This week I found myself in a state of Southern bliss at Billy Reid‘s hip Soho clothing store hanging with friends, eating fried chicken and deviled eggs and drinking Kentucky bourbon. Not exactly a typical night in Gotham, but then again it is not every night Garden and Gun magazine has a launch party in Manhattan for their recently published The Southerner’s Handbook.
Photo courtesy of Billy Reid
The rustic setting adorned with Billy Reid’s fabulous clothing line and leather creations set the scene perfectly for the southern bites provided by Seersucker, the Brooklyn-based restaurant which has been satisfying southerly cravings for years.
The featured book, a tutorial on Southern culture starts by discussing why our culinary heritage matters and ends with what lies beneath the Great Southern Novel.
So whether you were are born and bred below the Mason-Dixon Line or just somewhat intrigued by your friends who were, this guidebook is a must.
Though a rare occurrence, I always get excited when my two worlds collide. Those two worlds being the South, where I grew up, and the Northeast where I’ve lived the past five years. Typically these regions challenge the notion of “one nation…indivisible”, but when the influential last word on all things Southern and New York City come together, great things happen.
I found myself last night in a perfect cross section of these two worlds. Bunny Williams hosted a Garden & Gun Club dinner in her shop, Treillage, on the Upper East side.
Bunny William’s shop on the Upper East Side.
Not only were the hosts Southern, a lot of the guests were too. For this transplanted Southerner, it was pure heaven. Being in Bunny William’s chic but cozy world which I had so often admired was such a thrill. Mix that with the rustic, deep south décor and you get an appropriately elegant dinner setting. In keeping with her impeccable, perfectly appropriate style, dinner was a showcase of Lowcountry cuisine with shrimp and grits, short ribs and rum cake.
I was particularly lucky to have Rebecca Darwin, President of Garden & Gun magazine, as my table mate. What a lovely person who has a great story to share of how the magazine, a quickly growing Southern staple, came to be. On my other side was Rebecca’s childhood friend, Liz O’Connor who shared an equally great story of how Rebecca came to be. And to complete the night, a colorful toast was raised by my favorite person in the world and regular Garden & Gun contributor, Julia Reed.
Thanks Garden & Gun for inviting me to dinner and giving me a big “hug” from home.
Beautiful table settings.
Always feeling at home; hospitality at its best.
A collection of old threads.