Entertaining, Everyday Chic


Entertaining at Home: Inspirations from Celebrated Hosts

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One never knows where life’s chance meetings might lead. Five years ago, Ronda Carman and I were signing our respective books at the Theta Antique Show in Houston. Two weeks later, I received a note from Ronda…”Your name seemed so familiar, and now I remember why! I “followed” you when you were producing “Entertaining with Style” for Bon Appetit magazine (many years ago). For eleven years, I would cut out each story and put it in a three-ring binder…which I still have.”

Fast forward…Ronda’s latest book, Entertaining at Home: Inspirations from Celebrated Hosts, is hot off the press. How exciting to be one of those hosts! For fun, I’m including some outtakes of the photo shoot for our chapter in the book, “Chowder in the Orangerie.”

Wonderfully themed — i.e. Rise and Shine, Spirited Suppers, Holidays and Big Deal Meals — Ronda teases such fun facts out of every entertaining opportunity gracing her book (ours was, no surprise, in the “Garden Parties” section).

And the recipes? Well, they’ll have you running to the kitchen! The photography, by Matthew Mead and Michael Hunter, on every tempting page is purely as scrumptious as the menus. Of course, what did we serve? Chowder! Make your own, with a selection of 6 different accompaniments….from scallops to Portuguese sausage.

This theme also gave me the chance to use vintage chowder plates (below) that I adore (so wish I had more than 6…). For the 6 fixings to add to the soup, I was lucky again to have vintage bowls that look exactly like abalone shells (above).

What a treat it was to host Ronda’s national launch party for Entertaining at Home: Inspirations for Celebrated Hosts in Newport, at Parterre. Now skoot over to Amazon and treat yourself to a copy. It’s also a good excuse to start your Christmas list early!


All photos credit, Matthew Mead, Stylist & Photographer, unless otherwise noted.
Featured image credit, Private Newport.

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Bettie Bearden Pardee

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".

7 thoughts on “Entertaining at Home: Inspirations from Celebrated Hosts

  1. Those chowder bowls are the most gorgeous I’ve ever seen! You look lovely as always. I looked at your fall arrangement from the Iris Apfel inspired dahlia arrangement and got ANOTHER great idea from you…use ormolu stands for flowers! You are brilliant. I don’t have that but I have my grandmothers candy dishes which are on stands. So I’m trying it! Thank you once again for inspiration

  2. Wonderful as always, Bettie! I have just gotten Ronda’s book and it is a treasure, as are you! Lucky her to have you there, and lucky us to see more behind the scenes in these gorgeous photos. Brava! I’m looking forward, too, to seeing Ronda at the Birmingham Antiques in the Garden October 3-5. xo Frances

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