Society / The Seen

Lallier’s Chic Champagne Party Brought the Beloved French Bubbly to Dallas

Inside the Exclusive "Winter Picnique" in Highland Park Village

BY // 12.24.21
photography Jonathan Zizzo

Any time there is a velvet rope I get slightly intrigued. Well, who doesn’t? Granted, I’m no longer in my twenties when such entrances held endless fascination. And then top that off with another door where upon entering there is a chic young woman holding a clipboard with a “guest list.” Sign me up. Such was the case at the recent Champagne Lallier party co-hosted by PaperCity and Highland Park Village in Bistro 31’s Champagne Room. The oh-so exclusive invite summoned guests to a “Winter Picnique” occurring immediately after the Village’s annual Christmas Lights Celebration and Shopping Stroll.

Upon arriving, guests were told to select one of two gift items — a sumptuous blanket or hybrid wicker picnic basket tote bag — and then pointed in the direction of the always chic Becca Quisenberry and her handy dandy monogram machine to get their choice of ornamentation. Some selected a champagne bottle while others opted for their initials or a variation of them — in my case, it’s often just “NERD.”

Holiday s’mores (Photo by Jonathan Zizzo)
Holiday s’mores (Photo by Jonathan Zizzo)

The dimly lit room had a well-heeled crowd sipping Lallier bubbles (the champagne house has a 115-year legacy and was founded in Aÿ, one of the few French villages classified as ‘Grand Cru’) and savoring the nibbles: potato pancakes with caviar and creme fraiche, short rib, wild mushroom in vol au vent, and crab cakes.

I had the pleasure of welcoming the crowd and introducing the fabulous Champagne Lallier Brand Ambassador Madeleine Thompson. She came ready for a party wearing a festive holiday outfit that looked straight from the playbook of glamorous Betty Page. A Dallas native and resident, Thompson formerly worked for Highland Park Village’s Royal Blue Grocery and has been with Champagne Lallier for the past few months as the brand launches in select U.S. markets, including Texas, Florida, and California.

Lallier Champagne
Nathan Johnson, Courtney Kerr (Photo by Jonathan Zizzo)

The holiday spirit was in the air since so many missed quality time with friends in 2020 (thanks to the COVID grinch). I spotted immersed in conversation Nathan Gro and Missy Peck on a settee towards the back of the crowded room. Both brilliantly talented event planners (Nathan’s Gro Floral & Event Design team in fact had designed the decor that evening) and both utterly gorgeous. They were sharing some trade secrets and acknowledging how appreciative they were that in the last six months (and from what I heard through the next year) their schedules were crammed with weddings, birthdays, and store launches.

Spotted chatting away that night of merriment: one of Park House’s founders Deborah Scott in one of her signature jumpsuits paired with a white and black fur bomber jacket that looked straight from the movie Cruella; Market’s Keenan Walker who shared that she had just gotten off her return flight from New York an hour before; Katie Schumacher in one the pieces she has from her huge collection of Dolce & Gabbana; girl-on-the-scene influencer Courtney Kerr; from the Highland Park Village team Victoria Snee; Tayna Foster; Brittany Everett; Jennifer Eitches; Sotheby’s Charlie Caulkins; Heather Anderson, Tiffany Davros; dashing Rolex store manager Phillip Cotone; and Madison Strode.

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