Tuesday, November 27, 2012
I love this time of year. It's as if the chilly weather gives us permission to stay home in the evening, forgoing social engagements for the comfort and coziness of our homes. Comfort food, warming libations, wool throws (no snuggies please), and engaging books are the ingredients for a winter evening well-spent. And I know that others feel the same way, too. Take this 1935 issue of House & Garden in which the pleasures of cozy are touted through "groups that suggest some pleasant interludes in winter evenings."
There is the "Reading Group", above, with its reproduction Duncan Phyfe table and comfortable chair upholstered in green and white striped cotton. My ideal reading group would be accompanied by a fireplace, and that too was shown in this article, below, in the "Nightcap" grouping which included preparations for mulled wine prepared over the fire. But really, you could enjoy any hot beverage like Swiss Strawberry Tea, a Tom and Jerry, or a Caudle Cup, each drink's preparation detailed in this same issue. (Whatever happened to Hot Buttered Rum?)
There is the "Card Group", appropriate for an era when many civilized people played bridge and such. I don't play cards nor do many of my friends. A shame, really. But I do know if my friends and I did play cards, the cards would be accompanied by cocktails and food. Not a lot of food, just a few nibbles. And then there is my favorite grouping of all, "And So To Bed". This is where I do most of my reading considering that I don't have a fireplace to cozy up next to. The bedroom seen here included Amodec furniture made of maple and a candlewick bedspread, very popular at that time. I would forgo the candlewick spread for a satin quilt, but that's just me. I have visions of Hollywood grandeur running through my head.
And so, after all of this, I'm off to bed!
As I mentioned, I don't play cards, but if I did,
I would serve Mamie's Tuscan Wafers which have a little more zing than the original Cheese Wafers but are just as good. The perfect snack for a game of cards, especially with drinks served in glassware like this:
High Ball glasses by James Mont, available through BG Galleries
To create my Nightcap group, I would first need some kind of electric fireplace.
This is the best looking one I have found. Not bad, but do you know of any that actually look kind of chic?
At the end of the day, though, my favorite cold weather retreat is my bed, especially if I ever take the plunge and buy one of Leontine Linen's satin quilts and bed jackets.
Both would help to ward off chills while reading juicy books like these:
American Lady: The Life of Susan Mary Alsop by Caroline de Margerie
Inventing Elsa Maxwell: How an Irrepressible Nobody Conquered High Society, Hollywood, the Press, and the World by Sam Staggs