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News from R.H. Ballard Shop & Gallery

Planning the Perfect Dinner Party

Planning the Perfect Dinner Party

Group of friends enjoying home dinner party in brick loft

Home cooked meals aren’t as common as they used to be, but they are still very well loved and appreciated. Although it helps, there doesn’t need to be a special occasion to make and enjoy a good meal. Gather your family and friends and host a good, old-fashioned dinner party.

The Preparation

Once you’ve decided to host a dinner party, it’s important to get started as soon as possible. Make a guest list and send out invitations. Handwritten and mailed invitations are classy and fun, but an email or a phone call work well too! Avoid sending and invitation via text, though, as it will downplay the importance and atmosphere of the party.

In the invitations, be sure to ask guests if they have any dietary restrictions you should be aware of. When the RSVPs have been received, the fun can begin!

The Décor

While you wait for responses to your invitations, plan a party theme if you want one. Even if you don’t choose to go with a theme, you should choose a color scheme to stick with when planning decorations. Our Le Jacquard Francais linen collections feature beautiful, quality linens perfect for entertaining or to simply make a statement.

Dishes should also be considered when planning décor. Whether you have the perfect set of china or are looking for new statement pieces like our Vietri Lastra White to add to your collection, dishes can play an important part in the overall look and feel of your dinner party.

When it comes down to party time, set the table the night before (even if you’re planning to serve buffet style). This will help eliminate extra and unnecessary work for the next day when you’re busy cooking and prepping the meal’s courses.

The Food

The moment the RSVPs are received, you should start planning the menu. It’s important that you go shopping within a week to three days before the event to ensure that you have all of the ingredients you need and that everything is fresh.

The night before the party can be used for prep work or to make any dishes that can be stored overnight. Avoid making anything that will need to be reheated, though. Any cold desserts, raw vegetables, or salad can be prepped the night before (just leave off the dressing).

Good luck and bon appétit!

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Springtime & Vintage in the Shop!


Springtime is here at r.h. ballard shop & gallery!

After a super cold winter (which we will now happily forget), we've been receiving wonderful vintage shipments from Turkey, Germany, Holland, France and Belgium. Here are some images of displays around the shop, inside & out!

Come on out to Little Washington and savor the delights that Spring brings!

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Inn at Little Washington Wins Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Award

The Inn on New Year's Eve, 2015 - all photo by Joanie Ballard

Our shop & gallery is located steps away from the Inn at Little Washington, here in the small town of Washington, VA. We have been in business here since 1997, and the Inn since 1978. We have watched the transformation of some of the town buildings near the Inn, the Christmas light shows, red carpets, a Hollywood search light one year, the addition of llamas and chickens, herb gardens, fountains, luxury guest houses and more. We've even eaten there a few times. :) 


 "The Parsonage" decorated for Christmas 2014

Businesses in our small town have received numerous accolades over the years, but a special award was granted today to The Inn at Little Washington.  Forbes Media announced that for the 25th consecutive year The Inn has earned the prestigious Five Star Award, making it the longest running Five Star restaurant in the world. The hotel has also received 5 Stars for the 24th year in a row.  

Congratulation Patrick O'Connell, such a wonderful and deserved award!

Click here to read the Forbes Magazine list of Winners.

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