Stephanie and Lisa’s earliest memories were on the grounds of Cedar Lakes Estate, a gorgeous estate venue and 500 acre getaway in Port Jervis, New York. Growing up on the estate was any child’s dream-- White Christmases, fresh mountain air and lazy lakeside summer days made up the fabric of their childhood. They fell in love with the peace and tranquility of this special place immediately; even when they left their magical childhood home they would always find their way back. Each sister went on her own path but not for long, as they soon found their permanent way back and decided to share their childhoom home with the public for events, gatherings and getaways. Their story sounds like a fiction novel, so who better to give tips on hosting a Fall dinner party than these two sisters who live for celebrations?!
Stephanie and Lisa crafted a delightful feast on the fiery Fall grounds of Cedar Lakes with tips, traditions and stories. Shannen Natasha Photography was there to capture the copper, red and terracotta color palette found throughout the tablescape and the estate itself. Bespoke Only styled and designed the tablescapes with florals arranged by Peartree Flowers.
As Reported by Stephanie + Lisa:
We wanted this shoot to feel natural; we wanted to emulate what a real, intimate fall dinner party would feel like at Cedar Lakes Estate. We used all local, seasonal ingredients for the shoot, since not only they are at their peak of deliciousness, but also because they match the autumn colors so beautifully.
FALL IS BEAUTIFUL. USE YOUR SURROUNDINGS!
The foliage is a perfect backdrop for tablescapes, as the design matches the surroundings: rustic, natural and wild. The deck that we set the table on was built almost 90 years ago; the wood has worn into a beautiful grey and the deep green moss growing on it added another layer of color and beauty.
USE THE FALL BOUNTY AS YOUR DECOR!
To me, nothing is more beautiful than fruits and vegetables as centerpieces. Granted I am a chef and born food-lover, but I think everyone can appreciate the colors, textures and shapes of an autumn harvest; they are naturally stunning.
We featured honeynut squash, prune plums, and Tomann Gold apples grown by our neighboring farmers, and used our collection of vintage silver platters to display baked camembert topped with thyme and fresh cranberries, charred ficelle toasts, local honey, figs, persimmons, beautiful green Niagra grapes and deep inky concord grapes.
GET CREATIVE WITH A SEASONAL ICE CREAM SUNDAE BAR!
Our seasonal ice cream sundae bar featured all homemade, all-natural toppings including:
- fresh apple cinnamon caramel sauce
- homemade marshmallow fluff butterscotch sauce
- blueberry compote
- smoked candied bacon with raw brown sugar.
STAND BY YOUR TRADITIONS!
Fall was a great time to be a kid at Cedar Lakes. With 500 acres and 4 football fields, can you imagine the size of the leaf piles?! What a dream. Besides that, our greatest memory was pumpkin picking every year at a nearby farm.
What we really remember most about this outing wasn't the pumpkins, but the farmer's wife's famous pumpkin gingerbread whoopie pies. The cakes were dense and rich and left that amazing sticky cake layer on our fingertips and the whipped marshmallow filling was fluffy and rich. I have tried recreating them many times, but still can't come close!
NEVER FORGET THE DRINK FOR ALL FALL OCCASIONS: SPIKED PEAR CIDER!
As for celebrating the season, it is important do do it right with an AMAZING Spiked Pear Cider Recipe:
Garnish (glass rim)
- 2 parts Nutmeg
- 2 parts Cinnamon
- 1 part Ginger
- 3 parts Brown Sugar
- 1 part Apple Brandy
- 3 parts Pear Cider (apple cider also works fine)
- 2 parts Champagne
Mix all garnish spices and sugar together. Dip the rim of the glass in a little cider and press into the spice/sugar mixture.
Shake apple brandy and cider together. Serve, up, in a champagne flute and top with champagne.
SETTLE INTO FALL WITH A GOOD SOUP
Adding to the season, a Smoky Butternut Squash Soup and Crème Fraiche! The recipe is below...
- 2 onions, roughly chopped
- 3 celery stalks, roughly chopped
- 2 carrots, roughly chopped
- 2 butternut squashes, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 bunchleeks (white and light green parts only), roughly chopped
- 6 slicesbacon
- 4 cups chicken stock
- ½ cupheavy cream
- 1 bunch fresh sage, julienned
- crème fraîche
- olive oil
Preheat oven to 400°F
Toss onion, celery, carrots, leeks, and squash with olive oil and salt, and roast in a single layer on cookie sheets for 45 minutes to an hour or until caramelized, golden brown, and soft.
Meanwhile, place bacon in a Dutch oven or soup pot over low heat. Render all the fat out of the bacon (about 15 minutes), then remove the bacon, reserving the fat in the pot.
Place all the vegetables in the pot with the chicken stock, and cook for an additional 45 minutes.
Let cool slightly, then purée in a blender. Add the cream and sage, and season to taste.
Serve in bowls or in hollowed-out mini butternut squashes, with a dollop of crème fraîche.
ENJOY THIS TIME! (IT ONLY COMES ONCE A YEAR)
Sitting down for a meal with loved ones is a privilege we often take for granted. At Cedar Lakes, we love being in the business of building experiences for people, and allowing them to take a moment and truly connect with others at the table. It's a rare time for uninhibited conversation and reflection while sharing simple delights: beautiful decor and delicious food.