Since Houston was again recently named the top party city in the nation, it's no surprise that we would have so many locals who know how to throw a good bash. The Austin-based The Salonniere entertaining website has come with its annual list of America's 100 best party hosts and hostesses and five Houstonians are on the list.
To compile the list, national and local society reporters, cultural figures, and leaders in the arts, business, and non-profit worlds were surveyed for their confidential input. Those mentioned most often were then reviewed by a group of national and local social experts and members of The Salonniere’s editorial team to determine the final list of honorees. Professional event planners and experts were considered only in their capacity as hosts in their personal lives.
"Anyone lucky enough to have received a holiday party invitation from one of these folks should raise a toast to the party gods," The Salonniere officials noted in a press release.
Count yourself fortunate if you have received an invite from Houstonians Lynn Wyatt, Becca Cason Thrash and Phoebe Tudor, who return from last year's list, along with The Salonniere 100 newcomers Isabel David and Lucinda Loya.
Wyatt is known for intimate dinner parties featuring French-style service and cuisine from her chef of 35 years at the River Oaks-area home she shares with husband Oscar. She curates the guest list with care, such at a recent dinner party for hot designer Brandon Maxwell, where she included 91-year-old uberdeveloper Gerald Hines and wife Barbara because she thought Hines and Maxwell would have a lot in common.
Cason Thrash has long won raves for elaborate and imaginative dinner parties around the indoor pool at the mammoth Memorial-area home she shares with husband, John Thrash, for many major charitable causes. She is busy at work on another big fundraiser for the Louvre in Paris next summer, with an additional trip to Venice for a La Dolce Vida Masked Ball and tour of some of the city's most revered homes and museums
Tudor and husband Bobby are known for the lavish Christmas party they host each year at their lovely Boulevard Oaks Historic District home, as well as intimate dinners and receptions on behalf of Houston arts groups, Rice University and preservation efforts.
Loya is known for hosting parties with flair — she and husband Javier's White Out parties on the night before the first Texans home game each year are legendary — and David is a gracious hostess who has a passion for fashion and the arts, co-hosting a dinner with Lynn Wyatt and Town & Country magazine to celebrate the opening of the new Saks Fifth Avenue store and benefit the Houston Grand Opera.
In Dallas, the top hosts and hostesses are Cindy Rachofsky, Elisa and Stephen Summers, Gene Jones, Heather and Ray Washburne, and Kimberly Schlegel Whitman. Rachofsky, Jones and Whitman are returnees to the list.
In Austin, the list includes Bobbi Topfer, Salonniere founder Carla McDonald, and Eugene Sepulveda and Steven Tomlinson. McDonald, who was also named to last year's list, opted out of this year's The Salonniere 100 to give her "seat" to another guest.