A Surprise for CR–What a Lucky Girl I Am!


SURPRISE! They got me! Simon, friends, Rosa, Maria, the staff at Weatherstone all bamboozled me.

Another birthday.   I thought: ugh.  I merely wanted to be in my garden with my pups and have a glass of champagne to good health with Simon.  But, alas, I had committed to a couple of things and I, grudgingly,  went into New York City. My sweet godmother, Mittie Ann, was the only bright spot as she was bound and determined to join me on my birthday —  although I tried to say, “Why not come in June when the peonies are in bloom and you can stay longer?”. Originally she and my mother were going to join me in celebrating the  spring flowers and my birthday at Weatherstone, but my mother fell and broke her hip and was stranded in St. Louis and could not travel.

So here I am on May 7th in the city. Simon and I go off to a cocktail party.  The plan was to pick up Mittie Ann and go to dinner at Sette Mezzo, our favorite Italian restaurant.

I returned to the apartment to collect her, and SURPRISE!  I see faces of friends that are very dear to me, a beautifully decorated table,  glasses of pink champagne sparkling in the candlelight…It turned out that Simon — with the help of Rosa , my assistant , Maria,  and my staff at Weatherstone —  had done a ” Carolyne Roehm Style ” birthday party for me. Sylvie, my good friend and photographer, in from Paris as part of the surprise, stated that my “equipe” truly had the ”  CR look”  down pat. That they surely did;  a red damask table festooned with all shades of glorious peonies. When Simon showed me the invitation he created I was very impressed: beautifully done!   It set the theme of peony pink, and everyone arrived with  a touch of pink, whether a shawl or tie or a shirt.

The food was incredible, created by chef Claudia Silva. For special occasions I use Claudia  as a chef and I swear she makes the best hors d’oeuvres I have ever tasted!

The sweet and talented Carlos and Antonio, of Carlos Rivas Floral Design, prepared all the flowers.  Of course, this is always  a big part of my entertaining so Simon wanted some super talent and he got it….click here to view their Facebook page.

Rosa was the Commanding General organizing everyone and everything.  Maria was her able” aide de camp.”  Pepe, Rosa’s talented husband, built a special table.  Margarida, Placido, Vicky, Rosario, aided and abetted the production.

Thank you to my darling friend Peter Bacanovic who documented the evening and created a beautiful collage of images as a remembrance of a wonderful night. To view the pictures, click here.

And the cake! Simon and his pal the great cake maker Sylvia Weinstock really outdid themselves. Simon asked Sylvia to  recreate Chisholm House, my new house in Charleston, nestled amongst a bouquet of May flowers. It was fantastic!

Thank you all for all of your hard work!

Most especially: thank you, darling Simon, for giving me this beautiful, tasteful, magical night!



CR BD Invite  1

The invitation




Simon, my handsome impresario of the surprise birthday.



My perfectionist boyfriend (it takes one to know one) who very properly is making sure the distances between place settings are correct. I think Simon has a future at Buckingham Palace!


The view from the second floor. Eighteen places – the table was the perfect size for the room.


I love how the reds, pinks, and corals pick up elements from the painting, the antique books, and the pair of Russian glass cachepots on the piano


My very talented friend CeCe Cord wrapped my birthday present to match the peony invitation that SP sent. Carlos Rivas and Antonio Vieira blending all the beautiful shades of peonies to decorate the apartment.


A close up of CeCe’s handiwork

photo 2

Simon and Rosa do GOOD work!



The cake! Conceptualized by Simon, made by the famous Sylvia Weinstock


Simon has asked Sylvia to  make several wonderful cakes for me ( after spending 5 weeks studying the Renaissance in Florence he had her make my birthday cake in the shape of  Brunelleschi’s Dome – how creative is that?) but this is my favorite. How she does these things is a marvel to me— details right down to the Corinthian columns on my Greek Revival house


Love the two- toned tulip!



I had so much fun and did not have to lift a finger—I could get used to this!


As I looked around the table that night I thought what a talented and artistic group of friends I have and how lucky I am. Thank you all!


25 thoughts on “A Surprise for CR–What a Lucky Girl I Am!

  1. Happy belated birthday Carolyne and many happy returns of the day. Much love from me to you.
    You are a lucky girl and Simon is a keeper. Well done Simon. : )

  2. What a wonderful surprise by Simon and your dear friends. Happy Birthday Carolyne.
    I’m so sorry about your mom breaking her hip. I told you I chatted with her at your home during Trade Secrets. She is a lovely lady. I pray she recovers quickly.
    The cake is divine.

  3. I think there is no one that has better taste and style than Carolyne. Having been the lucky one to have done all of the makeup creation for her gorgeous collections for the years she graced the fashion industry, I have witnessed her creations in New York and at Weatherstone. How wonderful to see that Simon has been able to create an event so beautifully worthy of my friend.
    My grandmothers, aunts and my own mother entertained with such grace (we are from the south… of course they did) and I love seeing everything Carolyne does.

    Nice job Simon … what a show of love!

  4. Happy Belated Birthday, Carolyne! May the year ahead be filled with much love, happiness and many special moments for you! Thank you for sharing the beauty in your life with us!

  5. Happy belated birthday, Carolyne, and thank you for sharing the photos of your wonderful party! Everything looks gorgeous, down to the peony on the gift! You are such an inspiration to all your talented fiends, and see what they produced for you? Bravo to all!

  6. What a wonderful birthday celebration from your friends — isn’t Peter B the best? Looked beautiful xoxo

  7. What incredible detail to everything,from placements to flowers and especially the cake!
    Happy Birthday.

  8. Happy Birthday and what a wonderful surprise! The colours of the flowers and the table setting are beautiful. You must have felt very, very happy!

  9. What a lovely surprise in such an exquisite setting. The cake is magical.

  10. Happy Birthday. What a lovely surprise! Everything is just beautiful. Thank you for sharing your pictures.

  11. Happy Birthday! You deserve every happiness- love your beautiful style!

  12. Such a beautiful event. Stunning and so special to be surprised. Simon is a treasure!
    Belated Happy Birthday beautiful.

  13. Oh aren’t May birthday’s special + especially when all your friends are gathered around. The cake is a wonder! Happy Birthday to you.

  14. Happy Birthday Carolyne! and thanks for sharing your beautiful party with all the trimmings! Isn’t it wonderful that you have people in your life who share your enthusiasm and passion and care so intensely for what you love and do? That truly must be the greatest gift of all! Many happy returns!

  15. P.S. Love that you have cut your hair – it was always my favorite style on you – totally youthful, fresh and suits you best!! That’s my opinion, for whatever it’s worth.

  16. He’s a keeper …bit worried about measuring table settings…. but otherwise sublime. Happy birthday to a truly stylish generous person. !

  17. What fun! Absolutely lovely! Enjoyed seeing you Saturday in Farmington – LOVE your hair!

  18. OKAY,SIMON YOU are D…..I…..V….I……N……E.The table the cake (OMG!) above and beyond!The invitation!What a beautiful night!I will be forwarding this to my GIAMPIERO with a hint hint at the end……..as my birthday is coming up in JULY!
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY MONTH CAROLYNE!You are indeed a lucky woman!

  19. Happy Birthday Carolyne!

    I was drawn in by the Peonies, when Catherine posted the link to Facebook. My favorite flower…if I had to pick just one..I can’t wait for mine to bloom! What a fabulous party from invitation to cake!!

    I am so sorry to hear about your Mom’s hip. I fell in love with her warmth and dedication to the greater good over the tailgate of her car…each week during the growing season, she would come bearing fruits and vegetables for St. Thomas’ Food Pantry in Amenia and we would unload her car and chat. While we had talked about getting together with you and Mimi, but life gets busy and we never pulled that off. I haven’t seen her in awhile, but still think of her and I am hoping she recovers quickly…can’t imagine she would tolerate anything less, her energy seemed boundless. Please give her my best.

    Wishing you a spectacular year!

  20. Happy Birthday Carolyn, your are a lucky girl to have such lovely and loving friends, and we are so……………. lucky
    to have you share all if this with us. Your love and appreciation of all that is beautiful is an inspiration to all.
    Best wishes to you.


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