A Monthly Newsletter  
Issue 09   
photo: zev fisher photography 
In This Issue
Real Event Feature
In the Garden
Upcoming Event
Seasonal Favorites
Share This Email!

Social Links


One of the best things about being a venue is the important task of hosting milestone events for our clients. In addition to weddings, Willowdale Estate frequently hosts community events collaborating with local organizations, businesses and non-profits.  

Briar Forsythe and I were honored to attend The Women's Fund of Essex County's 12th Annual Grand Awards Luncheon on Tuesday, October 21st.  This inspiring organization awarded $200,000 in grants this year to nonprofit organizations supporting women and young girls in Essex County.  Willowdale Estate has also agreed to host their major fundraising event, "POWER OF THE PURSE", on Thursday, April 30th this coming year. Keep an eye out for tickets in early 2015!

This month we will also be hosting the North Shore Food + Gift Emporium on Sunday, November 23rd from 10am - 4pm. This event is the perfect time to sample goods from local makers and shop different vendors offering foods, home goods, apparel, and gifts.  Admission is free- register here. 


We hope you enjoy the information in this newsletter, and if you have a suggestion for an article we would love to hear from you! Just email Sarah@WillowdaleEstate.com to submit your idea! 


Sarah Boucher, Sr. Sales and Marketing Manager

REAL EVENT FEATURE: 2nd Annual Halloween Gala: Spooks & Spirits  


This year we held our second annual black and white Halloween gala at Willowdale Estate, and the Planning & Production Team set a goal to make it bigger and better than ever!  The entire party took place inside of our historic mansion and was decorated like one of Poe's haunted houses.  Each of the event coordinators used their styling skills to display an array of spooky gothic décor, and each room in the estate had a theme.  As they made their way through the party, guests sipped our wicked signature drinks, like "The Zombie" and the "El Diablo", and sampled tasty nacho and mac and cheese stations, as well as passed hors d'oeuvresLady Jane's Gourmet Popcorn and a huge candy bar were also displayed for attendees to take home as treats.  


Stephanie's Floral Design created white and blood red arrangements with black feathers and spiders to complete the "scary glam" look.  Revelation Productions graciously provided eerie pin spot lighting, lounge furniture, a fog machine and a fabulous white dance floor.  Charles from C-Zone Entertainment kept the music spinning and the crowd dancing all night long with classic tunes and Halloween favorites.  Finally, Kelly from InstaPhotoBooth took amazing pictures (shown right) of the impressive costumes in the library.   


A big thank you to all of our event professionals for making our gala the best yet, and to our guests who were incredibly creative and spooky with all of their black and white attire.  This year we had amazing costumes including salt and pepper, a storm trooper, a television set, and of course Elvis was in attendance.  Check out the photo album on facebook!  We can't wait to outdo ourselves for next year's party and see "who" you should show up as! 


Feature contributed by Alise Watson, Event Coordinator

IN THE GARDEN: Annual Tulip Planting Day   


 On Wednesday, October 29th, amidst the fall hues and flagstone walls, the Willowdale Team gathered together for our Annual Tulip Planting Day! Pictured right are a few of us with shovels in hand, planting those precious commodities! 


Tulips, in particular, harken back to the Ottoman Empire, however their real popularity came in 17th Century Holland when tulips became the first commodity - in fact, they were so revered that they were used as money until the market crashed! As a result, tulips rapidly became a coveted luxury item, and a profusion of varieties followed. It is now known that the multicolored or striped effect in tulips is due to the bulbs being infected with a type of tulip-specific virus that results in such gorgeous color palette.


Today, Holland is still known for cultivating the most beautiful tulips laid out in amazing, rainbow-colored flower fields. They are purchased during the largest flower auction in the world in Aalsmeer, just outside of Amsterdam.


Our planting day this year will yield over 3000 flowers next spring in a variety of shapes, colors, and sizes. These will include The Curley 

 Sue fringed, Queen of Night Black Tulip, Burgundy Lace Fringed, Ego Parrot and Destiny Parrot. In addition, nestled amongst the tulips you will find daffodisl, hyacinth, allium and crocus all popping their heads out of the ground at the first sign of Spring 2015!


If you have not yet seen our gorgeous display of flowers in our Butterfly Courtyard Garden, please call to schedule a visit or check our website for our series of Signature Events open to the public! We do still have a few Wedding Dates available in April and May next year, and would love to see you or a loved one walk down the aisle amongst nature's most glorious flower!


Feature contributed by Belinda Lane, Wedding Sales Manager 

UPCOMING EVENT: Historic House Tour


As the resident history nerd here at Willowdale it has always been a passion of mine to seek out new information and insights that would tell us more about Bradley Palmer and his summer home "Willow Dale".  One more recent thought-provoking discovery happened when I decided to look up translations for the Latin phrases I found etched in stone and glass around the house.


The translation for "haec olim meminisse juvabit", found in one of the Dining Room windows (pictured right), led me to wonder about the ideals that guided Bradley Palmer's life and the context of these words in his home.  I learned that this is a line from Virgil's epic poem "The Aeneid" loosely translates to "...perhaps one day you'll even delight in remembering this."   


You've faced rabid Scylla, and her deep-sounding cliffs:

and you've experienced the Cyclopes's rocks:

remember your courage and chase away gloomy fears:

perhaps one day you'll even delight in remembering this.

Through all these misfortunes, these dangerous times,

we head for Latium, where the fates hold peaceful lives

for us: there Troy's kingdom can rise again. Endure,

and preserve yourselves for happier days.'


-translation from A. S. Kline © 2002 All Rights Reserved  


We know that the Dining Room was  renovated in the 1920's to repurpose the space from horse stables to a formal Dining Room, and we also know that Bradley Palmer served as part of the American delegation at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919.  After seeing the effects of World War I, I wonder if Bradley Palmer was feeling that this passage from "The Aeneid" was particularly relevant to his recent experiences.  Perhaps this bit of text is just a meaningful memory from a Latin class, or perhaps you have another theory you'd like to share with us.      


For more historic conversation about Willowdale Estate, join me for a guided Historic Tour on Tuesday, November 18th at 6pm.  Read more about the event or register here. 


 Sarah Boucher, Sr. Sales and Marketing Manager  

Willowdale Kitchens: Pear Mostarda for your Thanksgiving Day Table



4-5 pears, cored, peeled and cut into wedges

1/2 liter of water

2 cups sugar

1 Thai bird chile

2 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard powder

1/2 tsp mustard seed

1/4 tsp mustard oil (optional)




1. Bring sugar and water to a boil, whisking until dissolved.

2. Add the rest of the ingredients except the pears.

3. Cook syrup for 5 minutes, then add pears.

4. Cook pears over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, or until softened but not falling apart.

5. Cool pears in liquid, serve at room temperature.

Fall in New England always evotes such warm and cozy feelings for us here at the Estate. It's a time of transition as we head into our indoor weddings and events, but one that features warm flickering fireplaces, intimate gatherings amongst family and friends, and rich flavorful food that delights our taste buds.


One of the most important events of the season is of course Thanksgiving, when family and friends come together to enjoy in each other, and give thanks for all of the people and things that give richness to their lives. As this wonderful holiday approaches, we wanted to bring something from our Thanksgiving table to yours, and introduce you to a flavorful dish that is the perfect accompaniment to any traditional Thanksgiving meal: Pear Mostarda.


Mostarda, which gets its origins in Italian cooking, is a wonderful condiment composed of preserved fruit and a mustard-flavored syrup. Regardless of what type of poultry, pork, or beef you choose to serve at your Thanksgiving meal, pear mostarda provides the perfect mixture of sweet and spicy to accompany a main dish. It also pairs well with cheese and crackers as a hors d'oeuvre before dinner, and would be wonderful as a hostess gift if you're traveling to someone else's home for the holidays. Enjoy this simple recipe from our kitchen!   



 This recipe was also featured in our Fall Flavors Cooking Class, which was hosted at Willowdale Estate last month by our Executive Chef, Benjamin Lightbody. For information about other upcoming Signature Events here at the Estate, please visit our website at: http://willowdaleestate.com/about-willowdale/signature-events/  


Feature contributed by Kaitlin Umbro, Wedding Sales Manager 

Tuesday, November 18th - HISTORIC TOUR  (registration & info)
Monday, December 1st - HOLIDAY CONCERT (tickets & info)
Monday, December 10th - HOLIDAY FAMILY CELEBRATION  (registration & info)
For more info about these events, or planning your own Willowdale Estate Event contact us: Info@WillowdaleEstate.com