Parties & Openings
March 16 - Williamstown
WCMA Season Celebration
March 3 - Lenox
Andrew DeVries Benefit Party
Feb. 23 - Pittsfield
Real Art Party
Rhinebeck Farmers’ Market Dinner at Astor Courts
No wonder Chelsea Clinton chose Astor Courts for her wedding last summer. It’s certainly as grand and stately as The White House, where she spent her teenage years. Last Saturday, owners Kathy Hammer & Arthur Seelbinder gave a party to thank local farmers and merchants (who’d kept details of the wedding a secret) and at the same time raise money for the new Winter Rhinebeck Farmers’ Market, which will be held every other week at Town Hall (beginning Sunday, December 5). The couple left the doors open to every room and bathroom in the house, and knowledgebale guests such as Chas A. Miller III (an architecture expert who runs the Sir John Soane’s Foundation and coordinates special occasion rentals at Astor Courts) and designer Birch Coffey (who helped choose the restrained paint colors that beautifully frame the exquisite architectural details) could lead guests through the wonderful spaces. With the golden setting sun bouncing off of the Hudson River below, the house glowed in the autumn light. Guests could see the marble swimming pool—reputedly the first one in a private home in the U.S.—and the indoor clay tennis court and imagine the wedding weekend.
For the Farmers’ Market dinner, one long table was set in the main hall, where a roaring fire was burning as guests nibbled on cheese from Sprout Creek Farm in Granville. Chef Wilson Costa of Gigi Hudson Valley prepared a simple but hearty locavore feast: roast scuckling pig from Northwind Farm in Tivoli; pumpkin polenta with Russell Farms maple syrup; braised Tuscan kale from Hearty Roots Farm in Red Hook, and salad from Sky Farm in Millerton and Monkshood Nursery in Stuyvesant. There were wines from both Millbrook Vineyards and Clinton Vineyards as well as cider from Montgomery Place Orchards in Red Hook and Breezy Hill Orchard in Staatsburg. The apple and berry pies were courtesy of Our Daily Bread in Chatham and Breezy Hill Orchards. And everyone went home with same Rhinebeck Farmers’ Market tote that the Clinton wedding guests were given.
Astor Courts owner Kathy Hammer welcomes Kim & Frank McConville to her home; Maggie Fogel with Chas A. Miller III, exeutive director of the Sir John Soane’s Museum Foundation who consulted on the restoration of Astor Courts, and designer Birch Coffey.
Dinner was served family-style at one long table in the main gallery.
Astor Court neighbors Patricia Garofal and Jeri Charles; Mike Del Giudice, Gigi Hudsn Valley owner Laura Pensiero, who catered the dinner, and Steve Mazoh.
A roaring fire warmed the main gallery where dinner was served.
Paper Trail co-owner Maureen Missner who supplied gift bags for Chelsea Clinton’s wedding with Deb Flanigan; Peter Pieropan with Paper Trail co-owner Serine Hastings.
Host Arthur Seelbinder with farmer Ed Creed who’s a neighbor.
Queens College dance professor Joseph Mills and Steven Maggio; Ed Flathers and Kim Piotrowski.
The indoor swimming pool, which may be the oldest in the United States.