Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Danish For Beginners

One of my good friends and neighbors, Nicole Hirsch Whitaker, is a director of photography and just finished a six-week long Nokia campaign that shot in Portugal, England, Iceland and Denmark. Whilst at her house on Sunday, I was so taken with her photos of a dinner party she attended in Copenhagen last week that I asked her if I could post them. She kindly agreed.

They serve as a personal reminder to me that creating a magical evening doesn't need to involve fancy table settings and a time-consuming elaborate menu. The nights I remember most are the ones in which the dining table became a private repository for laughter, recollections and sharing future plans. I departed feeling that my soul had been nourished, not just my stomach. 

Let's look and learn, shall we?

1. Less fuss = less stress.
The unadorned wooden table, the casual relaxed atmosphere, the rustic pleasures of sharing an informal alfresco meal with friends  -- it's enough. It's more than enough.

2. Food-wise, keep it simple. 
Stick with fresh and seasonal. Here, freshly-baked bread, lettuce from the garden and homemade chili followed by gigantic bowls of caught-that-day crayfish did the trick and more.

3. Never underestimate the power of fading light.
Dusk is a dinner party's golden hour. People lean in closer, secrets are shared, friendships are forged. Everything becomes more intimate. These unselfconscious moments are what your guests will remember the next day, even more than the dessert.

4. Let the dishes be.
Conversations over the remains of a meal are always the most memorable. I don't know exactly why this is, but it is. Once the plates are cleared away, so is the mood.  

5. Candles, always.
(All photographs by Nicole Hirsch Whitaker)

15 comments:

Gigi said...

Yes, yes, yes. This is just what a dinner party should be.

Laura [What I Like] said...

Oh how I yearn for a long rustic wooden table! And this is quite a timely reminder...I'm throwing a dinner party tonight that I started cooking for last night. Although I'm hoping the food will be tasty enough to justify all of the work, in summer heat it really is absurd to work so hard, espcially by a hot stove.

Lisa Borgnes Giramonti said...

Laura (What I Like): It's going to be wonderful, I'm sure. Bon appetit!

Angie Muresan said...

Lovely, just lovely! Delicious food, great friends, stimulating conversation, and candles, of course...

little augury said...

these photos are painterly like. The first could be carl larsson? or this looks like perfection for a LBG needlework. la

Lisa Borgnes Giramonti said...

Little Augury: You're exactly right! It IS very Carl Larsson. I have a book on him and these dinner scenes are totally reminiscent of his informal and intimate paintings.

Sarah Jane said...

i love this! it's so fun to create a special dinner party:)

The Consummate Hostess said...

What an amazing dinner party, I so glad that she let you post these! I love everything about it! Easy elegance and its finest.

Julie Anne Rhodes said...

"Let's look and learn, shall we?

1. Less fuss = less stress."

Amen! I can almost hear the dinner conversation looking at those photos. I want to run out to get a wooden table and never eat a meal inside again.

miss cavendish said...

That is lovely. Simple is often best (except when it's not, obviously).

laurakitty said...

How heavenly! Nothing is better than Scandinavia in the summer!

Hillary's Brook said...

Hi Lisa,
I'm so used to looking at the banner, I don't even notice it when I look at a new post... then I do... and I can't believe it's there. Thanks to you to and also to your readers who appreciate it. I agree, it was a really fun collaboration.
Thanks for letting it happen,
Hillary

JMW said...

Perfection! How wonderful would it be to host such an dinner, or even attend one?

Bart Boehlert said...

Lovely party and inspiration - candles at dusk can't be beat.

Dibyajyoti nath said...

I dont open your posts too often. I m scared of getting feminine. But sometimes you just blow off my mind. This is one example. I will try to be honest with your posts in future.

LinkWithin

Blog Widget by LinkWithin