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steeplechase partyIn 1920, American sportsman Foxhall P. Keene threw a party for 700 guests at his Monkton home on the eve of the first Foxhall Farm Trophy Team Chase. Keene created the race, held on the grounds of his home, Foxhall Farm, to encourage participation in timber racing.

On a March evening 86 years later, Taylor and Laura Pickett, the current owners of Foxhall Farm— now called Andor Farm— celebrated the 2006 race by throwing a party that sought to replicate Keene’s inaugural festivity.

steeplechase partyLaura Pickett called on Brian Boston, executive chef at The Milton Inn, and Carol Westerlund, owner of Larkspur Floral Design, to create a glamorous, Gatsby-esque atmosphere that would allow guests to “walk up the path and through the door and feel that they were back in the 1920s,” says Westerlund, who bedecked the Pickett home with roses, carnations and calla lilies. Female guests were given gardenia corsages at the door, while male guests donned white carnations. “It was a decadent time. We were trying to convey that,” says Boston, who baked a Lady Baltimore cake, among other fare, for the occasion. The original sterling silver Foxhall Cup was on display next to a photo album illustrating the history of the race.

Andor Farm will once again be the site of the Foxhall Farm Trophy Team Chase in 2007, and the Picketts will host another pre-race party. “People ask me how I’m going to top this one,” says Laura, “and I said, ‘I’m not!’” —Annliese Scott

the party line

steeplechase partyoccasion:  Celebration of the 2006 Foxhall Cup steeplechase race
theme:  The Roaring ’20s
venue:  Andor Farm, residence of Taylor and Laura Pickett
decorations:  Roses and calla lilies filled the home. Ceiling fans were replaced with chandeliers, oriental rugs blanketed the floors and small antiques were scattered about the home to achieve the period feel. The original sterling silver Foxhall Cup was on display next to a photo album illustrating the history of the race.
guest list:  More than 150 guests attended the pre-race party, but the real bigwigs— the “who’s whos of timber horses,” as the hostess referred to them— were present for the next day’s events.
special touch: No round tables were used at the party, as only rectangular tables were fashionable during the 1920s.

fare

steeplechase party
Smoked salmon canapés
Asparagus and parmesan puffs
Goat cheese and tomato tarts
Smoked trout on potato pancakes with horseradish crème fraîche
Foie gras pate with black pepper  
Seared sea scallops with truffle and leek sauce
Oysters Rockefeller
Maryland crab dip
Carved tenderloin
English trifle
Lady Baltimore cake
Seafood Andor, a dish Brian Boston created in honor of Andor Farm that features lobster and crab in a creamy dill sauce.

plan

catering: Brian Boston, executive chef, The Milton Inn, 410-771-4366
planning: Elizabeth Bundy, events coordinator, The Milton Inn, 410-771-4366
flowers: Carol Westerlund, Larkspur Floral Design, 410-771-4047
event lighting: Perkins Productions, 410-683-6900

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