Monday, November 26, 2012


 Danielle Rollins with a large vase of pink and green blooms 

With the holiday season upon us, entertaining hits full throttle.  If you love to entertain and want to see how the big time  style mavens do it in Atlanta, this is the book for you.
Soiree, Danielle Rollins new Rizzoli book on entertaining for groups large and small captures her party magic down to every last detail. Reading it, you will see why she is the go-to hostess and party planner in Atlanta, with her sophisticated chic combinations of color and pattern that carry over into her schemes for invitations, china, flowers, and settings. As a friend of fellow Atlantan Miles Redd, it is fun to see how the two pull off a seated dinner in his faceted mirrored bathroom, transported from the David Adler-designed Armour estate in Chicago.  Featuring over 80 original recipes of her own (she is a trained chef)  and those from other top chef's, it becomes clear her experience proves invaluable. Every choice she makes, from flower pairings to china, is total pretty perfection. Whether it be a fete large or small, she says, "all you need is a little passion. Draw on the things in life that inspire you and make you feel good. Entertaining isn't about money or decor or finding the most famous chef in the world to cook for your guests. It's about the people. People make the party." The joy Rollins gets from raising children and this creative  self expression comes across in her writing, and I can't wait to whip up a Rollins Collins for my next cocktail gathering.

16 ounces Hendrick’s Gin
Thinly sliced cucumber rounds
Edible micro orchids (see Resources)
Sparkling water
8 highboy glasses filled with crushed ice
Yields: 8 servings
2 cups sugar
2 cups freshly squeezed lime juice (8 to 10 limes)

1. Combine 2 cups water and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves and liquid becomes clear; reduce heat and simmer, stirring continually, 5 to 10 minutes.

2.Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Transfer the syrup to a container and add lime juice and 4 cups cold water, tasting to get the perfect tart/sweet ratio if you like it more tart, add more straight lime juice; if you like it sweeter, add less. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

3. To prepare for serving, in a large pitcher, mix the limeade and Hendricks’s Gin. Add sliced cucumber rounds. To serve individual drinks, fill a highboy glass with crushed ice then the limeade-gin mixture. Garnish with edible micro orchids (which add a slight cucumber taste) and top with a splash of sparkling water and a straw.

A glorious turquoise, purple and hot pink floral tablecloth anchor the color scheme at a garden party

Taking advantage of the gorgeous garden setting, the colors really pop

Every detail coordinates, down to the custom embroidered napkins

For a mother's day springtime brunch, the white table is set with Charlotte Moss's Pickard China in green and white and small terra cotta pots filled with the tiniest pink-hued French roses

For a seaside luncheon in France, a picnic basket with a blue and white Les Indienne printed napkin and one of my favorite Mottahedeh Turkish Garden Tin Plates with Turkish floral design

For a Bollywood themed dinner, a Schumacher Suzani print fabric on a the table matches the Pierre Frey Mauresque print from Braquenie on the banquette cushions, and the deep reds accent the flowers and glassware

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