Each year Brandywine in White hosts a pop-up summer Gala.  This summer 2017 was the 5th anniversary; loved that  I’ve attended 3 of these fun events over the years.  In keeping things “secret,” they do not announce the location until 3 days prior to the event, it adds to the allure and mystery.  It is usually on a farm in the summer time, and happens no matter rain or shine.  The proceeds generally go to a charitable cause.

The guests arriving, looking for their tables and setting up.

With my camera in hand, I went around and took pictures of other table settings.  Love the picture of the group reflection in the water as they await to be lifted away in the hot air balloon.  Don’t you love that fish platter with that gorgeous piece of salmon? 


Some more tables being set up and friends lining up for a hot air balloon ride.  Just some of the food and displays at other tables.  It’s real fun going around all the tables, making new friends and getting acquainted.  

So here’s how it works.  You buy a table reservation for the number in your group, there were 8 in ours.  It included a white tablecloth and white chairs,  you gather some friends together, think of a tablescape, a menu, some bubbly and come dressed to the nines in white.  No paper products are allowed, in other words you need to cart all your silverware, china, wine goblets etc.  It seems like a lot of trouble, but once divvied up, it’s not as bad.  The setting was absolutely magnificent with a stone farmhouse in the background, a pond with magical reflections of everyone in white and this year a hot air balloon was also an option.   Floating candles illuminated the pond at dusk and Chinese lanterns were sent off in the night sky (for a price of course).  Music and dancing was also part of the evening and at sunset the fairy lights came on to reveal a spectacularly stylish scene.  Hollywood eat your heart out!

It was a blank canvas to begin with.  A flurry of activity within our group starts a few weeks before the event, throwing out ideas and themes.  Text messages, phone calls, discussing our outfits and ironing out details.  It’s all very exciting to get it all together.  Someone comes up with a menu, another creates a vision for what the table will look like, another will take charge of the fresh flowers, the appetizers, a lot of thought goes into this joint project.  It’s a foodie event after all.  Drum roll…….. here comes our table and our group 🙂


Our table’s theme was an Asian motif one, complete with Chinese lanterns and hand-made origami cranes perched from bamboo poles.  At dusk, the battery operated lights in the lantern glowed white against the night sky.  One of the gals in the group is pretty creative, she came up with this dazzling theme.   Just some background on the origami cranes that she hand-made.  The Japanese word “origami” is a combination of two words in Japanese’ “ori” which means “to fold” and “kami” which means “paper”.  It is believed that Japanese origami began in the 6th century.  The crane represents good fortune and longevity and is referred to as the “bird of happiness”.


The set up begins.  We needed sand in the fish vases to hold down the lanterns, it was quite a balancing act.  All hands on deck as we put this all together.


White dahlias and lilies from one of the friend’s garden.


Setting up the silverware and glasses – and yes, all these were transported from home.  Number 30 is slowly coming together.


Positioning the last minute touches. Our fearless leader (in shades)  gathers the group and gets it all organized a few weeks before, via texts and phone calls.


The napkins were folded in a lotus leaf shape, chopsticks sitting on a fortune cookie made up each place setting.


Nearly there, stepping back to make sure all is secure and well placed.  Yes men are invited too, but we always choose to just hang out with “the girls”


Another view of our table all set up. Cheers to our creative genius. Don’t the cranes make a bold statement?  The picture below displays ceramic fish vases holding the bamboo poles.


The anticipation builds up as we sip wine and get ready to be seated.  We decided on an Asian Fusion menu to complement the Asian motif theme.  We start out with some veggie spring rolls with a peanut dipping sauce.


The main menu was Vietnamese Lemongrass Chili Chicken with baby bok choy.


Asian tossed salad, Balinese Green Beans and Thai Crab Fried Rice completed the main course. For dessert, we enjoyed Coconut Pineapple Squares (not pictured).


Night falls, the miniature lights turn on around the farm and just look at the light from the lantern reflecting on the cranes.  Can you spot the moon in between the lanterns and the bamboo  poles?


Getting ready to kick off our shoes after a beautiful evening of friendship, camaraderie, food, wine and dancing under the stars.  The tables are judged, we were told by a lot of people that our table was absolutely tops (of course we had to agree).  I’m not sure if this was ever announced that night, but we came away feeling we deserved an A+ for creativity and originality.


Our group of 7, one was unable to make it. Until next time folks!


13 Replies to “A Night in White Satin”

    1. Thanks Judi. I realized I should have done a post on the previous one too – it was Brandywine in Black with a pop of yellow. It was indoors though as it was in March – the pop of yellow was spring around the corner 🙂 Great fun putting these all together.


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