Ok, so I have to admit I’m a mush. Valentine’s Day has always been one of my favorite holidays since I was a little girl…
Handing out Valentine’s Day cards as a child, making chocolate heart lollipops with my daughters, and now setting the perfect romantic table for my husband and me. Whether it’s the perfect breakfast tray or the ultimate champagne glasses to compliment the romantic table for dinner, every detail should be perfect – and filled with love!
Yes, I am a true romantic at heart…what’s better than chocolate and champagne?! As James Rixner said about his room at Holiday House 2011: “It’s all about chocolate!”
-Iris Dankner, Holiday House Founder
James Rixner photos by Nick Johnson.
James chose Benjamin Moore’s “Dark Chocolate” #CSP-270 to cover his walls, and chocolate brown was everywhere, from the lush silk carpet to the artisanal MarieBelle chocolate squares on the plates!
We stopped by MarieBelle’s chocolate shop in Soho to check out what treats and ideas they had for Valentine’s Day.
We were treated to three delicious chocolate and alcohol tastings: Rasberry vodka with wildberry ganache chocolate, Grand Marnier paired with Madagascar chocolate, and Chambord with ginger chocolate.
Each pairing was carefully selected, and the berry flavors indeed lingered back and forth between the wildberry chocolate and rasberry vodka, while the Madagascar brought out the tangy citrus flavor of Grand Mariner, and the ginger balanced the sweetness of the Chambord.
Other suggestions from MarieBelle expert Rodolfo Martinez include Cognac with any type of spiced chocolate, and champagne with passion fruit ganache. When drinking champagne, always make sure to go with a milk or white based chocolate. Rodolfo’s rule of thumb when pairing chocolates is: “The lighter the liquor, the lighter the chocolate.”
James Rixner suggests creating visual drama by serving champagne in Baccarat’s Mille Nuits flutes, which come in an array of colors.
When entertaining, James says that a bar or server is important in a dining area. A simple folding cart can be set up as a bar with an elegant tray, ice bucket and barware, as James did in his room. When not functioning as a bar, this piece can also tempt your guests with a display of decadent desserts.
The dark and neutral rooms tones of this room were accented with the cinnabar chairs, pillows, artwork, and flowers. This creates dramatic impact and relates to the Valentine’s Day theme without using the more expected true red. For your own Valentine’s Day setting, this can be done with flowers or serving items such as table cloths and napkins.
Valentine’s Day, just like great interior design, should be a feast for the senses. Timothy Miller, who designed a gorgeous Valentine’s Day room for Holiday House 2008, advises: “Excite all the five senses! Sight – visual excitement such as color or playing with scale and proportions; touch – textural excitement such as velvet, tweed, chenille and linen fabrics; smell – captivating fragrances (aroma therapy); hearing – mood music sets the tone; and taste – when possible, candies in a dish or fresh fruits in the kitchen. When you excite all the senses it involves the full person! You want to be in the room…it just “feels” right! Be creative!”
Photos by Phillip Ennis.
And finally, we’re giving away a 16 piece box of MarieBelle’s Valentine’s Day chocolates.
To win just do 2 out of the 3 (although all 3 won’t hurt!):
Good luck and Happy Valentine’s Day!