You know when a party is going to be great – when the lights go out in your hospitality tent and no one misses a beat with their conversation or their enjoyment of food and libation. The 2011 Christmas Gala was a big success – not only with the increased guests topping out at 125, but the fact that the entire mansion was used by those 125 for dining and visiting.
The most common statements made by those attending was “great party and incredible food”, “the mansion had never looked lovelier", and "Truly an incredible dining experience". Throw in a hospitality tent donated by the Wal-Mart Visitors Center that allowed the glow of the holiday season to be celebrated, even when the lights went out briefly! The jazz duo of Roby Pantall and Ron Pennington continued to offer a light rendition on holiday favorites during the short black-out.
Food was offered by Wade Jones and his crew from Basil’s that featured a starter of venison empanadas and pimento cheese stuffed portabella mushrooms. The main entrée was roasted whole beef tenderloin with a barbeque onion bordelaise, fingerling potatoes, and a carrot puree. Table centerpieces featured fresh white roses with greenery in a square bowl, complimented by gold ribbon and fresh cranberries, further accenting the colors of the season. Centerpieces were created by the Bentonville Garden Club, with overall décor under the direction of Danielle Harvey and Amber Rice. Additional help was provided by the Peel Museum guides. The conclusion to the meal was a chocolate crème brulee sandwich with a wild berry coulis.
photos by Bethany Kral, Russ Kuhn, and Amber Rice
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