Hosting Tips

Entertaining With :: Timothy Corrigan

By Chanel Dror

A little bit of insider info: we plan our editorial calendar out way in advance… especially when it comes to the holiday season. Over the last couple months, we’ve been planning for features like last week’s giveaways, our 12 Tastes of Christmas series, and everything that falls in between. While we work hard to stick to our regular programming, every once in a while a submission will appear in my inbox that’s impossible to pass up. Case in point: when we received a file containing photos from Timothy Corrigan‘s holiday table in his recently renovated Chateau du Grand-Lucé, it was a no-brainer. Hold the phones. Clear the calendar. Our readers have to see this. The American interior designer purchased the neoclassical chateau from the French government, then proceeded to transform it into what I now consider my own personal new obsession. If you’re looking to kick off your week with some jaw-dropping gorgeousness, click through these photos by Eric Piasecki for a peak into Timothy’s exquisite style as he preps his home and dining room for holiday revelry…

Chateau de Grand-Lucé is located in the Loire Valley in France, about an hour from Paris by train.

Always in my refrigerator:

Champagne, Perrier and Diet Coke.

My standard host outfit:

A cashmere turtleneck sweater, corduroys and Belgian Loafers


My entertaining style in 5 words or less:

“Casual Elegance” says it all!

Timothy decorated his tables and banister with mandarin oranges and apples from the farmer’s market outside the chateau gates.

The taste I’m always craving:

Grilled vegetables… Grilling makes everything taste better to me.

The restaurant meal I’ll never forget:

L’Ambroisie in Paris’s Place des Vosges — a charming atmosphere and 3 Star dining.

What scares you about entertaining?

I live in fear of hosting a party that people leave thinking they wish they had just stayed home in the first place. That’s one of the reasons it’s so important to add little things that help make the evening feel more special.

My must-have entertaining tool:

A place setting table chart so that I can play around with the seating until I get the perfect arrangement. Getting the right people sitting next to each other has a huge impact on creating a dynamic, successful dinner party.

See Timothy’s hand tooled leather plan de table here, available in a variety of colors.

The entertaining rule I rarely break:

Separating couples at the dinner table; everyone likes to flirt a little and it makes for a more interesting evening for everyone.

Current favorite color palette for parties:  

Salmon and coral.

My dream dinner guests:

Louis XIV, the tastemaker of all time, Pamela Churchill Harriman for ability to make everyone feel special, George Clooney for some bad boy energy, Carla Bruni Sarkozy because she is beautiful, talented, multi-lingual and has lots of good gossip and finally, the late Gore Vidal for his quick saber wit and erudite mind.

The perfect dinner party playlist includes:

A mix of music from all periods and parts of the world helps give the atmosphere a more exotic vibe.

My signature entertaining dish:

See’s chocolates to serve after dinner with coffee… no one ever says no to See’s!

Click here for Timothy’s original french onion soup recipe.

And I couldn’t resist including a few extra photos of Chateau du Grand-Lucé’s spectacular interiors…

Isn’t it unreal?

Pick up a copy of Timothy’s book for even more swoon-worthy photos!