A passion for food + fashion

Posts Tagged ‘floral design’

Nights of Wine and Roses

In Design, Drink, Fashion, On Location: Out and About in L.A. on May 7, 2013 at 10:48 am

Lily Lodge Veuve Clicquot Rosé

A few weeks ago I received an invitation from Veuve Clicquot to join for an evening floral arranging class with my friend Ariana Lambert Smeraldo at her ultra-chic floral boutique, Lily Lodge. I knew it would be fun and that I’d learn a thing or two because Ariana has exquisite taste and her floral arrangements are second to none (psst—if you are wondering what we moms really want for Mother’s Day, a big green box from Lily Lodge is a good start). If you’ve ever wondered who does the drop-dead gorgeous arrangements at Bouchon, it’s this girl:

Ariana Lambert Smeraldo

At some point we’ll want to devote another post to Ariana’s hair, but in the meantime back to the flowers. Buckets of orange and pink petals on tables as Ariana instructed us how to arrange, starting with our biggest blooms first and playing around with height and color.

Lily Lodge Veuve Clicquot


lily lodge floral class

There were trays of gorgeous little lobster rolls and ahi on cucumbers. Even the food was pink and orange!

mini lobster roll

I love the idea of using cupcake wrappers for popcorn or crab salad. Wouldn’t they be great for a birthday party?


And there was champagne, lots of it—pretty little coupes of Veuve Clicquot Rosé with candied rose petals were on offer from young gents, also with good hair.


If I can ask you to refocus your attention for just one moment, check out the gorgeous array of vintage vases over his shoulder in the background. Oh, that’s what you were looking at all along? Good. Because one of Ariana’s exquisite arrangements sent in a vintage vase for Mother’s Day would really knock it out of the park.

Christine Natalie Nina

At the end of the evening we got to take home our creations. I love Natalie Martin‘s arrangement, above, but she is a fashion designer after all so of course hers is going to look fabulous! Ditto for the stylings of STYLOOT co-founder, Carlota Espinsoa, below.

carlota espinosa

Even if my own arrangement was, in Ariana’s words “wild and crazy,” I am absolutely wild and crazy about it! Here it is on our kitchen table.

heathers flowers

Cheers and thanks to you, Ariana, for an absolutely beautiful evening.

Veuve Clicquot Champagne Reception at Lily Lodge photos courtesy of Veuve Clicquot.

Flowers for Foodies

In Design on August 17, 2010 at 11:20 am

I went hiking up in Griffith Park this morning with my friend Mia, who quite simply has great taste in everything she does. And by trade, that includes renovating and interior design. This morning she gave me this Oncidium Sharry Baby ‘Sweet Fragrance’ orchid, which smells like CHOCOLATE! I’m not kidding—my entire kitchen smells like Alice Medrich just set up shop. Just imagine the disappointment when Mr Foodinista walks in the door tonight and wonders where the brownies are. (He should know better; I don’t bake.) And every bit as delicious as the chocolate fragrance perfuming the air is the gorgeous mid-century pot in which it sits. Mia found it at the Rose Bowl Flea Market. Whenever she sees interesting vintage pots, she grabs them for hostess gifts later. How great is that?

A Healthier Work Week

In Food on April 20, 2010 at 10:21 am

Despite my best intentions, I end up eating a lot of stuff I probably shouldn’t. Typically my transgressions involve Mexican food or some sort of dumpling. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But in order to make way for my next pot of Su Jae Bi, I’m trying to eat more veggies and lean protein during the week with the idea that on weekends, the gloves are off. Yesterday, I hit up the Plummer Park Farmers Market in West Hollywood, where I filled my bag with fava beans, artichokes, squash blossoms, flowering rapini, asparagus, green garlic, some feta and a couple filets of local yellowtail. Oh – and a really pretty bouquet of anemones for $4.

Last night, while Mr Foodinista grilled the yellowtail, I steamed a few artichokes using my dad’s simple method. Slice off tops of artichokes, and carve off tough outer leaves at bottom. Fill a pot with about an inch of water. Smash a few garlic cloves and throw them in. Squeeze half a lemon into the water.

Place artichokes in water and drizzle with your favorite olive oil. We grab a half gallon jug of this stuff from the Napa Olive Oil Company every time we visit my parents up north. It’s really mellow and great for cooking.

Simmer artichokes for 40 minutes or until tender. Squeeze a little more lemon on top and enjoy, guilt free.

Everything’s Coming Up Roses (and Nasturtium, Poppies, Geraniums, etc)

In Design on March 30, 2010 at 3:20 pm

Last night was warm and lit up by a beautiful new moon. My husband and I sat under our rose-scented pergola and sipped margaritas late into the night. It’s the first time the climbing roses have bloomed since we trained them up the pergola last summer. Just dreamy. Here’s a closer look at the blooms:

I was reminded of a comment recently from an LA expat and tropical plant enthusiast now living in Washington, D.C., who told me that people in Los Angeles need to stop growing roses. But I can’t. There are few things that make me as happy as these gorgeous spring blooms, especially on the rosebush I gave to Mr Foodinista for his birthday last year:

How is that flowers have such magical properties? I was feeling kinda blue this morning and so pulled over at the new Rolling Greens Nursery on Beverly (OMG – it’s AMAZING, much smaller than Culver City location but just incredible housewares, cement vessels and plants), and loaded up the trunk of my car:

And now I feel like this!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

In Design on February 14, 2010 at 10:53 am

I’ll post more later on last night’s raucous ramen affair, at the center of which was this beautiful arrangement in a red vase from Heath Ceramics. Mr Foodinista surprised me with this yesterday afternoon. I am in love. Happy Valentine’s Day!

World Dinner Maps

In Design on February 13, 2010 at 7:19 am

Was freaking out last night that I didn’t have enough of my favorite Taïr Mercier translucent polypropylene place mats that I got in Paris a few years ago and then I remembered! For Christmas, my sister got Tiny G a set of 50 groovy disposable place mats featuring maps of four cities: Paris, London, New York and Tokyo. As it turns out, I’ll have enough of the Tokyo maps to set the table for our party of 10 tonight!

Haven’t yet nailed down flowers for the table, tick tock tick tock, but got great suggestions from Matthew in New York:

Florence Bond Peonies (white) with tulips. Forsythia (so simple, but so springy!) with wisteria wrapped around the stem, or falling from the vase to the table.

Love is in the Air…

In Design on February 8, 2010 at 4:25 pm

garden roses in a 1950's h & co. heinrich bavarian porcelain vase © lily lodge

We are less than a week out from Valentine’s Day, a holiday I hated until I met my husband. This year my friend Alex and I are cooking a Japanese-themed menu for 10 of us, and our Tokyo expat neighbors are bringing the sake. I’m so excited—Alex and I are shopping in Little Tokyo later this week for plates and bowls—we’re going all out.

In the meantime, I’m thinking about flowers for the table for Saturday night’s dinner. Mr Foodinista has exquisite floral taste, and I’m hoping that it leads him to Lily Lodge—a spectacular organic florist on Robertson run by the very chic Ariana Lambert Smeraldo, whose daughter is in music class with Tiny G! She used to work in fashion and it shows (we first met when she was at Bottega Veneta). Ariana hand selects beautiful vases ranging from 1940s Murano to Qing Dynasty Peking Glass, and the flowers are every bit as stunning….Parrot tulips, Dutch hydrangeas, New Zealand peonies and anemones are just a few of the offerings.

parrot tulips © lily lodge

Flower Power

In Baby Love, Design, Food on January 18, 2010 at 11:37 pm

At the baby shower I cohosted with Gia and Trisha at her lovely home this past weekend, there were gorgeous sprays of pink flowers just about everywhere you looked. Like the tulips on the buffet table, above. Or the gerber daisies and hydrangeas atop the mantel:

Or a fresh bouquet on a side table:

The food was every bit as pretty, with fantastic sandwiches, crudité, and baby potatoes with crème fraîche and bright orange Petrossian trout caviar….

In addition to bacon-wrapped dates (a riff on those served at AOC) and Jane Royale cocktails, I also made Mark Bittman’s chicken laver pâté. More on that tomorrow. But let me leave you with a deliciously sweet bite made by shower attendee and former front woman for all-girls punk band The Red Aunts, Terri Wahl, who is also known as the force behind the delicious Auntie Em’s Kitchen in Eagle Rock: