The art of a cozy dinner party

This fall season, it's all about cozy, intimate gatherings. We're still reeling from the pandemic, and many of us aren't yet confortable with large gatherings.

This is a blessing in many ways. Intimate groups foster deeper conversation, and after all the isolation, it's the perfect way to reconnect.

fall tablescape

The DelVecchios of Bellevue live in a 1920's cottage straight out of a Hans Christian Andersen storybook, and their backyard features a Japanese maple rumored to be planted by Lewis Ginter himself. 

Hostess Jessica DelVecchio has a natural eye for design, and knows how to play off the cottage architecture of her home. It features warm layers and texturing, with throw blankets, pouf ottomans and lit candles. Keeping with the season, the porch is loaded with mums and pumpkins, and playful Halloween decorations grace the mantle. 

Halloween mantle

As a contrast to the chill in the air outside, we sat down to comfort food. Shrimp scampi sat on a bed of buttery fettucine, served with a crisp Caesar salad. Ryan was the chef that evening, insisting on simmering the shrimp tails for flavor. Between that, and his generosity with butter, there wasn't a noodle left. We grated fresh parmesan atop our plates - a nice touch.

shrimp scampi

Jessie was creative with textures at the dinner table too. Cloth napkins in dusty coral, wooden napkin rings and an adorable pumpkin runner.

shrimp scampi

By the time we finished dessert, we were firmly planted in our seats, delaying our goodbyes. Sure, the kids were up past their bedtimes, but we had a lot to catch up on.

pumpkin heads

As we ease back into our old social routines, go ahead and host an intimate gathering with those you've missed. A little comfort food and soft lighting goes a long way. If your friendship survived the pandemic, a celebration is in order. 


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