Destination Dempsey: Fourth of July 2018

Whether we’re out east on the beach or discovering a new spot here in Manhattan, the Dempsey & Carroll team knows how to celebrate The Fourth of July in style. Some of our team members have shared what they were up to and where they went for the Holiday. #DestinationDempsey

 

I had a staycation in NYC – I relaxed by the East River and then I spent time downtown at Jefferson Market Garden, a beautiful oasis with an interesting back story. In the 1960s, Greenwich Village residents successfully persuaded the city to demolish a Women’s detention center. In its place, sits the most magical garden filled with magnificent floral hues set against the backdrop of NYC. – Ariel

 

I spent the holiday in Piermont, New York – a fun little getaway less than an hour from the city. I love going there to escape the summer heat and to enjoy a few drinks on the water. – Carolyn

 

 

Astoria

 

I spent the Fourth of July with friends at Luna Asian Bistro, a fun rooftop bar and restaurantin Astoria. There was an amazing view of the East River where we watched Macy’s spectacular Fireworks Show. – Marjorie

 

 

 

I loved taking a drive up Route 7 in Connecticut. There is so much beautiful scenery, farm stands with local produce, and lots of small shops to poke around in. It’s one of the most beautiful drives in New England, and you really get a sense of the area’s history on this road. – Jaimie

 

I had the pleasure of spending the long holiday weekend at Kripalu Center in the Berkshires where I was able get some much needed R&R at this tranquil wellness center. Outdoor bliss! – Megan

 

I escaped the city heat and spent a few days out east in Lloyd Harbor, an hour from the City by train! There are plenty of charming cafés and shops to explore in the area, namely Kerber’s Farm, a “must-visit” place for breakfast, baked goods, and more! I also spend some time relaxing at the beach at The Head of the Bay club in Huntington; the perfect seaside destination for getting some sun and swimming in the Sound. There’s nothing better than spending the Fourth of July on the water! – Emma

 

 

Spotlight on Marcia Selden Catering

For over 30 years, Marcia Selden Catering has been creating unique events with an accent on extraordinary food, creativity, and highly polished professional service. We sat down with Managing Partner and Executive Chef Robin Selden to learn more about the family business!

Can you tell us how your mother became inspired to begin Marcia Selden Catering?

I always start by saying that my mom was an entrepreneur before the word was in the dictionary. When Martha Stewart published Entertaining forty years ago, Marcia exclaimed “I can do that,” and that’s exactly what she did!

She spent the next 20 years cooking for countless dignitaries and celebrities, catering everything from intimate dinner parties and cocktail receptions, to galas for thousands in New York City. At this point, her business was booming and she tapped me and Jeffrey (my brother) for help. He was on a fast track in the New York Luxury Hotel world and I was fairly happy in my job, but we figured that it was a once in a lifetime opportunity. The rest is history as we grew the business to twelve times its size in revenue and staff and moved to our current home at 65 Research Drive in Stamford.

Being an entrepreneur is all about wearing multiple hats. How did each family member find their perfect spot within the business?

Jeffrey joined us the summer of 2011, leaving the New York Palace Hotel as the second-in-command for their Food & Beverage department. He brought a wealth of business knowledge to the company along with his NYC Catering contacts and clients, so we felt that it was important to have a presence in the city. In the summer of 2014, we took over a floor of a building on 38th street to dedicate to our NYC offices, kitchen, and venue called Above Twelve. As a Managing Partner, Jeffrey wears a variety of hats and is responsible for Sales and Operations along with our beverage program called Liquid Kitchen.panna cotta

I am responsible for the Culinary Team, our Creative Operations team, and all of our Marketing efforts. I’ve found that I’m happiest when creating our advertising campaigns and working on research and development for new recipes. Mom is the “name on the door” and she is responsible for whatever she wants on any given day—much deserved after working on building this amazing company for 40 years. She is the creative force that pushes us all to do our best and she reminds us to never accept mediocrity. She is the greatest mentor to us all!

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Could you describe the happenings in your kitchen on the morning of a big event?

Like the opening night of a Broadway show– very organized and perfectly executed mayhem!

What looks fresh to you this year as we head into the summer months?

I’m most excited for the local farm fresh produce.  I’ve never met an Heirloom tomato that I didn’t love!

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Is there a recent food trend that you’re glad to see disappear?

Yes– Activated charcoal!

Is there a classic you’d love to see come back in vogue?

I would love to put a modern twist on traditional dishes like Chicken a la King and Beef Stew.

You’ve just served up another successful wedding reception on a lovely Saturday evening. What does your perfect recovery Sunday look like? How do you treat yourself?

I’d definitely head to the local diner for breakfast before my “real” job as a parent kicks in. I’ll hit usually the grocery store, do laundry, help with homework, and then maybe treat myself to a pedicure.

And when you’re cooking for yourself, what’s your favorite comfort food?

I love anything cooked out on the grill and big pots of soup chock full of veggies (usually with beans and quinoa).  I’m also obsessed with breakfast and will never turn down an awesome omelet!
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Imagine you’re marooned on a desert island. What three kitchen tools would you like most to have with you and why?

  • My favorite Stainless Steel mixing bowl because I can prepare anything in it and even eat out of it and it won’t get damaged by the sea water.
  • My Shun Chef’s Knife which is my favorite, “can’t live without it,” tool in my kitchen
  • My Porcelain Enamel Coated Cast Iron Casserole (with the lid) because I can use it to boil water, cook soup, sauté, braise and even fry if I’m lucky enough to start with a few pantry items like oil!

 

Gifts for Grads

With graduation season in full swing, we wanted to share our top gift picks from our collections in celebration of a noteworthy life event. A recent graduate could be starting a new job, traveling around the world, continuing their education, or taking time to figure out the next step. No matter what the “real world” holds, fine stationery is something that can be put to use for any occasion!

 

Initial Note Cards

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Initial Note Cards

These engraved correspondence cards are perfect for sending thank you notes with a personal touch. A portion of the proceeds from the Initial Note Cards benefits Jumpstart, a national organization that is working toward the day that all children enter kindergarten- their “initial” school experience- prepared to succeed. $55 for a set of 10 cards and envelopes, shop here.

 

The Jet Set Collection

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The Jet Set Collection

Sometimes a semester abroad can inspire a greater adventure, whether it involves a job in a new city or a gap year overseas. Graduates will be ready to take on the world with inspiration from our Jet Set collection! $60 for a set of 10 cards and envelopes, shop here for Paris, London, Los Angeles, and New York.

 

Personalized Correspondence Cards

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Our #3 Correspondence Cards

A recent graduate will always make an impression when they send handwritten notes on personalized correspondence cards. Pricing begins at $480 for 100 cards and envelopes, shop here.

 

The Write Away Collection

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The Write Away Collection with matching leather enclosures 

They can take their correspondence on the go with one of our Write Away sets.  Our handsome leather envelopes are paired with five bordered correspondence cards and five envelopes hand-lined with colorful tissue paper to make for stylish travels. $105 for 1 leather envelope and 5 cards and 5 envelopes, shop here.

Spotlight on Little Red Fox Bakery

Kristi Tursi of Little Red Fox Bakery knows how to please the eye just as much as the palate. Dempsey & Carroll’s Austin Ackles recently grilled her about celebrating with sweets throughout the seasons.

 

In just a few words, could you tell us about your bakery? 

I’m the owner of Little Red Fox Bakery located in Essex, Vermont.  What’s with the name, you may ask? When I was six I told my family that I was the owner of Little Red Fox Bakery, thus a dream has become a reality. The majority of my business specializes in ‘Celebration Cakes’ for weddings and ‘Elevated Events’ as the component of my bakery that focuses on all catered events. I incorporate locally sourced and ‘Made in Vermont’ ingredients in all of my bakery goods. I’m lucky enough to be able to use maple syrup that is produced down the road from where I live!

I’m also a food stylist and photographer with ongoing assignments throughout New England and the New York Metropolitan area where most of my work is based. Yes, I focus on the visual presentation, but I live by this rule: Flavor Leads Style.

 

You’re living in a perfect world: So many of us love to bake and everyone loves baked goods! How did you discover this passion?

I’ve been baking since I was a little girl, but the road to opening my bakery and catering business wasn’t a straight route! My mother’s side of the family is Hungarian, so I was fortunate enough to start my baking adventures with some of the world’s most classic recipes. Holidays, birthdays, and special occasions were all opportunities to learn my beloved recipes. I’m not embarrassed to say that on a recent trip to Budapest, Vienna, and Paris, I sampled pastries for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!

I studied psychology and art history in college and even pursued post-undergraduate work in those fields, but my love for baking and the desire to run a business ultimately led me to opening the doors to Little Red Fox Bakery.  I love the exactness and precision of bakery life paired with the creative freedom and design work for wedding cakes and sweets.

And you’ve a great deal of experience as a food stylist down here in New York City?

I worked for a few luxury e-commerce sites and quickly segued into food photography and styling assignments–It’s an aspect of my business that I truly love. My work was recently published in PDN (Photo District News) for food photography and I also have ongoing collaborations with brands such as CARGO Cosmetics and Fjallraven for styling and photo work.

 

If you’re planning sweets for a large event, logistically speaking, what is a good direction to go in? And what types of treats might not go so smoothly?

For large scale events, I always work to appeal to everyone’s unique tastes and requirements; treats for people with nut allergies, some gluten free selections, and a show stopper type of dessert to add an element of surprise. I generally try to go with things that tease the palate, so I include a variety of textures: gooey, crunchy, smooth, and fluffy, to name a few. I also always like to include savory sweets, like rosemary or caraway biscotti. The latter goes well with wine at cocktail parties, so you can say that I cover the taste sensations that begin the meal and those that end it.

 

We’d love to hear more about some of the work you’ve done for weddings.

I specialize in wedding cakes, favors, and full service catering under the part of my business known as ‘Elevated Events.’ I love making wedding cakes that incorporate unique details, like calligraphed messages on wafer paper affixed to the surface.

A current trend is to have a dessert table in place of a cake. Brides (and grooms) come in for a consultation and talk about all their favorite memories of getting to know each other and the foods associated with those memories. We like to curate a menu that is truly a culinary reflection of their courtship.

 

Spring is just around the corner. What tastes and textures do you think are best served as people tire of heavy winter foods?

People generally want things with fruit and palettes that are reminders of the awakening of spring on the landscape. Small fruit tarts, fruit mousses in mini chocolate cups, and mini cheesecakes topped with fruit tend to be popular choices. On the more elaborate and fluffy side, we have meringues, a crowd favorite. They are feather light, perfectly sweet, and customizable to pretty much any flavor profile.

 

A truly elegant show stopper is a layered mocha dacquoise cake, which includes layered hazelnut meringue with mocha butter cream. A Spanish Windtorte, a Baroque looking construction of fancy meringue piping, is also excellent as it can be topped or filled with a pastry cream and seasonal fruits and berries – the perfect transition from decadent holiday treats!

 

What goodies do you think can keep cool in the summer heat?

I love trifles. The flavors are so versatile, and they can be made in large or small scale; it’s the ‘just right’ amount of cake to cream to fruit ratio! I also love fruits tarts and shortcakes, both of which incorporate fruit and can be made on the lighter side for those 90+ hot, humid days.

Last year, we did an event held in a non air-conditioned old barn at the edge of a river; think ninety degrees, humidity, and mosquitoes. We made a lemon three-tier cake with lemon and lavender infused pastry cream filling. It was a semi-naked cake that we adorned with frosted berries and mint leaves. On the side, I had chilled raspberry champagne-soaked watermelon mini cubes on a stick—they were almost as popular as the cake, maybe more so!

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And how is chocolate best served in the summer?

Hopefully not melted! I think a ganache tart can be served in hot and humid weather quite well.  My two most popular flavors in the summer incorporate orange blossom or lavender; both have a hint of flavor that is balanced by the semi sweetness of the chocolate. I love to garnish the tarts with edible flowers—always a gorgeous finishing touch for tying in the color scheme of a wedding. Time management and organization are key when baking and presenting food, especially when it’s warm. In summer weather, a cooler or two may displace diamonds as a girl’s best friend.

 

As fall returns, what ingredients do you like to bring forward from the back of the pantry?

Fall is one of my busier times for weddings and catered events, so I created a theme called ‘perfect pairings’ to help those planning a Fall wedding with some level of continuity among their sweet and savory choices! I tend to reach for nutmeg, cinnamon, or even smoked maple! I love mulled cider, as it pairs wonderfully with cider doughnuts and apple pies. As a Vermont-based baker, it goes without saying that I sweeten my desserts with maple syrup and maple sugar any chance I get. I think a dark maple syrup provides for the best pronounced flavors in my pumpkin pies, butter creams, and compotes! 15099470_1475730969123730_2837803386319929344_n

I also love chestnuts. I include a chocolate chestnut ganache tart as a holiday selection and I make Chestnut Mignons, a Hungarian specialty with chestnut cream, chocolate, and rum shaped into a chestnut shape and enrobed in chocolate and mocha couverture.

 

For winter holiday entertaining, whether it’s a cozy get together following an afternoon of ice skating, or a more formal holiday affair, what could we surprise our guests with?  

Who doesn’t love to fawn over a dessert table? For a small, casual gathering (after skating, say, by a roaring fire),  I would have a menu that includes cinnamon hot chocolate paired with Belgian brownies and whipped cream, hot cider paired with maple churros, and piping hot mochas with chocolate éclairs filled with blood orange pastry cream. 16122724_271096073310002_9068248877664043008_n

For a formal affair, I love to present a crepes cream cake that looks like it has a thousand layers. Another favorite that I made for a Scandinavian event was the Princess cake; a green dome of pistachio marzipan adorned with delicate pink flowers covering layers of cake, pastry cream,  and lots of whipped cream.

 

In terms of classic recipes, what do you think never goes out of style?

A classic genoise cake, which is a French-style cake that serves as the foundation for simple jelly rolls and many elaborate pastries. It is perfect ‘as is,’ but even better as the cake layers on a scrumptious wedding cake. A genoise holds up incredibly well year-round and can be made with ingredients that a home baker will have in their kitchen.

And when the ovens have cooled and you close up shop for the day, how do you like to spend your down time?

I live in Vermont for a majority of the year and love getting outside to enjoy the Green Mountains! From November through April, my skis are by the front door so I can literally step outside, don my skis, and off I go! In the summer months, I turn into a kayaker. I’m also the happy owner of a German Shepherd puppy, so hiking, trail running, and sailing on Lake Champlain are perfect departures from a chaotic day of baking and decorating (and it keeps the puppy happy)! My time in nature keeps me focused and serves as a beautiful work/life balance! When I’m in the city, I walk everywhere–I’ve been known to walk from SoHo to the UES. I love the contrast of solitude and city buzz. I think art and beauty and truth are found in that contrast.

 

Real Weddings: Carolyn & Zach

Real Wedding

Carolyn and Zach

Rainbow Room

November 11, 2017

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On a cool and crystal-clear November day, Carolyn and Zach were wed and many a passerby could not resist congratulating the happiest couple.

Called “Fernanda,” the dress is from Vera Wang’s Fall 2016 collection. The bodice, with a very clean and simple construction made of a crisp ivory silk, featured a drop waist,  also known as a Basque waist. The skirt portion of the dress featured layers upon layers of tulle that created a quite extensive seven foot train which was bustled for the cocktail hour and reception. An embellishment featuring little blue beads from the bride’s great-grandmother’s garter was sewn into the lining of the skirt.

The bride wears her sister, Lauren’s, cathedral style veil from her wedding last winter.

 

Vows are shared beneath an intimate, light-as-air chuppah and then, above and beyond, facets of light expand like a vast, unending jewel made of light.

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Neat rows of carefully crafted Dempsey & Carroll escort cards await excited guests as they move into the reception. Event planner Lauren Fremont of LOLI Events made sure every detail came together harmoniously.

DeJuan Stroud created flowers in luscious violets and velvety reds surrounding gorgeous textures in back-to-earth shades of fresh greens. You could feel their beauty as you neared the arrangements: their drama perfectly present but not overwhelming.

Other arrangements were more experimental: A symbol of faithfulness, calla lilies, rest in abstract glass forms and then seemed to float in midair.

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There was ambient lavender and powdery magenta glow overhead– crystal chandeliers and sconces sparkle and meld with city lights stretching on for miles.

Rainbow Room soars above New York and resides alongside the most famous lighted spires in any night sky.

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Zach, Carolyn, and her mother, Wendy, selected our creamy, custom-milled, cotton Dempsey White paper for the invitations and each would be hand-engraved on antique presses as old as midtown Manhattan’s skyline. A crisp block font hinted at the importance of design given to every inch of the splendid Rockefeller Center landmark. And at the bottom of each invitation? Two reflected triangles form a pert bowtie. For a subtle finish to the inner envelopes, the bride requested a sunburst gray linear pattern that reminds of deco, but just so.

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Dempsey & Carroll congratulates Carolyn and Zach!

 

Credits:

Photography: Ira Lippke, The Day Collective

Wedding Planner:  Loli Events

Design: Dejuan Stroud

Venue: Rainbow Room

Dress: Vera Wang

Spotlight on Double G Events

Designer Maggie Brucker of Double G Events knows how to throw a perfect party! Recently, Maggie graciously indulged Dempsey & Carroll’s Austin Ackles with a delightful dose of her wit and wisdom.

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We adore your work! How were you first drawn into this beautiful business?

Thank you so much for your kind words! I actually got into this industry “by accident,” though I always knew I wanted to do something creative for my career. As I was growing up, I took theater and dance classes, voice lessons, performed in plays, painted, and more. I went to college for Interior Design thinking I would open up my own design firm some day, but I realized that it wasn’t for me after working in the industry for two years.  I then did what every other 24-year- old college graduate did when they didn’t have a job and started bartending at my friend’s restaurant. The restaurant soon started to offer off-site event catering and my friend asked me to help, thus my love for events and weddings was born!

After a few years with my friend’s catering company, I was offered a position as the Event Planner for Barteca Restaurant Group (Bartaco, Barcelona Wine Bar), where I took on the role of planning and designing all in-house and off-site events. Six years later, I decided to open my own Event Planning and Design boutique and Double G Events was launched in 2010!

 

Your events are so fresh and spirited, yet so timeless. What’s the secret to striking this perfect balance?

You hit the nail on the head! There are so many talented planners and designers out there, and I am so lucky to be friends with most of the ones based in Connecticut–they really are my soul and support group. Being a solo entrepreneur, it’s wonderful to have these gals just a phone call or text away for some “water cooler talk” or comedic relief. Sometimes you just need someone to lean on who gets your industry!

With that said, we all offer similar services and need to be able to differentiate ourselves from each other. It took me a while to figure out my unique style through lots of soul searching, paying attention to the clothes I wore, how I decorated my home, and more. I came to realize that my style is timeless with a bit of unexpected edge. I try to stay away from trends because I want my clients to be able to look at their wedding 30 years later and still love it.

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When I work with brides, the word I say over and over again is “AUTHENTIC.” I ask them questions about how they spend their weekends, what shows they like, how they decorate their home, and more. Though Pinterest is helpful for aesthetic reasons, it tells me nothing about my couples and who they are personally. My goal when designing a wedding is for their guests to walk into the space and say, “I get it! This is totally Jane and John!” and understand why certain elements were chosen.

As you can see from all of these photos, every wedding is unique because every one of my clients has their own unique style, and our job is to bring that to their event.

 

Within an event design, what element can you never get enough of? And what aspect do you think is most impactful when used with restraint?

Lighting, lighting, LIGHTING! Lighting will change a room’s ambiance in a heartbeat and I always ask my clients to put aside splurge money for this purpose. I describe lighting as the “jewelry” of the event. We work with Shindig Lighting a ton, and they are always evolving with innovative chandeliers, bistro canopies– you name it! In one of our most recent weddings together at Truelove Farms, we used hand-made hanging Moroccan Chandeliers that they personally picked out during their trip to Morocco to ship back to the USA!

 

Are you noticing any trends that were prevalent just a few years ago that your more recent clients are not requesting?

I won’t lie, but I am SO happy the burlap and Mason jar trend is OVER! As a designer, there is only so much you can do with burlap, and it made every wedding look exactly the same.

 

Are they asking for anything that’s new and surprising you?

We’ve definitely noticed a trend towards having a less formal affair. Instead of plated 4-course meals, clients are interested in having interactive food stations or passing appetizers throughout the reception so that guests can easily mingle and dance as they please. We’ve also been seeing a trend towards brunch weddings (my favorite meal of the week) instead of traditional dinner weddings.

Our clients are always looking for venues that have that “wow” factor, i.e, industrial factories or airplane hangars. Those are super fun to design!

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You do a lot of work at the Connecticut shore. Is there a dream venue you’ve been longing to design for but just haven’t had the opportunity yet?

Our dream venues are always backyard tented weddings—they are so personal to us and our clients. It’s a blank slate to bring in anything that the clients want without worrying about whether the décor we bring in will clash with the surroundings.

 

You receive heaps of praise from delighted clients. When they write you the thank you note, what are the two or three things that you keep hearing for which you are most proud?

I am most proud when clients praise my amazing team. I am personally not one to be in the spotlight – it actually makes me a bit uncomfortable – which is why I think I like this job so much. The bride is the show and I can stay behind the curtain.

When a client praises my team, I smile from ear to ear because they are an extension of me and my work. It makes me feel like I’m doing a great job in teaching them what our brand stands for, and watching them grow makes me feel like a proud Momma!

Here are a few of the best compliments I’ve heard lately:

“We spoke with other planners and you were the friendliest!”

 “I’m not that worried about which venue we choose because I’ve seen your work and know you’re going to make it amazing!”

 “We did not pay you enough for what you did!”

 

When it’s time for you to relax and recharge, what’s your idea of a perfectly relaxing evening?

I travel to Colorado a ton; we are currently opening up a studio in Denver and there’s nothing like the mountain views. When I’m in Connecticut, I love going to farmers’ markets and estate sales, hosting dinners for friends, trying out new restaurants (food in the way to my heart), and taking my dog hiking in the woods.

And your ideal weekend escape?

There are so many options, but there’s nothing better than retreating to a cabin in the woods without cell service or email so that I can completely unplug at the end of a busy season!

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Photo Credits:
Trulove Farms Wedding
Location: Trulove Farms, Morris, CT
Planning + Design: Double G Events, Planning + Design
Photography: Athena Bludè Photography
Florals: Fleurescent
Tent: Abbey Tent + Party Rentals
Rentals/Linen: Peak Event Services
Vintage Rentals: Gather + Lounge
Lighting: Shindig Lighting
J House Greenwich Wedding
Location: J House Greenwich, Greenwich, CT
Planning + Design: Double G Events, Planning + Design
Photography: Sarma + Co.
Florals: Fleurescent
Rentals/Linen: Peak Event Services
Lighting: Shindig Lighting
Candlewood Lake Wedding
Location: Candlewood Lake Club, New Fairfield, CT
Planning + Design: Double G Events, Planning + Design
Photography: Andrew Henderson Photography
Florals: Fleurescent
Rentals/Linen: Peak Event Services
Lounsbury House Wedding
Location: Lounsbury House, Ridgefield, CT
Planning + Design: Double G Events, Planning + Design
Photography: Monika Photography
Florals: Truffles + James
Rentals/Linen: Party Rental Ltd. // Gather + Lounge

 

Hill House Home x Dempsey & Carroll

Our celestial-inspired collaboration with our friends at Hill House Home has been on our shelves for a few weeks now and we are so in love. The charming bedside tablets, and the dreamy coasters are the ideal way to dress up your nightstand.

We first met the Hill House Home team over coffee at The Crosby Street hotel. It was a match made in heaven. We had been following the brand since its inception and were thrilled to finally get our teams in the same room. Once they told us about their plans to open their gorgeous shop on Bleecker Street, we knew a holiday release would be perfect.

A few weeks later, we were all uptown and Nell, Katherine, and our Creative Director, Leo, had come to a decision on an exquisite collection featuring the perfect dressings for a bedside table.

Our party at the HHH Bleecker shop was a fabulous way for us to toast the collection, and begin stuffing Christmas stockings near and far! We’re excited to share some fun photos with you from our gathering the other day – we hope you enjoy the photos as much as we enjoyed the celebration!

 

Shop the collection here!

Spotlight on Tessler Events

Eyal Tessler of New York City-based Tessler Events knows exactly what makes an important day a most memorable one. Recently, Dempsey & Carroll’s Austin Ackles asked him to reveal some of the secrets of his successes.

 

AA: What should fill our heads when we think of Tessler Events?

ET: When thinking of “Tessler Events” I would like people to think of us as more than just event or party planners. I want you to think about us as your partners in creating memories for life and making dreams come true. We don’t just look at the end result because we like to think of ourselves as your event architects; we take you through the journey of the planning so you can enjoy and learn every step of the way.

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AA: Is there a venue in New York that you long to design for but have not yet had the chance?

ET: One of my dreams is to do a midsummer night alfresco dinner in Central Park.

 

AA: You’re capable of beautifully expressing a variety of aesthetics and I’ve seen you do very clean and modern spaces that are still very lush and opulent in mood. Your work seems so new, but where in your journeys do you find inspiration?

ET: I love just walking around the city and getting ideas and inspiration from theater, movies, fashion, architecture, art and more.  It’s not always about the big things — the right small element that can sometimes deliver the biggest impact.

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AA: To you, what makes or breaks a dinner party?

ET: I think a dinner party should be a reflection on the hosts, together with the art of entertaining. It’s all about putting together the right group with the right menu in the right atmosphere and with the right seating scheme. If you don’t have all of these elements, you can unwittingly create a recipe for disaster.

 

AA: How large can a dinner party be until place cards are necessary?

ET: I think any size dinner party can have place cards. Part of the art of entertaining is making sure the right people sit next to each other to fuel conversation and, sometimes, new relationships.

 

AA: And how large can a dinner be before escort cards are needed?

ET: I think any dinner party with more than two tables should have escort cards so it’s easy for your guests to find their seat.

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AA: Do you care to share any pet peeves about tablescapes? What are you fussy about and most relaxed about?

ET: I don’t like tabletops that are too crowded and fussy because a table setting should be comfortable and welcoming. I don’t think you need five different glasses for each place setting at all times; you can always reset silverware and glassware. A big no-no for me is to have a centerpiece that prevents conversation between people across the table. I think for small dinner parties, sometimes less is more.

 

AA: When the day is done, how do you like to wind down?

ET: I like to exercise, listen to music and just separate the work day from the private life. Disconnecting is a very hard task as a business owner, but I try my best!

 

AA: And when you’re traveling for pure pleasure, what kind of adventure are you hoping to find?

ET: My happy place is the ocean, so the best adventures for me include a beautiful beach with lots of time to relax and recharge.

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Spotlight on Virginia Edelson

Based in beautiful Aspen, Colorado, Virginia Edelson of Bluebird Productions creates unforgettable events for the experience of a lifetime. Ever conscious of her impact on our environment, Dempsey & Carroll’s Austin Ackles asked Virginia how she achieves so much while keeping the region so gloriously gorgeous!

 

 

  •  Seasonal Flowers – We recommend consulting with your floral designer to select flowers and greenery that is seasonal and sustainable. The environmental impact is less (transportation, fuel, keeping cool, etc) and the design feels more appropriate. Bonus points for using a floral designer who works with farmers to source flowers that limit the use of pesticides and herbicides!

 

  • Potted Plants – We suggest incorporating potted plants and trees into the design when appropriate. These potted components of a design can then be gifted, put into homes, planted or repotted and used in a different capacity. We adore cut blooms and can’t imagine a wedding without them… but mixing cut and arranged with potted is a lovely approach to lessen the impact on the land.

 

  • Compost florals (and food) at the event – We recommend composting any green products after an event. It may not be the glamorous part of an event to discuss,  but it certainly has a large impact on our landfills.  

 

  • Group Transportation – When venue appropriate, we recommend providing transportation for all of your guests to and from a wedding. This will cut down on the fossil fuels burned by many many cars.

 

  • Local Food – Not only does local food just taste better, it’s better for the environment and supports the local community.

 

 

Destination Dempsey: Fourth of July 2017

We’ve had a lot of fun in the office sharing stories about how we enjoyed our July 4th holiday weekends. From overseas, to right here in New York, Dempsey & Carroll knows how to make the most out of any destination!

Where are your favorite destinations to visit for holiday weekends? Discover our Jet Set Collection to inspire your next trip and use the #DestinationDempsey hashtag on social media to share your travels!

 

My holiday was spent right here in sleepy New York City hanging out in the parks and strolling the river fronts. I live on the Lower East Side so it’s a quick jaunt down to the Seaport to hop on the new ferry to Rockaway Beach. The breezes were delightful and only a few oyster catchers were our nearest neighbors. – Austin

 

One of the most mesmerizing experience was to sail the Mediterranean Sea while watching the sunset along the cost of Barcelona—a must do for anyone visiting this breathtaking part of Spain.  I also think that strolling through Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter is eye opening and very enjoyable for art lovers. While walking through the Gothic Quarter, you might find yourself eating at a food blogger’s all-time favorite spot ‘Flax & Kale’ or shopping at Love Vintage.  I learned that regardless of what you have planned for your day, Barcelona is a city full of gorgeous little surprises. ​- Umara

Storm King Mountain

Over the holiday weekend my family and I drove to see the beautiful scenery along the Hudson River. We ended our site seeing adventure looking towards Storm King Mountain– It was one of the most breathtaking views I have ever seen. I felt like I had traveled to a completely different world. I always love exploring New York State and photographing my journeys! – Ariel

 

I enjoyed a stellar weekend with my family on Cape Cod.  We were primarily in a town called Brewster, but also took a day trip to Provincetown.  There was plenty of swimming, fishing, grilling, and sparklers to celebrate the 4th of July holiday! – Megan

 

It’s always nice to spend a few days in London. The weather was unseasonably warm for my visit, which was a delightful treat! I visited a few of my favorite parks – Green Park in St. James (such a cute area) and Regent’s Park. Queen Mary’s rose garden was in bloom, which was a really rare to see. We did a ton of eating, too! Nopi in Soho was great for lunch and we had some wonderful dinners at The Wolseley, Luca, and Barrafina. The new Barrafina location in Soho is a lot bigger than the Drury Lane location, so it was pretty easy to get a seat – plus it’s really fun to eat snacks and have a few cocktails at the counter as you wait for a seat to pop up. Selfridges also had a great Wimbledon themed bar on their roof while we were in town. It was a nice way to break up the day – a Pimm’s Cup and Andy Murray on a roof in Mayfair – not bad! – Carolyn

 

There’s nothing like heading out of the city for a holiday weekend to enjoy the beautiful Adirondack Mountains in Upstate New York. I grew up in the area, so it’s always a treat to hike in the High Peaks with my family and friends and then kick back with craft beer from Ausable Brewing Company after a long day on the trails. There’s also a charming Farmers Market every Sunday at Marcy Airfield in Keene Valley, where you can find purchase fruits and vegetables, freshly baked bread, and a variety of local goods. The drive to Keene Valley on Route 9N has the most breathtaking views as you head to The Garden, which is main trailhead for the Johns Brook area. – Emma