Hey there, sugar. You’re just in time to meet our glamorous and gracious gal pal, Danielle Rollins. Let me tell you, doll, this Dallas-born and Atlanta-based beauty epitomizes Southern hospitality. Her chic and thoughtful style of entertaining – this lady thinks of everything! – has even landed her a spot as the best-selling author of Soirée: Entertaining with Style, a must-have tome full splendid party pictures, including a dinner she hosted for Oscar de la Renta that launched her career. We can see why, darlin’. Anyway, when Danielle isn’t hobnobbing with designers like Mr. de la Renta and Lela Rose, who you met before at one of our parties, she’s serving as a contributing editor to Veranda. We were just about to pour Danielle a bit of bourbon so, come on in, y’all, and grab a glass and a seat. Let’s listen to the divine Danielle dish.
Your entertaining style?
Thoughtful, appropriate, relaxed and well planned
The definition of a good host?
One who is thoughtful and places a guest’s needs and comfort first and foremost
Last party you hosted?
A cozy intimate birthday dinner for chef, Alex Hitz
Last party you attended?
Designer Lela Rose’s Tea & Tequila party to celebrate her new entertaining tome – it was held on Celerie Kemble’s gorgeous Central Park South rooftop terrace
Most memorable party you attended?
A good friend’s surprise 50th birthday party at Villa Ephrussi in Saint-Jean-Cap- Ferrat, France, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea
Most fascinating person you met at a party?
After Danielle’s dinner party for Oscar de la Renta, he encouraged her to write a book
Party you’re most proud of?
The Oscar de la Renta dinner featured in my book because it was that dinner that launched my career
Party you’d like to go back in time to attend?
Elsie de Wolfe’s circus-themed party at Villa Trianon – I just know we would have been BFFs
How do you stay party ready? What’s always in your fridge and pantry?
Champagne, wine, good cheese, great bread, pastas, cream, butter, milk and bacon
Best tip for getting your house party ready?
Walk through your house as though you’re a guest experiencing the party from the time of arrival to departure. Then think like a server. That’s the best way you can tell what you need from both perspectives. For instance, is the bathroom clean and inviting with plenty of hand towels and fresh soap? Are extra supplies easily found? Will the server be able to walk between the tables and serve properly? Playing out all the possible scenarios is the best way to prevent a disaster.
Flowers by Danielle Rollins
Least expensive but most effective way to create an instant party ambiance?
Flowers! Using something seasonal and inexpensive but in abundance fluffs things up nicely.
Best way to make shy guests feel more comfortable?
Compliment them, genuinely, or ask them about themselves. That works for everyone!
Favorite hostess gift to give?
Flowers sent to arrive before the party, cocktail mixers and hard-to-find liquors with personally created recipes, and interesting olive oils, vinegars, honeys, spices or baking mixes.
Most memorable hostess gift given to you?
Personalized cocktail napkins embroidered with a cornucopia that were given to me by a friend visiting for Thanksgiving
Most treasured thank you note?
A handwritten note from Oscar de la Renta
Let’s play favorites, doll…
Color: The turquoise of my book
Cocktail: An Old Fashioned – I’m a bourbon girl!
Champagne: Veuve Clicquot Rosé
Food: Caviar, crème fraiche and blinis, Dover sole and champagne
Sharyn Blond linens
Linens: That’s a tough one! Some people buy lipstick when they’re down. I buy linens! My favorite brands are Leontine, Julia B., Walker Valentine, Matouk, Porthault and Sharyn Blond.
Dishes: I haven’t met a piece of china I didn’t like but my favorites are Mottahedeh, Alberto Pinto and vintage pieces.
Glassware: William Yeoward, Dior and, for casual pieces, World Market
The Rooster motif from The Printery in Oyster Bay, New York
Party resources: World Market, Jamali, Williams Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Mark & Graham, Matouk, Ralph Lauren Home, Cut Flowers Wholesale, The Printery and Ginna Dunlap Emmet Calligraphy
Party shoe: Gianavito Rossi and Christian Louboutin
Party dress: Ralph Lauren, Oscar de la Renta, Lela Rose, Vito Emanuele or something vintage
Three party pet-peeves?
Bad manners, bad moods and bad attire
Three party must-haves?
Good food, music that fits the mood and a good attitude!
There’s certainly nothing old-fashioned about that, doll. Now, where were we? Oh, yes. Danielle was showing us photos of some of her fabulous parties…
Photos: Danielle Rollins, Sharyn Blond, The Printery