On Friday, in preparation for David, the Man of Mode’s arrival, I worked all day to get the house in some semblance of order. I knew I couldn’t unpack and put everything away, so I chose the strategy of putting all of the boxes in the basement and bringing them up, one by one, to unpack and place.
While David was arriving in the midst of a sudden monsoon rain, unbeknownst to me, evil things were happening at Hickory Heights! Connor was going insane because of the storm, and pulling down and shredding the mini-blind in the bathroom from which he’d escaped a week earlier. A mini-blind in shreds and chips covered in blood was not the welcome I’d anticipated Connor would give David.
However, the earlier part of the evening made up for it. We’d had a great dinner out, and then purely by chance, run into my friend David Wiesand and his group. They very graciously invited us in for a tour of the studio and the house, all of which greatly impressed the other David. For some amazing pictures of Chez Wiesand, click here. On Saturday, we started out at the local farmers’ market and then headed to Trinacria, the fabulous Italian deli for some goodies, including their amazing assortment of olives, and some fresh Parmigiano Reggiano. From there, we headed over to Housewerks to check in with Ben and Tracey and to see what was new – a lot! As usual, there was a ton to see and check out, and we entertained ourselves for a while looking at everything and chatting with Ben and Tracey.
After we dropped off the groceries at the house, we headed up to Green Spring Valley, in search of the elusive Mr. Lee’s Southside Mix. And by elusive, you can’t buy this stuff in stores. You have to know someone or have Mr. Lee’s personal phone number and he’ll deliver it. Since I hadn’t had the foresight to think that far ahead, I was going to have to compromise, or find a secret source of this elixir.
Our first stop was Yoicks!, a combination antique store, country clothing - and by that I don’t mean overalls - and gifts. It’s a fun little shop (no website, makes me want to smack’em!) that feels like a combination of someone’s study, a great place to pick up something unique and a men’s club. We had a great time chatting with the owner, and explaining our predicament. He was not about to let me introduce friends to Southsides using an inferior brand of mix, so after disappearing for a few moments, he returned with a chilled bottle for us.
Both David and I lamented that our friend Maxminimus was not with us, because we felt that he’d have found a kindred spirit in Michael Finney, the shop’s owner. They share a love of British sporting art, and wild accessories. We even found a top hat that David modeled for me. He’s headed to Ascot next week (look for some pictures) and I was dying to find out how tall he is when he’s wearing a topper! Suffice to say, almost two feet taller than me! Here are some more images from Yoicks!
Nothing says klassy like a koozie for your Veuve Clicquot!
Love the great Emma Bridgewater mugs and pitcher!
A few friends came round for drinks on Saturday evening. David had met most of them on his last trip to Baltimore and so it was like old home week, but at a new house. We polished off the entire batch of Southsides and made some new converts to the religion of great summer drinks. One of the chefs thinks that the secret ingredient might be a touch of ginger. YUM! Chef John whipped up a delicious appetizer – watermelon cubes, a balsamic vinegar reduction and little shreds of basil. Fantastic!
I got the most amazing housewarming present and it even has a funny story behind it. I was at an auction a few months ago and was bidding on the most fascinating chair – sort of Chinoiserie Gothic! I’d bid and then an absentee bidder would raise it. This went on for a bit and finally, I dropped out. Fast forward a week and I’m in David Wiesand’s atelier and what do I spot, but the chair! David had been the absentee bidder and had won it. But being the incredible friend and all-round great guy that he is, it’s now gracing my new house and will be a happy reminder of our friendship for many years to come!
All in all, a wonderful weekend with David and all of the other friends I saw!