Food & Wine

Victoria White House Christmas 2011

In a frantic and hurried world, Victoria offers a respite from the chaos of everyday life. The pages are dedicated to living beautifully when entertaining, cooking, and decorating and even in artistic pursuits - and now you can enjoy every single page on your tablet! With a distinct personality all its own, Victoria personifies feminity, passion, and an enterprising spirit. Each issue features decorating and entertaining ideas, recipes, travel stories, essays from inspiring women, and much more.

United States
Hoffman Media
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7 Issues

in this issue

3 min.
a letter from nancy clarke

The White House is an awe-inspiring place to work. Serving first as a volunteer in 1978 and then as a member of the Residence staff for 30 years (25 as Chief Floral Designer) was such an honor for me. Of all the events and functions the Flower Shop supported, Christmas was always splendid, in part because the various departments collaborated so well to ready the White House for the holidays. I also had the special privilege of working with some of America’s finest designers and craftsmen, as well as hundreds of volunteers, to decorate the Executive Mansion for each First Lady. Planning for Christmas usually started in the spring, and my secret planning date was that of the annual Easter Egg Roll. By then, I felt, we had to determine the possible…

2 min.
the majesty of the white house

HOW-TOELEGANT BOW: Learn how to create beautiful bows like these. Instructions are on page 32. Visitors from across the globe tour 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and never forget it. The White House is a true testament to the history of America. This stately residence is even more breathtaking at Christmastide. From the elaborately designed topiaries to the artisancreated ornaments, everything about the holiday season at the Executive Mansion is memorable. During a tour, guests are treated to glimpses of certain rooms—specifically, the East Colonnade, including the East Garden Room and the Booksellers Room; the Grand Foyer with the Cross Hall and the Grand Staircase; the Green, Blue, and Red Rooms; and the State Dining Room. Each room has a distinct design and significance. The Blue Room holds the annual Christmas tree, the East Colonnade…

1 min.
east colonnade

HOW-TO EVERGREEN WREATH: Learn how to make a fresh wreath for your window on page 28. The East Colonnade serves as a corridor between the public entrance in the East Wing and the actual Residence. A row of windows looks out onto a garden of trees and flowers known by several names, including the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden, the First Ladies’ Garden, and the East Garden. Wreaths often grace these windows at Christmastime, and evenly spaced candles and poinsettias add a festive feel while echoing the colors of the First Lady’s holiday decorating theme. FOND Memories “Laura Bush and I used an old light bulb on a cord to test several ways to light the glass topiaries. We came up with lighting them with pin spots mounted in the ceiling,” says Nancy. Giant topiaries and wreaths embellished…

1 min.
east garden room

An ideal venue for carrying on the holiday trimmings, the East Garden Room usually contains favorite ornaments from the prior year. First Ladies often recycle these decorations for guests to enjoy upon entering the White House. Trees overflowing with ornaments, lush wreaths, large toy soldiers, and other festive items reside in this room at Christmastime. FONDMemories “In 1998, painted white birch trees and an oldfashioned sleigh decorated the East Garden Room. White poinsettia standards surrounded the beautiful snowy trees, and pretty packages filled the sleigh. The music stands were pulled off to the side to be repositioned when guests arrived,” remembers Nancy.…

1 min.
a warm colonnade

FONDM emories “The National Park Service placed all-white poinsettia standards and white candles atop candle stands in the Colonnade for evening events during the Reagan administration. In 1987, the simple, mixed-greenery wreaths were suspended by a green velvet ribbon. The wreaths were double faced for a fuller, lush appearance from the Colonnade or the East Garden,” says Nancy. Sunshine glows through the many windows of the long hallway that links the Presidential Residence with the East Wing. This is an ideal spot for making a big impact with a multitude of suspended wreaths, floral topiaries, and tall candlesticks. Gold and white are popular choices for holiday décor, as they offer many ways to incorporate the annual theme, whether through satiny ribbons, decorative pinecones, gold-wrapped packages, or twinkling lights.…

1 min.
booksellers room

Prior to September 11, 2001, in this area at the end of the East Colonnade known as the Booksellers Room, visitors touring the White House could purchase memorabilia of their trip to the President’s home. The arched entrance that connects the Colonnade to the room is ideal for embellishing with lush garlands of fresh greenery. Ribbons, ornaments, large pinecones, and white twinkle lights are favorite trimmings used through the years. The Booksellers Room is often bedecked with a gorgeous tree at Christmastime. Like its counterpart in the East Garden Room, this tree usually features special ornaments from the prior year’s Blue Room tree or from guest designers, although both trees are considerably smaller.…