Dating back several hundreds (possibly thousands of years ago), countries in Europe commemorate Fall Harvest by throwing a party that celebrates crop growth, success with the weather, and community. Lets fast forward to 2017 (more like 2018 since this is a Flashback Friday entry) and countries like France throw elaborate wine sipping parties that entail delicious beaujolais wine, charcuteries paired with pates, wine-infused coq au vin, as well as dancing, romancing, and art.
Alliance Francaise de Washington teamed up with French-American Chamber of Commerce to throw an enticing Fall Harvest event called Beaujolais Nouveau and Beyond that hearkened a few traditions from back in the day. Such as drinking copious amounts of fresh wine cultivated from the plumpest of grapes. Money raised from this fundraiser directly went to their respective missions.
I had a magical time at the Beyond the Black dress fashion show not too long ago so it comes to no surprise that the past must repeat itself. I couldn’t help but have a wonderful time at this fundraiser.
For this party, I decided to wear my black, dotted, White House Black Market, cocktail dress paired with my silvery, strappy 4-inch heels that I found at Nordstrom rack. Parking was a breeze! There was free street parking along the embassy and I made sure I had my driver’s license out and ready. Embassy parties like this demand government-issued ids.
The party was full of francophiles from all walks of life, philanthropists, young professionals, and food enthusiasts. As a whole, this was a friendly crowd. Guests were open to mingling and to throwing down knowledge of current affairs. Food was abundant for the first three hours of the event as well.
Imagine walking in to all you can eat pastel colored macaroons, apple glazed tarts, tortes (gateause as the French call cakes) accompanied by the finest dark roast french coffee; adjacent to the endless dessert table is a medley of charcuteries, aged cheeses, traditional French Fare; in the back of the mouth-ravishing tables is a long stretch of wine goblets just ripe for the taking. There was no limit to what you can eat or drink.
Art lovers who already had their fair share of scrumptious treats, were able to bid on a wide range of paintings, sculptures, and crafts created within and outside the United States. Prices ranged from $500 to $$$ but there was truly a laundry list of takers. I mean, who doesn’t appreciate fine, French art?
The dance floor was spun by a fun-loving DJ who mixed tradiational French music, dance, and even top 40 hits. Young and old danced underneath neon colored orbs in somewhat mashed up groups. What’s also great about the French embassy that some party-goers may not realize is that if your feet ache from dancing on 4-inch heels, there’s always an abundant resting corner not too far from the dance floor. The cushiony seats relaxed my achy self. French dance music somehow gravitates me to the dance floor more so than the average person.
One of my favorite DC party trends is to walk the red carpet and to take pictures (with props, of course). The embassy had professional photographers take glam-shots of all party-goers and I definitely had a ball with that activity.
The party set-up was detailed and precise. I look forward to next year’s “Fall Harvest” where I can simply imbibe wine and dance the night away!
About Alliance Francaise de Washington & French American Chamber of Commerce (DC Chapter)
The French-American Chamber of Commerce, Washington, DC is a not for profit organization with a mission to support strong economic relations between France & the U.S., and promoting our member companies. Our Chapter is one of 19 French-American Chambers of Commerce in the U.S.
The Alliance Française de Washington, DC is dedicated to providing the highest quality of French language training through a multi-faceted approach that promotes lifelong learning and cultural dialogue in an increasingly multicultural society. For more than 60 years, the Alliance Française has been proudly serving the local community, offering quality programs, services and events in close partnership with community, educational and cultural DC partners.