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A Playlist for a Dinner Party.

By: Jen Shoop

I’ve written elsewhere that music is a key ingredient to a successful gathering at home, and, over the years, have curated dozens of playlists for a broad range of entertaining occasions — everything from dinner with in-laws to late night dance parties to lazy Sunday hang-outs. Today, I thought I’d share one of my favorite playlists, titled “That Must Be Nigel with the Brie.” This playlist is perfect for a classy cocktail or dinner party, the kind where you might be eating off of formal china now but the wine is flowing. In other words, this playlist is a great mix of the sophisticated and the soulful. If you were born in the 80s, you’ll understand the title, which is pirated from a line in “10 Things I Hate about You.” In the movie, a group of uptight, academically-oriented students are enjoying a highbrow gathering at home when the doorbell rings and an onslaught of the entire high school student body tramples in. Unaware of the imminent arrival of their wild and unwieldy classmates, one character says, in a nasal voice: “That must be Nigel with the Brie!” My sister and I find endless applications for this quote, but it feels just right for the following playlist: a good mix of pinky out and shoes off. Think candles burning low and a good barolo open on the coffee table.

I’ve created the playlists on Apple Music and Spotify in case it’s easier to access that way. But here is the playlist, top to bottom.

“MANOIR DE MES REVES” // DJANGO REINHARDT

“HOMESICK” // THE MARCUS KING BAND

“MERRY GO ROUND” // THE EQUATICS

“TEZETA” // MULATU ASTATKE

“ME & MR JONES” // AMY WINEHOUSE

“SAME OLD NEWS” // LAKE STREET DIVE

“PAPERBACKS” // ARLO PARKS

“ROCK YOUR BABY” // GEORGE MCCRAE

“HEY GIRL” // LADY GAGA FEAT FLORENCE WELCH

“SUN GO DOWN” // FAT NIGHT

“FLY ME TO THE MOON” // BOBBY WOMACK

“MIDNIGHT IN HARLEM” // TEDESCHI TRUCKS BAND

“I LOVE YOU FOR SENTIMENTAL REASONS” // NAT KING COLE

“STARDUST” // WILLIE NELSON

“HARVEST MOON” // NEIL YOUNG

“RULER OF MY HEART” // IRMA THOMAS

“CRY, CRY, CRY” // JUDITH HILL

“OUT IN THE COLD AGAIN” // VAN MORRISON

“MISTAKES” // LAKE STREET DIVE

“I SAW STARS” // DJANGO REINHARDT

“SKIPPING STONES” // GALLANT FEAT JHENE AIKO

Post-Scripts.

+Things I’ve learned while cooking and entertaining.

+A fab party dish.

+Entertaining girlfriends at home.

+Some great kitchen gear to amp up your cooking game.

+My husband’s obsession with food is one of his most attractive traits.

Shopping Break.

+A demure approach to the cut-out dress trend.

+Caspari does the cutest cocktail napkins! These and these would be so punchy on a butler’s tray with some bar snacks and a few tumblers of G&T.

+I mentioned this a few posts ago, but had to re-share: these artfolios are on sale for over 50% off and make such adorable gifts! I bought one for each of my children (they also have a black squiggle style) and a few to give away. These backpacks (also by State!) are on sale for $31 — usually $85! I know a lot of you like this brand for your children’s school backpacks.

+These personalized bow note cards are chic and adorable.

+Two fabulous tennis dresses: this Lacoste and this Varley. (More finds for summer sports here.)

+I have been to the driving range a few times recently and will be playing nine holes with Mr. Magpie this week. I’ve been getting by with pieces in my closet not specifically designated for golf (usually Lacoste polos and Lulu fitness skorts) but if I continue in this sport, I want to invest in some pieces from Byrdie, like this dress or this one.

+I can’t get over this $40 H&M dress. The neckline is so sophisticated! Reminds me of the twist necklines on several Johanna Ortiz dresses I’ve been drooling over. I feel like this dress is meant to go with a raffia platform slide.

+Speaking of Johanna Ortiz, there are a bunch of her dresses on absurd discount in very small quantities at Bergdorf’s — consider this navy (!) and this patterned midi. Also: this insanely stylish top, originally $550, now $137. Pair with jeans for the chicest fall look.

+Outrageously fun statement bag for fall.

+$100 party pants!!!!

+Tuckernuck’s beach collection has some really fun pieces —

+These dining chairs are so interesting/architectural and different.

+Usborne’s Look Inside books are such great “busy books” for little ones. Both of my children are enthralled with them. Great for Church, travel, restaurants. My daughter loves this one on human anatomy and my son adores this construction site one.

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10 thoughts on “A Playlist for a Dinner Party.

  1. OMG, I am DEAD at the title of your playlist! I recently watched 10 Things on the plane home from London and — what can I say, it completely holds up! Seriously my favorite movie from childhood … actually, now that I think about it, my top two childhood movies are both re-tellings of classic pieces of literature (the other being Clueless, of course!) On brand! haha

    I’m also thinking of Apple Music vs. Spotify — I subscribe to Apple Music (and have long been devoted to it because I can’t give up my nearly 20 years of playlists) but recently joined my parents’ family Spotify account so I can listen to music easily from my work laptop. I must say, I really like both for different reasons, but it’s annoying to have to mirror my playlists (I build a big playlist for each quarter of the year and then, in late December, distill them into one long playlist for the year … I have them going back to 2006!) I’m getting into the weeds here (lol) but curious to have your thoughts on which service you prefer, if you want to share?

    xx

    1. HA! I knew some of you would recognize the title of the playlist immediately. Children of the 80s/90s!!!

      We are an Apple Music family, through and through. We also only use Apple HomePods and other Apple devices so it feels like our home is really synced up. I only made the Spotify playlist for the purposes of this post, in fact! There have occasionally been times I’ve used Spotify to listen to a playlist someone else has shared but don’t feel a need thanks to Apple. That’s just me, though – a few of my siblings are MADLY obsessed with Spotify and insist it’s the best way to discover new music and share playlists.

      xx

    2. It’s funny, I rarely use that aspect of Spotify (the algorithmically-driven playlists it makes for me) since I typically am good at/prefer finding new music on my own. I do love Spotify’s ease in making collaborative playlists, but I’m sure Apple Music has that too (it’s just that in my peer group, 90% of my friends/family are Spotify users so I have fewer potential collaborators on Apple Music!!)

      xx

      1. That’s true – I feel like most of my friends/fam use Spotify, and maybe I’d collaborate/borrow more if we were on that platform!

  2. I YouTubed that scene from the movie and the line reading is even more perfect than I remember. Oscar for that one guy!

  3. My favorite movie! It has the best quotes that I fit into conversation way too often. I’m with Brooke – you should do a shopping list too. Thanks for a great playlist!

    “I know you can be underwhelmed and you can be overwhelmed, but can you ever just be whelmed?”

    1. I LOVE that movie as well – so many quotable lines!

      More to come re: menu / shopping list…

      xx

  4. Thanks for this! I’m laughing because Nigel with the Brie is exactly the dinner party vibe I’m going for! Will you plan my menu & shopping list next? (Kidding… but also not?)

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