I met the Poppy Barley team on a trip to Edmonton about 6 months ago. Edmonton is a sweet little city in Alberta, and I was there to experience the culture and creative community for a weekend (see the highlight video here!). When I toured the Poppy Barley studio, I fell in love instantly. PB makes extremely high quality, custom-fitted leather footwear. I went for a fitting while I was in town, and about 6 weeks later I received my beautiful boots in the mail. I’ve never worn a more comfortable pair. It was unbelievable. I wrote them an e-mail to rave a bit, and that’s when the idea of hosting a Poppy Barley gathering here in Lexington was born. I wanted to share about this wonderful company with a small group of girls, and suddenly the vision of a rustic barn wood table covered in pastries and breakfast treats, surrounded by vibrant apple trees came into focus.
Here’s how that little dream came true…
Naturally, the first person I thought of to handle creation of the pastries and breakfast treats was Elizabeth Cauvel. This girl is a whiz with a whisk and all things food. She’s a kindred spirit of mine and I just loved working on our last event together — so it wasn’t long before the menu took shape as e-mails shot between Lexington and Brooklyn.
The final lineup: Autumn Squash Strata, Kale & Apple Salad, Apple Cinnamon Rolls, Chocolate Chip Sweet Potato Muffins (GF) + Orange Cranberry Jam, Sparkling Apple Cider, Regular Apple Cider, Creamy Hot Cocoa and local coffee. My mouth is watering just from typing it out.
Rebecca Kuehl was my next target. This girl is an extremely talented artist, photographer, stylist and event planner. She’s also my youngest sister! I asked if she’d be willing to co-style and co-plan the event with me, and she said yes! She quickly landed us a great location at Reed Valley Orchard. I remember getting a text from her one morning saying she had found the perfect spot. She then sent me video of the loveliest orchard lane I’d ever seen. There were hills and trees as far as the eye could see, with bright red fruits decorating the view. Reed Valley was amazing and offered us a secluded area where we could gather and enjoy without getting in the way of delighted apple pickers. Rebecca coordinated everything perfectly and I didn’t have to worry one bit! She also hand drew the invitations and menus, which turned out beautifully!
Once we had a location and the eats were nailed down, I shared the event plans with Lindsay Bruner, Marketing Team Leader at the local Whole Foods and they ended up providing all the ingredients we needed. I was absolutely blown away by how wonderful WF was to work with. Lindsay took a look at the menu and made some awesome suggestions about which items could be sourced locally. We ended up using local milk, eggs, produce, coffee and lots more. It was perfect! She even brought a mini camping stove and a few French presses so that the coffee was as fresh as possible — AND donated delicious chocolate truffles, Juniper Ridge soap bars and IntegriTEA sachets for guest favors. I was a Whole Foods fan before, but now I’m obsessed.
The next thing that happened was a serendipitous meeting with Jay and Wendy of Ruby & Mr. Getzy at Le Deauville. I had the pleasure of chatting with these two for hours one night and learned that Jay does a lot of unique wood working projects. The one that intrigued me most was his Solid White Ash Stools. I had no idea what we were going to use for seating at that point, but when he mentioned those magical things, I knew. Jay hauled the stumps out to the orchard and unloaded them for us. They fit so perfectly, I couldn’t believe it. Fate!! Jay also provided the Reclaimed Locust Wood Coasters we used for our cocoa mugs, and each guest got to take one home with their favors!
If you remember my post about the SOUTH dinner, you already know I have lots of love for Longwood Antique Woods and their stunning barn wood tables. Of course, I asked if they’d like to participate in this little orchard brunch and I’m so glad they did! The table was beautiful as always — the perfect canvas for all that food, and such a complement to the idyllic autumn surroundings.
We definitely needed music — but not just any music. We needed light, peaceful, soulful music. My lovely, extremely talented friend Molly Parden was the first person that came to mind. She’s one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met. She drove up from Nashville the day before the event and we laughed ourselves silly dancing to oldies in the kitchen and storytelling late into the night. She’s definitely our newest adopted #sistor! Her beloved guitar in its beautifully worn case traveled with her, and she swept us away with an original song about Kentucky while we sipped on cocoa and snuggled into our scarves. The crisp breeze drifting down the lane seemed to play along. I didn’t get any video clips of her performance, but the one below is equally enchanting…
I’m not sure if it’s our profound satisfaction with Rory’s endless studying in Gilmore Girls, our obsession with The Shop Around The Corner in You’ve Got Mail or the simple fact that school is in session, but Rebecca and I decided that books would make the perfect accent decor. We pictured stacks of them on little stools and a few on the table. Luckily, the incredibly charming Morris Book Shop loaned us some of theirs for the event, and they were so lovely! We even had a fun surprise where we gave a book to each guest, and inside one of them was the winning ticket for a Poppy Barley giveaway! One of the gals got a free custom-sized pair of leather boots! It was the cherry on top…or should I say the apple on top? Oh dear…
It was better than I imagined. The food, the music, the location, the details — it was as if time stood still and everything in the world was that little grassy lane and the sound of friends being made.
Although the ladies from Poppy Barley were unable to attend the brunch, they followed along with us via the #PoppyBarleyBrunch hashtag on Instagram. Check it out here to see how each of us experienced that wonderful morning!
A few more photos to remember the day by…
Thanks again to the wonderful sponsors who made all of this possible!
And a huge thank you to Elizabeth, Rebecca and my middle sister, Rachel for helping SO much with everything! You can follow Elizabeth on Instagram here and check out her blog here, and you can follow Rebecca on Instagram here! Follow me on Instagram too (here!) for daily pics and musings!
What’s your idea of the perfect fall brunch? I would love to hear about the kinds of events you dream of throwing or attending! Let’s discuss!