How I Gather

Bringing people together around a table is our greatest passion in life and we believe food is one of the most powerful tools for connection. In our series, How I Gather we go behind the scenes with our favorite foodies to answer that question.  See All

Chelsea here, with a very special Entertaining with all the way from the Virginia countryside. Two weeks ago I was welcomed into Holli and Moses Thompson’s fascinating historical home to photograph recipes and ingredients for Holli’s business, Nutritional Style. During my stay, in between snapping delicious food photos for her website, we captured a profile of their signature entertaining style as well. Holli’s husband Moses is an avid rider, often riding with friends in their community outside of Middleburg, Virginia, while Holli is an avid cook and nutritionist, and prefers to entertain friends following the morning trail rides. Click through the slideshow to see Holli and Moses’ antique serving ware, her hearty stew recipe, and much more…

Holli and Moses bought their 1798 (!) farmhouse and estate over ten years ago, and lovingly restored every inch, beginning with it’s historic stone walls dating back to pre-civil wartimes. Maizemoor, as the estate was named in the 19th century, was used as a hospital during the civil war, and the farm today is home to several rescue dogs, cats, horses, cows and chickens.

Holli’s dream lunch guests:

Martha Stewart, Gwyneth Paltrow, Mario Batali, Stella McCartney and her Dad,  Michelle OBama and her husband, Katie Couric, Anderson Cooper, Andy Cohen, John Stewart, Michael Pollan, Tina Fey, Donna Karen.

The field of riders often carry port; Moses is holding an antique flask made of glass and sterling silver. His crop is also antique, with a curved bone handle that allows him to unlatch a gate without dismounting.

Most people in the northern Virginia countryside ride English style (as opposed to western riding), and their favorite horses are generally thoroughbreds or warmbloods; horses able to keep a fast pace and jump stone walls, fences and coops, a slanted board jump built into farm fencing to accommodate local riders.

The kitchen rule Holli rarely breaks: 

Everybody out of the kitchen! I used to have a big open kitchen, and when we bought our old farmhouse, I loved that it had a kitchen that was hidden, with a hinged door so I could hide my mess and enjoy a seated dinner without having to stare at pots and pans.

Always in their refrigerator:

home made almond milk, raw sauerkraut, ripe avocados, tons of greens

Holli likes to entertain with old family silver flatware mixed with new transfer ware china that features foxes and hounds for fun. She loves the extra large platter size for buffet dining, and is happiest when all 25 plates are in use.

The restaurant meal Holli will never forget:

The first time I ate at Pure Food and Wine in NYC , Easter two years ago at the Inn at Little Washington, in Washington, VA.

When Holli and Moses entertain, they try to serve crowd pleasing dishes, but as a nutritionist, Holli always adds a healthy touch. The salad greens are from a friends farm and were picked the day prior. She added fresh mandarine slices and pomegranate seeds for color and extra antioxidants. It was delicious!

Get the recipe for Holli’s White Bean Cassoulet here

This hearty white bean stew can be made with sausage, or omit the meat and it becomes a vegan dish. Kombu seaweed adds a rich flavor that makes this a rich, satisfying meal either way. I usually reserve half of the stew before adding the meat for my vegetarian friends and myself.

For more of Holli’s original recipes, click here.

Holli collected this fox coffee set after a dear friend gave her one many years ago. It took her many years on ebay to find all the pieces to the adorable set. Moses drinks coffee while Holli prefers tea.
And last but not least, here’s the happy couple at their garden entrance. There’s a vineyard back there, too! Just one more reason for a second visit in the spring. Holli and Moses were such gracious hosts and I’m so appreciative for the time we spent working and relaxing in their home.
To learn more about Holli and Nutritional Style, click here. And look for her brand new site in the fall of this year!

Head over to Go Forth Creative to view more of Chelsea’s work.

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Comments (19)
  1. 1
    Katie O'Keefe March 11, 2013 at 9:29 am

    This couple is beyond. I am loving every detail, even those adorable fox tea cups! Lovely, inspiring way to start my Monday – thanks for sharing!

    • Chelsea March 11, 2013 at 1:07 pm

      Aren’t they amazing? And I adored the fox tea cup set, too. Thanks!

  2. 2
    Katie Meyers / Meyers Styles March 11, 2013 at 9:47 am

    Wow! What a gorgeous home… one amazing detail is more lovely than the next. Chelsea – beautiful images!

  3. 3
    Sarah | Sarah The Architect March 11, 2013 at 10:02 am

    What a lovely home!

  4. 4
    Linda Phillips March 11, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    Beautiful couple with such an amazing home in the country. I just loved the photos Chelsea and of course I wish I could pin them to my pinterest boards!

    • Chelsea March 11, 2013 at 6:12 pm

      Thanks for the love, Mom!

      If there’s a certain picture you want to pin, copy the URL link, then go to and click “add” and then “add a pin”. Paste the URL and voila! Maybe you already knew that but just in case 🙂

  5. 5
    Chanel Dror March 11, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    Love this feature. A weekend with the Thompsons would be an absolute DREAM!

  6. 6
    Elizabeth March 11, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    Lovely recipes, they look so delicious and healthy! I hope you don’t mind me making a suggestion as a loyal reader. Your gallery images are cumbersome to navigate. When you click on an image or arrow, it reloads your entire page as opposed to just moving to the next image. I suppose this is for more “clicks” or pageviews but it’s very clunky (for lack of a better word) and always makes me dread when you have gallery posts because of this. There are lots of other websites that have these types of posts but their navigation is much, much simpler and more user friendly. An example would be Martha’s blog.

    Please take this only as constructive as it not meant in any way to appear mean spirited. 🙂

    • Camille Styles March 11, 2013 at 4:43 pm

      Hi Elizabeth – thanks for the feedback, and sorry you’re not thrilled with the slideshow functionality. We’ve definitely looked at several different options for plugins, etc., and this one seems to be the best one out there right now… but we are always on the lookout for updates, etc., so hopefully it’ll keep getting better and better! One benefit to having each slide on a new page is that readers often want to link to a specific slide, not the entire slideshow, and this allows them to do that. But definitely see that there are benefits to the other format, as well.

  7. 7
    Lalka March 14, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    Omg, this looks like a dream place to live.
    Love it, every single picture, and love your dog 🙂
    Can’t wait to try the recipe.
    Thank you so much for sharing.

    • chelseapfullerton March 15, 2013 at 12:59 pm

      Lalka, you must try the recipe! I had it without the sausage and it was still so tasty and flavorful. Let me know what you think of it and thanks for reading!

  8. 8
    Sharon March 14, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    I truly enjoyed viewing the slideshow. Such a gracious hostess and host to allow us into their home virtually.

    • chelseapfullerton March 15, 2013 at 1:00 pm

      So glad you enjoyed the images, Sharon. They truly were the most gracious hosts. Thanks for your comment and have a great weekend!