May is upon us and it is definitely a favorite month for me! One of my college best friends is a Louisville native and she instilled in me an early appreciation for Derby Day. Fried chicken, mint juleps, loud hats, sundresses, a little innocent betting—what's not to love! In this chat, Alex Mason, the artist behind the exuberant wallpaper and textile collection that is Ferrick Mason, is here to share some of her Derby Day favorites with us. So if you don't have Derby plans as of yet, I think some inside scoop from one of Versaille, KY's friendliest folks will get you excited for race day tomorrow.
Cheers and happy julep sipping!
Ferrick Mason's Lexington Pink Oyster fabric
Let's pretend you're hosting a big soiree, what patterns from your collection would you use to set a formal dining table?
Definitely Lexington Pink Oyster with Alex Blush napkins.
Ferrick Mason's Heather Soft Jade fabric
Since it's so close to Derby Day let's turn this question around. What patterns from your collection do you think would be fun to set a Derby Day tailgating table?
I think Heather Soft Jade would be great for a tailgate party.
Mark & Graham's personalized mint julep cup is perfect for sipping on derby day and makes a fine floral vessel during the rest of the year.
Are you a mint julep lady or will you be sipping something else?
I only drink Mint Juleps once a year and I haven't missed having one in the past 20 years on Derby Day. When we lived in LA, we would host a big Derby Party and my husband has mastered the simple syrup for the Mint Julep, but you also need fresh mint, good bourbon, crushed ice, and of course, a sterling silver julep cup.
Any southern recipes that you love to cook this time of year?
For our Derby Party, I would serve up some Bluegrass favorites, Green Goddess dressing with lots of anchovy and crudités, Beer Cheese from Bluegrass Winner's cookbook (1st edition) and Shrimp with Roumalade from the same cookbook. I would order Country Ham from Broadbent's and serve with homemade or Sister Schubert's small yeast rolls, make homemade Derby Pie and order Rebecca Ruth's Bourbon Balls.
Ferrick Mason's Lexington Dogwood fabric
Are any of your patterns inspired by native Kentucky flora and fauna?
Yes, Lexington Dogwood. I created it when I was living in Los Angeles and homesick for the spring beauty of Kentucky. The Dogwoods are always blooming during the spring race meets at Keeneland and at Churchill Downs Derby.
Alex's Airbnb, called High Style on the Bourbon Trail is above her studio.
You've lived all around the world, from LA to New Zealand to your current home of Versailles, KY. What is your favorite thing about living in Versailles?
It is a rural small town, that is all of the sudden up-and-coming with new restaurants and shops and even a boutique hotel with a micro distillery is in the works. It is so fun to watch the transformation of our quiet little town into more of a tourist destination. The bourbon trail is really popular and we have an Airbnb above our showroom studio, called High Style on the Bourbon Trail, outfitted with Ferrick Mason and my art. We live two blocks away from our Studio and Main St. and I love being able to walk everywhere and not have to get into a car.