After two pandemic-constrained years, it seems as if we’ve all spent much more time looking at pictures of perfectly appointed parties on Instagram than actually going to them. So it’s easy to forget what makes for a truly fabulous event: a welcoming, unstructured, “everyone in the pool” vibe. If we have learned anything, it’s that we shouldn’t let stuffy protocols and fussy, art-directed details keep us from enjoying a beautiful day in the sun with the people we love. Ever.
It was in this spirit that Chairish co-founders Anna and Gregg Brockway hosted a long al fresco lunch in the garden of their new home in Sonoma. Although the property has a big reimagining in its future, they decided to not “let ‘perfect’ be the enemy of good enough for a great time,” as Anna says.
Under the shade of a long, arched pergola overgrown by grape vines and purple clematis nestled beside a sparkling pool, a long luncheon table was coupled with weathered wicker chairs and Anna’s collection of colored wine glasses, vintage Rose Medallion plates, a mish mash of antique serving pieces, and brightly colored linens, making for a truly one-of-a-kind setting.
Another essential? A wide-ranging guest list, which in this case included old friends from the city, new neighbors from the surrounding countryside, a few surprise out-of-towners, and several tail-wagging dogs. It’s this spontaneous blend that can keep the party humming better than any amount of meticulous spreadsheet-style planning. As Anna says, “turn up the music, pour the wine, and don’t take it too seriously.”
Shop the full curation of pieces inspired by this Sonoma get-together from the latest issue of our print publication, Magazinish. To read all of Magazinish, click here.
All photos by Natasha Lee; styled by Catherine Dash