By Patrick Mott
It’s one thing to entertain guests in your home in grand yet intimate style. It’s quite another thing when your home-for-a-day is a magnificent Tuscan villa overlooking broad golf course vistas, a striking rolling coastline and a deep blue ocean stretching to the horizon.
That’s the experience that guests come away with when they arrange an event in one of the two private dining rooms at The Resort at Pelican Hill.
“I hear a lot of compliments from people about these rooms,” says Kathleen Donley, the Resort’s catering manager of private dining, “and what they tell me most often is that it’s like entertaining in their own home.”
The rooms, adjacent to the Resort’s two restaurants—Andrea and the Pelican Grill—are designed, says Donley, to provide the same high levels of care, service, ambience, cuisine and comfort as the restaurants, but with a greater level of intimacy, privacy and customization.
There may be as many as two events a day hosted in each room, and they vary considerably, “everything from a dinner celebrating a business deal to wedding rehearsal dinners to baby showers to family gatherings,” she said. And the configuration of the rooms can be altered to accommodate the nature of each occasion.
“We get very creative,” says Donley. “We recently hosted a celebration of a merger between two companies, about 75 people. There were some people who hadn’t met before, so we removed the tables in the center so they could get together and mingle and get to know each other. And we had a cheese sommelier on the terrace outside, and a guitarist playing in the corner.”
Both rooms are open palettes on which to add details—such as elegant centerpieces or particular linens—at the guests’ requests. The private dining room off Andrea can accommodate up to 30 guests, features a large fireplace and floor-to-ceiling mirror and curtains, large lantern-like Italianate chandeliers and a warm, ochre color scheme. The larger Pelican Grill private dining room, done in burnt orange, is dominated by a massive European-style stone fireplace, large semi-globe chandeliers, and wall displays of colorful Italian porcelain. It also features banquette seating and arched doors with inlaid glass. Custom menus are prepared for events in both rooms.
Donley recalls a festive event when all elements worked together in particular harmony.
“We hosted a 60th wedding anniversary of a lovely couple,” she says. “The room off Andrea restaurant was dressed with stunning burgundy linens and custom centerpieces. The space was perfectly illuminated with votives and the chef designed a custom six-course menu. Each course was paired with a wine that spoke to a story representing each ten years of the marriage.
We have a great respect for details; that’s the beauty of these rooms.”