The University of Louisiana-Lafayette Hospitality Management students and the Louisiana Restaurant Association teamed up for their Food & Wine Soiree at the Alumni House. There wasn’t a parking place to be had as more than 20 restaurants and wineries pitched their tents al fresco. The $75-a-ticket guests received a complimentary wineglass for their support, and ready on the line was Drago’s, Lafayette’s new kid on the block; the Petroleum Club’s Gorden Duhon; Charley G’s; Walk-On’s; Fezzo’s and an excellent bottle of Diora, a red blend of syrah, grenache, viognier and petit Bordeaux, courtesy of Delicato Family Vineyards.

Champagne & Shivers

Gretchen Stewart hosted the ladies of Asbury Methodist’s Handmade Grace Ministry for Champagne and then some at her Bendel Gardens home. The women took a secular leave of absence for a little seasonal celebrating amid Stewart’s spookacular decorations and desserts, as did we. What we loved: Gretchen’s gracious hospitality, the crows on the cabinets, and Abby the Corgi, who knows when it’s time to take pictures. We get what the royal family sees in them.

Ladies Day

Barbecue ribs and Christmas — what else could you want? Paul Michael hosted a Ladies Day for pre-holiday shoppers that was better than a wrapped-up present. In addition to its own extravagant trees and décor, select vendors set up temporary shop, including Quintessential Private Collection, with its on-the-spot spa facials, and jewelry-loving Bayou Bohemian. Guests enjoyed wine, cocktails, beer and bargains all afternoon, and making the most of a Saturday were mother-daughter duos Jana Duncan and Jan Whatley, Ashley Rivero and Caroline Michot, and Patricia Cameron with Harmon Hall, who has the finest manners we’ve ever seen in a 10-year-old.

Patricia Gannon covers society for The Acadiana Advocate. She can be reached at