My Kentucky Derby Party
Louisville-based style blogger Miranda McDonald on how to make the horse race even more festive.
If you want to know the best way to celebrate the biggest horse race of the year, a good place to start is by consulting with a Kentuckian. That's why we turned to Louisville-based style blogger Miranda McDonald of The Chic Street. McDonald has been documenting her Derby prep on her website, as well as on her popular Instagram account. When it comes to hosting friends and family to watch the race, McDonald likes to keep it traditional, but with a twist. Yes, mint juleps are on the cocktail menu, but she plans get creative with her hat. "I'm wearing a handmade turban that features a beautiful silk flower and vintage embellishments," she says. "I expect a lot of style mavens will be thinking outside the box this year." Here, McDonald's complete picks for a perfect Derby party:
On the Menu
"In order to keep with the Derby theme, I'll serve a modern take on some of the classic dishes from the south. I'm thinking a fresh spin on grits and a southern classic, such as barbecue, would be the perfect way to honor our local culinary heritage."
What We're Drinking
"Well, we have to keep with the tradition of serving mint juleps. However, locally-distilled bourbon, like Maker's Mark, and gin would serve as the base of my drink menu. I'll also include locally-crafted beer, like Against the Grain, for the occasion. And, of course, wine."
"I know most would expect me to decorate with roses, but I think I'll go a little less traditional in this department. Fresh flowers, off-white linens and antique dinnerware will be used to decorate the wooden table, and represent the idea of southern hospitality in a beautiful and modern way. I'll also host this party outside. I really love the idea of candle chandeliers in outdoor settings. Keeping them very understated and matching the linen is very important to me. I want the party to have some panache, but also exude an effortless vibe."
The Guest List
"Family and closest friends!"
What We're Listening To
"I'm a huge supporter of the local music scene, and really all local artists in general. I'd love to pull in local talent to perform at this dinner. The Louisville Orchestra has been working with a variety of acts, such as local DJs, rappers, and other musicians like the uber-talented banjo player, Bela Fleck. Having these local musicians play original works and maybe even some covers songs from artists, such as Prince, is the perfect way to take my Derby party to the next level."