The Art of Entertaining

Rolls Royce Kentucky Derby Viewing Party

When my dear and long time friend Greg Williams of Hennessy Rolls Royce calls, I know immediately that I’m in for a good time…such was the case recently when he rang, literally handing me the opportunity for the second year in a row, to design and produce this year’s Rolls Royce Soirée here in Atlanta. Always the consummate Host & Gentleman, I quickly mind-referenced with a eager fondness, last year’s…all white “Afternoon In South Hampton” Fete’. Even more excited when he revealed this year’s theme, “An Afternoon at Providence,” an official Kentucky Derby Viewing Party! Rolls Royce…check mate! But Rolls Royce and Providence, a sprawling, 65 acre lakeside, Monticello-inspired estate just north of Atlanta…Double Check Mate!!!

On this particular made to order, sunny but breezy Saturday afternoon, some 200 of Atlanta’s most prominent Movers & Shakers, Deal Makers and Rolls Royce takers make their way though the guarded gates and up the curvy, tree-lined drive (a quarter mile long) to the magnificent Stephen Fuller designed private estate, greeted of course by a fleet of shiny new Roll Royce’s and servers bearing silver trays of chilled flutes of only the best Champagne.

Guests in true Derby fashion…women in outrageous hats and men in linen suits strolled about, sipping perfectly tended Mint Juleps…the obvious signature cocktail of the afternoon, while marveling at the pristine, private lake and equestrian pastures which seemed to go on for miles just beyond the Veranda…not to mention the Rolls Royce Ghosts and Phantoms (not just automobiles but exquisite works of art) that seemed right at home on display, poolside.

Elegant moss covered purses overflowing with whimsical bouquets of fresh Hydrangeas, Sweetheart Roses, Cali Lilies and Stargazers topped crisp linen covered tables under the Tent on the lawn where guests could relax or watch the Kentucky Derby live on multiple, plasma viewing screens all while enjoying the ambient sounds of classical music from a Grand Piano.

It was certainly a pleasure and a delightful treat working for the second year in a row with famed celebrity Chef and Restaurateur, Kevin Rathbun who held court, grill-side in the estate’s “sitting pavilion” while our servers passed bountiful trays of some of his most spectacular, signature Hors d’ oeuvres and decadent desserts.

What a picturesque ending to a magnificent evening as guests watched the sun slowly set just beyond the lake. Classic Rolls Royce!

Warren A. Huntley