Welcoming homesPublished on November 1, 2010

  • Mary's Must-Haves: Kiels Gift Set

  • Mary's Must-Haves: MK Hat and Gloves

  • Mary's Must-Haves: Roots purse

  • Mary's Must-Haves: Schad boots

  • Mary's Must-Haves: Stuart Weitzman purse

  • Mary Taggart. (Photo by Mark Holleron)

Believe it or not, my husband and I sometimes argue during the holiday season! And it's all because we seem to have a fundamental difference when it comes to entertaining . . .


Our styles clash. I love to entertain, break out the fine china, decorate the table, make elaborate meals, or call in the experts to help pull it all together. But, the guy I live with is considerably more casual than I am, or maybe he's just not as enthusiastic. 

Nevertheless, our home plays host to many people throughout the season. And the one thing we can both agree on is that there is nothing more enjoyable than opening it up to family and friends.

In this issue of Ottawa At Home we feature several like-minded people. Three homes in particular have taken the concept of "opening their doors" to the next level by hosting charitable events. Jane Whiting discovers how some splendid homes make it possible to host a crowd of guests to benefit so many worthwhile causes. Andrea Douglas also had the pleasure of visiting a family home that combines a passion for music and horses in one spectacular setting that is a great site for entertainment. 

In an effort to capture the holiday spirit, photographer Mark Holleron and I paid a visit to a woman who is known for her gracious hospitality and knowledge of wine. Madame Paradis shared her expertise on Port and how to serve it - one of us even took part in the tasting process! While I won't say who was drinking on the job, you will note that the photography is crystal clear and I can only hope that the words show similar clarity.

If sampling the subject is part of the job, Paula Roy has the best job in town! She managed to talk some of the city's most celebrated chefs into sharing their favorite holiday recipes. Our food section is spectacular this issue. We even offer up a winning recipe using caviar - oh the decadence!

And finally, read about an organization that helps to launch the careers of some of the world's finest young pianists in Catherine Clark's Giving Back column. 

This issue reminds me of my favorite line from Shakespeare "If music be the food of love, play on . . ." 


Comfort & Joy


Merry (My festive season name!)


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