(Setting the scene at Fekkai's bucolic abode; ph. Jennifer Fernandez) Last night I took the ride of my life—in a helicopter high above the Hudson. The occasion: hair stylist to the stars Frédéric Fekkai was announcing some big news (which will be unveiled to the public later in the year) at his bucolic home in upstate New York.
After landing in a paddock on the Fekkai property, black SUVs whisked editors along a bumpy country road to his home, a white farmhouse that dates to 1764. Fekkai later told us that the spot reminded him of his childhood in Provence, where he still spends summer with his family.
(The table; ph. Jennifer Fernandez)On arrival, waiters greeted us with cucumber water and rosemary-scented lemonade, as well as appetizers like tomato-parmesan crisps and salmon tartare. Just beyond the cocktail area, a sailcloth tent sheltered an intimate and graciously decorated dinner scene.
We embarked on a short house tour and mingled before taking our seats at two long rows of rectangular tables. Each was lined with white linen runners, antiqued lanterns, mercury-glass vessels, and romantic indigo-hued floral arrangements. Every place setting was garnished with a few fragrant sprigs of lavender.
(The menu; ph. Jennifer Fernandez)The specially prepared menu was in keeping with the evening's Provençal theme: roasted fennel and marinated olives; a bright chilled zucchini soup topped with crème fraîche, watercress, and radishes; and grilled bronzino with ratatouille and herb broth au pistou. Dessert was an elegant apricot tart served with lavender ice cream. Fekkai's twin horses and his French donkey grazed in a paddock in the distance.
(Viw from the top; the helicopter ride back to Manhattan. Ph. Jennifer Fernandez)At the end of it all, helicopters flew us back to Manhattan—and reality. My own dinner parties may never be so elegantly staged, but now at least I have something to strive for! Look out for more news from the Fekkai fete in the months to come.