Fashion designer Rachel Pally loves bringing her "eclectic group of friends" together to chat, laugh, eat, and drink. So in the spirit of the season, she invited them to the most spectacular summer banquet. "It was such a lovely evening! Conversation flowed so easily, the food was fresh, summery, and delicious—perfectly rustic and so tasty!" At the LUX/EROS Lodge, a lovingly restored 1963 A-frame, guests dined on chef Megan Mitchell's culinary creations and sipped Pharmacie LA's Pasado de Moda cocktails, all while inhaling the sweet scent of Bloom & Plume's floral bouquets. The modern Consort Design table setting reflected the rustic-luxe theme, with organic linen tablecloths and handmade LUX/EROS ceramic tableware offset by elegant rose-gold cutlery. Scroll down to see more!
Keeping in line with the midcentury feel of the venue, Mat Sanders of Consort Design wanted the evening to feel "casual and organic." The end result was a delightful "messy-modern vibe" for the table styling. To achieve this, Sanders called on Archive Rentals to provide the perfect midcentury furniture to style the event. He also recommends a graphic tablecloth and modern centerpieces with handmade pottery. For the Rachel Pally event, we used the LUX/EROS Golden Series, Napkin Rings, Mirage Tumblers, Golden Kiss Tumblers, and Minaret Tumblers. Keep the color story fresh with light grays and mixed metals. Invitations are also an important part of the overall aesthetic, we love these by Paper Chase Press.
The LUX/EROS Lodge is a 1963 A-frame restored and designed by Desanka using a mix of high-quality craftsmanship from local artisans, as well as her own personal handcrafted ceramics, and textiles. The space features ample outdoor room with an above-ground pool that Desanka also redesigned with Japanese soaking tubs in mind. "There is an open and light feeling you get being up in the Hollywood Hills, and I am so lucky to have a view of the iconic Hollywood sign!" Because of the home's tucked-away location and keeping the guests' convenience in mind, the hosts asked valet-on-demand service Luxe to assist with parking.
Rachel Pally requested a relaxed vibe for the summer soirée, and chef Megan Mitchell reflected that in the food beautifully. "We decided on family-style, fresh, and easy dishes. Something you can make for a large group, but you won't be stuck in the kitchen cooking all day." The menu consisted of gourmet meat and cheese boards, roasted radishes in chive dressing, roasted chicken with preserved lemons and olives, and shredded kale and brussel sprouts salad, followed by artisanal s'mores bars. If you're planning to host your own summer banquet for a large group and don't want to lose your mind, then Megan strongly recommends planning—and prepping ahead of time. "Shop for the food a few days out. Make the marshmallows two days before you need them. I do as much prep, chopping, slicing, [and] mixing as possible ahead of time so right before serving I just need to throw it together and enjoy the party with friends."
L.A. mixologists Pharmacie LA put a Mexi-Cali spin on the classic Pasado de Moda (or the old-fashioned in Spanish) utilizing alcohol provided by liquor-on-demand service Minibar. The fusion of Anejo Tequila, Cilantro-Lime Tincture, and Atomized Orange Bitters made it new and fresh while still adhering to their traditional cocktail-making methods. Their pro tip for creating your own summer cocktail list is to go with refreshing, bright, and citrusy styles served over ice. Instead of the obvious choices, try Moscow Mules, Tom Collinses, and Whiskey Sours. The Hemingway Daiquiri is perfect for warm-weather drinking too. They kindly shared the recipe with us so you can make it at home.
"Tomatoes and peaches are always in my kitchen during the summer months," says Megan Mitchell. "They're at the peak and don't need too much fuss to taste amazing. I roast the peaches and serve them alongside heirloom tomatoes, burrata, and basil. I finish the dish off with lemon juice and flaky sea salt."
Rachel Pally fell in love with the floral styling of this wicker hanging chair created by the talented Maurice of Bloom & Plume. "I think everyone took their picture in it!"
"The summers of my childhood were filled with roasting s'mores outside by a roaring fire," recalls Megan. "I wanted to relive these memories with an updated, grown-up version of the classic. It starts with the homemade vanilla bean marshmallows, light, fluffy, and so much better than the store-bought ones. I dip graham crackers in both milk and dark chocolate, then finish with a sprinkling of flaky sea salt. The perfect end to an outdoor summer dinner party."
What do you think of this rustic-luxe styling? Let us know below.