The Glencoe at 615 State Street was the final stop on our downtown Christmas progressive dinner.
A bunch of downtown buddies usually use our periodic progressive dinners to recruit more fun people to downtown. But this Christmas season, we decided to keep it small and only include the actual participants themselves.
We’ll go back to the bigger events, I’m sure. But it was nice, just for once, to keep it intimate so we could have a chance to really catch up while enjoying the wide variety of Christmas decorations. Come along!
We had four stops: Cherokee Lofts, where Alan and I live; Kendrick Place, where Bill and Gay Lyons live; Gallery Lofts, where Tim Young lives; and The Glencoe, where Bruce and Monique Anderson live. We had a different course at each stop. It’s a good thing we were walking because we needed to burn off a few of the delicious calories we consumed.
And it was really interesting to see all the different ways we decorate for the holidays. At Cherokee Lofts, I guess you would describe our decor as “eclectic.” I’d say the Lyons’ Christmas decor over at Kendrick Place is “minimalist.” Tim Young’s could best be described as “elegant.” And the Andersons’ decorations over at The Glencoe are “traditional” with Santas and a Christmas village.
Folks began arriving at our house at 6 p.m.
I know our Christmas tree is weird. But we like it. For the third year in a row, our interior designers, Chris Davis and Craig Shelton of The Drawing Room, have gotten us a live tree. After Christmas, our friends Ellen Robinson and Peter Acly adopt our trees and bring them to live at their Sequoyah Hills home. Ellen says they’ve named one of the trees “Moxley” and the other one “Carmichael.” The one this year will be named “Rexie” after our cat! Ha!
Our weird tree
Our angel is a little strange, too! She's kind of androgynous. But we've grown attached to her.
We bought this reindeer at Bliss on Market Square when we first moved into our downtown condo three years ago. We thought our downtown residency would be temporary. But we fell in love with downtown living.
We decorated the buffet table with red and white roses.
We offered the Barefoot Contessa's smoked salmon dip. It's one of our go-to appetizers. This time, though, we used smoked salmon that had been glazed in ice wine -- a souvenir from our trip to Montreal this year. It had just the slightest sweetness and was delicious.
Spinach feta rolls. The recipe came from Pinterest and is a keeper!
We served classic champagne cocktails. But also red and white wine. I love it when it's time to get out the Christmas wine stoppers like this one.
In an hour, it was on to Gay and Bill’s condo at Kendrick Place.
Gay greeted us with signature cocktails: rosemary pomegranate royales.
Here's a closeup. Very festive.
Alan and Monique relaxing while Gay prepares the salad course.
Caesar came out to see what was up. At our place, our cat, Rexie, made herself scarce, as usual.
Jeff Cupp and Tim Young
Gay describes her decorations as minimalist. These and a wreath on the door are the extent of it. They are very cool, though.
Her salad definitely was NOT minimal! It was delicious and crunchy with almonds and pomegranate seeds.
We gave Tim a head start to get to Gallery Lofts, our next stop. Tim had his portion of the evening catered by his favorite caterer, Nancy Kendrick.
Tim's signature cocktail was an apple pie martini made with calvados, an apple brandy. It was strong!
Here is his main tree. Isn't it elegant?
I loved this sweet picture of Tim and his daughters, Katie and Chloe. And what a great way to display your Christmas card!
Here's the tree in Chloe's room. Very sweet.
Goat cheese lollipops with cherries and walnuts. Wow.
Crab-stuffed salmon in filo on spinach with roasted pepper sauce. Awesome.
I could have taken this photo of every one of us. I just happened to catch Bruce. I'm telling you, that salmon was fantastic.
Three trees representing the three inhabitants of the condo.
I love nutcrackers -- especially big ones like this!
I also have a fondness for sheep.
Then it was on to The Glencoe, pictured at the beginning of this blog post.
The whole place is beautifully decorated thanks, we are told, to one resident with exquisite taste, Eddie Mannis.
Yay! More nutcrackers.
A Santa collection
A Christmas village
Here's the church.
Monique outdid herself with this raspberry cake!
Bill didn't waste any time getting a slice.
Can you believe this?
Here's the Andersons' traditional tree.
Cute heart ornament
Don't you love these guys?
Monique's Christmas pattern
One good thing about being the dessert course is that you end up in your own home.
The rest of us, tired buy happy, had to make our ways back home. But it was a great night in our very special downtown.
Maybe you guys should print the recipes and start a cookbook! All edibles look fantastic! (And the condos aren’t too shabby either!) Lovely decorations and a fun time, too! Merry Christmas to all!
Merry Christmas to you and Bert, too, Rusha. We want you all to move downtown!
I want all the recipes too! Great idea Rusha – maybe a downtown “leaders and residents’ cookbook!!!
Cynthia, I think your tree is VERY cool! And Gay looks lovely. And that cake looks amazing. And now I’m craving rasberries and chocolate. Thanks for the photos-
Merry Christmas everyone!
That would be a great cookbook, wouldn’t it, Tammy?
Thanks, Cindy. I wish I had some of that cake right now!
Love the decorations — especially yours, Cynthia. Great tree.
Thanks, Melinda. You all are making me not feel so self-conscious about my little ugly duckling!
Cyn, LOVE your tree and love the angel. From the way the angels in Bible stories always had to tell people, “do not be afraid!”, I imagine they were quite a sight! 🙂
Hahaha, Becky! Good point. I had not thought of that.
I love visiting my friends’ homes that are so beautifully decorated for the holidays. You all may just inspire me to be a little less minimal.
Gay, you just concentrate on continuing to crank out those awesome signature cocktails! That is your Christmas contribution — and we appreciate it very much!
All the food was wonderful. Caesar was the Christmas cat; Rexie was a no-show. Nice photo of Gay. Is she running for something?
Waaa! I wanna live downtown!
David: And we want you to!
Wow!! We had a great time. Glad you liked the cake. I’m not usually a cake baker. All the drinks, decorations, food and especially the friends were fabulous. When is our next dinner? Can’t wait!!
Monique: We need to work on setting up our next dinner. And we need to target a recruit or two!
I have a recruit in mind. This nice guy and his wife are new to Knoxville and want to live downtown. They will be great neighbors.
Sounds, good, Bill. Let’s sign them up.
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