Elle Guerrini, Selina Stanford, Jen McDonald, Devan Gernert, Courtney Paddock, Karen Johnson, Phoebe Rourke skipped the masks for photos at the friendsgiving garden party in November. (Photo by Lawrence Elizabeth Knox)
The artistic setting for the Little Coterie Friendsgiving dinner in a private garden in Piney Point (Photo by Lawrence Elizabeth Knox)
Executive chef Devan Gernert prepared a three-course feast for the ladies in Piney Point (Photo by Lawrence Elizabeth Knox)
Little Coterie Friendsgiving (Photo by Lawrence Elizabeth Knox)
The mirror says it all of the al fresco friendsgiving dinner. (Photo by Lawrence Elizabeth Knox)
Little Coterie Friendsgiving dinner place settings set a whimsical tone (Photo by Lawrence Elizabeth Knox)
The Bevi Mao bubbly & brew party truck sets the stage for a lively evening. (Photo by Lawrence Elizabeth Knox)
Elle Guerrini, Karen Johnson, Phoebe Rourke, Jen McDonald, Jennifer Digges Courtney Paddock, Selina Stanford, Monica Hoz De Vila (Photo by Lawrence Elizabeth Knox)
It was a picture-perfect if chilly (thus the fur) evening for dinner in the garden. (Photo by Lawrence Elizabeth Knox)
Karen Johnson's Goodie Rentals provided the playful bar for the dinner party. (Photo by Lawrence Elizabeth Knox)
Chef Devan Gernert's charred eggplant soup (Photo by Lawrence Elizabeth Knox)
Jen McDonald, Phoebe Rourke at the friendsgiving/glamsgiving dinner in McDonald's garden. (Photo by Lawrence Elizabeth Knox)
Chef Devan Gernert's beef fillet headlines the dinner menu at the friendsgiving fête. (Photo by Lawrence Elizabeth Knox)
Appetizers precede dinner service in the garden where eight moms celebrate their friendship. (Photo by Lawrence Elizabeth Knox)
Call them creatives, professionals, moms — and call them best friends. For those are the commonalities among the stylish clutch that gathered in a dreamy Piney Point garden recently for a beyond-beautiful dinner party celebrating one another and the good things in life.
“Getting out of yoga pants and into dresses for an evening was an accomplishment of it’s own,” declares Jen McDonald, in whose garden the otherwise hard-working moms gathered for an evening of modest self-indulgence. “The ladies who were involved, along with myself, are all creatives, both personally and professionally. And we wanted to create something beautiful together in celebration of friendship.”
A consultant for Rooted Garden, a calligrapher, and a home stylist, McDonald and her uber creative friends had collaborated previously on fundraising events at Hope Farms but this evening was all about pleasing themselves.
“We are all working moms, raising children, who may or may not be attending school in person at the moment,” she says. “We juggle everyone’s needs minute by minute and tend to put ourselves last.”
Not on this evening.
Together, the ladies planned a picture-perfect gathering that began with the location — McDonald’s lyrical kitchen garden. Although she was unable to attend, Lyndsey Zorich supplied the festive runner and linens for the table that was sourced from Aztec. Elizabeth Whitehead of Your Butler’s Pantry provided the whimsical elements of the tablescape.
To get the party started, guests gathered around a playful Italian bubbly and brew truck, parked near the dinner table, for imbibing in prosecco smash cocktails. That entertaining gem was provided by Jennifer Digges, who owns the traveling bubbly and brew bar known as Bevi Amo. Additional bar elements were supplied by Karen Johnson of Goodie Rentals.
The tableau was quite a colorful one thanks to the floral and printed midi-dresses and accessories from Selina Stanford‘s Frock Shop. Dressing up was clearly de rigueur as these entrepreneurial moms have been during COVID-19 more accustomed to dressing in yoga togs.
The three-course dinner, which was as beautiful as the food was delicious, was prepared by executive chef Devan Gernert.
Following dinner, the ladies gathered on an outdoor sofa to watch a screening of the romcom film The Holiday. Due to the chilly evening, they kept warm beneath McDonald’s collection of antique quilts.
Also feasting with friends were Elle Guerrini, Little Coterie‘s Courtney Paddock, floral artist Monica Hoz de Vila, and photographers Phoebe Rourke and Lawrence Elizabeth Knox.
“Our next event?” McDonald asks. “We’re already brainstorming ‘Christmas in the Fields,’ a holiday celebration in Round Top.”