From throwing al fresco dinners in the garden and arranging freshly-picked blooms to hosting cozy cocktails by a roaring fire, former fashion editor and newly minted author Paula Sutton is a fount of stylish inspiration—which is why we are so thrilled about bringing her on-board as our newest columnist. In her first dispatch, she takes us inside her cozy Georgian home in the English countryside for a masterclass in putting together the perfect cocktail-ready bar cart—just in the nick of time for the holiday season!
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There is a lack of clarity as to the exact origins of the cocktail, but what we do apparently know is that in America, the first ‘cocktail party’ was thrown by a one Mrs. Julius S. Walsh Jr of St. Louis, Missouri in May 1917 with 50 guests invited to her home at noon on a Sunday. The party lasted an hour until lunch was served at 1pm.
In England, it was customary for dinner parties to begin and end with a tipple of sherry or port, and dance parties had wine, champagne or alcoholic punches. But the art of the pre-dinner cocktail arrived to full effect after the end of the first world war as an American import—perhaps in no small part to Mrs. Walsh of St. Louis, Missouri. Ever since, the art of the glamorously chic cocktail party has captured our imaginations and has been the epitome of the stylish housebound get-together—and long may it reign!