Hospitality at Hawthorne

IMG_8912Some people are really, really good at hospitality. I don’t think it’s something you are “born with”, but can be learned, honed and perfected. Great hospitality does take care and preparation. And, lucky for me, my generous and talented friend, Ted Kennedy Watson, is a master. Earlier this month, I made an inaugural visit to see him at his East Coast home in the Hudson Valley.

Off a country road, you can’t miss his¬†house….the one with the bright, green door! And, once you are inside, all your senses are tickled. The music (low), the glassybabies and other candles lit, everything in its place; Hawthorne is warm and inviting yet beautifully put together. At every turn there is something to admire, examine and appreciate.

In fact, he’s such a renown tastemaker and host that Pottery Barn invited him to share his entertaining skills on their blog this week. Check out how he put things together here and try his recipe for super lemony orzo pasta with feta (a recipe I’ve made and that you’ll also find in his book, Style and Simplicity)!
IMG_8905The bar is set up in the kitchen. Ted’s husband, Mr. Sive, went with the martini. Ted and I broke open a bottle of Veuve…a shared favorite. We retired to the back room (not pictured) with gourmet nibbles and Bailey, Ted’s precious pup, and caught up on topics both serious and light!IMG_8903 IMG_8898 IMG_8899 IMG_8904 IMG_8909 IMG_8908My mom and Ted are the only people I know who serve breakfast with such panache! Don’t you just love that goat creamer? You can find it and other little “creature creamers” at Ted’s shop, Watson Kennedy.IMG_8911 IMG_8906 IMG_8912And, then early the next morning it was time to head out for neighboring, Sharon, CT, where we attended Trade Secrets. Hawthorne, I look forward to seeing you, Ted, Ted Sive and Bailey again soon! Thanks for the amazing hospitality!

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Dinner at WestWard on Vashon Island

Have you ever wondered what it feels like to be in one of those homes on the cover of a magazine cover? I certainly have. And, now I know. It’s pretty darn amazing.
During my trip to Seattle, I was invited, along with friend and interior designer, Marianne Simon, to visit Ted Kennedy Watson at his weekend home, which he shares with husband, Ted Sive, on Vashon Island. You may have seen it on the July/August cover of Flower Magazine. If you’d like to read the article, click here.
The setting was heavenly. Reached via ferry from Seattle, along winding roads, we descended 8 flights of stairs to this oasis high above the water’s edge. The table was set in true Ted style….blue and white, glassybabys lit, fun objets that I’m only now really seeing as I look back upon the photos. That’s what’s so fun about a table setting at Ted’s. There are so many layers.
Individual dahlias, lining the center of the table, created a big impact.
Our appetizers were a treat for the mouth and the eyes. We tried out some new items that Ted will begin carrying at Watson Kennedy. Everything got a thumbs up! The Inna jam is so crazy good that I had to ship a couple of jars home! Made in small batches, it is delicious!
Sweet Bailey kept us company.
As we enjoyed a delicious dinner and the sun set in the distance, we talked and laughed until it was time to catch the ferry home.
Hospitality is about creating an inviting experience in your home…whatever your style. And, that is something Ted has in spades!

Watson Kennedy – Fabulous Seattle Shop

One of the reasons I went to Seattle was to see my wonderful friend, Ted Kennedy Watson. Ted and I met at a blog conference years ago….and over time zones and shared interests became great friends!

Ted is a conniesseur of living a wonderful life. And, his shops, Watson Kennedy, reflect that in their displays, their smells, their music that plays at just the right level and his team’s desire to help you find the perfect gift or element to enhance your own day-to-day. 

I had not only become a friend, but a customer over the years and yearned to experience the physical aspects of the shops for myself. Boy, did they deliver. Come…let’s take a tour!

One fun note about all the Veuve Clicquot bottles that line the wall of his 1st Ave shop is that they are all from his 40th and 50th birthday celebrations. How fun is that?! Every time he looks at that wall he’s reminded of great friends and special memories.
Eye candy galore, right?! If you see something you like or need help with a gift, they are just amazing at wrapping and sending, so don’t hesitate if you don’t live in Seattle.
In fact….there should be a box arriving for me any day now!