Relais & Chateaux Properties Share The Secrets of Their Extraordinary Approach to Entertaining Guests

Sunday, October 9, 2016

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“…The Weekapaug Inn, a luxury hotel located right on the Rhode Island shoreline, will share its culinary secrets as part of The Art of Entertaining: Relais & Châteaux, a coffee-table book filled with recipes, party ideas, and decorating tips from Relais & Châteaux properties throughout North America.”
–Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country

We count ourselves as ardent admirers of many Relais & Chateaux member properties, having had the great pleasure of visiting a number of them over the years.

These luxury getaways are perfect for busy professionals short on time, because the R&R experiences many of them offer is so extraordinary that even an overnight stay can have the restorative benefits of an entire long weekend away.  After two or three rich, immersive nights at R&C properties, we can return home feeling like we’ve been away for an entire week.

We love learning secrets of the behind-the-scenes magic created in Relais & Chateaux settings, which is exactly what R&C’s new 240-page coffee table book The Art of Entertaining by Jessica Kerwin Jenkins (Rizzoli, Fall 2016) delivers.

Along with gorgeous four-color photography by Melanie Acevedo and David Engelhardt, there’s an introduction by Patrick O’Connell, the president of Relais & Chateaux North America and the proprietor of The Inn at Little Washington in Virginia, which is one of our favorite places on earth — and one that sets the bar for the “Menus, Flowers, Tablesettings, and More for Memorable Celebrations” that comprises this book’s subtitle.  Every special event O’Connell has orchestrated in the more than two decades we’ve been honored to know him has felt like walking into a fairy tale.

We especially enjoyed reading about the Halloween Costume Party at the Inn at Little Washington, as well as the Great Gatsby Dinner Party at Dan DeSimone and Alan Stenberg‘s elegant Tuscan-inspired Glenmere Mansion (Chester, New York).  Glenmere boasts one of the best, yet-unsung pastry chefs in America in Taiesha Martin, who tells of researching what was served on ocean liners of the Gilded Age including the Titanic for the party’s dessert menu.

We loved our visit a few years back to The Fearrington House Inn in North Carolina, whose Southern-Style Brunch is featured in the book, along with the sumptuous Berkshires hideaway Blantyre‘s over-the-top balloon-filled New Year’s Eve Party.

The book whet our appetites to revisit certain R&C properties as well as to pay a visit to those we’ve yet to explore, including Meadowood Napa Valley (which we’re especially excited is opening The Charter Oak in the months to come, after our extraordinary preview of the brunch menu courtesy of Chef Katianna Hong at a James Beard Foundation weekend pop-up in Chicago) and Tennessee’s Blackberry Farm.

Indeed, our bucket lists include a visit to every R&C property in North America — a quest you might well be tempted to add to your own after perusing this beautiful, fantasy-filled feast of a book.


Relais & Chateaux’s The Art of Entertaining is available on and at better bookstores everywhere.

Links to some of our previous posts on other Relais & Chateaux properties:

Natalie’s at the Camden Harbour Inn in Maine
Daniel in New York City
The Inn at Little Washington in Virginia
The Inn at Little Washington: A Magnificent Obsession Book Party
Magdalena at The Ivy Hotel in Baltimore
Marea in New York City
Per Se in New York City

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