Gathering for Thanksgiving

There are two big reasons I love Thanksgiving:  leftover turkey & cranberry sauce sandwiches, and putting up my Christmas decorations on the day after!

Okay, yes, I also love sweet potatoes and dressing and turkey – and I always bring the mincemeat pie.  But you really have to try a turkey & cranberry sandwich – most delicious.  Oh, and it’s marvelous to stuff myself and watch football in the company of family, too.  (Bigger t.v. set.)

Of course, thanks to The Partridge & Pear chefs, this year I’ll also trying slicing the dressing, grilling it up a bit, and adding that to my turkey sandwich.

If you’re looking to take a day off from cooking the Big Meal, we’re putting on quite a spread at the restaurant for the day.  Check out our menu for the day:


 We’ll be seating parties on the hour, starting at 11:00 am – and we won’t make you do the dishes when you’re done.  Come and have lunch with us!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

Opening Day!

The Partridge & Pear will be opening on Friday, July 16th, at 4 p.m. for our first public dinner service!  We’re putting the finishing touches on the menu now, and, speaking from experience, it will all be fantastic.

When should we expect you for dinner?

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

Restaurant Update

I know already, your first question is, do we have an opening date?  As of the time I am writing this, we do not – but it should happen in the next week or so – we’re so very anxious and excited to welcome you to dinner with us!

Here we are, looking all planted and new-pavementy!  We’re looking just as pretty on the inside, now that the plastic is off the carpeting.  (.. just giggling about the sticky notes on the restroom doors for girls & boys ..)

In the mean time .. well, staff have been enjoying the fruits of the kitchen’s labor.  The owners have very generously been using us as test diners, and we have graciously agreed to subject ourselves to all the wonderful tastes coming out of that kitchen.  I am personally staking a claim to the pear & gorgonzola vinaigrette dressing, creamed corn, and pear cheesecake.  And pretty much everything else they cook.

Lessons with Chef Aaron

 Out of this unique, custom-painted Santa mixer are coming the most delicious concoctions, I tell you! 

Santa Mixer

Of course, the table would not normally be covered with so many dishes at one time, but remember, we’re trying everything they are sending out.

This cake is so good, I might even consider sharing it with someone really special .. if they were being exceptionally good that day.  Or if they were sharing their Manadarin Orange Cake with me.

So, what are you having for dinner tonight??  Stay tuned!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

And the light was good!

Each dining room in The Partridge & Pear Restaurant is unique, as I’ve already shown you, and the design team has chosen some really beautiful light fixtures to complement each one.  Here are four samples.

The Angel Dining Room chandelier still has a little bit of protective padding in place, but the delicate leaves around the center evoke an ethereal grace, and the red glass accents are grand and elegant.

The intricate, ornate shape of the bronze fittings and plenty of sparkling crystals on the two chandeliers in the Bavarian Dining Room will remind you of a candelabra in a gracefull banquet hall.

This is my favorite!  From the Nutcracker Dining Room ~ it just has such a sense of whimsy and fun about it!  I love the little lamp shades that remind me of a drum, and the crystal drops with one large reflecting ball in the middle.

Casting an intricate pattern of light on the delicate pear orchard ceiling mural, the chandeliers in the Conservatory Dining Room are ornate, wrought iron, reproduction bird cages.  What a clever idea!  These are delicately painted in shades that compliment the space, and their structural elements are a great pairing with the bead-board paneling in the room.  ( I have to admit, I think of this as The Room for Ladies with Gift Bags.  If you’re planning a party for the girls, this is the space to request!)

This morning, I snapped a quick picture of the newly-hung chandeliers in the Great Hall ~ I was so quick, in fact, that I clipped off the bottom of the light!  I’ll have to go back for another picture.  The plastic is off the rafters, and they are as beautiful as promised!

As the wraps are already off these beautiful lights while sawing and finishing is ongoing throughout the restaurant, I’m wondering what poor soul is going to be conscripted into dusting and polishing each of these fixtures in the days before opening .. ?  Chef??

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

The Partridge & Pear Restaurant Update

We have sidewalks!  Okay, so we don’t get to use them just yet, but aren’t they lovely?

The copper roof is already taking on a wonderful patina, too.

Inside the great hall, where you’ll wait to be seated, 7 magnificent rafters have been installed – they are still under wraps, but you can get an idea of their beauty just from the shape.

Still some work to be done on the fireplace, and hopefully that red construction rig will be out of sight by the time we open next month ..

Have you been to The Partridge & Pear Restaurant web site yet?  We’re still working up content, but we hope you’ll bookmark the site for future visits.  We’ll have staff introductions, a menu outline, and food photos before long ~ just to get your mouth watering a little.

Pictures of chandeliers tomorrow!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

Restaurant Payback ~ I mean UPdate!

I hope there was some amusing April Foolery around your workplace yesterday .. we had a nice round of it here, culminating in the chef’s vehicle being carefully preserved for him this morning on the job site .. isn’t this the latest in impervious clear-coating available on the market??  (No extra charge for the bow ~ it was a gift-with-purchase deal.)

He was complaining about driving to work with wet hair and no roof .. this should be a real help.  It’s also what you get when you try to scam the site foreman out of $10K for planting crab apples in needy neighborhoods .. you know who you are.

There is actual work being done on the site, too ~ the stonework is being installed today on the exterior walls and chimneys.

Inside, hand painted wall and ceiling murals and borders are taking shape.

Woodwork details are also being installed throughout the restaurant, as you can see in this ceiling shot.  Chef Aaron is very happy with the stainless steel installations in the kitchen, but I’m not sure how to take an interesting photo of a wall of silver – which side is up?

More to come!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

Restaurant Update

We have a copper roof!  Check out the beautiful installation on the tower of The Partridge & Pear Restaurant ~ as it develops that lovely green, aged patina, it is going to be even more spectacular.

I can’t wait to see the stonework go up next on the outside of the grand chimney and tower stacks.  It is really going to look like the drawing!

Work continues on the inside, too ~ here’s the gold-leafed tray ceiling in the Nutcracker dining room.  This room, which is styled for family dining, may be reserved for private functions as well, and will seat 12 to 14 diners.

The walls have been faux-finished in the main dining room and a hand-painted border is coming to life.  I didn’t want to flash on the artist at work, but here’s a snippet of the stylized leaf-and-berry pattern she’s designed.

The large Bavarian Room has its own fireplace, and, judging by the fireplaces at The Inn, I know our carpenters will be installing an amazing mantel and surround.  This room may be reserved for private functions, and will seat between 45 and 55 people, depending on how it is staged.

Here’s a slightly fuzzy picture of the grand hall!  The light really streams into the space during morning hours.  The hall serves as a waiting area, and guests will be able to relax on comfortable couches by the fire or at a window seat, enjoying a glass of wine or other beverages while waiting to be seated for lunch or dinner.

Finally, the Conservatory ~ I think this might be my favorite room just because of the windows!  This dining room will have an indoor gardens feel,  and may also be reserved for private functions.  It will seat up to 30 people.  I can see a lot of birthday and bridal and baby shower parties happening here!  My pictures were taken at about 10:00 a.m., so this room is going to host some wonderful, sunny lunches.

 I don’t know if I’ve yet mentioned that we’re also restructuring the parking lot to incorporate a drive-up and drop-off traffic pattern.  There will be a new walkway across to Christmas Place as well.  In case you missed it on Wednesday, the courtyard was THIS beautiful!

 I enjoyed my Mrs. Claus’ Candy Kitchen specialty, chicken salad sandwich, under an umbrella, and the scent of these blooms was heavenly, with the warm sun on my back and the sights and sounds of birds chirping from the holly trees.  We’re expecting another day like this on Saturday .. you won’t want to miss it!

Speaking of lunch .. when you come to eat with us this summer, please accept my recommendation:  be sure to order our Waldorf Salad.  Chef served it to us at the Christmas party, and it was fantastic.  It is made with pears and either cranberries or tart cherries, and I can hardly describe how delicious his unique dressing is as a finish.  Just, WOW!  You’ll have to try it.

Can’t wait to have you join us for lunch or dinner in a couple of months!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

The Partridge & Pear Restaurant Update

A reader has asked for an update on the restaurant ~ we’re still on track for an early summer opening (notice how carefully we are avoiding a specific date…).  There has been progress on both the interior and exterior of the building, but it’s not quite beautiful yet – just bits are beautiful!  Here are some photos I took a couple of hours ago.  As you’ll notice, it’s another cloudy day here ~ in fact, it began snowing again about 10 minutes ago.  I tried to panic and head for home, but the boss would not hear of it.  Meanie.

Coming soon - The Partridge & Pear Restaurant at Christmas Place!

The Conservatory

Clearly, it’s already in use for private parties!  (Flashback to December, I just remembered I was supposed to get a couple of those chairs for Christmas!  Who had my name in the drawing?  Someone’s got some ‘splainin’ to do..)  The last time I was in this room, the floor was a bed of loose rocks.

I did not even notice the fireplace hiding behind the ladder on the left when I was taking this picture of the marvelous tray ceiling that’s going in!  You can see it’s all taping and spackling inside this week.

A second fireplace in one of the dining rooms.  It’s become a bit of a rabbit warren now, and I can’t tell you for sure yet which room is which.  Chef Aaron knows, I hope!

 I think I was meant to use one of those hard hats .. but at least I have plenty of hairspray working for me against hard objects falling from above.

Oops!  Looks like the kitchen is last on the list for some TLC.

We’re anxious to see the stone go up on the outside of the building, and the hand-painted murals coming to life on the inside.  I’ll be back with more pictures when that starts to take shape.  Until then, keep an eye out for this logo around town ~ it means a really great food experience is heading your way!  We’ll set a place at the table for you.

Partridge and Pear Logo

You know what this all means??  Soon you’ll be able to come for a fabulous dinner, shop a little (or a lot), spend the night in luxury – and still make it to work on time in the morning!  Now that’s a quick and complete getaway.

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

The Partridge & Pear at Christmas Place

January 2010 Update

People have been asking for more photos of our progress on the restaurant.  We’re expecting to open in early summer, and, with the addition of things like windows, doors, walls, and such – oh, and a roof, too – the prospect looks really good for on-time service! 

So here we go with some photos.

The problem is, see, that many of the photos I have filed tend to show things like this ..

and this ..

and even this ..

or people standing around like this ..

and they get cranky when I put yellow boxes around them .. and these are generally people who know how to use things like power nail guns and compressors, too, so you kinda want to keep on their good side, you know?

Now, for the mechanical among you, pictures of giant bolts in the floor and framing on the wall may be just the ticket.  However, for the more big-picture folks out there, how about a few “where we started and where we are now” images instead?  For one thing, ignoring “loafer in the yellow box” above, look at the shape of those walls and that lovely window bump-out!  I understand that the wood on the right side of the photo is a base for some wonderful stonework to come.

Sometime last fall, we started with this ..

And here we were on Thursday ..

.. installing those beautiful copper gutters.  Notice the presence of a front door, too!

To the south of this facade ..

 We’ve added a conservatory, a beautiful, light-filled room that will also be available to reserve for private gatherings ..

Inside, walls are going up and the spaces of dining rooms, reception areas, and the bakery nook are beginning to take shape.

You’ll find these marvelous tray ceiling details in most of the dining rooms.

Personally, I can’t wait to linger in front of a fire in this massive fireplace.  How spectacular is that going to be on a wintery day like today?  (We had to close the store today – too much snow in the area, too treacherous for staff to drive in, except for a few of us nuts.)

 Let me just go back a few months, though, and show you one other technical shot .. for some reason, I find these massive footings rather fascinating.  I understand that, should a hurricane strike these Great Smoky Mountains, The Partridge & Pear is THE place to be for safety from the raging winds.  Now you’ll agree with me.  (Please pay no attention to the man leaning against the little tractor at the top of the picture.  It’s a vital role at any job site.  “They also serve who only stand and wait,” am I right?)

So, that’s a little glimpse into our odyssey to date.  As the interior starts to take shape in such a way that recognizable photos can be taken, I’ll be back with another update.  Til then, I’ll leave you thinking about Sweet Potato Ribbons, Christmas Tomatoes, Butternut Squash Soup, Pear Salad, Leftover Turkey Clubs, Bone-in Pork Chops, Chicken and Dumplings, Steak Au Poivre, and Prime Rib.  Don’t get me started on dessert ..

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

We have a cupola!

It’s a gloriously sunny, almost warmish afternoon here in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains … a perfect day to place the cupola on the roof of our Partridge & Pear restaurant, opening early next summer right next door to us here in Pigeon Forge!

Yay!  It’s going to have a copper roof when completed.  The restaurant is really starting to take shape, and we’re looking forward to inviting you for a taste of Good Food & Holiday Cheer!

Janet @ The Christmas Place