Willkommen, bienvenue, welcome.Doll, you know we hate to gossip but, sometimes, we just have to make an exception. Come close and let me whisper in your ear the names of The Salonniere 100, the 100 best party hosts in the United States. These are the fête-fabulous folks who bend over backwards to entertain with such flair that you’d be wise to move a mountain or two to attend one of their soirées…that is, if you’re fortunate enough to be invited. To compile The Salonniere 100, we asked more than 1,000 of the cognoscenti across all 50 states for the names of the party hosts in their city who entertain with unparalleled skill and grace. Among those queried were society reporters and other members of the media, social figures, philanthropists, dignitaries, arts, business and non-profit leaders, and other in-the-know influencers. Those nominated most often were then reviewed by an independent group of social authorities in the cities represented and members of The Salonniere’s editorial team.
New York’s Lela Rose prepares her suspended dining table for a dinner partyAmong the well-known party givers on the list are Lela Rose, Muriel Brandolini and Dennis Basso in New York; Eva Chow, Lulu Powers and Alex Hitz in Los Angeles; Lynn Wyatt and Becca Cason Thrash in Houston; and, in Washington, D.C., President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, whose private and unofficial dinner parties are the White House invitations prized most.
Eva Chow at home in Los AngelesMany on The Salonniere 100 – including Pamela Joyner (San Francisco), Cindy Rachofsky (Dallas), Alli Achtmeyer (Boston), and Jean and Steve Case (Washington, D.C.) – are also among the nation’s top fundraisers, adding tens of millions of dollars annually to the coffers of U.S. charities. We’re not surprised. Like the great salonnieres of the 17th and 18th century, skilled party hosts know how to leverage social gatherings to build meaningful connections, kick-start important conversations and effect change.
San Francisco’s Michael Purdy, Jay Jeffers and Vanessa Getty with interior designer Jeffrey Alan MarksOthers on The Salonniere 100 include Allison Sarofim (New York), who hosts an annual Halloween bash with a guest list rivaled only by her attention to detail; Sheikha Rima al-Sabah (Washington, D.C.), the powerhouse wife of the Kuwaiti Ambassador to the United States; Michael Purdy and Jay Jeffers (San Francisco), who are known for their wine country cocktail parties; and Patricia Barnstable Brown (Louisville), whose Kentucky Derby party has been called one of the ten best parties in the world. Bunky Cushing (Chicago), who passed away earlier this month and was known as the “Squire of Chicago,” earned a spot on The Salonniere 100 and remains on the list in memoriam.