High Hampton Inn
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Archive for the ‘Q & A’ Category

A DIY Perspective on High Hampton’s Dinner in the Dahlias

August 4th, 2014 by Staff

Where in the world can you enjoy a five-course meal among two acres of five ft heirloom dahlia blooms in an amazing color palette? At North Carolina’s Mountain Resort – High Hampton Inn!

Caroline Grogan, Director of Group Sales/Events at High Hampton, helps orchestrate each of these extravagant dinner affairs.

In this DIY world, her insight into planning High Hampton’s Dinner in the Dahlias can help inspire even the least creative of party planners in the making.

What makes Dinner in the Dahlias so special and why are they important to you?

The Dinner in the Dahlias events are my signature events that I look forward to each year.  The dinners have a restricted number of guests for an intimate affair, so I’m able to put all of my energy into the design—the tablescapes—and be immersed in the details.

How do you and the team prepare/research for these dinners?

Our culinary team insists on the freshest ingredients—so their research for building the menu for these grand meals happens very close to the evening to incorporate High Hampton’s Southern roots with fresh vegetables, intricate spices from our gardens, and menu items that tickle the palette.   Our Food and Beverage Manager, Brian Humphreys, works closely with the Chef to create a wine list for the evening that pairs well with the menu offered. 

Décor research is treated differently, as I plan months in advance.  With each new season of Dinner in the Dahlias, my goal is to constantly change the look and feel of the event, but to have one detail that ties each season’s dinners together.  For example, in one year I will use a specific table runner material but in different hues for each dinner.

What are your plans for the upcoming August dinners?

This year I am taking the approach with my design of “modern meets vintage.”  I’m combining very modern crisp linens with vintage china and centerpiece containers.  Each dinner will have this overall theme, but color schemes and china patterns will be different.

What is tablescaping and why is it important?

Just as a yard is landscaped—so should your dinner space.  “Tablescaping” is the design approach you use for your dining tables.  The design of the table décor sets the tone of the evening.  If you are planning a fancier evening, proper glassware and candle holders can set that mood for you—and the same being true for a more casual affair.

Where do you get your inspiration and what advice do you have for people who might be looking to recreate the elegance of these dinners at home?

Surprisingly, I get a lot of inspiration for my tablescaping in the produce department at the grocery store.  I would recommend looking in unusual and unique places for new ideas. At the grocery store, there are so many vegetables that are delicious but also can be beautiful in their texture and colors within centerpieces or as accents.  Another suggestion is to incorporate design trends. For example, the current mix-and-match trend with different patterns and antiques can be a very economical way to stage your table and make the look appear very eclectic, yet professional.

For additional details regarding Dinner in the Dahlias next scheduled dinner on August 18, 2014, visit www.highhamptoninn.com/events-detail.aspx?eid=17.

 

An NC Mountain Wedding – Q&A with wedding coordinator Caroline Grogan

December 23rd, 2013 by Staff

High Hampton Inn is lucky to have Caroline Grogan as our Director of Groups Sales and Events.  A big part of Caroline’s job is helping brides create a perfect, one-of-a-kind wedding. Our beautiful scenery and the convenience of having everything you need in one place are just some of the reasons why couples choose to tie the knot here.

Caroline took some time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions about getting married at High Hampton Inn.

What is the most popular wedding venue at High Hampton Inn?

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The Hampton Lawn is the most popular ceremony site.

The most popular wedding ceremony venue is the Grand Lawn overlooking the scenic mountains and lake.  Our most popular reception venue is our Pavilion, located on the driving range.  The space can accommodate both small intimate receptions and is also absolutely expandable (being on the driving range) by adding tents for the larger receptions.

What is your favorite thing about weddings at High Hampton Inn?

There are many aspects to weddings at High Hampton that I truly love.  First and foremost, I love the relationship that I’m able to build with the bride and the families involved.  I spend roughly a year helping create the day that she has always envisioned.  Because she entrusts such huge memories of her lifetime to me—we usually build a FAST bond.  The friendships we build usually last much past the actual wedding day.  I also love that with our venues already being so beautiful, it is so easy for brides to add a little or over the top décor to make it what they want it to be.  All spaces feature earth-tones, neutrals, and overwhelmingly natural beauty—they are easy to dress up!

How can couples make a destination wedding at High Hampton Inn affordable?

When planning a wedding, the objective when reviewing your budget is allowing for your priorities.  If the photographer is more important to you than the entertainment, make adjustments to allow for that specific photographer that you want. If the food and beverages are more important to you than the décor—then make adjustments to allow for your dream menu.  High Hampton Inn is more affordable for the smaller weddings if the bride and groom are flexible in the day of their ceremony/reception.  Because Saturdays are such high-volume wedding days, Sunday—Friday weddings require less minimum rooms to be filled, and most vendors also discount on those days as well.

What do you think separates High Hampton Inn from other wedding destinations?

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High Hampton Inn offers gorgeous, natural settings perfect for any style of wedding.

Since we are able to offer accommodations to the friends and family participating in the wedding events throughout the weekend, High Hampton is unique in that the experience provided to the guests makes it feel more like being at summer camp with your closest friends and families.  There are not many other venues that can boast being able to host all of your guests for a more cohesive weekend—as opposed to everyone being spread out throughout a town of multiple hotels, etc.  In this scenario, the bride and groom really feel like they are able to spend more quality time with their guests and are not trying to pack it into a rehearsal dinner and wedding reception.

How far in advance should brides begin planning a wedding at High Hampton Inn?

If you have a specific date in mind, it is best to reach out immediately, however I always suggest—find the venue that you want and then be flexible with dates in order to allow for availability at that venue.  I can plan a wedding on this end in one month’s time, however that does not include the process for invitations, buying a dress, etc.  Because High Hampton Inn is so inclusive—its very easy to sit down and plan an event here within a couple of hours.

 

For additional details about hosting your dream destination wedding at High Hampton, please fill out the information request form on the Website.

90 Years of Making Memories – A High Hampton Inn Coffee Table Book

November 14th, 2012 by Staff

In honor of High Hampton Inn’s 90th anniversary, Becky McKee has compiled a coffee table book that takes a look back at all of the memories shared during the past 90 seasons. You can purchase the book for $29.95, plus tax and shipping. For more information about ordering it, please visit our online shop.

Becky took a few moments to answer a few questions about why she created the book and what her favorite High Hampton Inn memories are.

1. What inspired you to create a coffee table book about High Hampton?

With the amazing number of photographs that we found when going through boxes that were stored from years ago, photographs that guests sent us, recent ones from our collection, and photos taken by professionals, I wanted to make sure people would be able to see these and enjoy them. It seemed like a great way to show everyone how High Hampton has changed in some ways over the years, yet many things have remained the same, such as the beauty that surrounds us here as well as the traditions and all of the activities that have been enjoyed and continue to be enjoyed by several generations of guests. Also, many people asked if we had a history of the Inn. The two cookbooks, High Hampton Hospitality and More High Hampton Hospitality, include some history but many people wanted to have a book completely devoted to it rather than a cookbook.  Also, High Hampton tends to draw people who value the Inn’s interesting past, so I thought the 90th anniversary provided me with the perfect occasion to create a book that focused on the past 90 years. My only regret is that I could not include all the photos and memories that people shared with me.

2. What types of memories were rekindled when you were putting the book together?

What really struck me when looking at the photos was the continuity that exists at High Hampton. I found photos of many people who came here as youngsters and who continue to come here (as High Hampton homeowners or Inn guests) and enjoy many of the same activities with their children and grandchildren as they enjoyed years ago. Some of these activities include hayrides, Bingo and horseracing, the donkey cart rides, playing field games and hide and seek on the spacious lawn and in the giant boxwoods, swimming and boating, The Teddy Bear Picnic, tea time, golf, tennis, and hiking. It is refreshing to know that many people still value this type of vacation that focuses on time spent with family and the enjoyment of activities that don’t require electricity and value the great outdoors.

3. What is your favorite photograph included in the book?

My favorite photograph in the book is the one of James Ray Connor, the donkey handler with donkeys, Ed and Fred. Stephen McBride, the photographer, captured the love that James Ray has for “his boys,” as well as the love they have for him in return.

Here’s a sneak peek at a few pages from our new coffee table book: