Garden Party & Ladies Lunch 2016

This year’s Garden Party & Ladies Lunch was an outstanding success!  With such an amazing group of friends our garden party was bound to be enjoyable, lively, and fun.

IMG_1202.jpgI had been preparing all week for Sunday’s garden party.  After a few days of 90-degree temps, and a day of solid rain, I was worried the weather may not cooperate.  But when Sunday finally arrived, I was relieved to see the weather forecast was calling for a pleasant cool afternoon.

I started the day by making a big bowl of my signature yogurt dessert.  Then I moved on to making a lemonade green tea drink.  The last time we hosted a garden party I had made sangria and the ladies loved it, so I decided to make it again.  Once the sangria was done, I got started on baking a few samosas.  Since we had pretty much set up everything for the party the day before, everything was ready.

IMG_0622Hitesh, Anjali and Rani were our in-house valet for the afternoon.  They graciously helped direct parking for everyone, and assisted the ladies with their dishes, purses, and baskets.

Our friends showed up at 12:30 p.m. elegantly dressed and ready to have a good time.  A leisurely lunch was in order this Sunday and all the ladies looked happy to be relaxing in the company of friends old and new.

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IMG_1144.jpgThis is how my dear friend Rose described the party: “Oh, of course, everyone had a fabulous time!!  Not only was your place so inviting but also the spread of food was out of this world, and all your guests were so festive and happy!  Everybody was having a fun time – the energy was contagious and definitely flowing!  It was an awesome party!!”  What more could I possibly ask for?

IMG_1159IMG_1169My other friend Rose described the party very eloquently too: “Kalpana, Thank you so much for including me in your wonderful Garden Party. You have such a beautiful home and such a gracious family. It was nice to meet so many new and interesting women as well.”  That was my idea behind this wonderful gathering of ladies.  A chance to meet new people and make new friends.

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Even Hitesh, my Dad, Anjali, and Rani were mingling and seemed to be enjoying the moment.  My friend Karen said it the best: “Thank you Kalpana for the invitation. Your party was wonderful! It was a pleasure to meet your Dad, what a nice man, and seeing your girls all dressed up.”

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IMG_1155IMG_1167It was turning into an awesome party with a festive mood.  Everybody seemed to be having a fun time.

Our friends brought the most delicious selection of food imaginable. Tossed green salad, quinoa salad, butter bean salad, fresh fruit, Indian dishes, cheese platters, casseroles, a veggie platter, eggplant spread, pastas, baked treats, and sweets were contributed by all. We were swimming in food, all enticing and a feast for the eyes.

IMG_1176The food was just out of this world!!  The wonderful variety of cuisine in different colors, textures, and flavors was just amazing. Everything looked and tasted scrumptious.

We enjoyed the food buffet and sat down for a feast.

IMG_1164A few of us had lunch outside in the courtyard next to the warmth of our outdoor fireplace.   My Dad was delighted to give these ladies company and get to know them better. Noelle who was chatting with my Dad sent this very nice note about the gathering: “Loved your party. I met your Dad–enjoyed talking to him.”

IMG_1175Some of our friends hung out in our family room and kitchen.

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IMG_1177IMG_1168Another group of ladies huddled around our dining table.

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After a delectable lunch, we headed outside to stroll in the garden.

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IMG_1216IMG_1213The highlight of the garden tour as expected was our fenced-in veggie patch.  The ladies lingered in this area forever. Everyone was just relaxing in this little patch of heaven with views of the surrounding hills. This veggie patch is also my favorite area of the garden.

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IMG_1257IMG_1254Following our walk in the garden, we headed back for dessert and tea.  ANZAC biscuits, decadent brownies, Florentine bars, date-nut cookies, Greek yogurt dessert, and a beautiful fresh fruit platter were our amazing sweet treat cornucopia.

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A few of my friends requested recipes of their favorite food dishes.  I will post these once I have collected them.

It turned out to be a perfect afternoon! I want to acknowledge Hitesh, Anjali, Rani and my Dad for all their help pulling this party together. My friend Susan sent this sweet note and it shows what a great job they did hosting this fete with me.  From Susan: “I wanted to thank you for a wonderful afternoon spent in your lovely house and garden. You and your family are amazing hosts. I am still reeling from the wonderful explosion of colors from your garden.”

IMG_1205.jpgWe ended the party at 4pm after a wonderful afternoon spent with a fabulous group of women.

Even if half the ladies who came felt the way Van did after they left the party then I accomplished my objective, which was to give all the women who do so much for their families an afternoon of relaxation in our home and garden, an opportunity to socialize with friends, and to partake of delectable food and drinks.

My dear friend Van sent this beautiful message after the party, “Your garden is stunning and your garden party is always the most beautiful!  Everything was absolutely gorgeous, including all the food. Your garden is a little heaven on earth. I can’t imagine why you would ever want to go anywhere for vacation. Thank you for including me. So grateful I was able to come.”

By the end of the day Anjali and Rani my assistant hostesses were tired and took a snooze after the party.

This was by far one of the best garden parties I have ever hosted.  I want to thank ALL my friends who came and made this year’s garden party truly memorable. I couldn’t have done it without all of you.  I look forward to doing this again next year.

11 thoughts on “Garden Party & Ladies Lunch 2016”

  1. Hi Kalpana,

    I was just sitting down to write a quick thank you note for including me in your guest list for your Garden Party and Ladies Lunch! It was wonderful! The food was a great mixture of flavors and colors. You home looks like a beautiful home rather than a beautiful house. I mean that as a complement. Everything is sparkly and warm and makes one feel included. You and Hitesh have done a beautiful job to produce such lovely results.

    Your dad was great. He moved around softly talking to everyone with a big smile. I told him I admired all your work and talent with your flowers. He smiled and said you got that from your mother who had lovely flower gardens for years and everyday she spent hours and hours tending her flowers. That brought him fond memories.
    Love,
    Jo

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  2. Thank you for having us to enjoy your beautiful garden and your beautifully decorated house! It’s always such an honor to be invited over. It was such a treat!
    Love lots,
    Rose

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  3. Thank you Kalpana for your hospitality! I had such a great time & really enjoyed the delicious food. Your garden is paradise. Do you talk to your plants? They are amazing. See you soon. Dorothy

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  4. Hi Kalpana,
    It was a beautiful party I really enjoyed I wish I didn’t have to leave early. I really wanted to see your garden. Food was great and the company too. The hostess looked gorgeous so is the family ( kids, Hitesh and your dad). Even though it was hectic for me I am glad I made it for atleast sometime.
    Regards
    Lakshmi

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  5. Dear Kalpana,

    Thank you for including me at your very special garden party. The array of delicious foods in your beautiful home was such a treat! You are such a lovely hostess making everyone feel so welcomed. Wishing you a wonderful weekend!
    Sincerely,
    Elyse Elconin Goldberg

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  6. Hi Kalpana,
    Thank you for another successful yearly ” Ladies Garden Luncheon Party”! Even though I was under the weather, being with everyone made me happy. It’s such a pleasure to be at your beautiful house and your eye catching, lovely garden. The variety of food we had was simply delicious. Thank you also for the flower pot as well as the cutting.
    Love,
    Devi

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  7. I had a wonderful time Kalpana. And what a party! Good food, good company and wonderful set up! You and your family have done a fantastic job of putting this together and made sure that we had a good time.

    Saw all the pictures. A treat for the eyes. My solo picture in your kitchen has come out very well. I like it!

    Thanks for the party and the gift! As always it is a pleasure to come to your home.Thanks for inviting.

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  8. Hi Rose, we had a great time hosting all you wonderful ladies. It really was our pleasure. It was good to see that everyone was having a good time. It really helps to have a great group of people to bring the party alive,and for that I thank everyone who came!

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  9. What a party, indeed! Really, words escape me – you really had to be there to fully appreciate the beauty of the gardens, both in the house (as you can see from the gorgeous pics) and out. Of course, the energy of the guests present was paramount to the success of the party as I’m sure everybody present can attest!

    Kalpana, you and your family did a fantastic job in making sure everybody was comfortable; impressive was the valet service!😜 Such great hosts and hostesses…nuff said!😃 Thank you for being such a passionate and generous friend! Well done, my dear!

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