Dress Up For Lunch

December 17, 2010

Sometimes there’s nothing more special than a fancy lunch.


Karen took Matt and me out to Keswick Hall in the Virginia countryside for a Christmastime buffet lunch in the company of a giant Christmas tree and a beautifully decorated estate.







We dined in a beautiful living room ambiance in big wingback chairs


The first course was served – a Root Vegetable and Apple Soup


It was fantastic!



Second course was a cobb salad, which tasted so good to me today with bacon, bleu cheese, tomatoes and romaine


And then there was the buffet…. a piano full of chilled dishes


I loved the artichokes, the blue cheese brie and the smoked salmon!



A few warm dishes finished [almost!] the meal – Beef Bourguignon and buttery carrots. I almost skipped this course because I knew dessert was coming, but I’m glad I didn’t because the beef was outstanding! Flavored with alcohol – red wine, I believe.


And finally, the dessert table, which I’d been eyeing since I walked in!


We must have pondered for 5 full minutes what to have! We decided on shared rotating plate-style

White Chocolate Mousse


Chestnut Roulade

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Fruit Crisp with Berries


Vanilla Panna Cotta


And my favorite…a Brownie Cake!


Compliments to the hostess for such a fun lunch!


The meal may have seemed over the top, but we did not finish everything on our plates and while I do feel that I ate a rich lunch, I don’t feel that full – guess that’s good because I am headed to do some YOGA tonight – a special event with Faith!

This morning I actually walked to my gym because I was afraid to bike in the snow. Turns out this wasn’t the best idea because while the roads were mostly clear, the sidewalks were not! It took me about 45 minutes to walk there (talking to my mom on the phone!). I did some weight lifting and started the trek home, running and walking intervals this time. it was great to be outdoors again.


Gotta go change outta my nice clothes back into yoga pants! Good thing they s t r e t c h!

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{ 53 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun December 17, 2010 at 4:15 pm

I can’t remember the last time I had a fancy lunch. Heck. I can’t remember the last time I had a fancy dinner!


2 Amalfi Girl December 17, 2010 at 10:11 pm

Me neither, and I definitely never had one THAT nice!

(Dessert–wow. Just, wow.)


3 Beth @ Beth's Journey to Thin December 17, 2010 at 4:21 pm

Wow that lunch sounds fantastic and I love the gorgeous setting!


4 Lauren December 17, 2010 at 4:22 pm

I love holiday buffets…our school had a holiday buffet last week with pumpkin ravoli, tons of veggies, fish & meat, & tons of delicious desserts


5 Valerie @ City|Life|Eats December 17, 2010 at 4:23 pm

How fun – glad you had such a nice lunch :)


6 Dee December 17, 2010 at 4:30 pm

Oh my gosh! Those desserts look AMAZING!


7 stacey-healthylife December 17, 2010 at 4:30 pm

That looks like a fun lunch and very special.


8 Jasmine @ Eat Move Write December 17, 2010 at 4:30 pm

That piano buffet is so incredibly cool! How fun! It must be so nice to spend so much time with Matt’s mom. I wish our fam lived a bit closer.


9 Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine December 17, 2010 at 4:35 pm

That brownie cake looks absolutely divine, as does the white chocolate mousse. Desserts are always my favorite part of a nice meal! What a fun way to get into the Christmas spirit.


10 Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg December 17, 2010 at 4:35 pm

I love fancy lunches!!! I rarely eat them, so when I do, they really feel like special occasions!


11 barefootgirl December 17, 2010 at 4:38 pm

wow.. that looked so wonderful!!! You really do have a great MIL!!!


12 Stacey December 17, 2010 at 4:41 pm

Lunch looks delicious and who cares if it was hearty?! How often do you go out for such a delicious meal. You did right to enjoy it. Everything looks fabulous.


13 Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) December 17, 2010 at 4:41 pm

That looks like a beautiful lunch! The food and atmosphere look amazing! I am ready to get into my yoga pants now and sit by a fire. Have a great evening Kath!


14 Averie (LoveVeggiesandYoga) December 17, 2010 at 4:49 pm

Enjoy your yoga tonight!

And the brownie cake. Wow.

All the food looks so awesome…what a fun and fancy day! :)


15 Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat December 17, 2010 at 5:00 pm

Oooh how posh! Looks like an amazing lunch Kath. Have fun streeetttching at yoga! :)


16 Katy (The Singing Runner) December 17, 2010 at 5:06 pm

Mmmm lovely lunch! The food looks great! :)

Have a great evening! :)


17 Stacy @ Every Little Thing December 17, 2010 at 5:09 pm

I don’t think you need to make an excuse for having a really nice, filling, lots-of-food lunch! Not at all. It looks amazing!


18 Marisa @ Loser for Life December 17, 2010 at 5:11 pm

What a beautiful lunch and gorgeous venue! I love how the buffet was set up and food was displayed! Very fancy… and delicious looking :)


19 Amy at TheSceneFromMe December 17, 2010 at 5:20 pm

I love your sweater with ruffles on it!

Wouldn’t it be fun to jump in that pool and swim with the snow surrounding you…if only the pool was heated!


20 JenniferfromLaJolla December 17, 2010 at 5:26 pm

You were steps away from my mother’s old house. We used to have the best time at Keswick. Nice to see photos of it!


21 nicole December 17, 2010 at 5:29 pm

Your lunch looks so amazing and beautiful, especially after running ten miles. I’ve got to dig up something to eat, hope I can find something half as decent as yours looks!


22 Dawn (HealthySDLiving) December 17, 2010 at 5:31 pm

Look so delicious! The soup sounds incredible!


23 Heather (Heather's Dish) December 17, 2010 at 5:52 pm

what a fun, super fancy lunch! i love that soup course…yum!


24 Simply Life December 17, 2010 at 5:55 pm

Wow, what a special lunch!


25 haya December 17, 2010 at 6:05 pm

sure looks like a lovely lunch, but GASP it is blasphemy to put food on such a gorgeous piano! it’s a musical instrument, not a serving table….


26 sarah December 17, 2010 at 11:02 pm

haha, I totally agree! I just posted that it was a musicians worst nightmare before I started reading other comments!


27 Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down) December 17, 2010 at 6:27 pm

Fancy lunches…you’re right, that is such a special treat. I love the looks of everything and the estate is gorgeous!

(p.s. I’m pretty sure the brownie cake would have been my personal fave too 😀 )


28 Vanessa December 17, 2010 at 6:44 pm

How fun!! I’ve heard that place is pretty good!! Awesome to see some of the food there!! Fancy lunches are so fun.


29 Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin December 17, 2010 at 7:09 pm

I love your sweater! I’ve been so obsessed with ruffled clothing lately.


30 SAL December 17, 2010 at 7:14 pm

Your mother-in-law looks gorgeous! What a beauty!


31 Stephanie @ The Travelling Tastebuds December 17, 2010 at 7:32 pm

Wow… everything looks so delicious… my tummy is grumbling!!!


32 J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) December 17, 2010 at 7:42 pm

What an exquisite lunch! I love every bit of it. YUM 😀


33 Paige @Running Around Normal December 17, 2010 at 8:08 pm

Fancy! How fun :) Looks so very decadent and delicious!


34 Lindsay December 17, 2010 at 8:24 pm

I went to an amazing wedding at Keswick. Incredible views and food!


35 Meagan December 17, 2010 at 8:40 pm

Stretchy pants. Haha!


36 Alicia December 17, 2010 at 8:43 pm

What a classy affair! I can’t believe how delicious that food looks. Everything — food, setting, looks sublime!


37 Hannah December 17, 2010 at 9:08 pm

*whimpers* Ever since I had a Mont Blanc in Japan in 2007, chestnut desserts have been my favourite desserts, but it’s impossible to find them here in my city in Australia! I’m so envious!


38 Kelsey December 17, 2010 at 9:25 pm

That looks like a lovely lunch. Such beautiful scenery. However, I am disappointed that you made it a point to say you had a fancy, rich lunch but you didn’t feel stuffed. But then you go on to make the quip about the stretch pants. Why can’t you just enjoy a nice meal without having to defend it (but I’m going to do yoga tonight and I walked to the gym today!) or make fat jokes about it? I really do enjoy your blog, especially the gorgeous photography and scenery, I just think this is a flaw of most “healthy living blogs.”


39 Kath December 17, 2010 at 9:35 pm

I enjoy nice meals without defending them all the time.


40 Laura (On the Threshold of Greatness) December 17, 2010 at 9:51 pm

I loved this post! I’ve been wanting to go to Keswick forever! It’s so beautiful! I’ve never been able to justify the price to stay there, but I always forget I can still go in and enjoy the estate without spending the night. :)


41 Sandy December 18, 2010 at 7:56 am

I was just thinking the same thing. A nice dinner there would be wonderful.


42 chelsey @ clean eating chelsey December 17, 2010 at 10:03 pm

I love fancy buffets!!!


43 Amanda December 17, 2010 at 10:17 pm

What a beautiful place :)


44 Kiran December 17, 2010 at 10:48 pm

Love the fancy array of foods! Especially desserts 😉


45 sarah December 17, 2010 at 10:59 pm

I shuddered when I saw that food on the piano! That’s a musicians worst nightmare, haha!!!


46 sarah December 17, 2010 at 11:00 pm

though it all looked delish- especially the soup!!! I’m a soup maniac!


47 Mom December 18, 2010 at 7:45 am


Our church sometimes decorates the piano at Christmas, and one dear older lady always used to say, “We don’t decorate the piano. The piano is a muscial instrument.” I’m inclined to think she is right.


48 haya December 18, 2010 at 3:56 pm

food is definitely not allowed anywhere near my piano!!

i remember as a kid, i would be horrified when at parties my parents would have, a guest would set their glass of wine down on it…


49 [email protected] December 17, 2010 at 11:44 pm

Wow, what an amazing lunch! That brownie cake looks to die for!! 😀


50 Kelsey December 18, 2010 at 4:40 am

Such a fun day and night!!


51 Sandy December 18, 2010 at 7:54 am

Keswick was the site for my son and daughter-in-law’s wedding reception a year and a half ago. The wedding was at a beautiful little country church a little farther down the road. The setting was absolutely breathtaking and their wedding pictures at Keswick are fabulous. We do need to get back to Charlottesville for a special dinner or lunch there.


52 hemp jogger December 18, 2010 at 11:33 am

i LOVE keswick’s lunch spread…i’ve only been once, but it was so freakin’ good. if i ever get visitors i’d love to take them there. and youre right…just enough to be full, but not feel out of sorts. and the grounds are so gorgeous!


53 Heidi - apples under my bed December 19, 2010 at 5:35 pm

What a beautiful lunch! Such a stunning location. I wish we had big estates near me. I just love them. The food looks beautiful too!
Heidi xo


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