Some people devote a lifetime to figuring out what they want to be when they grow up, but for Elisabeth Holder Raberin the answer was always clear. The consummate hostess comes from a long line of master bakers and pastry chefs and spent much of her childhood visiting Ladurée— the famed Parisian bakery known for its painterly desserts and iconic macarons—before her family purchased the 150-year-old brand in 1993. As the company's co-president, she ensures that no detail, from the opulent décor to the artful pastries, is overlooked. Naturally, the same holds true for Raberin’s personal entertaining style.“I love throwing parties,” says Raberin, “It’s such a nice way to share the French art de vivre here in New York City.” Click here to view more photos.
So on a warm September evening, she hosted friends for a festive L’été Indien—more commonly known as Indian Summer—dinner party in the brand’s intimate Soho garden. Raberin chose a feminine color palette of pinks and reds and added hits of autumnal copper, a nod to the impending season. Her French heritage informed much of the décor elements: a marble-topped communal table was set with Saint Louis crystal stemware, antique silver Puiforcat flatware, Lalique vases, Atelier Courbet candlesticks, and playful candles made to resemble the Eiffel Tower. The brand's signature green made an appearance in the garden chairs that flanked the table, and accent pieces from Raberin’s home gave the table a personal touch. “I’m always buying small objects, like copper boxes, to have on hand,” says Raberin. The floral arrangements, created by Ladurée’s go-to florist Agnès de Villarson, included ranunculus, a seasonal variety of protea called Blushing Bride, and small garden roses. “It’s the French way,” says de Villarson. “We tend to use smaller roses so they look like the way they’d grow in a garden.”
In keeping with the party’s theme, the night’s three-course menu was chosen to complement the transitional season. The meal began with a light scallop-and-fig carpaccio followed by organic chicken with wild mushrooms and pistachio. Not surprisingly, the dessert course was a decadent affair thanks to an elegant assortment of pastries, including a pyramid made of copper macarons that coordinated with the event’s décor and Laduree’s two newest offerings: the Harmonie, a dainty pistachio macaron cake, and the Tarte Caramel Fruits Secs, an indulgent confection topped with dried fruits, both available this week. Despite a brief rain shower, Pierre-Antoine, Raberin’s husband and co-president of Ladurée, made sure that no guests’ glass was empty throughout. “All year long, no matter the weather, I love bringing people together,” says Raberin. Now, how to get on her guest list?