Café Kathleen // Dinner is Served

"Laughter is brightest in the place where the food is."
- Irish Proverb

A setting to evoke the special qualities of the Winter Solstice.

My daughter said to me recently, “Mom, I was thinking about your life, and I realize you don’t have any hobbies.” At first, I didn’t know how to respond because she was right. I spend most of the 24 hours of each day either working or sleeping.  Then on further reflection, I realized I most certainly do have a hobby, and more than one, at that!

As a child, I was constantly doing and making.  I loved to cook, knit, crochet, smock, read, take dance lessons, do crossword puzzles, and play my clarinet.  I had more hobbies than I could handle.  Many of these early loves have followed me through my life:  I still love to cook.  I love to entertain.  I love to set a pretty and unique table.  I love to gather people.  Nothing brings me more pleasure than creating an environment that captures things unexpected and special.

Café Kathleen is “guest ready.”

A mantle filled with auspicious Chinese Foo Dogs and a plethora of mood-enhancing candle sticks.

The current temporary kitchen at our farm in Kentucky, as well as the wonderful brand-spanking-new-kitchen in my Nantucket studio, are laboratories for concocting special evenings, be they small, quiet drinks parties or large and festive holidays.   My family has affectionately named our sitting room Café Kathleen, a cozy space where family and friends gather to share a tipple and a laugh.  The bar is always well stocked, the candles flicker with an inviting ambiance, and the fireplace emits a warm glow on colder evenings.

I have created tablescapes for client projects and I have put together many personal settings to welcome family and friends around my own table.  I find it extra fun to create an evening around special events, such as Winter Solstice or Chinese New Year, gearing the menu and place settings to the theme of the holiday. It is sheer pleasure to allow my creative juices to flow, to channel my inner Martha Stewart, Ina Garten, and James Beard, and to let the settings unfold with abandon.  Cheers to a few of my hobbies!

Custom-designed, hand-cut menu for a themed dinner party.

More Images of Special Tablescapes

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