Darling Dinners are evenings filled with meaningful conversation and impactful connections. They are the birthplace of new friendships; they are the recognition that even in one of the largest cities in the world, we’re all in this together.
Over a delicious meal in a picturesque setting, last week we kicked off our first ever Darling Dinner in Manhattan. In partnership with the like-minded body positive brand Aerie, we hosted an evening where the conversation was focused on encouragement, honesty and empowerment.
Darling guests arrived to a brightly lit lofted studio in the heart of Chelsea. They were greeted with hors d’oeuvres by Chef Anna Watson Carl that paired perfectly with phenomenal wine provided by the all-woman-owned and operated Hoopes Vineyard.
As our guests trickled into the space, conversation sparked over warm hellos of recognition and welcoming first introductions. Once the dinner began, everyone found their way to their places at one of two long family-style tables. Each place setting was adorned with beautiful decor and linens provided by Hostess Haven and Anna New York. Tiny copper-strung lights floated across the tops of the tables, nestled around lush floral arrangements. Many of the blooms on the table arrangements were harvested by our event curator, Kelsea of East Olivia, the day before the dinner from a local NY State flower farmer, Teensa Flower Farm. Each of these individual elements were brought together to create a warm, modern and elegant setting.
As the first course was brought out to each guest, a stunning squash salad with kale and pomegranate seeds, Darling Magazine General Manager Katherine Warnock began to lead guests through a set of fun and thought-provoking questions. Throughout the evening, as we enjoyed one incredible course after the next, we touched on several aspects of what it means to embody “the art of being a woman” in a city like New York.
We explored how to balance seemingly opposite traits like fierceness and authenticity or boldness and warmth. We stepped into a vulnerable and encouraging dialogue where each woman and man (as we had several men join us this evening) was able to share their curiosity, experiences, and wisdom with one another.
While these questions challenged and inspired us, there was also plenty of room to just simply show up as we were, to be fully present with a creative and encouraging community.
We are so grateful for each and every Darling reader that joined us last week for a wonderfully fulfilling evening. And we are equally grateful to brands like Aerie, whose strong commitment to accurately representing women’s real bodies in major ad campaigns is something to be celebrated.
Special Thanks To:
Our co-host and event partner Aerie
Venue Partners, Carlo & Nathan from Drift Studio
Kelsea of East Olivia – Event Curator (including event styling and florals)
Chef, Anna Watson Carl of The Yellow Table
Lindsay Hoopes of Hoopes Vineyard
Lisa Soltis of LAS & Andrea Porras for Hand Lettering
Farra of The Hostess Haven for Tabletop Decor and Linens
Additional Platters and Coasters from Anna New York by Rablabs