Tuesday, March 16, 2010

An Oscar Worthy Event

I write often about entertaining at home as I'm afraid more and more people are either forgetting to do it or are becoming indifferent to it. I've blogged about hosting small dinner parties on a school night, having people over for drinks, and entertaining guests at large cocktail parties. But what I haven't written so much about is hosting a charity event at one's home. It happens more often than you think. Say you're involved with an organization that appeals to you to host a dinner for said charity. What to do?

Danielle Rollins of Atlanta held just such an event at her home last fall. Danielle and her husband are actively involved in
Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, so along with Neiman Marcus they decided to host a dinner in which CHOA was the beneficiary. And to make it even more special, Oscar de la Renta was a guest. Now let's stop here- imagine having Oscar to your home. Can you imagine? Would you panic? Freak out? If you answered "yes" and "yes", then you're not alone. Fortunately, Danielle is an accomplished hostess so she knew just what to do.

Knowing that Oscar was often the guest at glamorous events, Danielle wanted to keep it low-key and very "Georgia". Gardening is important to both Danielle and Oscar, so Danielle set up a long table for 60 people in the lower garden behind her lovely home. Ivory linen hemstitch tablecloths were sewn together to create one long cloth, and under this were custom made burlap cloths. Atlanta floral designer Michal Evans was responsible for the all white dahlia arrangements- so simple and yet so chic, while celebrated chef Anne Quatrano created a farm to table menu using only local ingredients for the event.

So on to the table. Neiman Marcus loaned Danielle the fall toned Herend plates, while she mixed her own sterling flatware with that of friends, a look that she prefers. The hostess' own iron candelabras stood prominently amongst borrowed William Yeoward crystal hurricanes and flower goblets. But truly, one of my favorite things about the table are Danielle's boxwood embroidered napkins with an "R". How gorgeous are they!

No post about entertaining and hostessing would be complete without mentioning that one must go with the flow at his or her parties. Danielle was all dressed for the event in a gray sequin Oscar shift when one of her guests arrived in the very same dress. Without skipping a beat, the hostess turned around, scooted up the stairs, and changed into a green Oscar dress...and she still had a marvelous time at her own party.

Image at top: The garden as it appeared before the guests arrived. Danielle's home is a Philip Shutze; if you think the exterior is pretty, then you need to see the interiors. You will want to move in ASAP!

Danielle with her guest Oscar de la Renta. This shot was obviously taken after the dress change.

The lovely table set with Herend china. Note the pretty place cards.

Danielle's iron candelabras set amongst the white dahlias and wheat grass.

Danielle's boxwood linens that I highly covet. How pretty would they look with a "B" on them?

Mixed flatware. I believe I spy Tiffany Hampton (my pattern as well), Chrysanthemum, and Shell and Thread.

As night fell. What an enchanted scene.


  1. Jennifer,

    OMG. This is so beautiful. What an absolutely lovely event. I went to a similiar fab event last fall (40th birthday for 60)...long table, under tent, beautiful table settings, flowers, etc. So fun.

    Hope you are well.

  2. Beautiful! I'd love to see the interiors as well....and the guest list!

  3. What a beautiful event! I think next you should take us on a house tour via your blog if the hostess would be so gracious! ;-)

  4. And here I spy one of my all-time favorite china patterns. Love the garden setting. Just lovely.

  5. WOW and thank you.....and I love the story about the dress

  6. Jaw-dropping beautiful! I think that if I were her I'd eat in that garden every evening!

  7. Glorious party and hostess!! The gardens are amazing.

  8. Looks like such a wonderful glamorous evening - absolutely beautiful.

  9. The best, simply the best.
    xx's Marsha

  10. Just wonderful! As a fairy tale!
    I can't wait it see the interior of this beautiful house!

  11. The table looks so beautiful! I agree, it looks like it is right out of a fairy tale.

  12. What a divine setting for a dinner party. I have the same china it's Herend Chinese Bouquet in Rust. Mine is green and it is extremely versatile. Thanks for posting, now if you could only get inside the house and take photos.....

  13. John T2:34 PM

    Alhough the long table is dramatic and beautiful, I am not convinced that it works the best for such a dinner. But I could be wrong. I am familiar with the house only from the PTS book, and would love to see how it is now decorated!

  14. Wow, sorry I wasn't a guest at such a festive event! (And I am wondering how those napkins would look with a "D".)

  15. Anonymous8:43 PM

    MIles Redd decorated this house. Do you think he had something to do with the Oscar's attendance....?

  16. Anonymous5:38 AM

    Having attended past events feted in this spectacular home, I can personally attest to the grace and charm of both the host and hostess and to the authentic spirit they bring to their many charitable endeavors. Danielle is, without a doubt, the most accomplished hostess of her generation in Atlanta. Much as this post suggests, the Rollins brand of entertainment is always light to the touch, yet iconic and intoxicating!

  17. What a beautiful home!! I've met Danielle and she is as lovely as her home!

  18. What a beautiful party and a chic hostess

  19. Carey Pickard6:07 PM

    This is a real inspiration. I entertain a lot (200 Saturday, 12 last night), but have never set such a magical table. Thanks so much for sharing.

  20. Swoooning over the whole thing... the lighting, the house, the garden, the one long table, the simple flowers, mixed china....

    Thanks for sharing!