Green and white invitation to the White House dinner
Calligraphy, Formalities

The Calligraphers

At the White House, calligraphy is used to create and address invitations, place cards, menu cards, escort cards, holiday cards, proclamations, programs, certificates, and pretty much anything that involves paper and a pen.  There are three full-time calligraphers, who work out of a big room in the East Wing which has a nice eastern exposure for lots of natural light, and they rarely have a moment of leisure; along with all of the beautiful words they bring to life, they […]

White macarons on colorful dish
Dessert, Food


Today is Bastille Day, La Fete Nationale of France. What could be a more appropriate moment to learn how to make a proper macaron?  I’m delighted to offer a recipe from no less an authority than Chef Christophe Tanneau, executive chef of the French Embassy here in Washington. Chef Tanneau turns out exquisite French cuisine every day for those who enjoy the generous hospitality of His Excellency, Ambassador Francois Delattre, and Madame Sophie L’Helias.  Sophie and Francois are quintessentially accomplished […]

Flowers, Summer

Summer Greens

I would always rather be outdoors than indoors. In the summer in Washington, that’s not always pleasant. Even the dogs don’t want to go for a walk in the dripping humidity, and who can blame them, in their fur coats?  In the absence of bearable temperatures, the next best thing is to bring some of the outdoors inside, and there’s nothing more coolly appealing than green and white floral arrangements. These two arrangements are unusual, because – as you may […]