CREATIVE MINDS: SET, SIP, SERVE

Table Setting by Set, Sip, Serve


There is nothing better than reconnecting with old friends and picking up right where you left off. Thirty years ago (yikes…am I really that old?), I met the delightful Benton Jordan at summer camp. Benton always made everyone feel a little less homesick with her graciousness and hospitality.  It is absolutely no surprise that she has channeled this charm into a fabulous new entertaining resource called Set, Sip Serve.

Set Sip Serve is a“go-to” at home entertaining site that showcases home entertainers, chefs,

bloggers and style experts. SetSipServe is an inspirational site with beautiful table details, recipes and entertaining secrets allowing everyday entertaining achievable for everyone.

I was lucky enough to spend time with Benton and her equally charismatic business partner, Annie Belanger Wehrle last week in Atlanta. This entertaining dynamic duo that both live in Los Angeles have pulled together the talents of all of their amazing friends such as Danielle Rollins, Stephanie Johnson, Ali Larter, Ruthie Sommers and other tastemaskers and chefs.

Table setting by Sip, Set, Serve

 

Annie Belanger Wehrle and Benton  Jordan Weinstock

How did you two start working together? 

Annie and I have been friends for 20 years since our single days in LA. We merged minds and talents a year ago when we realized Annie’s expertise in food and wine and my creativity in table setting could be combined to present exactly what we wanted for SetSipServe.
Table setting by Stephanie Johnson

 

How did you come up with the brilliant idea of Set, Sip, Serve?

After going to casual dinner party of a friend, I woke up in the middle of the night inspired to create a site where people could find ideas for entertaining at home and be able to purchase. Annie and I LOVE to entertain from mom playdates to adult dinner parties. We realized after hours and hours of scouring pinterest and blogging sites that there needed to be a “go-to” entertaining site where one can find everything they need for everyday entertaining and family gatherings big and small. Hence, we have built SetSipServe.
Table setting by Ali Larter

 

What is each of your backgrounds? 

Annie grew up in Quebec City, Canada and moved to Los Angeles and then New York. She worked on Wall Street in the financial industry before getting married and having 3 babies. I  grew up in Helena, Arkansas and lived in New York and Los Angeles working in the fashion and beauty industry before meeting my husband and having three girls.

 

What is your own personal style of entertaining?

Annie: When entertaining, I prefer to cook for my guests. My style is more French country meets neutral colors. I prefer to entertain with a more casual vibe.
 
Benton: When entertaining, I like to turn on the southern charm and create more formal gathering. I am all about table details and love color and accents. 

Table setting by Sugar Paper

 

Describe your perfect dinner party.

Annie: My perfect dinner party setting would be a casual outdoor set table with a great group of friends and most importantly, great bottles of wine.
 
Benton: My perfect dinner party would be a formal set dining table with lots of tall candles in sterling candelabras, loads of gorgeous flowers and a three course orchestrated meal.
Table setting by Danielle Rollins
Danielle Rollins
Danielle Rollins

What do you do for creative inspiration when planning  a party?

For creative inspiration, we tend start with the setting and theme of the night. Once determined, the color is where our creativity usually explodes. Of course, we constantly are thinking of fashion designers and interior decorators who have an impact on our tastes.  We will say this table looks like a Dorothy Draper table or an Oscar de la Renta, etc. Then we creatively explore flowers, linens and centerpieces and then go to china, glassware and flatware.  
Table Setting by Set, Sip, Serve

 

What tips do you have for the nervous hostess?

First, have a glass of wine.  Yes, on a serious note, plan ahead is the best advice and keep it simple if you are feeling overwhelmed.
Table Setting by Ruthie Sommers
Ruthie Sommers

Do you have a favorite entertaining trick or shortcut to make your events run more smoothly?

If you are going to be cooking, try to chose a one dish menu for the night. And if you can try to get some girl friends to come help set up the table and prepare the food earlier in the day, it always helps the night run smoother.

Thank you Benton and Annie for sharing your entertaining tips…I am ready to move to LA!

 

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