On Saturday, May 20, we were pleased to attend Forage’s “A Garden Party at Estouteville.” Hosted at the beautiful home of Beatrix Ost and Ludwig Kuttner, the garden party began in late afternoon. As ladies and gentlemen wandered the lush grounds in hats, sundresses and summer suits, they conversed with other guests and sipped cocktails made with foraged mulberries, and rosemary and roses from the Forage garden.
The evening’s hostess was none other than Beatrix Ost, a noted artist, philosopher, author and paragon of style. Coordinated by the talented women of Forage, Megan Kiernan and Kate Lynn Nemett (pictured below, top left: Nemett, Ost and Kiernan), the evening affair was a splendid gathering. Forage Founder and Chef Megan Kiernan created a delicious seasonal menu with food foraged, as well as from local farms. Forage Designer Kate Lynn Nemett styled the garden party with charming tea cups, floral arrangements and seasonal decor.
As twilight settled over the garden, Kiernan (below, bottom right) prepared wild nettle & feta tartlets from foraged nettles, tea sandwiches and beet cured trout for appetizers. Kiernan, having worked under both James Beard Award Winning Chef Suzanne Goin and James Beard Award Winning Pastry Chef Sherry Yard in California, embodies the farm-to-table movement with her love for local and quality fresh ingredients. She showcased expertise with her menu, from her foraged appetizer to her garden-fresh dessert.
During cocktail hour, host Ludwig Kuttner (below in the striped jacket) mingled with his guests. Kuttner, a venture capitalist who continues to be a leading figure in the development of Downtown Charlottesville, was also a developer and founder of IX Art Park.
The venue, Beatrix and Ludwig’s Estouteville, showcases the couple’s love for the arts with historic charm. The home, built in 1827 by Thomas Jefferson’s master builder James Dinsmore, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The beautiful home is not only surrounded by but also filled with striking sculptures and art, including many works by Ost.
Over the course of the evening at Estouteville, guests were able to wonder the unique grounds and enjoy dinner in the beautiful foyer.
The table settings featured seed paper welcome cards that were handmade with wildflowers and overflowing bouquets of herbs and freshly picked flowers. An eclectic collection of vintage candle holders lit the tables as the sweet scents of the garden made their way to the guests through opened windows. The first course was a richly flavored beet and goat cheese amuse bouche with citrus tones.
The guests chatted about the season, the venue and the food as they made new acquaintances amongst their table companions. Across the table from us, Beatrix struck up conversation with Donna Tartt, Pulitzer Prize Winner for her coming-of-age novel The Goldfinch.
Just as in the tradition of the European salon, Ost (below, left) captivated guests by reading aloud an amusing selection of poetic prose about the changing seasons from her new book The Philosopher’s Style before the party adjourned to the porch for dessert.
For dinner, guests enjoyed delicious Thai crab cakes with avocado, Thai chili aioli and garden greens, and bacon-wrapped trout with asparagus soubise, roasted asparagus and sorrel stuffing. The greens, cilantro flowers and nasturtiums for the crab cakes were all sourced from the Forage garden, while the sorrel for the trout was foraged.
Known for their community involvement and arts-related gatherings, including regular salons and bringing together local artists and philosophers for discussion, Kuttner and Ost were the perfect pair to host this lovely garden party.
Conversations flowed at each table, as guests learned about the local origins of the ingredients in their dishes.
Following dinner, an array of desserts were served on endearing mismatched china on the front porch. Guests enjoyed financier, strawberry cream tartlet, lemon & wild mulberry tartlet, salted chocolate caramel truffle, chocolate hazelnut truffle and canele.
The evening concluded with conversations spilling into dusk and new friendships forming under the stars at Estouteville.
We asked Purple Cherry Architects to share a little about their award-winning work. This high-end residential local architecture firm, established in 1996 by Cathy Purple Cherry in Annapolis, Maryland, specializes in custom, luxury residential projects. Here is an inside look on how this architecture firm beautifully works to capture and showcase our spectacular local landscape…
“Where else can you imagine wanting to frame the most breathtaking views than in Albemarle and the surrounding counties? Capturing the layers of hills and mountains in their various shades of green. The rising sun. The setting sun. The picture always changes thanks to Mother Nature but the frame remains the same. That’s why it’s so important to get the frame right. And that starts in the early design stage with an architect before building a new home or addition.
As the new owners of land in Afton with incredible 180 degrees views, east to west, of the Blue Ridge Mountains, my husband and I have the great opportunity to frame many views. When determining those views, I am looking from the east to west as well as from the ground to the sky. In understanding how various architectural elements can affect view, my specific homesite is informing my desired floor plan and elevation elements. In specifically desiring a southwest ground-to-sky view, I know my porch cannot be in the same view, as the roof would cut off the sky view. In my desire to go 12 feet high with glass to get that full ground-to-sky frame, the porch will slide to the south face providing shade from the mid-sun. It will also slide towards the east corner to allow the southwest corner of the main great room to have the most powerful framed view. The porch itself will have three open walls capturing the full 180 degrees panoramic live picture.
As a custom high-end residential design architect, my responsibility to our clients is to create incredible spaces. This includes determining important connections to the surrounding landscape. In polar opposition to the mid-twentieth century speculative home design approach that looked inward more than outward, the twenty-first century custom home client is wanting to bring nature inside. Biophilic design strives to connect architecture with nature for the known health benefits of stress reduction and increased healing, productivity and learning. Natural light and visual connections to nature feed our souls and lift up our spirits. I can’t imagine anything better than a home that supports our emotional well being.
Views can be captured in a variety of ways. Interior windows can be used to transfer outside views to interior corridors, or they can create clear through views from front yards to back yards. The beauty in nature can be framed through a variety of architectural shapes creating different ‘paintings’ on our interior walls. Each framed view is unique and should be treated as such.
In creating the right design, we may ask our clients if they like to sleep in or not. If they do, then we wouldn’t place the master bedroom on the east or rising sun side of the house, but rather we would put it on the west side of the house. We would frame the sunset for those summertime evenings reading in bed. If our client is an early riser, we might do the exact opposite, flooding the master suite with incredible sunrises. For each and every client, the framed views are different and are unique to that client’s home. With the development of new residential products, operable glass panes are getting bigger than ever, window walls are sliding away, window frames are getting narrower, screening is becoming relatively invisible and bronze interior frames are trending. All of these options are inviting the views to come to the foreground of design, and allowing incredible projects to happen and inspirational spaces to come alive.” — Cathy Purple Cherry, Principal and Founder of Purple Cherry Architects
Are you still looking for that perfect Mother’s Day gift? Browse this chic selection from Keller & George highlighting the beautifully designed LAGOS jewelry. Founded in 1977 by Steven Lagos, LAGOS is inspired by the elegant, virtuous, passionate woman.
Classic pendants (below, top left) make for a timeless and fashionable gift idea. Or, consider a beloved White Caviar piece, like the bracelet, ring and earrings below (bottom left). Featuring the stunning caviar beading, a signature design of LAGOS, Caviar jewelry is bold and iconic.
Consider a stylish bracelet stack (below, top right). Mix and match some of the lovely LAGOS collections, like the Maya, Diamond or White Caviar styles for a unique look. For an eye-catching gift, browse the Caviar Spark collection for jewelry that fuses the classic diamond with the Caviar style (below, bottom right).
The diverse and unique patterns of the LAGOS collection at Keller & George ensure that you can find the perfect style for the mother(s) in your life, even yourself! The collection can be browsed online or in person at Keller & George’s Millmont Street location.
Charlottesville Wine & Country visited The Farmhouse at Veritas for a lovely Mother’s Day breakfast! As we admired the beautiful Chardonnay vineyard just outside the porch window, we were served Veritas’ beautiful Scintilla sparkling wine made from the grapes from that very same vineyard block we were admiring. Made in the methode champenoise, Scintilla is made using the same method as in France to produce the world famous sparkling wines of Champagne. The French use Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to make this lovely cuvee base wine, whereas winemakers Emily Pelton and Elliott Watkins use Chardonnay and either Merlot or Cabernet Franc.
As Pelton, the Virginia Wine Person of the Year according to the Virginia Wineries Association, notes, “Scintilla is pale lemon in color with a persistent mousse. The wine is kept on the lees for two years before disgorging. Chardonnay usually dominates the blend, giving the nose a citrus character; and because of the long time on the lees, the wine has a brioche note with hints of almonds. Characteristically, the wine is made in a Brut style (less than 12g/L). Fresh bubbles of Meyer lemon fill the palate with a delicate mousse that fades into a lasting finish.”
As we enjoyed our fresh orange juice and sparkling wine, we were offered delicious fresh croissants and fruit to start.
Our breakfast was prepared in the open family-style kitchen of The Farmhouse using beautiful fresh ingredients. We had one savory and one sweet option. The sweet dish was wonderful buttermilk pancakes with vanilla bean whipped cream and fresh strawberries. The savory dish was a frittata made of local sausage, egg and asparagus with radish top pesto, and topped beautifully with fresh pea shoots.
Afterwards, we explored the lovely kitchen garden just outside our window where the Chefs at The Farmhouse tend to and harvest some of the ingredients we enjoyed.
The Farmhouse at Veritas is a six room bed and breakfast on the Veritas Vineyards and Winery property in Afton. The Farmhouse, built in July of 1839, was a private family home for the Hodsons until being transformed into an elegant B&B in 2012. From tea cups to the trellis’, the lovely decor and charm of The Farmhouse exudes the English flare of the Hodson family. The family built Veritas Vineyard and Winery from the roots up in the spirit of their own British heritage, and this is no better showcased than through the beautiful Farmhouse. See the newest Charlottesville Wine & Country Living to learn more about Veritas Vineyard and Winery and the Hodson family.
Charlottesville offers a plethora of stunning locations for the perfect Mother’s Day celebration. On Sunday, May 14th, Veritas Vineyard & Winery is hosting a Mother’s Day Winemaker’s Brunch at Saddleback Hall at 12:30pm. Click here to see more Mother’s Day events that will be taking place around Charlottesville next weekend!
With Mother’s Day approaching, we partnered with Fink’s Jewelers to create a special gift guide perfect for a mother in your life, or for your own wish list! This guide showcases some of the stunning collections at Fink’s Jewelers, like Roberto Coin jewelry (below). From timeless jewelry to trendy or even environmentally friendly gifts, we think you will find something you love in the Fink’s Jewelers Mother’s Day Gift Guide.
The ASHOKA® Diamond Halo Stud Earrings (above), are a radiant and lavish gift. The diamonds, cut by the master cutters at William Goldberg, are held to the highest standards, creating a unique and unparalleled diamond. | $13,250
The Roberto Coin Diamond Princess Flower Mini Pendant Necklace (below, left) is an elegant piece, sure to be as timeless as the mother who wears it. Perfect for the feminine woman, this necklace beautifully exemplifies the Roberto Coin collection (above) as it fuses the classic diamond with a romantic flower pattern. | $1,400
However you choose to treat the mother in your life, or if you are the mother being honored on May 14, we wish you a lovely day celebrating all the amazing things that mothers do! You can find more jewelry on the Fink’s Jewelers website or in store at their Barracks Road Shopping Center location. Visit Fink’s Jewelers on Pinterest to create your own gift guide. You can also check out the CHO•ho section of our latest Charlottesville Wine & Country Living for other fashionable ideas!
The Virginia Gold Cup will host its 92nd steeplechase racing event this Saturday, May 6, at Great Meadow in The Plains, Virginia (about an hour west of Washington, D.C.). This Virginia tradition, drawing over 65,000 people, showcases some of the country’s best horses and jockeys as they race over hurdles and timber on the Great Meadow’s 380 acres. This steeplechase course also hosts the prestigious International Gold Cup Races each fall.
The event’s eight exciting steeplechase races will begin at 12:30pm, with the Virginia Gold Cup Race being the fifth race at 3:30pm. The day’s festivities will also include a Tailgating Contest, a Hat Contest and a Terrier Race Exhibition. In addition, at 6:34pm, the Kentucky Derby will be broadcast live.
Tickets can be purchased online until 4pm on Wednesday, May 3. Click here to learn more about the Virginia Gold Cup.
First group of photos: Left photo by Camden Littleton | Top right photo by Chris Weber | Bottom right photo by Richard Clay
Second group of photos: Top left photo by Chris Weber | Bottom left photo by Camden Littleton | Top right photo by Richard Clay | Bottom right & lead photo by Isabel Kurek
All photos courtesy of Bendure Communications, Inc.