Michael Devine Reports: Entertaining with Ashley Whittaker

This post was written by guest contributor Michael Devine, a New York–based textile designer. Devine's book, An Invitation to the Garden: Entertaining, Cultivating, and Cooking through the Four Seasons, will be published by Rizzoli in the spring of 2014.

The delightful and talented designer Ashley Whittaker recently invited me over to her country house for the afternoon. I took it as a great opportunity to find out some of the noted designer's secrets for easy entertaining at home.

(Designer Ashley Whittaker; ph. Michael Devine)Juggling two homes, family, and a busy career, Whittaker has perfected the art of serving drinks stylishly—and with minimum effort. She always shops at Butterfield Market on New York’s Upper East Side for nibbles as they have the best selection in her neighborhood. She brings everything up to the house from the city that she plans on serving for the weekend; that way she doesn’t have to race around the countryside looking for things.
(Ashley’s must have cheese straws look smart in a silver cup on a rattan tray from Ralph Lauren; ph. Michael Devine)She recommends buying drinks pre-prepared, but making the main course of the meal. And one last tip—she considers cheese straws and dips from William Poll to be must-haves for every get together. View all posts from Michael Devine here.
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Livingly: Style