Feather & Flint

Hosting a Cozy Fall Gathering

October 25, 2016 14 Comments 10 Photos

How to Host a Cozy Fall Gathering

I count down the days to October all year long. From the contrast of the changing leaves against the crisp blue sky to the scent of burning wood in the brisk night air, I savor every moment, knowing that any day could be the last before winter sets in.

My favorite way to celebrate the season is to gather friends together for a grand feast. We plan an elaborate menu with course after course of seasonal foods grown on local farms (and sometimes in our own backyard!).

Fall Dinner Party Tablescape

When Alex and I first moved into our home, we had a vision: We tore out the sunroom’s dated wood paneling and wall-to-wall carpet to build the perfect dining room from the ground up. We redesigned our kitchen and rebuilt it from scratch. We bought the biggest table we could find to accommodate as many present and future friends and family members as possible. We even painted a chalkboard wall in the kitchen for hand-drawn menus.

Fall Dinner Party Chalkboard Menu

And in October of 2015, we hosted our first annual fall party—a day-long event beginning with pumpkin carving and a bonfire, and ending with a seven-course dinner for nearly thirty people that ended at 3 AM. I ran the kitchen like a restaurant, barking orders like Gordon Ramsay as I stuffed wild rice into acorn squash and apple crisp into baked apples. Our glasses overflowed with cider, ginger beer, and vodka (that year’s signature drink) as we talked and laughed late into the night. It’s one of my favorite memories.

Fall Dinner Party Tablescape

This past Saturday, I was hard at work all day curating the perfect menu & playlist (indie folk meets acoustic bluegrass); deseeding pomegranates (hint: do it underwater); and gathering branches for the table. I was overjoyed to have my father and sister in town for the occasion; they kept me company and lent a helping hand alongside a few other lovely humans who came early.

Fall Dinner Party - Setting the Table

The many dishes comprising this year’s dinner somehow came together seamlessly—no Gordon Ramsay necessary. I let Alex handle the salmon, chicken, and potatoes (he kept the exact ingredients a mystery, so I wrote “with seasonal spices” on the menu). I prepared butternut squash with cranberry wild rice; sweet potatoes with spiced chickpeas; carrots with a cilantro-tahini sauce; apple pie; garlic bread; and sparkling apple & elderflower sangria.

Fall Dinner Party - Heirloom Carrots

We served every dish family-style, setting each platter down on the table amidst branches, gourds, and the occasional kitten on the table. The food disappeared so quickly that crumbs were often the only remaining evidence.

Fall Dinner Party - Sparkling Apple Sangria

I love hosting dinner parties because it gives us the priceless opportunity to seat new friends next to old, coworkers next to family members, to enjoy the simple pleasures of good food (and wine) and conversation. I feel so fortunate to have collected such high-quality relationships since I moved to Boston eight years ago, and to be able to gather everyone together in my very own home.

Fall Dinner Party - Apple Pie

Curating a thoughtful experience for the people whose company we enjoy is one of my favorite things in the entire world. I love choosing the menu and illustrating it in chalk; making the perfect playlist to create the ideal atmosphere without drowning out meaningful conversation; arranging the tablescape; tasting each dish as it cooks to figure out which missing ingredient will take the flavor to the next level; dashing around the table making sure everyone has what they need; and finally, just sitting back and watching everyone enjoy each other’s company.

Fall Dinner Party

The Food:

Roasted Butternut Squash with Cranberry-Orange Wild Rice

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Spiced Chickpeas, Cilantro, Goat Cheese & Lemon-Olive Oil

Roasted Carrots with Cilantro-Tahini Sauce

Apple Pie

Sparkling Apple Sangria with Elderflower & Ginger

The Music: http://spoti.fi/2eL8cAJ

Fall Dinner Party - Cat

Are you following me on FacebookInstagramBloglovin’ and Google+? Subscribe to each channel to make sure you don’t miss a single post, whether it’s on hosting a fall dinner party or planning a wedding!

14 Comments

  1. Reply

    Your Father

    October 28, 2016

    Such a wonderful experience: old friends and new, workmates and family, the very young and the not-so-very young. It was the perfect combination. And lest anyone think “store-bought” I can attest to the fact that everything on the table that night started out as raw ingredients. Correction: the garlic bread was a Whole Foods creation.

    The only thing missing was the bonfire, thanks to a rainy day. But the warmth of family and friends coming together more than made up for it.

    • Reply

      robin@featherflint.com

      November 20, 2016

      Exactly! You captured the night perfectly 🙂 Love you!

  2. Reply

    Aunt Nicki

    October 28, 2016

    Lots of love in this! Xoxo 😘

    • Reply

      robin@featherflint.com

      November 20, 2016

      So true 🙂 Thank you, Aunt Nicki!

  3. Reply

    Adi

    October 29, 2016

    YES RECIPES PLEASE!!

    • Reply

      robin@featherflint.com

      November 20, 2016

      Bahaha coming soon 😉

  4. Reply

    Sahra

    December 5, 2016

    Oh it looks amazing! And that butternut squash sounds DELISH!

    Happy Holidays!
    XO Sahra
    Que Sera Sahra

    • Reply

      robin@featherflint.com

      December 6, 2016

      Thank you!! I’ll let you know when I post a recipe, should be soon 🙂

  5. Reply

    Clarissa

    December 5, 2016

    Such beautiful ideas for a get-together! Love all the pictures <3

    -Clarissa @ The View From Here

    • Reply

      robin@featherflint.com

      December 6, 2016

      Thank you so much, Clarissa 🙂

  6. Reply

    Laura Roth

    December 5, 2016

    This looks amazing! The centerpiece is stunning, and the menu is perfect. Love it!

    • Reply

      robin@featherflint.com

      December 6, 2016

      Thanks, Laura, that means a lot! 🙂

  7. Reply

    Roy Miller

    December 6, 2016

    What a warm and inviting table. It looks like something you would see in a restaurant. I really like the look of the apple pie too.

    • Reply

      robin@featherflint.com

      December 6, 2016

      Thank you so much, Roy! “Warm and inviting” is exactly how I wanted it to feel!

LEAVE A COMMENT

RELATED POSTS