During my recent trip to New York, I had the pleasure of spending the evening as a guest of Cathy Graham.
Cathy is the author of the book, Second Bloom.
I first met Cathy in October 2018, when we both shared a wonderful weekend at Mulgrave Castle, North Yorkshire on a most wonderful flower arranging course to support the Garden Museum in London, not that Cathy needed any tuition!
On chatting to Cathy in New York in August 19, I learnt more about her beginnings as a hostess. Dinner parties became part of her life when she married. Her mother in law was a doyenne of hosting dinner parties in New York. As part of married life, Cathy learnt to become a hostess in her homes in both Nantucket and Upper East side. Her invitation to dinner became highly sought after. As a very keen gardener, flowers were at the heart of many such invitations and dinners.
In more recent times, Cathy has found herself in command of her own social engagements. Rather than be a solo lady, Cathy decided to turn her hostess skills to her advantage and to steadfastly continue to invite friends to her home. Often she creates a lovely reason for a gathering, for example a friend’s book launch. Cathy then generously creates a theme around this, from unique hand drawn invitations to flowers and decorations in the house.
In her twenties, Cathy was a successful illustrator in the hip fashion world, and recently Cathy has returned to her more offbeat, artistic roots and become very whimsical and playful in her table settings. I love how she uses crazily quirky objects from plastic toys to old bottles of potion intermingled within the table setting. Sometimes these are strung from fishing wire above the table.
In the summer, Cathy has had fun laying vegetables across the whole table, with space just for the place settings. What a joy to be a guest and even to be able to eat the “tablescape” towards the end of the gathering.
I think one of my favourite table displays is Cathy’s recent use of multiple bud vases and a wonderful array of colours.
I enjoyed our discussion around a shared passion of hosting. Cathy explains that her special tablescapes and unexpected table settings help guests to feel special; they create a talking point which in turn makes them feel relaxed. Her unique invitations show her guests that she has taken some time and effort to make the evening a little more special.
We recommend you visit her website for more information.
Thank you Cathy for taking the time to meet!
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