“Specialties of the House”: Small Bites!

north carolina interior designer kathryn greeley presents happy fourth of july

Last week for my Downton Abbey party for Governor McCrory, I made these tasty little “BLT Bites”. They were one of my three passed hors d’oeuvres and were a real hit! These small bites are one of my favorites for summer cocktail parties, although, I must say they are a bit labor intensive! Your guests will love you for all of the work!

north carolina interior designer kathryn greeley presents happy fourth of july

I start with a cherry tomato and make a good slice off the top and a very small slice off the bottom of the tomato, so that it will be set level. Then you must scoop out the inside of the tomato…very carefully! If you don’t slice off enough on the top, you will not be able to get down in the tomato to scoop out the inside. The hard part is over now, so you can relax! I know this, as I did 80 of these little tomatoes for the party last weekend!

Now for the filling…first of all I cook Oscar Meyer Center Cut Bacon in my microwave until it is done and very crisp. I drain it on paper towels and then chop very fine. I then slice romaine hearts very thinly. Even doing 80 tomatoes, it takes very little romaine to stuff down in these tasty little bites. So don’t over cut on the romaine! Of course the amounts on all of these ingredients totally depends on the number of tomatoes you plan to prepare. You will need to pipe some mayonnaise into the tomatoes. I use my disposable pastry bags and tips, but a “baggie” with a corner clipped will do just as well. I always use Hellman’s! Now you are ready to assemble the BLT Bites. I always “blot” out the tomato with a paper towel and then stuff with the romaine. Leave enough room to pipe in a bit of mayonnaise and then top with the bacon. It’s very simple after you get the tomatoes prepared! And very worth the trouble.

So wow your 4th of July guests with these little summer delights and enjoy with a nice glass of champagne!

north carolina interior designer kathryn greeley presents happy fourth of july

I hope you are celebrating with your friends and family this holiday weekend. I am so thankful for all of the men and women who have served and are currently serving in our armed forces to keep this country safe. Happy 4th of July, everyone!

north carolina interior designer kathryn greeley presents happy fourth of july

xo Kathryn

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“Oh What A Night”!

north carolina interior designer kathryn greeley presents entertaining tales from chestnut cottage

north carolina interior designer kathryn greeley presents entertaining tales from chestnut cottage

OH WHAT A NIGHT! Such a great “Downton Abbey” party and what great fun! We had rain all morning on Saturday here at Chestnut Cottage, which was disappointing, but I went ahead and made the “executive decision” early that we would need to serve dinner inside. And everything turned out perfectly! It was a very intimate setting with eight in my kitchen, eight in the living area, and eight in the master bedroom! I always have these three tables at Thanksgiving and Easter, so it was not so bad seeing all of the cooking and serving going on in the kitchen. It is often the prize tables in a restaurant that are in the kitchen, so I didn’t feel too badly.

I did all of my flowers on Friday, so that I could be enjoying them as I cooked and did the tables.

north carolina interior designer kathryn greeley presents entertaining tales from chestnut cottage

Peonies and thistle!

  north carolina interior designer kathryn greeley presents entertaining tales from chestnut cottage

north carolina interior designer kathryn greeley presents entertaining tales from chestnut cottage

north carolina interior designer kathryn greeley presents entertaining tales from chestnut cottage

My silver trumpet vases are so tall, I had to get my little one step stool to get the flowers arranged.

Chestnut Cottage was full of flowers!

 north carolina interior designer kathryn greeley presents entertaining tales from chestnut cottage

It was fun to set all three of the tables Saturday morning, but I was very disappointed that we wouldn’t be eating in the garden!

north carolina interior designer kathryn greeley presents entertaining tales from chestnut cottage

The table in our living area.

north carolina interior designer kathryn greeley presents entertaining tales from chestnut cottage

The table in our master bedroom …which opens to the living area.

north carolina interior designer kathryn greeley presents entertaining tales from chestnut cottage

And the table in the kitchen…which opens to the living area.

So the tables were ready and “Lord Greeley” takes a look to see if everything is perfect.

north carolina interior designer kathryn greeley presents entertaining tales from chestnut cottage

After my table inspection, I felt it was time for a glass of champagne!

north carolina interior designer kathryn greeley presents entertaining tales from chestnut cottage

Around 5:00 the sun came out and we were able to have cocktails in the garden. The evening turned out to be glorious for cocktails in the garden, so we welcomed our special guest to cocktails served in the wine cellar, right off my little garage!

north carolina interior designer kathryn greeley presents entertaining tales from chestnut cottage

It is interesting what a lovely, oriental rug can do to make my garage a perfect place to set up a bar. Sadly I was very busy with my guests and did not make lots of photos, so I had to depend on others and no one seemed to photograph the “bar area”.

Around 6:00, we welcomed our Lords and Ladies to Chestnut Cottage…particularly our special guests… North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory and First Lady, Ann McCrory! What a treat to have The Governor and Lady McCrory to Chestnut Cottage for a Downton Abbey dinner.

While The Governor chatted with guests, Lady McCrory and I had a stroll around Chestnut Cottage. I was pleased to learn from Ann that she and I share a mutual passion…dogs!

north carolina interior designer kathryn greeley presents entertaining tales from chestnut cottage

We had an incredible group of people helping with serving and bartending!

north carolina interior designer kathryn greeley presents entertaining tales from chestnut cottage

And the tables were ready for all of our special guests.

It was such a fun group and Governor McCrory seemed to enjoy visiting all of the tables. He mentioned to me several times how much he liked the openness of Chestnut Cottage, particularly for entertaining.

north carolina interior designer kathryn greeley presents entertaining tales from chestnut cottage

I loved that Lord Findalay wore his authentic Scottish kilt attire!

north carolina interior designer kathryn greeley presents entertaining tales from chestnut cottage

Wells dined with my beautiful young friend, Elliott Coward. Doesn’t she look stunning in her 20”s fashions!

north carolina interior designer kathryn greeley presents entertaining tales from chestnut cottage

I was most relieved that my food turned out well and seemed to be enjoyed by everyone!

north carolina interior designer kathryn greeley presents entertaining tales from chestnut cottage

north carolina interior designer kathryn greeley presents entertaining tales from chestnut cottage

Sadly, we didn’t get a photo of the yummy Wild Mushroom Soup. My chef friend , Dennis Barber , chef/owner of The Copper Door generously donated this incredible soup…and we all appreciated his talent!

north carolina interior designer kathryn greeley presents entertaining tales from chestnut cottage

BE INSPIRED TO HAVE YOUR OWN DOWNTON ABBEY STYLE DINNER PARTY!

ENJOY!

xo Kathryn

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Downton Abbey Party Countdown!

downton abbey party at chestnut cottage presented by north carolina interior designer kathryn greeley

downton abbey party at chestnut cottage presented by north carolina interior designer kathryn greeley

Planning does make for an easier life and a successful entertaining event! And we are counting down at Chestnut Cottage this week. I am praying for good weather so that we can eat in the garden…and I would greatly appreciate lots of the same prayers from my wonderful readers here at The Collected Room!!!

Speaking of “collected”, our tables Saturday evening will certainly be “Collected Tabletops”! I am planning to have three round tables and use the same blue and white checked cloths that are shown below in the Wine Tasting chapter of The Collected Tabletop.

downton abbey party at chestnut cottage presented by north carolina interior designer kathryn greeley

Since things would have been more formal at a dinner party at Downton Abbey, I decided to use 90 inch white linen hemstitch overlay cloths. I will either use 22 inch white linen hemstitch napkins or some of my antique napkins or a combination of both!

My primary china pattern will be my beloved Old Coalport “Leighton Spray” pattern. I am so blessed to have a great many pieces of this pattern and will mix it with a few other patterns.

downton abbey party at chestnut cottage presented by north carolina interior designer kathryn greeley

For serving the Wild Mushroom Bisque, I will use the lovely cobalt depression glass that is in the  Book Shower chapter of The Collected Tabletop.

downton abbey party at chestnut cottage presented by north carolina interior designer kathryn greeley

This pattern is Royal Lace by Hazel-Atlas and is one of the most highly sought after and expensive of all Depression glass patterns. It is so delicate and works wonderfully with the Leighton Spray pattern.

downton abbey party at chestnut cottage presented by north carolina interior designer kathryn greeley

The pieces I purchased for my friend and client, Annette Anderson, (in the Book Shower chapter) will be on loan to Chestnut Cottage this weekend and will be added to my collection of this pattern.

For the fish course of the meal, I will be using an accent plate that I purchased several years ago at Replacements. This pattern is Victoria Blue by Nikko and when I found them on a very tempting sale at Replacements, I purchased 70 of these accent salad plates. They are going to be perfect for my smoked trout course .  I also use them regularly for cocktail buffets!

downton abbey party at chestnut cottage presented by north carolina interior designer kathryn greeley

And I will be using them again for the cheese course!

In that I am serving English Trifle for the dessert course, I was able to find individual trifle bowls…would you believe on Amazon!

downton abbey party at chestnut cottage presented by north carolina interior designer kathryn greeley

I am mixing four sterling flatware patterns, my “Buttercup” by Gorham , along with three of my Mother’s patterns… “Processional” by Fine Arts, “Chantilly” by Gorham, and “Prelude” by International . There is LOTS of silver polishing going on this week at Chestnut Cottage!

downton abbey party at chestnut cottage presented by north carolina interior designer kathryn greeley

downton abbey party at chestnut cottage presented by north carolina interior designer kathryn greeley downton abbey party at chestnut cottage presented by north carolina interior designer kathryn greeley downton abbey party at chestnut cottage presented by north carolina interior designer kathryn greeley

 We will we will be serving five wines, so  I have rented 5 wine glasses for each of the 24 guests and I will use my William Yeoward “Pearl” pattern water glasses.

downton abbey party at chestnut cottage presented by north carolina interior designer kathryn greeley

For cocktails, I am going to have a “collection of my “Thistle”, “Lismore”, and “Pearl” on the bar. Our special bar cocktail for the evening will of course be a refreshing Pimm’s Cup”!

downton abbey party at chestnut cottage presented by north carolina interior designer kathryn greeley

I thought you might enjoy my Pimm’s recipe from a previous post.

I suppose I better get back to all of the planning and polishing. Stay tuned for the party images and to find out who our special guest will be!

xo Kathryn

Posted in China, Entertaining, Entertaining Tales from Chestnut Cottage, Quintessentially British, Tabletop, Take It From Kathryn, The Collected Tabletop, Uncategorized, What's Inspiring Kathryn? | 3 Comments

Lots of Flowers for a Debutante Ball!

Lots of Flowers for a Debutante Ball!

My husband belongs to an interesting group of men…The Rhododendron Royal Brigade of Guards in Asheville. This group puts on the annual debutante week and this was their 83rd year to honor 22 young women. One of these wonderful young women is a friend of mine…McLain Rose, as is her mother, Jill Rose. Many months ago they asked me to do the flowers for one of the evenings honoring the queen and king of this event. McLain is this year’s queen and another friend, Cindy Piercy’s son Douglas was the king. So how could I say no! Thursday was a big flower day for me and my assistant Leah , as you can see in these images of our” flower arranging room” at the Biltmore Forest Country Club.

north carolina interior designer kathryn greeley presents flower arrangingnorth carolina interior designer kathryn greeley presents flower arranging

These antique green hydrangea and peonies were just stunning.

And these lovely sweet peas were so delicate!

north carolina interior designer kathryn greeley presents flower arranging north carolina interior designer kathryn greeley presents flower arranging

When Leah and I arrived and looked upon these beautiful flowers we knew we had much work to do!! Another friend, Steve McClure is the father of one of the debutantes and was gracious enough to help Leah and I. We had a fun day “knee deep” in all of these incredible flowers!

north carolina interior designer kathryn greeley presents flower arranging

north carolina interior designer kathryn greeley presents flower arranging

On Thursday evening, my reward was seeing all of our flowers on the tables as well as placed around the rooms being used for this event!

How sweet are these individual, monogrammed mint julep cups given as a gift for each girl.

north carolina interior designer kathryn greeley presents flower arranging

Leah did a great job on these little julep cup  arrangements!

north carolina interior designer kathryn greeley presents flower arranging

north carolina interior designer kathryn greeley presents flower arranging

north carolina interior designer kathryn greeley presents flower arranging

north carolina interior designer kathryn greeley presents flower arranging

north carolina interior designer kathryn greeley presents flower arranging

north carolina interior designer kathryn greeley presents flower arranging

north carolina interior designer kathryn greeley presents flower arranging

north carolina interior designer kathryn greeley presents flower arranging

north carolina interior designer kathryn greeley presents flower arranging

 Screen Shot 2015-06-15 at 12.13.31 PM

xo Kathryn

Posted in Inspired!, Style Guide, Take It From Kathryn, Uncategorized, What's Inspiring Kathryn?, “In the Garden” | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

The Planning Continues…!

 

entertaining tales from chestnut cottage presented by north carolina interior designer kathryn greeley

entertaining tales from chestnut cottage presented by north carolina interior designer kathryn greeley

As you might image, Chestnut Cottage is at  “fever pitch”! All of the details are coming together and each day has a list of items to be done before the big party. Two big items that I can check off my list are the wine selections and the cheese selections. My husband Wells has all of the wine ready to go and I have so enjoyed my cheese course selections.

First of all, Downton Abbey is shot in cheddar country, in Hampshire, just one county over from Somerset. So it is  essential that we serve a cheese course that consisted of British and Irish cheese! I just had to add an Irish cheese!! I love buying cheese at Star Provisions in Atlanta , and I have had the great pleasure of working with Carolyn Bender, the cheesemonger at Star Provisions, who has assisted me in my selections.

entertaining tales from chestnut cottage presented by north carolina interior designer kathryn greeley entertaining tales from chestnut cottage presented by north carolina interior designer kathryn greeley

I started out with two of my favorite books on British cheese, Great British Cheeses by Jenny Linford, and The Real Cheese Companion –A Guide To Best Handmade Cheeses of Britain and Ireland by Sarah Freeman.  These are my final selections!

entertaining tales from chestnut cottage presented by north carolina interior designer kathryn greeley

Stilton- this cheese is a classic cows milk blue made by Colston Bassett in Nottinghampshire, England. It has a firm texture, with strong grassy and mineral flavors.

entertaining tales from chestnut cottage presented by north carolina interior designer kathryn greeley

Coolea- this lovely cheese is made in County Cork, Ireland and is patterned after Dutch gouda style cheese. It is hard with tastes of caramel and nuts.

entertaining tales from chestnut cottage presented by north carolina interior designer kathryn greeley

Keen’s Cheddar- this cheddar is made in Somerset, England and is a traditional clothbound cheddar, …strong and  sharp with green grass finish

entertaining tales from chestnut cottage presented by north carolina interior designer kathryn greeley

Tunworth- this is made in Herriard, England and is a soft and spreadable cheese, …bold, earthy and creamy.

entertaining tales from chestnut cottage presented by north carolina interior designer kathryn greeley

If you are interested in more information on these cheeses, all are detailed in the book by Jinny Linford.

Menu

Wild Mushroom Bisque With Madeira And Cream

2005 Clos Des Cortons Faiveley Grand Cru

..

Smoked Sunburst Trout With Cream Fraiche And Trout Caviar

2013 Domaine Henri Biollot Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Clas De La Mouchere

..

Individual Beef Wellington

Potatoes Au Gratin

Haricots Vert Bundles

2005 Chateau Pontet Canet

..

Individual English Trifle With Lavendar Shortbread

Pol Roger Brut Reserve Champagne

..

English Cheese Plate

Graham’s 10 Year Tawny Porto

Wow, two more big items are checked off the list! And the flowers are ordered from the wholesaler in Atlanta and all of the table linens are identified and being perfectly washed and pressed. My china, sterling flatware, and stemware is all selected and ready to go. Now I can begin to simply enjoy the process and the details!

entertaining tales from chestnut cottage presented by north carolina interior designer kathryn greeley

entertaining tales from chestnut cottage presented by north carolina interior designer kathryn greeley

Posted in Entertaining, Entertaining Tales from Chestnut Cottage, Food, Inspired!, Uncategorized, What's Inspiring Kathryn? | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments