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Longreach House – Autumn
Autumn Event Venues in Cashiers, North Carolina
Autumn is my favorite time to have a dinner party! The rich colors of the flowers, the depth of flavors in the foods that are available at this time of year and the feeling of tucking into a warm home as the earth cools in preparation for winter. Along with the change of season the mood of our guests are also changing in anticipation of the festive season soon to come. Through our door they come as if riding on the brisk winds of fall.

Planning the menu with a bright chef is always fun. I love to hear what he comes up with to tease our palettes. Chef Ed is one of a great team of people who do their best every time out of the block. Three meals come to mind and each is as different as night and day. The first is a special meal planned for September so although the menu is a nod to the beginning of the season the flowers are restrained in their autumnal array. It's held in our dining room and the table is dressed to the nines. The table was made for us in England and is oversized in width. I was lucky enough to purchase two of Brooke Astor's cloths from a selection that was bought from her estate. On one corner of each cloth is monogrammed with her initials and the numbers one and two respectively in a pale rose thread! I love these cloths for their history and think of the bright conversations that went on around them.

The second supper was given in the living room at a large round table that is covered with a cloth made from Nina Campbell's fabric line. I purchased this cloth from the Cashiers Historical Society when Ms. Campbell was the guest speaker for their designers Showhouse. The fabric is marvelous in not only the unique application of the various styles of stitching but the surprising texture and color combination of the subject she chose. Sandy Linebaugh worked her magic and tied flower colors with the table cloth and the room, so the table looked like it was originally planned to be there. Red wine and appetizers of dates with blue cheese and spiced pecans started the night. Baked squash soup and quail stuffed with cornbread and poached pears for dessert.

The third was when guests were asked to drop by for a casual supper in the kitchen. That day I made one of my favorite recipes by the Barefoot Contessa. Years ago, she put a new twist on an old favorite of boeuf bourguignon. It’s easy to prepare and can be done ahead of time!

With the guests gathering in the kitchen I started off with cocktails and her easy recipe for baked shrimp. Along with the main course I served my friend Alicia's salad and fresh French rolls. Vanilla bean ice cream with the Contessa’s warm fruit compote finished off the meal. When I was in my self-doubting early teen years my mother gave me some great advice by telling me that a large part of being smart was knowing where to look for the answers. Needless to say, The Contessa’s books have saved my bacon more than once! Our kitchen is fashioned after an old farm kitchen with a large work /dining table in the center of the room instead of an island. It works well for me as our guests can munch on appetizers around the table while I finish the main course and catch up on the local news. We then help ourselves from the antique buffet, which is also handy for those who want second servings. The table is casually set using Edme china with a fruit center piece in a large ram’s head handle Edme bowl.