Archive for December, 2011

Wilson Kelsey Design’s First Annual Virtual Champagne and Food Pairing

Well, here it is the 29th – time for our virtual tasting. (See invitation here.) Sally and I sat down Tuesday evening before dinner with our crackers, salmon, capers, onion and a bottle of Veuve Clicquot given to us by a client, determined to fight our way through this challenge. Needless to say, it was quite enjoyable and we had several good laughs as we compared notes along the way. The following are my notes and impressions as we went through the cracker, salmon, capers and onion progression. (Please add back links to your tasting blog post in the Comments section of this post.)

An impression that held true through the entire progression was of femininity and a slight sweetness. This became interesting when, after the progression, I sat down at my computer to take a look at the Veuve Clicquot website. More on that later…

Champagne: pears, ginger, citrus, sunflowers, polished, yellow, sun filled apartment

Source Unknown



Source Unknown


October 2011 Architectural Digest


Cracker: beige,  smoother, biscuits, Sally’s lemon meringue pie, soft country interior  


Source: Design Sponge


Source: Unknown


2010 Dec/2011, Jan Cote Ouest


Salmon: expansive, rounder, orange, modern, jazzy, Keith Jarrett, smoke/fog filled valley in the early AM, Hudson River School painting

Keith Jarrett, jazz pianist. Source: Unknown


Source: Unknown


Frederick Edwin Church


Source: Style by Saladino


Capers: more expansive, taste smoothed out, round and feminine, Sancerre, green fields, now I can see the vineyards, rose petals, Chopin concerto, Parisian apartment


Source: August 2011 Architectural Digest


Source: Unknown


Source: Axel Vervoordt,  Timeless Interiors


Onions: most expansive, more feminine, soft lavender, floral, quiet elegance,  Saladino, southern plantation, Charleston, French villa


May 2011,Country Living, British Edition


Source: Style by Saladino


Source: Axel Vervoordt Timeless Interiors


Source: Axel Vervoordt Timeless Interiors

After Sally and I finished our notes, I sat down at the computer to explore Veuve Cliquot. This was where things got interesting. In 2010, a ship wreck dating from the 1780’s was discovered and a quantity of intact bottles of champagne were  removed. Further research established that a number of the bottles came from Veuve Clicqout and were probably part of a shipment of champagne from Loius XVI to the Russian court. This led to exploring the wines of the French Court. Their tastes were quite varied. As I was poking through all the various wbsites, I came  across Château de Louveciennes, a small chateau given to Madame du Barry by Louis XV.

Madame du Barry. Source: Wikipedia

During her stay at the chateau she commissioned the design and construction of a small music pavillion in the new Neo-classical style by Claude Nicolas Ledoux.

Pavillion exterior from reflecting pond. Source: Unknown


Pavillion interior. Source: Unknown.


Image from Wikipedea


Image from Wikipedea


Image from Wikipedea

Thus, we conclude the First Annual Virtual Champagne and Food Tasting. Through it’s twists and turns, I thoroughly enjoyed putting the post together. Hope you’ve enjoyed reading it!


Holiday Traditions: Part 2 Yes, Son (Daughter), There IS a Santa Claus…

Each year, Sally and I savor memories of the weeks and days leading up to Christmas and Christmas morning with our son when he was very young – the excitement, the anticipation, the sitting with him explaining and discussing the larger meaning and far more important message of Christmas and the Holidays. There is one such memory that is near and dear to my heart that I’d like to share with you because it happened to me. (Thanks for the memory Mom and Dad!) Sally and I have passed the experience and memory along to our son, Drew. Some day we hope he will have the opportunity to pass the tradition along to his children.

 It has to do with the day when, as a child, you begin to realize and question and you walk up to your Mom or Dad and ask/declare with fear and trepidation – masked behind false bravado, “Mom, Dad – there isn’t really a Santa Claus is there?!?!” It is a question that each generation struggles with and asks. Mom and Dad have to answer this difficult question as best they can.

And so it was…  Drew was about 9 when he came to us asking about Santa Claus – declaring there was no such person. On Christmas Eve after he went to bed, I grabbed a pair of boots, sloshed them about in the ashes in the living room fireplace…

and then walked them to the Christmas tree

and back to the fireplace.

I put the boots away and Sally and I went to bed. Christmas morning (the usual 5 AM…) we were awakened by Drew loudly exclaiming Santa had really come! Get up! You’ve got to come down stairs to see his foot prints!!!! It is a morning we will never forget.

Happy Holidays,

Holiday Traditions: Part 1 – Luminaria Street Lighting

Once upon a time, a long, long time ago – Sally and several neighbors came up with the idea of a lighting our neighborhood streets with luminaria for an evening during the Holiday Season.  It took a little negotiating with the city, in particular the fire department, but eventually everyone agreed that it was a capital idea and well worth doing. Over the years through rain, sleet, snow and rain ( Do I sound like the mail man or what???) it has become a neighborhood tradition.  This evening, the weather was superb – encouraging me to sneak out to snap a few pictures.

The luminaria is very simple to assemble… one white paper bag filled with a little sand and a votive candle.

Place the lumineria about 10 – 12 feet apart at curbside. (Much easier done during daylight hours…)


Lighted streets in the neighborhood.


Can you see the remnants of sun set?


Have a wonderful week!

Merry, merry!

John Kelsey and Sally Wilson

Wilson Kelsey Design is an award-winning luxury architectural interior design firm serving discerning clients in Greater Boston and beyond.

With over 50 years’ combined experience, husband-and-wife team John Kelsey and Sally Wilson expertly manage the details while collaborating with you on every aspect of your design project, to create a beautiful home that reflects who you are and how you live. Our warm and approachable sensibility makes the design process an enjoyable and memorable experience, from initial design discussions through project completion.

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