Tag Archives: Fall

Jessica | Balsam Hill Designer

Essential Fall Holiday Drinks

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Autumn is a wonderful time to entertain, whether you plan on hosting a simple outdoor brunch or an elegant dinner surrounded by the warm ambiance of your home. As with most parties, it is essential that you maintain a well-stocked bar that’ll allow you to create and serve a variety of drinks inspired by the season.


Photo by Rosen Georgiev | FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Apple Cider

Cider is a great treat for autumn. Made via the fermentation of apple juice, cider oozes with the spirit of the season, matching the sweet scent of fall’s crimson leaves. Create your own version of the traditional cider by boiling store-bought cider with freshly cut green and red apples and a cinnamon stick. The apples add an extra burst of freshness while the cinnamon stick brings a touch of spice and warmth. Once all the flavors have melded together, serve the drink either warm or iced.

Seasonal Cocktails

Draw inspiration from the season when creating signature drinks for your parties. Pumpkins, cinnamon, and figs are just some of the autumn-inspired ingredients you can use. For example, you may mix sweet pumpkin puree with rum or Baileys and top it off with a sprinkle of cinnamon for a luscious cocktail. Instead of the usual cocktail garnish of olives or fruit, consider using dried figs for a unique touch.
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Jessica | Balsam Hill Designer

Best Food & Wine Pairings for Fall

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Autumn marks the season for warm family get-togethers over meals laden with seasonal favorites such as pumpkins, apples, squash, and figs. Complementing these with wine can be tricky, especially with the wide variety of wine options on the market. Here are few ways to help you find the perfect wine to match autumn’s delectable food selection.

Pot Roast

Nothing celebrates the chill in the air like a good old-fashioned family pot roast. Sumptuous and meaty, this dish is best paired with an equally hearty wine. A glass of full-bodied cabernet sauvignon or merlot is a great way to bring out the dish’s beefiness, with the warmth of the wine balancing out the strong, rich flavor of the beef. This pairing evens out the palate, turning a simple pot roast into a gourmet feast.

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Jessica | Balsam Hill Designer

How to Create a Sophisticated Autumn Tablescape

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How to Create a Sophisticated Autumn Tablescape

The autumn season inspires calm appreciation for natural textures alongside earthy tones. Here are a few ideas on how to elegantly spruce up your tablescape for the season, using décor pieces that are easily available:

Natural Elements

Autumn lays bare the beauty of nature. It strips the outdoors of the colors of summer, which allows nature to wind down and prepare to renew itself. Everything takes a calm tone, a mood that is best translated into design through the usage of natural elements such as dried wood and autumn leaves. So instead of your usual fabric placemat, consider using weaved burlap mats placed atop a solid colored tablecloth. You may also consider using elegantly weaved wooden baskets to hold your serving dishes during family-style dinner parties. This simple switch allows you to bring the woodiness of the outdoors into your home, rooting the design in the heart of nature.

Earthy Colors

The end of summer heralds the return of earthy colors. Do away with neon and pastel shades for your table’s color palette and stick to warm, earthy colors instead. Muted red, orange, yellow, beige, and brown heighten the autumn ambiance on your table. A great way to bring color to the space is through the tablecloth or the place settings. A red plate placed atop an off-white tablecloth is a simple and sophisticated way to play with color combinations.

Contrasting Textures

Autumn is all about woody, earthy textures against the softness of the air. Bring this into your table design by layering various textures together. A burlap mat resting atop a soft, cotton tablecloth presents a great play of textures. Autumn leaves gathered in a bowl and topped with fresh seasonal berries is another elegant contrast that brings a unique visual and aromatic element to the table.

Autumn Inspired Centerpieces

The simplest way to beautify the tablescape for autumn is through a season-inspired centerpiece. Instead of the usual flower-laden centerpiece, consider using the autumn pumpkin as the base of your centerpiece. Place an orange pumpkin on a textured plate, and decorate it with dried twigs and leaves. Finish it off with a scattering of fresh autumn flowers. This is an elegant yet simple way to welcome the season into your home.

Give these tips a try and turn your cozy, autumn dinner parties with your family and friends into truly memorable events.

Jessica | Balsam Hill Designer

Top Fall Getaways

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There is nothing better than watching the leaves change colors, turning the outdoors into a kaleidoscope of red, orange, and yellow. Autumn is the season when the liveliness of summer chills into a cool and crisp atmosphere, mellowing the mood throughout the country. As such, there is no better time to go on a quick getaway with your loved ones and explore the country as it prepares to wind down for the frosty winter season.

Here are just a few wonderful getaway destinations where you can enjoy either a brisk, invigorating walk in a big city, or a cool, relaxing stroll accompanied by the soft crunch of autumn leaves under your heel.

New York City, NY

When the season takes a mellow dip, New York City springs back to life. Known as a fun, vibrant destination all year round, this world-renowned city somehow turns the quietness of autumn into a visual and auditory treat. Nothing beats walking down Times Square amidst the bustle of the crowd, all bundled up in a comfortable coat and scarf while taking in the scene of the city that never sleeps. Autumn offers an array of activities for the city’s visitors. Start your holiday shopping in SoHo, watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, or even drop by the city’s famed Fall Fashion Week to keep up with the latest in fashion. For nature lovers, a visit to Central Park is a must – the trees in Central Park litter the park’s walkways with an array of fallen leaves that adds a touch of warmth to the concrete jungle.

Santa Fe, NM

Relish in the quiet of autumn with a spiritual retreat to Santa Fe, New Mexico. While many may associate the state with cowboys and the desert, Santa Fe is a sight to behold during the fall. Its rustic charm makes it the perfect autumn getaway for those looking to escape from the bustle of the city. As the weather turns crisp, take a stroll downtown and watch the stars under the autumn skyline. During the day, appreciate the foliage around you as it turns into brilliant shades of gold and yellow, complementing the waning sun. Visit art galleries, quaint wine bars, or even drop by the local spa.

Middleburg, VA

For those looking to simply enjoy being surrounded by the changing colors of the season, Middleburg is a wonderful place for a scenic tour, complete with visits to the state’s country estates and wineries. Roughly an hour away from Washington, Middleburg is a small village town located near the Blue Ridge Mountains. Lovers of the outdoors will enjoy hikes surrounded by trees and foliage glowing in mellow autumn colors. Visitors can end their day with a relaxing stroll through the town’s collection of wineries, shops, and restaurants that closely resemble the quiet British countryside. Walk hand in hand with your loved ones  and appreciate the intense beauty of the season.

Chicago, IL

No longer sizzling from the summer heat and still far from the brutal cold of winter, the Windy City can be appreciated in comfort during the fall. Take advantage of the temperature and dine alfresco, surrounded by the architecture of the city; or stroll through Lincoln Park – one of the city’s oldest parks – and surround yourself with nature.

Savannah, GA

With its southern hospitality, Savannah is a great place to visit for beautiful architecture and delectable southern cooking. Featuring a good mix of big city and small town atmosphere, Savannah offers a wide variety of activities for the discerning traveler. Aside from the usual city lure of museums, top-notch restaurants, art galleries, and film viewings, Savannah is also great for nature lovers. Take a run along Forsyth Park and appreciate the ease with which nature transitions between seasons, or dine al fresco in one of the town’s many restaurants, under the beautiful autumn sky.

Mimic the changing seasons and take a break from your hectic life. Celebrate autumn with a memorable trip with your loved ones, capturing memories that all of you will treasure for years to come.