But forget those dates. The only one you really need to remember is Sunday, May 5, when from 2 to 5 p.m., the Restaurant at Madrona Manor in Healdsburg is hosting a “Great Gatsby Soiree.”
What better place for it, in Sonoma County, anyway? According to owners Bill and Trudi Konrad, the grand 1881 Victorian mansion on a Westside Road hillside has been the site of many over-the-top celebrations such as those showcased in the novel chronicling a wild, wealthy summer of 1922.
With its rolling lawns, lavish gardens for discreet tête-à-têtes, and winding driveway for elegant motorcars, it’s easy to feel Gatsby-chic. The warrens of ornately decorated rooms and porches promise luxury as well as playful games of hide-and-seek.
For its tribute to the Roaring 20’s and The Jazz Age, the Manor will be transformed into an adult playground, with a vintage lawn party, swinging live jazz, Gatsby-inspired food by Michelin-starred chef Jesse Mallgren, retro cocktails, and silly games. All guests are encouraged to wear 1920’s fashions, and those with a gift for dance can share their best versions of the Shimmy, Charleston or Black Bottom.
The $65 soiree includes food plus two vintage cocktails, and chef Mallgren has created a special menu of appetizers that are directly inspired by passages from The Great Gatsby:
“At his parties, Gatsby served spiced baked hams crowded against salads of harlequin designs and pastry pigs and turkeys bewitched to a dark gold.”
• Crispy local oyster wrapped in spiced ham
• Waldorf salad of celery root, roasted grapes, black walnuts and buttermilk
• Suckling pig "pork pie"
“A succulent hash arrived and Mr. Wolfshiem, forgetting the more sentimental atmosphere of the old Metropole, began to eat with ferocious delicacy.”
• Lobster hash of cured egg, dry farmed potato chips and caviar
“Daisy and Tom were sitting opposite each other at the kitchen table with a plate of cold fried chicken between them and two bottles of ale.”
• Cold fried chicken with goat milk biscuits and dark ale mayonnaise
Gatsby was famous for opening his home to guests, and for soiree-goers wanting a deeper taste can reserve one of the 22 rooms in the Manor or its adjacent cottages. Party-goers who wish to stay over the night of the event will receive a special package rate of $350, which includes deluxe Sunday-night accommodations, two tickets to The Great Gatsby Soiree, and a lavish buffet breakfast.
All attendees, meanwhile, will receive a come-back voucher for 25% off their room bill during a subsequent Sunday-Thursday stay (valid May 6-Dec. 31, 2013).
Details: Madrona Manor, 1001 Westside Rd., Healdsburg, 707-433-4231, madronamanor.com. Tickets are available at gatsbyatmadrona.eventbrite.com.
Tip: Go Gatsby style, in a shiny, chauffer-driven limo or Town Car from Pure Luxury Transportation.