The very first Supper Club Soiree was held in Mountain Brook, Al. Mountain Brook is a beautiful village in Birmingham with a quaint feel within the city. There’s nothing like being together, and being together in person with so many of our Supper Club Members was a wish come true!
We were thrilled to team-up with Entertain & Celebrate Magazine to bring this event to our Supper Club Members and to host a culminating activity of a photo shoot that will be published in the upcoming Spring issue! Many thanks to Hoffman Media for working side-by-side with us on this amazing event! It was an honor to work with Anna, Sidney, John, and Kristi! Our theme was flowers/garden.
We kicked-off our day with a Prosecco Welcome at the rooftop lounge area of Grand Bohemian Hotel. This first event of the day was very special to me as we were all having the chance to meet in person for the first time- after many months of chatting by Zoom calls. With some early morning help from Parker Kennedy Living, the focal point was in place and we were ready to meet and greet!
It was important to me that everyone felt as welcome and as at-ease as possible. My vision was for each person to see their names as they walked up to the party. The straw baskets with each member’s name was the perfect gift I was looking for and helped set the scene for the flower theme that was carried throughout the Soiree.
The table with lattices on each side and greenery overhead, created a flower market feel. We added watering cans for extra pops of color and interest.
Customized bottles of Prosecco were placed on silver platters- it was fun to watch as the members realized each bottle was prepared just for them! Our member, Laurie Byrne, created cocktail napkins for everyone to have. The napkins had blue or pink ribbons embroidered with flowers.
One of our members, Lee Bogle (of The Southern Sideboard), provided cheese wafers, Madeline cookies, and pecan sandies for snacking as the party started. This was a perfect way to start the day!
We then were seated at the table for lunch and were able to have a chance to get to know each other better. This was a wonderful time to get to put names and faces together in real life!
After lunch, we were treated to Sweet Kaki’s Famous Apple Pie for dessert. Talk about delicious…
I don’t know what the secrets are to making this apple pie so special, but it has such fantastic flavor! Kaki is a friend that I met through a childhood friend of mine. We were thrilled to have Sweet Kaki’s sponsor dessert and our first Soiree! These famous apple pies can be found at local retailers in a variety of locations. She currently does not ship. I find them at Stripling’s Market and at Lucy’s Market.
After we enjoyed every single bite of the Sweet Kaki’s apple pies, we continued with our dessert momentum and learned how to decorate cupcakes from the amazing Julie McAllister (of Jullie McAllister Cakes)! Julie is known for her sculpted cakes that are so realistic that everyone always says, “…that’s a CAKE??”. Luckily for us, Julie is a member of The Supper Club AND also makes mouth-watering cupcakes ~and she shared her techniques with us. My goal was that everyone could leave the class feeling like they could at least do an “almost homemade” version of cupcakes to use when entertaining or as a treat for friends/family. With Julie’s guidance, we all learned simple tips to make cake decorating easier and felt more confident in our untapped skills.
Julie taught us a classic rose and gave us her inside tips on what makes them work in the best way. And, we went a step further and learned how to create a hydrangea bloom and leaves. We were feeling like pros after a few tries! Julie made the class fun, interesting, and delicious! We appreciated the helpful tricks and tips!
Soon after our cupcake decorating class with Julie, we moved right into our floral design class with Supper Club Members, Parker Kennedy Living. This was loads of fun as we began creating our centerpiece flower arrangement that would be used the following day for our magazine photo shoot!
Lance guided us on how he visualizes and creates his own arrangements. He shared tips that he learned when he worked for a floral company years ago. And then, he offered one-on-one help for each group as they began making their arrangements.
Containers for the arrangements were provided by Parker Kennedy Living and included a mix of vintage, antique, and new items. Members were also encouraged to bring their own vessel for flower arranging if they had something they knew that they wanted to use. David shared his knowledge on the history of the different pieces that they brought. There was such a wonderful variety and each group wowed us all with their creative florals!
Our third class of the day centered on table top styling. Gaines Jewelers provided our options for china, crystal, glassware, flatware, vases, and napkins. We were like kids in a candy store when we were able to unbox and see all of the different patterns and colors that were available for us to use!
Using guidance from Anna Hartzog, editor of Entertain & Celebrate magazine, each group was able to work together to select their table setting pieces and to begin to style their ideas for the upcoming photo shoot.
We appreciate Gaines Jewelers so much – as they literally packed up everything and drove 10 hours to get these selections to us safely! We seriously have the best Supper Club Members!
The groups enjoyed getting their final plans together for the following day and we were able to see so many creative processes in action, I loved seeing the creative strengths of the group and how everyone helped each other to achieve a fabulous final result.
These activities rounded out our daytime activities, and then we took a short break before meeting back for dinner in the cooking school at the Grand Bohemian.
Our cooking class was designed to be a pasta-making class with 3 different recipes that would be made interactively with the chef and our Supper Club Members. The food was absolutely delicious~ the 3 pasta dishes, the salad and the peach dessert. We had a timing glitch with the hotel adding on a party in front of our party and this set us back a bit on our timing. The good news is that we had extra time to chat and get to know each other even better! 🙂
We had special guests join us for the cooking school and dinner portion of the event~ Smeraglia’s Teddybear Golden Doodles! Who doesn’t love a flower garden more than a pup, right?
We had adorable invitations made for each Supper Club Member. Our theme for the night was Oodles of Noodles and Doodles. Our Supper Club Member, Sarah Moore (of Sarah T. Moore Designs), created the cutest invitations for us. I had golden balloon dogs made to go with the invitation and also tied a ribbon collar on each balloon dog. The white ribbon was customized with “Smeraglia’s Teddy Bear Golden Doodles” in gold.
For place cards, I bundled dried pasta and tied it with a ribbon. Sarah Moore created cards to go into each card “holder”. We opted to put Smeraglia’s Teddy Bear Golden Doodles on each card rather than to put each name. This idea created more of a focus on our sponsoring guests and made the seating arrangements less formal to go with the family-style vibe of the class setting.
For the centerpieces, I used tulipieres from my own collection (but purchased from Parker Kennedy Living). Anna and I put flowers in them and placed them on the tables along with placemats from Lucy Grymes. The placemats and flowers were beautiful together! The Tobacco Leaf pattern by Mottaheda was a perfect Italian print for our Italian meal.
Laurie Sugg, of The Fab Foo, had the fab idea to gift each Supper Club Member with a vintage or antique Foo Dog from her shop! This was such a special touch that added to the fun of the evening. Each place at the table had a different foo dog and everyone could take it home with them at the end of the night. Such a thoughtful gesture by The Fab Foo!
I had originally planned a nightcap for our group but, because of the delayed start to our night, we pushed it to the following morning. We had a cocktail and a mocktail option for the members late in the morning after breakfast. I will tell you all about it a little further down…let’s talk about breakfast, first!
Lee Bogle, of The Southern Sideboard, created a breakfast cart selection for The Supper Club Members to enjoy in their rooms before the photo shoot began. Lee, Julie, and I delivered breakfast door to door to each guest! It was such a fun way to start my day to get to see most everyone as we knocked on all of the doors! I hope our members enjoyed the special room service that day, too! The Southern Sideboard specializes in meal deliveries and catering, and so this was right down her alley!
Coffee was served for everyone and it was time to get to work on the photo shoot with Entertain & Celebrate! Each group went one at a time and worked one-on-one with Anna, lead-stylist Sidney Bragiel, and photographer John O’Hagan. The process is tedious but so interesting to watch. I always have so much respect for what goes into a photoshoot for a magazine after working with Entertain & Celebrate. There is definitely an art to creating a beautiful experience for their readers!
You may notice that several of us at The Supper Club Soiree wore dresses that were alike or similar. We have a wonderful member who started her own clothing company, Kate Leigh, and she sent dresses for us to enjoy! We had a lot of fun trying on the different styles, patterns, and colors- and we may have even taken a few home with us! 🙂
While one group was working on their photo shoot, the other groups were able to record podcasts with our members, Patricia Mae Maristch of The Preppy Podcast and Angie Avard Turner of The Angie Avard Turner Show. Those episodes are so special to me and I hope you will go have a listen! We also had a chance to enjoy a mocktail and cocktail demonstration! Look at these delicious drinks!
Andrea Wightwick, founder of Hapsy, put together a beautiful display of her mocktail recipe. Andrea discussed the benefits of Hapsy oil and had samples for guests to see. The drinks were served in vintage barware from The Fab Foo.
This cranberry mocktail will be perfect for the holidays, just saying. 🙂 Look at how gorgeous the colors are with the cranberries and citrus together!
We were also treated to another cocktail demo by Morgan Weinstock of Jackson Morgan Cream. This delicious drink would make a fabulous after dinner drink or dessert. Morgan showed us her favorite way to serve the recipe and gave us tips on presentation.
This was a perfect way to “cap” off the Soiree! Cheers!!
Lastly, I was thrilled to get to have a bonus dinner with some of the ladies that stayed the night after the Soiree. It was such a treat to relax and go to dinner with them and get to enjoy just being together!
I can’t wait to do it again! I will be back to add in more details and spotlight those who helped make it all come together so well. Cheers to all of the Supper Club Members- you all are amazing! If you’re not a member and want to be, come join us. We are saving you a seat at our table!