Bayou Bend never looked more dazzling than it did Saturday night when Bobbie and John Nau launched the holiday season with a swank party in the Cristal Palace Spiegeltent, an elaborate portable dance hall brought in from Belgium and erected in the Diana Garden.
The private party, hosted by the owners of Silver Eagle Distributors, was first in a series of holiday events to be held at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston house museum and gardens. Getting a premiere glimpse of the lighted extravaganza, even the most sophisticated guests — millionaires and a sprinkling of billionaires — were clearly enchanted.
Johnny Steele and his landscaping crew dressed seven acres of the renowned Bayou Bend gardens in colorful, fanciful lighting for the "Christmas Village at Bayou Bend" season. While the party action centered in the spiegeltent, guests such as Kathy and Marty Goossen and Soraya and Scott McClelland couldn't help but take a moment out to view the vibrant landscape of holiday luminescence.
"Being in the beer business, what could be better," Bobbie Nau explained of their venue choice for the party. "Beer people like to have fun in a relaxed atmosphere. Seriously, there are so many great venues in Houston for parties I wanted something different and a new experience for people."
For the record, in addition to Budweiser, the Naus served wines and other libations and Bobbie's favorite champagne cocktail — bubbly with pomegranate juice and a raspberry.
Decorated with Christmas trees, poinsettias and holiday table decorations, the tent was filled with the sounds of Christmas performed by a brass quartet.
City Kitchen pulled out the stops for the party with an amazing dinner spread that included a seafood bar of fresh-shucked Louisiana oysters and succulent boiled shrimp plus servings of beef tenderloin, fried quail, butternut squash and leek tarts, duck breast, cous cous pilaf, kale salad, chicken crepes, roasted beet and burrata salad and a dozen dessert offerings.
The festive crowd included MFAH director Gary Tinterow and Christopher Gardner, Bayou Bend director Bonnie Campbell, Nancy and Rich Kinder, Mindy and Jeff Hildebrand, Michelle and Frank Hevrdejs, Linda and Dr. Walter McReynolds, Pam and Dr. David Ott, Joella and Steve Mach, Tina Pyne, Roxann and Tim Neumann and Jeanie Kilroy Wilson and Wally Wilson.