Are you feeling intimidated in the grocery store check out line by all of those gorgeous magazine covers graced with lush photos of perfect table settings and delectable holiday fare? Perhaps you’re also overwhelmed with the party and meal planning choices being touted on the Food Network as the “only way” to celebrate the season? Fortunately for those aspiring to take their Christmas and holiday gatherings to a new level, help is out there!
The folks at a South End institution, The Liberty, Charlotte’s first gastropub, are holding a cooking class on Saturday, December 21st, from 10 am until noon. Chef Tom Condron will be providing participants with all of the essentials they’ll need for creating “The Ultimate Christmas Dinner.” The cost for the class is $35 per person and reservations are required. Call 704-332-8830 to secure your spot.
Another possibility to keep in mind is the Liberty’s “Champagne to Caviar” cooking class. This is an excellent way to plan a romantic New Year’s eve dinner. The date for this night time class is December 28th and details are also on The Liberty website.
If you’ve been inspired by the BBC/PBS program, Downton Abbey, get an inside look at how Earl and Lady Grantham may have enjoyed teatime during the holidays. From December 18th through the 22nd, the stunning Ballantyne Hotel and Lodge will hold a “Holiday Afternoon Tea.” If any establishment in the greater Charlotte area could hold a Downton-worthy event, leave it to this hotel, which has earned a Forbes 4-Star and AAA 4-Diamond rating.
Guests will enjoy teatime in the Ballantyne’s beautifully decorated lobby along with music presented by a live harpist. The Holiday Tea will include a variety of seasonal loose leaf tea blends from Harney & Sons Teas. Pay attention to the selection of savory tea sandwiches, traditional confectionaries and holiday treats, so you’ll be able to recreate them at home!
Please note that Tea is served Wednesday through Sunday, from now until Sunday December 29th, 1pm – 5pm. The cost is $32 for adults and $15 for children, ages 5-12, and complimentary for children ages 4 and under (plus tax & gratuity). A champagne tea is available for $40 per person. Reservations are required at 704.248.4100.
During your visit to The Ballantyne, be sure and take a stroll down Gingerbread Lane. The delightful and fragrant display of cookie and confectionary creations will be up through the holidays, until December 29th.
Want to know how to plan a Charlotte-style “farm to table” holiday menu, create the perfect cheese or sushi plate, decorate with fresh fruits, or make a stunning display with a locally made nutcracker and fresh greenery? Then pay a visit to the 7th Street Public Market. The local farmers, food artisans, and craftsmen can show you how to reve up your next party, family dinner, or neighborhood gathering. When you buy local, you can also put a uniquely personal spin on your culinary offerings. It can be your secret that you had a little help!
Any of these ideas are going to be a great way to celebrate the old and ring in the new year in Charlotte. You can also get Charlotte foodie inspiration on Pinterest.