Entertaining, Holiday, Seasonal

A Weekend in the Country: Millbrook, New York

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Please join me behind the scenes for a Christmas weekend that surely must be the Millbrook, New York version of updated Downton Abbey (just not quite so over the top). Prompting this post is the wonderful memories that I love savoring, again and again. I do hope you’ll feel as though you were here with us…pampered houseguests…for every delicious moment — the inspired color combinations, whose warmth added so much to a sense of gracious hospitality; pattern upon pattern mix and matching by my talented friend; the aromas wafting from the cozy kitchen; the clusters of gifts on tables and chairs in every room; a happy, well-mannered “Molly” (who didn’t bark at or jump up on arriving guests) and the most inviting, appealing and comfy living room with plenty of chairs to move around so you could always be exactly where you wanted to be, chatting with whomever you chose.

A twist on  tradition for this stately colonial house — a shocking Schiaparelli pink door, lacquered no less.


Wouldn’t you want to stay forever in this guest room? But there was too much to enjoy in each and every room of the house…


The pine garlanded stair case is reflected in the modern mirror (with its mirror-accented fretwork border), a creative design juxtaposition to be appreciated by any decorating aficionado.


A cozy little corner spot..


What’s a weekend in the country without a black lab? Molly is only two and a half years old but has managed to steal everyone’s heart (including ours, two cat lovers from Newport).


Even the the upstairs hall reflects the home’s attention to details and provides house guests a quiet spot to retreat for catching up on some glorious coffee table books.


The library, bedecked with gifts.


Following our arrival, a celebratory Christmas Eve lunch with a most elegant menu — picture-perfect pheasant pot pies made from scratch by our hostess.


Fun fuschia-pink silk lamp shades add a punch to the blue and white favorites in the dining room.


Christmas Eve dinner at a neighbor’s home with a bounteous snow scene covering the entire table…and a first course of crab claws. My friend was quick to pick up on the holiday spirit with “door prizes” of  ie. flashing antlers.


Apres Christmas dinner is always followed by coffee, champagne and Christmas songs at the piano.


Oh, how we hated to leave the next day…


Thank you Pat and Rocky, xo.

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About Bettie Bearden Pardee

Author of Private Newport and Living Newport, garden furniture designer (The Parterre Bench), national lecturer, and entertaining expert. An honoree for the second year on "The Salonniere 100 America's Best Party Hosts", she was also the host and creative producer of "The Presidential Palate: Entertaining at the White House".

18 thoughts on “A Weekend in the Country: Millbrook, New York

  1. Such a beautiful, charming home. Every inch is perfection. A hundred years ago I almost went to college at Bennett in Millbrook. Thanks for the tour. Have a wonderful week.

    1. Hi Katie, you must go through and look at the other comments; it’s beginning to look like a Bennett reunion.
      Happy, Happy New Year, Bettie

    1. We were blessed…and it was difficult to leave, needless to say…especially the pheasant pot pies. What a splurge!

  2. A million years ago I went to Bennett College. Millbrook is a beautiful spot; I hope it never changes. What a beautiful home!

    1. Jayne, have you looked at the other comments?? It’s beginning to appear as though a Bennett reunion is going on. BTW, I ended up at Briarcliff…

    1. Thank you for those most appreciated kind thoughts. Happy New Year back to you all in NC.Cheers, Bettie

  3. Thank you for sharing a glimpse of this lovely house, it must have been difficult to leave! Such a charming, bright, cheerful setting! Black labs steal every heart! Our black lab Franklin is famous in the neighborhood and has trained more than one neighbor that a dog treat is very much appreciated when we stroll by.

    1. Have quickly those cuties pick up on the “treat trick,” as I like to call it. Who’s walking who??

  4. Hi Bettie!

    What a divine house! and a lovely Christmas experience! I love Millbrook! My friend Mish has a house there; and my favorite new book, by Peter Pennoyer and Katie Ridder is about the house they built! (A House in the Country)! A million years ago I went to Bennett College
    (I lasted 6 weeks) Francesca Hilton was in my class! And Timothy Leary was nearby!
    (you know all about my colorful history of schools!) I started the next semester at USC and graduated! Whew!
    What a fun Christmas!
    Your blog is fantastic!
    Friends since 4th grade!! A treasure, you are!


    1. Hi Penny,
      I read this article and found your comments at the bottom. I went to Bennett also and Francesca Hilton was in my class… so we must be classmates. I have kept up with several Bennett friends and have some new Bennett friends here in Florida.
      Last saw the college in 1989 when it was falling down.. I think it is still falling down. So sad after all the life in those corridors.
      Happy New Year. Ellen.. a child study major

      1. I lOVE these small world connections starting right here on my blog!!! Hope you all get together. Forgot to mention, Penny, that I went to Briarcliff…just around the corner.

    2. Oh Penelope, with these Millbrook connections….have you looked at the other comments from some of your classmates…you must make a trip back next summer!! Happy, Happy to my former 4th grade buddy, xox Bettie

    3. Hi Bettie, I knew you in the olden days when I was Jackie Booth. What fun it is to read your posts and blogs and ideas. My friend who told me about it was so impressed that I used to know you.. We both really enjoy it all.

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