Hostess With the Mostest

Three stylish Houstonians honored on luxe list of best party hosts in the U.S.

Three stylish Houstonians honored as top party hosts in the nation

News, Shelby, Becca Cason Thrash, Nov. 2015
Becca Cason Thrash. © Michelle Watson/Catchlight Group
10 Phoebe Tudor wearing Brunello Cucinelli at the MFAH Grand Gala October 2014 GOWNS
Phoebe Tudor. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
News, Shelby, MFAH gala gowns, Oct. 2015 Lynn Wyatt in Oscar de la Renta
Lynn Wyatt. © Michelle Watson/Catchlight Group
News, Becca Cason Thrash, Nov. 2015
Becca Cason Thrash creates a lavish setting for the Best Buddies benefit dinner.  Photo by Shelby Hodge
News, Becca Cason Thrash, Nov. 2015
Becca Cason Thrash creates a lavish setting for the Best Buddies benefit dinner.  Photo by Shelby Hodge
Austin Photo Set: influentials_Carla McDonald_feb 2013
The Salonier founder Carla McDonald of Austin. Photo by Jessica Pages
News, Shelby, Museum of Fine Arts gala, Oct. 2015, Peter Copping, Lynn Wyatt
Lynn Wyatt introduced a large audience to her entertaining style as chair of the Museum of Fine Arts Houston ball in October. © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
News, Shelby, Becca Cason Thrash, Nov. 2015
10 Phoebe Tudor wearing Brunello Cucinelli at the MFAH Grand Gala October 2014 GOWNS
News, Shelby, MFAH gala gowns, Oct. 2015 Lynn Wyatt in Oscar de la Renta
News, Becca Cason Thrash, Nov. 2015
News, Becca Cason Thrash, Nov. 2015
Austin Photo Set: influentials_Carla McDonald_feb 2013
News, Shelby, Museum of Fine Arts gala, Oct. 2015, Peter Copping, Lynn Wyatt

So many parties, so little time. It's the Shelby Hodge mantra.

So when Carla McDonald, founder of Austin-based The Solanniere blog, called asking for recommendations on H-town's hosts with the most, it was fairly simple to come up with my list of tops in entertaining. But I wasn't the only one she surveyed for the nationwide list of the top 100 hosts in the nation. 

The Salonniere 100 was drawn from nominations from society reporters, philanthropists, dignitaries and more, in all, 1,000 social cognescenti from coast to coast. As The Salonniere puts it, those who make the top 100 "are the fete-fabulous folks who bend over backwards to entertain with such flair that you'd be wise to move a mountain or two to attend one of their soirees ... that is, if you're fortunate enough to be invited."

McDonald's bright and snappy on-line repartee is a one-stop shop for all things party-related. The  site serves as a resource for hostess tips, fashion musts and festivity how-tos.

Selected as Houston's grande dames of elegant entertaining — Becca Cason Thrash, Phoebe Tudor and Lynn Wyatt. Add to those party-istas Houston native Allison Sarofim, who calls New York home.

Over the top

Cason Thrash is known for throwing the most elaborate, imaginative parties in town for the charities she supports including American Friends of the Louvre, Best Buddies and Houston Ballet. While these bashes are orchestrated by Becca for several hundred, all seated in the Memorial area home she shares with John Thrash, her more intimate dinner parties are equally compelling. Think 30 seated for dinner at one long table decorated to the hilt for guests such as Duran Duran's Simon Le Bon and John Taylor or consider the Saturday afternoon that she hosted the wedding of Dominique Sachse and Nick Florescu.

Genteel entertaining

When Tudor and husband Bobby open their resplendent home in the Boulevard Oaks Historic District, guests know that they will be warmly welcomed and graciously entertained. (We recall one Christmas party where one or the other stood at the door all night as some 300 guests came and went.) Whether it's an intimate Houston Symphony dinner with cellist Yo-Yo Ma or a massive event for several hundred, Phoebe executes every element to perfection.

Sophistication plus

La Wyatt took her sophisticated entertaining style to a broader audience in October when she chaired the Museum of Fine Arts Houston Grand Gala Ball, transforming Cullinan Hall into a vast replica of her River Oaks dining room. When entertaining at home, she typically has two beautifully-decorated tables of 10 for dinner. The French-style service and divine menus from her French chef make every evening special. Lynn typically holds court at one table and husband Oscar at the other, swapping seats before dessert.

Sarofim is best known for her A-list laden Halloween parties, the most recent of which captured ink in Vogue on-line.

Other Texans on the list include Julie Blakeslee, John Hogg and David Garza in Austin; Gene Jones, Cindy Rachofsky, Nancy Rogers and Kimberly Schlegel Whitman in Dallas; and Alice Carrington Foultz in San Antonio.

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