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Essentially Lilly: A Guide to Colorful Entertaining Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; 1st edition (April 13, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060577495
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060577490
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 10 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #46,576 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

For more than 40 years, designer Lilly Pulitzer has lead the charge in pretty, preppy chic--a resort look long-worshipped by prim teens and stylish ladies alike. While the signature pink-and-lime-green floral frocks are what she's famous for, Pulitzer has also become known over the decades as the consummate hostess, now celebrated in her book Essentially Lilly: A Guide to Colorful Entertaining. Like most people with great style who aren't shy about showing it, Pulitzer put her personal stamp of informal elegance on all her gatherings, turning her home in Palm Beach back in the sixties (and beyond) into a "famously unstuffy" stomping ground for the resort town's movers and shakers. Unlike other entertaining tomes, Essentially Lilly doesn't go the route of practical party planning. Instead, Pulitzer's book unfolds like a diary of sorts, a scrapbook of her life chronicling inspirations, favorite moments, and events. Chapters are broken down into three sections reflective of the designer's lively aesthetic ("Mellow Yellow Mornings," "Think Pink Afternoons," "True Blue Evenings"), and ideas come by way of Pulitzer's Palm Beach passions--sunrise sails to the Bahamas, golf and tennis, weddings in her jungle slat house, and treasure hunting, among other things. In lieu of countless recipes (though there are a few good ones), Pulitzer extends a broader one--a more personal formula for a fun life, and in this, Essentially Lilly is dynamic and sincere. --Christene Barberich

From Publishers Weekly

For country clubbers, Lilly Pulitzer's dresses are the ultimate in preppy chic. The designer's frocks, which feature primarily pink and green floral designs, were made popular by both Jackie Kennedy and Palm Beach socialites, and are still the clothing of choice among East Coast tennis and golf enthusiasts. Now Pulitzer, who prides herself not only on her dresses but also on her ability to throw a swinging shindig in her Palm Beach backyard jungle, has jumped on the here's-how-to-entertain-with-style-and-grace bandwagon, joining Kate Spade, Martha Stewart and others. Pulitzer and Mulvaney organize their bright, coffee-table-sized volume by event, from casual occasions like sailing, campfires and breakfast in bed, to more official affairs, including bridesmaids' luncheons, "G&T" brunches and beach suppers. The recipes feature standard summer fare, such as Beer- and Lime-Marinated Flank Steak, Grilled Shrimp and Pineapple Skewers, Key Lime Mojitos and Poached Salmon with Lemon-Dill Mayonnaise. Mulvaney provides third-person commentary, while Pulitzer pipes in with occasional quotes, evident in lines such as, "Entertaining comes in many guises-sometimes it's a sit-down dinner for twenty-four and sometimes it's just breakfast in bed. 'I love the whole idea of breakfast in bed,' says Lilly. 'Imagine starting your day with such pampered luxury.' " With its photos of Lilly Pulitzer-clad models frolicking on lawns, this upbeat paean to laid-back living is sure to enchant denizens of Lilly's world, however insular a group they may be.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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See all 27 customer reviews
Gorgeous, fun book.
Real Mom
Lily's outfits just make you feel good, just like reading this book!!
Scarlet O'Hara
This purchased as a gift for my daughter, she loves it and so do I!
Deniz S Dawson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Kelly Scarborough on May 19, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Wow! What a wonderful book. Buy it without reservation! Not only is it beautifully written and illustrated with gorgeous summertime photos, it has a nice selection of what looks to be the best recipes for drinks and meals to serve for any special occasion- whether it is a tea party fundraiser or breakfast in bed. Lots of good little tips on how to just make yourself feel rejuvenated- like waking up early before every one is out and walking- either by yourself to hash out the day ahead, or with friends to share some stories. All the pictures are very "Lilly-ed" out- from the clothing to napkins and tablecloths- it is very Lilly. Makes me want to move farther south- maybe even to West Palm!
Beautiful & Spirited- would make a wonderful gift but you better buy another for yourself as well!
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By "vnssbb" on April 29, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book is so beautiful. The pictures, the message, the recipes. I sat on my deck and read this book and it made feel like I was on vacation. It also made me want to start having family and friends over more. It is a very relaxing read even if you aren't interested in recipes...it is so much more than that. Simply gorgeous!
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Barbara Rose VINE VOICE on April 13, 2004
Format: Hardcover
What I love most about this book is how it gives you excellent ideas to bring people in your life together, along with creating a nice "charity tea" where you can invite new people to come together for a worthy cause.
The recipes are fantastic, and the pictures are gorgeous.

It is inspiring and uplifting to ENJOY your life, while you lavish yourself with everything you deserve. If you are on a tight budget, there are plenty of ideas given where you can improvise and still create beautiful memories. If you don't belong to a country club, you can still play tennis or go for a walk in a beautiful park. As Lilly points out, it is much more important that you enjoy yourself, and BE yourself! Highly Recommended!

Barbara Rose, Ph.D. author of Know Yourself: A Woman's Guide to Wholeness, Radiance & Supreme Confidence and Stop Being the String Along: A Relationship Guide to Being THE ONE
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25 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Marsha Wood Wirtel on June 5, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Lilly Pulitzer's name is practically synonymous with carefree living. From the late 60s on, she has championed a way of life that is virtually unrelated in any way to how most people really live and which had as its symbol her ubiquitous, colorful, flowery shifts. As the text makes clear, Lilly doesn't care for following rules and, lucky her, she has the means to do and live as she pleases. The narrative is competently written, echoing closely a recent Vanity Fair profile on Lilly which covered the history of her famous brand and name. One doubts that Lilly herself did much of the writing, as there is very little first person accounting. Rather, the book is presented as a very long interview with Lilly's input as quotes.
The photography in Essentially Lilly is gorgeous. Ocean and garden scenes display the young, beautiful and obviously wealthy (not to mention white - there is nary a person of color in Lilly's world, apparently) frolicking per Lilly's mantra of always enjoying oneself. Lilly's fans will enjoy seeing how the sometimes outrageous prints her clothing line produced stand up through time - vintage sales photos printed next to newer images look just as fresh as they day they were taken.
As for the recipes, well, they're not impressive or complex (WASPs aren't the most enthusiastic eaters/cooks - witness Alexandra Wentworth's "The WASP Cookbook") but they work and that's what's important. The ingredients are primarily fresh fruits, veggies and seafoods which are altered as minimally as possible. In short, they're perfect for the type of Palm Beach life that Lilly loves and encourages - a type of endless summer where it never rains, no one is ever unhappy and you never drop your sandwich into the sand.
Read more ›
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Real Mom on April 26, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Gorgeous, fun book. Makes me feel like I'm in Florida. The colors are beautiful and it just makes me happy to look at the book. I've given 2 as gifts already to very happy people.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Margaret L. Finnerty on July 21, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Yes, Essentially Lilly is frothy, silly and mindless, but like a light angel food cake and berry dessert, that's what summer is about. If you like recipes and entertaining, this book is fun to flip through. One doesn't have to belong to the country club or routinely throw chic parties for a few dozen of her closest friends in order to aspire to such ideas. War and Peace it ain't, but who expected that from Lilly Pulitzer? (Maybe the last name threw some people off.) This is a pretty book with fun party and food ideas, which is sufficient entertainment for a lazy summer day either at the country club, or just dreaming about being part of that scene.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Linda on May 15, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Okay, okay -- probably most of us don't live like Lilly. I don't have a house in Palm Beach or hundreds of close friends. But don't consider this book as "must-follow-instructions" manual. Instead, consider it worthwhile as a relaxing read and inspiration for occasions when you entertain a few friends or family. I like the photos and the arrangement of contents (collections of memories, recipes, and ideas for distinctly different entertaining occasions). I've made only a few of the recipes but they were successful and really good. I think the book is worth the price.
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