Saturday, December 12, 2015

How To Host An Elegant Girlfriends' Lunch

By Tiffany White

Connie finds her therapy in cooking and entertaining. 

Every year, Connie Simmons hosts a lunch for six of her closest friends complete with fine china, good food, and plenty of love. “I like to make other people happy when I have these intimate lunches. It is my gift to them,” she says. Cooking and entertaining has been part of her family’s tradition — and something she looks forward to doing.

For her lunch party last year, Connie served tenderloin with a raspberry chutney sauce, red pepper soup, garlic mashed potatoes, homemade herb tea biscuits, herb butter, and asparagus with hollandaise sauce. And, for drinks, champagne and pinot noir.

Creating a comfortable environment for her guests is a priority. 

Connie looks forward to using her silver. 
She keeps her home cheerful and festive. 

Connie owns seven sets of china. “I lost my mom a year ago and my mom wanted me to have all of her china and my husband and I inherited his grandmother’s china and we have our wedding china,” she explains. “A lot of people have it to show and not use and I think that is a waste of something that is artistic when you can use that beautiful art as part of a table setting.”

On cloudy days, Connie lights scented candles which are placed in the family room.

These decorative pieces add the finishing touch to the atmosphere Connie wants to create.
The small details matter. 

Appetizers are already on trays when guests arrive setting out in formal living room have bar set up in dining room so that people can decide where they want to hang out. I believe in simple and elegant. I don’t like too much busyness.

Our full story is in the December magazine.

Choosing a simple main course like beef tenderloin cuts down on the stress of meal preparation. 

Connie keeps guests out of her kitchen.
She prefers making her own recipes.

Connie preps her tenderloin three days ahead.

Connie uses these oranges as a decorative accent for the tenderloin she serves. 

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