Saturday, December 5, 2015

Upstairs, Downstairs at Caramoor: Holiday Edition 2015

After a morning of Board meetings, and an afternoon at my desk trying to catch-up after being away for two weeks, the main event of the day night was a private dinner hosted by the Chairman of the Board and three trustees and about 40 guests, entertained by three folk musicians, with the dinner in the Music Room. It was the first time in my 20+ years with Caramoor that the Music Room had been cleared of heavy wooden risers and over 150 chairs, and set up to entertain for dinner. It had probably been more than 25 years since the Room had been used this way, so we were all excited to see how it would go as a dinner/concert location - and kick off the holiday season with festive decor. 

The Room is pretty Baroque/Renaissance as it is, so you don't need a lot of fancy decorations. A very tall Christmas tree festooned with paper ornaments decorated by the schoolchildren who visit as part of the arts-in-education programs, drawn in with their impressions of art in the House and Room. Nooks were filled in with collections of winterberry branches, and floral arrangements were scattered around on tables. Flickering LED votives on the table. All equaled simple understated elegance.
Upstairs for the fancy folks

Meanwhile, downstairs in the cold basement/garage,
the worker-bees had a very fancy table for 6.
  We decided to really think about how we could market this as a destination dinner or film shoot location. 

Maybe as a Prohibition-theme party site?
A Campaign Donors' back-to-basics lunch-box "dinner in a box?"
I kept going back to horror film- themed rental.
 Clear out the catering rental boxes and the Pepsi product stash and you have room.
The ambiance is there.
Low ceilings with pipes. Touch at your own risk.
 The freezer for the bodies is already there, as is the death match/prisoner cage.
Humor and many layers of coats kept us warm;
 But really -- this was the best part of the night.

It was a very long 13+ hour day, with lots of prep, long in-between times of waiting busy-ness, and then intense hours of being "on," directing people, being welcoming, and trying to keep my feet from slowing dying and trying to stay warm. But laughter - and watching certain colleagues try new things, liking them, and QUICKLY becoming jaded about expensive champagne types was humorous, as I downed my ginger ale.

Cin cin

~photos by iPhone

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