Summer comes early in Washington, DC. By late April we need air conditioning, and any thought of outdoor parties has to be put away until the fall, unless you manage to spontaneously catch a rare cool night. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t summer parties here, though it helps if they involve alcohol and light clothing as distractions. Washington was built on a swamp; in fact, British diplomats who served here in the 19th century were given extra pay for living in such an inhospitable semi-tropical climate. That’s why I’m calling this a summer dinner party, even though it took place in April.
There were lots of peonies (the coral charm variety that open into blooms the size of salad plates), and old and new friends: we welcomed the Varricchios to Washington, Italy’s new ambassador and his beautiful wife Micaela. The meal was healthy and gluten-free – at least until the chocolate soufflé – and the conversation was mostly politics, as it always is here. Below are some photos of party preparations, menu, and calligraphy for inspiration – I hope you enjoy them!