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Arrival of 35-foot Fraser fir signals the start of Christmas at Biltmore

A towering 35-foot Fraser fir tree arrived at America’s Largest Home this week, the finishing touch after weeks of decorating Biltmore House for the holidays. Christmas at Biltmore, the estate’s annual holiday celebration, formally begins Saturday, Nov. 3 and runs through Jan. 6, 2019. The 35-foot Banquet Hall tree is Christmas at Biltmore’s star attraction each year. Santa rode aboard a horse-drawn carriage to usher the tree to the front door of Biltmore House. It took more than 40 staff members to hoist the tree onto their shoulders and carry it into the Banquet Hall, where a system of ropes secured the tree in place....

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Celebrate the Holidays with Chandon

While up in the culinary town of Yountville in Napa Valley, I met Pauline Lhote, one of the top California winemakers and Director of Winemaking at Domaine Chandon. She and her team are excited to debut two new festive, limited-edition Brut bottles – one in silver and gold and the other in hot pink and gold. JW: These new bottles are so pretty and perfect for the holidays. Was that your plan? CHANDON: The Chandon Brut enhances a tablescape for Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year’s Eve celebration. It’s elegant gold foil neck and effervescent label takes any holiday gathering to a new...

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Do’s and Don’ts of Thanksgiving Etiquette

Thanksgiving is a special time where we give thanks for everything and everyone in our lives.  But when family and friends who don’t see each other very often gather for the yearly feast and celebration, sometimes things get strange and awkward. How do you shut down those prying questions or handle a rogue guest? Sharon Schweitzer, an international etiquette expert, author, and founder of Protocol & Etiquette Worldwide, offers these tips to make this Thanksgiving the best ever. –        Seating Plan & Place Cards: As the host, keep the cast of family, friends, distant relatives, neighbors, and old friends...

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Sparkling Ice Holiday Cocktails

We’re excited to bring you even more cocktail recipes from SPARKLING ICE! Just in time for your holiday parties and to ring in the New Year! Surely by now your friends are begging for new recipes, as they loved our fall cocktails so much. The first one is a classic: a hot toddy. Cozy Hot Toddy Ingredients 6 oz.  Crisp Apple SPARKLING ICE 1 ½ oz.  whisky or apple brandy 1 teaspoon honey Cinnamon stick, allspice cloves, and apple slices for garnish Directions Coat the bottom of a glass coffee cup with honey. Add whisky or brandy. Heat Crisp...

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Best Time of the Year to Visit New Orleans

New Orleans, Louisiana promises and delivers good times year round. Mardi Gras brings the biggest and most boisterous crowds, summer is laid back, but the days following Thanksgiving through Christmas are the best. Temperatures are ideal; the streets are clean and warmly festooned with green boughs, red bows and white lights. New Orleans follows its deep Catholic roots and celebrates Christmas, not the winter holidays.   The season brings many special events, and one of the finest is the free concert series in the historic St. Louis Cathedral and Basilica. Listen to prominent New Orleans musicians, church choirs and...

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Holiday Spotlight with Chef Tim Keller

Luxe Beat Magazine was lucky to hear from acclaimed Executive Chef Tim Keller. He shares with us his views on the holidays and treats us to some of his favorite recipes. When I think of past and future holidays it’s the food that comes to mind first. I’m sorry loved ones! I love you, but I also LOVE my Mother’s Christmas cinnamon rolls and Aunt Roz’s Hanukkah Latkes. Truly the holidays are about sharing. Sharing this special time with family and friends and enjoying each other’s traditional culinary delicacies. I suggest traveling and sampling as many different holiday foods...

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XXIV Karat Gold Diggers Make a Splash

Champagne is my absolute favorite cocktail. Give me some bubbles in a flute of sparkling wine or Prosecco and I’ll be happy. Indulgence is everything when you’re celebrating and “bubbles” is my red carpet drink. When I thought nothing could be better than a brut glass of sparkling wine, I discovered my cocktail could become more luxurious with a new spirit called XXIV Karat. It’s the first California sparkling wine infused with indulgent 24-karat gold flakes. Trying this new brand wasn’t enough, I was even more intrigued when I found out that co-founders Nicholas Cowherd and Kegan Klein are...

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Holiday Tips for Gifting and Pairing Wines

By Paula Moulton With the holidays right around the corner, some of us are asking the question: How the heck do I pick up a great wine? Tips for Gifting Wine: Be Adventurous: Dare to be different and pick your wine based on the beauty of its label as long as it fits in with your price range. You may be surprised to learn that wine labels oftentimes reflect the personality of the wine in the bottle so perhaps your eye will be your trainer for the evening. Don’t Forget to Share: Wine is about sharing, so bring the...

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Ring in the New Year with Tasty Treats

‘Tis the season for swirls of parties, gifts and tantalizing food. It tends to be an overwhelming time of year. However, with the help of Mrs. Prindable, you can find success in all these areas! Her line of homemade chocolate treats provide the perfect dessert to welcome in the New Year or delectable present for loved ones. New Year’s Specialties While a rendition of “Auld Lang Syne” ushers in the new year, serve up a delicious treat that doubles as an eye-catching decoration from Mrs. Prindable’s Handmade Confections. As they count down to midnight, guests will be delighted to find that...

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Chef Brian Lee’s Twist On Thanksgiving

If you’re looking for a twist on a traditional Thanksgiving meal this year, Executive Chef Brian Lee with the Trump SoHo New York has a few recipes that he was happy to share with our Luxe Beat Magazine audience. Forget the turkey and try his Free Ranged Chicken Breast and Tea Bag recipe instead. Butternut Squash Soup, Potato Bread Stuffing and Kale Salad with Ginger Vinaigrette round out the rest of the meal, and yes, you can still have a slice of traditional pumpkin pie for dessert. Butternut Squash Soup Ingredients: 4 cups diced butternut squash 1 cup diced carrots...

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Wiesbaden’s Twinkling Christmas Market

Early spring, I was fortunate to have an inexpensive ticket to Frankfurt and ended up discovering Wiesbaden. The city, with its friendly residents, festivals and beauty, captured my heart. I had to share this historic find with my husband. December found us back in Wiesbaden for the Twinkling Star Christmas Market. After checking in at the Hotel Radisson SAS Schwarzer Bock, we bundled up and ventured out to the excitement of Schlossplatz, which was transformed by the Wiesbaden Twinkling Star Christmas Market. Walking the streets while sipping gluhwein (mulled spiced hot wine) in the cold allowed the holiday spirit...

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Holiday Party Goer: The Ultimate Style Guide for the Season

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Present wrapping, festive cookies, holiday parties. Spread good cheer with holiday attire that is just right! With so many different directions you can go, make sure you are the perfect party goer this season. Here are a few options that are sure to get you noticed… A one shoulder dress is not only flattering, but sexy! It shows off your shoulders while still looking sophisticated. Because of this neckline, it allows your to dazzle with a bold pair of earrings to complete the look. Going from work to play? A fitted...

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