At the end of March, I flew to Virginia and attended the Francaise Dinner. I had always seen the beautiful photos that come out of this event, of ladies in their silk finery in wonderful period locations, and always promised myself, someday, I'll go to this amazing thing. This year turned out to be the year, as all the planets aligned to make it possible!
I arrived the day before the dinner, and immediately met with some of the other girls for a last minute sewing session. I'm glad I'm not the only one who still needed to do a bit of stitchery! We were sewing until our dinner reservation, so we walked to the restaurant next door and had a bit to eat before dispersing for the evening.
Saturday was the day of the Dinner. We picked up Katharine at her hotel and had a bit of brunch, before heading back to the hotel for some more last minute sewing, and to get dressed and coiffed for the evening. Jenny-Rose was doing custom hairstyling, and she had made wigs for the evening, so we seemed to all gather in and around her room to witness the hair construction.
Taylor had brought a bunch of her beautiful jewels to sell at the dinner that evening, and we had a sneak peek at the hotel room. She kept them in a velvet bag, so when she opened it, it was like a pirate's haul being revealed!
Katharine had a wonderful "screaming yellow" dress. It matched the stripe on the curb!
After dressing and getting our hair as tall as we could...we had to get to the dinner. With lots and lots of tall hair. Thank goodness there was a minivan! Those with the tallest hair had to sit on the floor!
The dinner was held at Gadsby's Tavern, a historical inn and restaurant in Georgetown. The staff was even dressed in historic costume, which was a nice surprise!
We were treated to a three-course meal. We started with bread and salads. I chose the beef for my entree, which was an excellent prime rib with Yorkshire pudding, whipped potatoes, and vegetables. I went with the English trifle for dessert, which was delicious.
During dinner, there was a fellow that stood and started giving a toast. No one had any idea who he was (turned out he worked for the tavern), but his speech was hilarious, and we were all very entertained. He spoke again after dinner, even bringing out a lute and strumming some music for us. It was a nice surprise! Two of the ladies in the group also stood and sang for us, with the lute player accompanying them.
The evening was a beautiful, glittering night, and I'm so happy that I was able to attend. I'm already setting aside money for next year, I definitely want to make this a yearly trip! Here are some more photos from the evening!
I've started planning DFW's own 18thC dinner now, for next July, and I'll be sharing more info on that as details are hammered out. (Right now, it's looking like Bastille Day weekend of July 2016.)