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  • Alex Hitz for Town & Country

House Party

It’s considered the jewel of the South’s social season, and on that subject, 400 Georgians can’t be wrong.

AN ANNUAL BENEFIT FOR THE ATLANTA History Center, the Swan House Ball always takes place in April. Last year’s black-tie dinner-dance celebrated the 86th anniversary of the Italianate masterpiece, which was originally commissioned by a cotton broker and his wife, Edward and Emily Inman. The chairman, my buddy Aimee Chubb, called me to design the party and cook for it. I was flattered, because my mother Caroline Shaw had been involved with the Swan House for more than 40 years, and I had often been a guest at the ball.

I bought 750 yards of green and white linen toile de Jouy and draped it over everything that didn’t move, and I sent out to an ecclesiastical supply house for its tallest candles. Dinner was creamed shrimp with country ham, chicken potpie, lemon icebox cake, and See’s handmade chocolates.

Thanks to the Beverly Bremer Silver Shop, Atlanta’s treasure trove for all things sterling, which let me borrow more than $1 million worth of antique sterling silver epergnes, tureens, and champagne buckets to use as centerpieces. It was my take on a spring evening at home in Atlanta in 1928. Even Mrs. Inman would have been happy: The event raised an impressive amount. For tickets to this year’s ball, on April 18, contact Katherine Hoogerwerf, 404-814-4102.

SWAN SONG Hitz (below center) ordered 3,000 Versilia roses and monogrammed napkins. The cookbook author and former chef celebrated home cooking with his menu.

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