I was recently working with a bride to plan her small but perfect reception at The Herbfarm. I really hadn't considered it as a potential reception spot before, but I'm now completely sold on the idea, and wanted to share the suggestion with any of you out there searching for a unique and special experience to offer your guests.
My fascination with The Herbfarm began when I was actually pretty young. I remember driving past it one day when I was with my parents, when it was still in its former location, way out in the country. My parents, who considered "out to dinner" a phrase to describe pizza or a burger, whispered about it as we drove past. They said that you had to get reservations two years in advance (not true anymore--they have room for more guests now) because it was such a destination. Hmmm. Reason enough to put it on my top-50 list*.
I was so lucky to get to eat at The Herbfarm a few years ago. It truly was a magical experience. We started out with a tour of their amazing garden in the Woodinville Valley and then went into their elegant and rustic restaurant. You feel like you've stepped into an old French farmhouse filled with family heirlooms. Dinner was a nine-course affair with creative, delicious, and beautiful food. In between courses, we had the opportunity to take a doggie-bag (piggie-bag?) out to Borage and Basil, the herbfarm truffling pigs. The whole experience was better than I even imagined it would be.
Borage, the truffling pig:
Borage, the truffling pig:
A few images of the beautiful garden:
So why not immediately think of The Herbfarm when considering reception venues? Probably the cost. Dinner at The Herbfarm is definitely more than your typical night out on the town. Dinner ranges in price from $179 to $195 on regular evenings (they do have a few special events that are up to $1100 a person!). But before you stop reading...multiply this regular price by the number of your guests. Now consider what is included: a legendary venue, a gorgeous plated dinner, fabulous wines with every course and exquisite desserts. Your guests will be seated at a table covered in fine linens, with a sparkling selection of china and crystal. The Herbfarm even provides simple, seasonal flowers for the table (OF COURSE I highly recommend supplementing these with something fabulous to set your wedding tables apart from the others in the dining room!). Now, if you think about renting a venue, hiring caterers, purchasing a bar, booking a musician, and renting linens and china...it kind of puts the price in perspective! The bride I'm working with is planning a small reception for 30 people, and couldn't beat The Herbfarm price anywhere.
And for flowers? I suggest something soft and beautiful that reflects the spirit of The Herbfarm. Fresh herbs with their wonderful textures and delicious fragrance would be the perfect accessory. Consider this beauty from Martha Stewart Weddings. It is composed of hellebores, thyme, sage, rosemary, grape hyacinths, lily of the valley, and scented geranium foliage. The fuzzy grey lamb's ear foliage is the final touch. I think its just sublime.
And if you do book The Herbfarm? Don't hesitate to send an invitation my way as thanks for the suggestion...
*Top 50 list: My friend Suzi swears that everyone should have a list of 50 things to do before they die. I'd had eating at The Herbfarm on mine for years! Other things still on my list include SCUBA diving in the jellyfish lake in Palau, building a custom home, finding the perfect beat-up huge antique French dining table, and living in France for a summer when my boys are about 8 and 10. My new restaurant on the list? The French Laundry in Napa.