us or instagram us with #graciousstyle.
And thank you, Renata, for having shared these stunning images with us.