God Bless Us Everyone or, Christmas 2014 at Cafe Drake HRV

Our niece Lucie, visiting Cafe Drake HRV from Paris, knows how to coax a pit bull smile from Arabella.

Arabella made Lucie feel right at home by sharing her kitchen sofa for rainy day naps.

Mother bakes cookies with supervision from Arabella.

Too many presents is a blessing.

We love these decorated pine cones, collected and glammed up by Mother.

The table is set for Christmas Eve dinner.

Multiple courses require multiple pieces of silverware. Special occasion meals are all about playful excess at Cafe Drake HRV.

To us, jewel tones compliment the traditional red and green color-scape of the holiday.

Lucie loved our house cocktail of gin, maple syrup, lemon juice and bitters.

Making drinks. As usual.

At The Beekman Arms in nearby Rhinebeck, NY.

Santa has arrived!
Lucie lights up the dining room, figuratively and above, quite literally.

The opening course of Xmas Eve dinner was a porcini mushroom veloute/soup.

Our second course was a house-made chicken liver and cognac pate, served with curly endive, toast points and curried bread-and-butter pickles.

Lucie documents the behind-the-scenes action in the kitchen.

Mimi spoils Lloyd with bits of our fish and cockles entree.

"Thank you, Mimi!"

Lucie prepared a stunning main course of poached fish and steamed cockles with a white sauce, accompanied by zucchini and peas.
Kisses from Arabella.

The cheese course was a creamy, washed-rind fromage bleu with charcoal crackers and preserved and candied green walnuts.

being lazy while Lucie grates mounds of Emmental and Gruyere cheeses for a fondue dinner Christmas night.

Lloyd Page, the Christmas Cat.
Mother enjoys a Manhattan before dinner while Arabella sniffs out cocktail snacks.

Who doesn't like to gather around a pink tabletop tree in a purple guest room?

Posing with Lucie before setting out to the Fischer Center to see Nut/Cracked, an irreverent and beautiful riff on Tchaikovsky's Christmas masterpiece.


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