An inspired mid-winter dinner

Aran Goyoaga's Seattle studio. Photo by Dorothee Brand

Stylist Jenn Elliott-Blake

Stylist Jenn Elliott-Blake

At the end of January, when Seattle was still dark and hibernating, my friend and stylist Jenn Elliott-Blake and I decided to get people out of their homes into my studio for a simple mid-winter communal dinner.

I shared recipes from that event on the blog before, but now I wanted to share images from that night with you. All the photos in this post were taken by our dear friend and photographer Dorothee Brand.

It was a night about Hygge.

Aran Goyoaga's Seattle studio | Photo by Dorothee BrandAran Goyoaga's Seattle studio | Photo by Dorothee Brand

Hygge banner by Julian Manchik

Hygge banner by Julian Manchik

Aran Goyoaga's Seattle studio | Photo by Dorothee Brand


“The art of building sanctuary and community, of inviting closeness and paying attention to what makes us feel open hearted and alive”

This is what we went by. And in the process, many people collaborated.

My super talented friend Jenn Elliott-Blake designed and styled the table and the flower arrangements. Denim, leather, cotton, vintage flatware, wood… So much texture and all in a very minimal way. Jenn had the idea for leather pouches to hold the menus and our friend Keli of Dry Goods Design came to the rescue. The two of them stayed up late one night cutting and sewing leather. These two women constantly inspired me and I have learned so much from them.

The beautiful menus and the inspired Hygge banner were designed by Julia Manchik. One side the menu, the other a map of Seattle. Brilliant.

The cotton came from our favorite flower shop in Seattle Marigold and Mint. If you are ever in town, a must-visit.

Dorothee Brand photographed the entire event and of course, I cooked and taught along. We divided people into groups and everyone cooked part of the meal we ended up eating that night. I couldn’t have done it without Kathleen and Molly who assisted in the cooking that evening.

Seattle Farm Tables let us borrow the most beautiful rustic benches and San Juan Island Sea Salt Company donated little jars of flaky sea salt for all the attendees.

Aran Goyoaga's Seattle studio | Photo by Dorothee BrandAran Goyoaga's Seattle studio | Photo by Dorothee BrandAran Goyoaga's Seattle studio | Photo by Dorothee BrandAran Goyoaga's Seattle studio | Photo by Dorothee BrandAran Goyoaga's Seattle studio | Photo by Dorothee BrandAran Goyoaga's Seattle studio | Photo by Dorothee BrandAran Goyoaga's Seattle studio | Photo by Dorothee BrandAran Goyoaga's Seattle studio | Photo by Dorothee BrandAran Goyoaga's Seattle studio | Photo by Dorothee BrandAranJennDinner170Aran Goyoaga's Seattle studio | Photo by Dorothee Brand

It was such a fun evening and the collaborative spirit keeps feeding me.

Some of the recipes for that night are here and here.

And there will be other events and inspiring collaborations.

More here.

Thank you to everyone involved. x

you may also like…

22 Responses to “An inspired mid-winter dinner”

  1. Sina says:

    I love the tablescape, especial those cotton branches. Looks like such a nice collaboration. Beautiful!

  2. Rosa says:

    Wonderful! This is a fabulous dinner party.



  3. What a warm atmosphere! The food look just wonderful. Love the idea to cook all together… Beautiful event. I am going to read the recipes…. :-)

  4. Rosy Sh says:

    Beautiful as always..♡

  5. Aran
    Exactly what I expected…simple sophisticated beauty. I’m sure everyone left your studio changed in some small way for the better. Lovely images and post.
    xo Sally

  6. Do you allow Pinning? Tried to pin it to my entertaining and wedding boards but doesn’t allow it. It help you to have more traffic. I love your simple elegant style and I have a young friend getting married whom I think would appreciate reading this.

    We also do progressive dinners and this would be delightful at one.

    Mary Fioretti

  7. Rachel says:

    I absolutely LOVE that Hygge banner, is there anyway to purchase one? It’s amazing.

  8. Bee says:

    What a wonderful evening. Thank you to you and everyone involved for putting the dinner together. It was so much fun and I can’t wait to do it again soon!

  9. Thanks for sharing these pictures from your lovely studio. Pure inspiration. Hygge as it is supposed to be.

  10. Yamilka says:

    Que fabuloso se ve todo! Se puede palpar lo feliz que estas en Seattle, Aran, y el sentido de comunidad que transmiten las fotos es increible. En horabuena… y que continuen los exitos!

  11. Hi Aran! Such an inspiring event – love everything about it. And the table setting is stunning with that denim blue table cloth…

  12. Shelby says:

    What an absolutely eloquent dinner party.. I love your warm, winter inspiration and *perfect* portrayal of just everything that “hygge” encompasses… Having lived in Copenhagen for 4 years, I can attest, that this evening lived up to the special word perfectly… beautiful!

  13. yelle says:

    beautiful! i have seen this all over pinterest – it is such a hit and definitely eye candy.

  14. What a wonderful scene – from the smiles and friendship to the food, plate, and decor!

  15. Gloria says:

    Beautiful dinner and party.

    I’ve been a long time fan of your blog but have never commented. I’m very disappointed that you are comfortable working with Julia Manchik who has been homophobic and discriminated against a gay person who wanted to use her services. I know it’s everyone’s choice to believe what they want but it’s our choice to boycott people who think it’s okay to make others feel bad about themselves.
    Promoting Julia Manchik is promoting her values. Maybe you feel the same way and we just don’t know or maybe you didn’t know about her views. I hope it is the first because I am a very big fan of yours, have bought your book, and came to a signing.

  16. Gloria says:

    I meant to say I hope it is the second!

  17. Tonya says:

    Can we please do this when I am in Seattle?? :) I can’t wait to come visit!!! XOXO

  18. […] have been part of such a special evening through our stitches and favorite fabrics (that rich denim on the table is our Lightweight Organic […]

  19. Paris says:

    Just made this and turn out too gooey inside after 70 metinus in the oven :(I had to substitute spelt flour (which I didn’t have available in my kitchen today) with half self raising and half whole flour..could this be the reason? thanks Sarah I looove your blog

  20. […] / B. / C. / D. / E. / F. / G. / H. / I. / J. / K. / L. / M. / N. / O. / P. / […]

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.