It’s Time To Fête the Holidays!

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A Party in Three Acts

A Rebecca Gardner Production

Styled by Kyle Hinton

Photography by Chia Chong

Act 1: Cocktails

Rosemary cashews and Castelvetrano olives, Smith Brothers Butcher Shop; punch bowl and cups, Seventh Heaven Antiques; embroidered linen cocktail napkins, Number Four Eleven; bar tools, Jack Rudy Cocktail Co. bourbon cherries and aromatic bitters and Verdant Kitchen candied ginger pecans, PW Short General Store; cheese straws, Whole Foods Market; smoked trout, Russo Seafood

Act 2: Dinner

A. & G. Fantino ‘Rosso dei Dardi’ 2015, Le Chai Galerie du Vin; challah rolls, Gottlieb’s Bakery; sterling silver wine coaster, basket, footed bowl and candlesticks, and enamel placecard holders and fruit knives, Seventh Heaven Antiques; Murano glass tumbler and goblet, Ginori dinner plates, marbled paper party crackers and bamboo flatware, exclusive to Sugarplum Pop-Up

Act 3: Dessert

Louis Sherry chocolates, The Paris Market and Brocante; Domaine du Viking Vouvray Brut NV, Le Chai Galerie du Vin; Trish Andersen party crowns and Ginori dessert plate, exclusive to Sugarplum Pop-Up; vintage Tiffany sterling silver flatware and Repousse sterling silver dessert server, Seventh Heaven Antiques; sweet potato pie, Back in the Day Bakery


Where to buy

Back in the Day Bakery: 2403 Bull St., 912.495.9292
Gottlieb’s Bakery: 1100 Eisenhower Drive, suite 28, 912.777.5133
Le Chai Galerie du Vin: 15 E. Park Ave., 912.713.2229
Number Four Eleven: 411 Whitaker St., 912.443.0065
The Paris Market and Brocante: 36 W. Broughton St., 912.232.1500
PW Short General Store: 414 Whitaker St.,  912.349.6378
Russo Seafood: 201 E. 40th St., 912. 234.5196
Seventh Heaven Antiques: 3104 Skidaway Road, 912.355.0835
Smith Brothers Butcher Shop: 535 E Liberty St., 912.239.4512
Whole Foods Market: 1815 E Victory Drive, 912.358.5829


Tips for Entertaining at Home

By Rebecca Gardner, House & Parties

  • You can go on and on with your table setting, but the three most important elements of a successful dinner party are flattering light, heavy pours and the guest list. Always add someone new. The best parties in Savannah include an unexpected mix of people. 
  • When your guests arrive, offer something strong, like a bourbon cocktail served in an old-fashioned punch bowl. It looks pretty, and after a few sips, you have a better chance of the evening ending in a sing-along. 
  • Make your guests feel attractive by opting for loads of candlelight or soft pink lightbulbs. Harsh overhead lighting should be avoided like the plague. 
  • Keep the menu simple. Everyone prefers comfort food to foam and engineered hors d’oeuvres. Smith Brothers Butcher Shop has perfected a beef tenderloin, and no one wants anything more than a Back In The Day Bakery pie or a chocolate chip cookie (or two).  
  • Unexpected elements make the evening memorable. Propose a parlor game and prepare with props, stick spoons in pints of Leopold’s ice cream and serve on a silver tray, or just pull back the furniture and play Outkast.
  • Your party will be a screaming blast if you’re a screaming blast, so pass out canapés and compliments with equal enthusiasm. 

Rebecca Gardner is the founder and creative director of Houses & Parties, a full-service event and interiors design collective in Savannah and New York City. She has been named a top event designer by Southern Living, Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue, and her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Architectural Digest, Town & Country and Vogue. Visit her Sugarplum Pop-Up at or at the St. Regis New York, beginning Nov. 24.



 How to Choose the Perfect Holiday Wine

By Christian Depken, Le Chai Galerie du Vin

  • Begin the meal with a low-alcohol wine. A rule of thumb: Look to cooler climate regions like Austria, Germany and Northern France and Italy. Colder temps limit the grapes from fully ripening. Less ripe grapes produce less sugar, and generally less alcohol. 
    My pick: Weingut Tegernseerhof “Terrassen” Riesling Federspiel Wachau, 2016
  • Choose a wine with little or no oak. It’s a matter of preference, I suppose, but heavily oaked wine can have an overbearing effect on the palate, negating the subtleties in food flavors.
    My pick: Olivier Cousin “Pur Breton” Vin de France, 2015
  • Consider a rosé. Not just for warm summer days, rosé—especially a sparkling rosé—is quite versatile, pairing well with everything from light pastas to grilled lobster to pheasant.  
    My pick: Domaine de Nerleux ‘La Folie des Loups’ Crémant de Loire NV
  • Try a sparkling wine in lieu of Champagne. There are many from Europe that are less expensive than Champagne but use the same methodology. A clean and crisp one can stand up to rich seafood and meats.
    My pick: Domaine du Viking Vouvray Brut NV
  • Develop a relationship with the staff at your local wine shop. All the ratings in the world pale in comparison to a tried-and-true recommendation from a real human being. We will not only save you time and money, but we might also introduce you to something new.

Christian Depken has been studying fine wines for 20 years. In 2002, he opened Le Chai Galerie du Vin in Savannah’s Starland District, relocating to the south end of Forsyth Park in 2013. Le Chai exclusively carries European wines from Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Croatia, Hungary, Portugal, and Slovenia. 15 E. Park Ave., 912.713.2229,