My heart is in Virginia, but every once in a while, it travels to the classic beauty that is New England. The trips north have become more frequent as my fondness of the region grows. I eagerly look forward to each trip for the stunning vistas and rolling mountains, the autumn hues and springtime breezes, but most of all, for the time spent with friends. This past weekend I traveled to Wallingford Connecticut to help host a bridal luncheon and shower for one of my dearest friends, Claire, who will be married this November. When the planning was just beginning, we thought we would hold the party at Gouveia Vineyards, but found that the Gouveia family who own and operate the vineyard also own a bistro and wine bar called The Library.
I was told that this former municipal library had been converted into an office building before being sold to its current owner, who remembered from his youth what was hidden by the drop down ceilings and paneling. After purchasing this historical property, he was able to recover its original architecture, including the original stained glass skylights, beveled glass windows, columns and intricate moldings, and restore it to its former glory. Some of the original features of the building have been very cleverly repurposed for current use. For example, the dumbwaiter which once hauled books from floor to floor now lifts food from the kitchen to the upper dining rooms, and the wooden library ladders which were once climbed to retrieve books are now climbed to retrieve bottles from the bookshelves-turned-bar.
Hosts were myself, Stefanie, and Ryan. Ryan had favors made-wine glasses with Claire and Ben's initials and wedding date engraved, wrapped in organza bags and tied with dainty purple ribbons. Alyssa made floral arrangements for each of the tables, glass vases in burlap ribbon with floral detail, filled with vibrant jewel toned flowers, set upon each table.
We reserved a private dining space on the upper level. We selected fruit and cheese trays, along with carafes of mimosas and sangria, to be served before the seated meal. Guests were served chicken and beef, vegetables, salads, and their choice of dessert. I happily chose the flan. Delish.
The luncheon and shower were a success-so much fun! A few of us stayed after and headed down to the wine bar. I hate to say how long we stayed, but it involved drinks, dinner, and very loud laughter. I think someone lost a shoe (it wasn't me), someone pulled out a selfie stick (that was me), and I got picked on lovingly, yet mercilessly, for my southern slang. I indulge them of course. By the end of the evening, we looked like this:
Good times. Oh, and the dinner I mentioned? It was all good, but the highlight of my night was the fig, caramelized onion, and arugula pizza. For real. I will be working on recreating this pizza at home in the upcoming days.
Thank you, thank you to Ryan, Alyssa, Stefanie, and all who helped with the party. It was so much fun! Thanks to The Library in Wallingford, Connecticut for the gorgeous venue, the mackintosh apple martinis, the delicious food, and the superb service. Thank you to Connecticut for the golden autumn sky illuminating the turning leaves, and for the sunny, dry weather. You are so good for my soul. Thanks to my friend Claire for your friendship and for including me in the festivities, and thanks to Claire's parents for hosting me last week. Carol is a gracious host! Best wishes to my dear friend Claire and her fiancé Ben, who will be married November 14. May you have long, loving partnership full of all the goodness one marriage can hold! I love you all, and can't wait to see you again in six weeks.
Southern Virginia Mom