Initial Thoughts

Entertaining in the Orangerie

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Well, by the enthusiastic response to last week’s post on our Orangerie, I bet you’ll love seeing this whimsical “folly” in her main role –party central. For, once finished with spring to-dos, (the potted tulips spend part of their growth period here before scattering as decoration all over the property…and the rooms of the house) she offers many opportunities to entertain friends and guests from afar.

And of course, that means summer, with its blue skies and puffy clouds as a backdrop, her stucco walls draped in roses,

with other plants (like the long hydrangea hedge) that were chosen to enhance her setting as the centerpiece of the garden.

A whimsical peek inside (through the antique leaded glass windows) to a table all set for lunch, with its Beverly Hills Hotel iconic banana leaf patterned tablecloth.

On another occasion, an all green scene matches the ‘Limelight’ hydrangeas massed in the exterior niches.

With the chandelier draped in greenery also. Magnifique!

August’s dahlias accentuate the vivid colors in the antique obis used as runners for another dinner.


Quite a different view at night, with the bright chandelier reflected in the glass paneled ceiling (which opens).

Photo Credit: Maaike Bernstrom Photography

Need I say…the Orangerie loves being a guest at any party!

Photo Credit: Citrus and Cedars

And sometimes there is a moment, just before the party starts, when my favorite photographer, Nick Mele, is able to capture a picture of me with this folly as the setting…

Photo Credit: Nick Mele Photography
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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".

21 thoughts on “Entertaining in the Orangerie

    1. Sandra, Congrats again on your gorgeous book!!! You have the talent for making your dreams come true…and I’m also fondly remembering your visit to Parterre those many years ago at the Newport Flower Show..xB

  1. Bettie, a pleasure and relief to see your beautiful tables are set correctly- no napkins underneath plates and all equipage where it belongs. I hope all will take note as use your settings as an example. Lucky guests to be on your invitation list.

  2. “She’s” quite the “party girl!!!” I can imagine the fairytales she could tell… as they say, “Party like there’s no tomorrow because memories like these make life worth living.” “Be fearless, be free, and let the night be your canvas for pure happiness.” franki

    1. Thanks, Nancy, it brings back many happy memories of nights and days spent at the Beverly Hills Hotel…xB

  3. Photography and text were wonderful as always. Your table settings are so handsome, intimate, intriguing, creative, and as another person has noted: correct!

    1. Aaah Ruthie, I honed my talents dining, sipping and supping at your home!! Many mercis, xxB


    1. Loved the banana leaf tablecloth, clever girl. Love all of Newport in fact. Hope I’ll be able to one day be returning see your charming creation in real life. In the meantime I’ll live vicariously through your posts. Stunning all.

    2. Thank you, as always, Tom…creating a blog each week for such an appreciative audience is pure pleasure! xB

  5. The Orangerie, is one of my most beloved in all your garden! I have always longed for a garden room where you could enjoy guests, I would love to have a little something very similar to yours! Thanks for sharing your garden, your home and your life with us💚

    1. Oh Cathy, it truly is a dream space in which to be with friends…as well as a work horse for getting the garden ready to open…and close.
      Someday soon I hope you’ll find just the right Oranggerie/gazebo for you! xB

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