Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Entertaining with Anne d'Ornano

Continuing with Entertaining à la d'Ornano...

Back in 1968, Anne d'Ornano was officially known as Comtesse Michel d'Ornano, but by 2000, she had also added mayor of Deauville, France to her list of titles. Despite the fact that in the T&C book Anne said that she preferred being a guest at dinners and parties because "I'm basically lazy", Nan Kempner seemed to take a very different view of her. Kempner wrote "I always marvel at how effortlessly she manages to juggle all her roles" including mother, grandmother, mayor of Deauville, the counsel general of Trouville, and the President of the General Council of Calvados. Lazy? Hardly.

Like her sister in law Isabelle, Anne has had the luxury of employing personal chefs in her homes. For the dinners that she hosted thirty years ago, she liked to serve dishes such as "stuffed eggs on hearts of artichokes with truffles and sauce béchamel; roast beef with prunes stuffed with mousse de pâté and salade mimosa; cheese; and cold soufflé de fraise.

And just as Isabelle, Anne seems to have taken a more casual approach to entertaining over the years. When Kempner visited Anne for lunch at her Deauville house, the meal started with a scallop salad followed by poached turbot with beurre blanc and stuffed tomatoes. Dessert was a tarte tatin. Kempner noted that Anne prefers to serve the main course buffet-style in an effort to keep things easy. And, it seems that her menus have lightened up immensely as evidenced by the lack of a béchamel sauce.

I have to say, though, that what might impress me even more than her style, her menu, or that tarte tatin is the abundance of Boxwoods lining the home's front walk. (See below.) Talk about a good first impression!

Anne's Deauville dining room.

The tarte tatin

The interior of Anne's home.

The front walk that is lined with Boxwoods.

All color images from R.S.V.P.: Menus for Entertaining from People Who Really Know How by Nan Kempner; Quentin Bacon photographer.


  1. The dining room is beautiful and totally civilized. The way the crystal on the table catches the light - too early in the day perhaps to use the word coruscate but nonetheless ...

  2. Sent this to a client + loved those boxwoods! Grand post.

  3. I LOVE all the boxwood!!

  4. Note only is Anne immensely talented and dedicated, she has grown more beautiful with the years. What grace. Thanks. Mary

  5. Jennifer, quite the impressive woman indeed! I would love to read more of her life.

    Art by Karena

    I have a New, very fashionable Giveaway on my site! Come and see!