News & Politics

A Night Out: A Quinntessential Housewarming for Bradlee

Stephen Ball, celebrating his 26th birthday with chocolate cake and a housewarming party.

What: Cocktails, dinner, and dancing to celebrate the housewarming and homecoming of Quinn Bradlee, son of Ben Bradlee and Sally Quinn. Quinn, 25, recently returned to Washington after attending the New York Film Academy and is moving into his new quarters—right next door to his parents. Bradlee will share his new home with long-time friend and former Pentagon chef Stephen Ball; WJLA-TV reporter Pamela Brown and Lindsey Volkmann, a health IT liaison at the National Cancer Institute, are also housemates.

Where: The historic Bradlee residences in Georgetown (one facade, two dwellings). The Colonial Revival Laird-Dunlop House was built in 1790 for tobacco-warehouse owner John Laird and later inherited by his son-in-law, Judge Dunlop. In 1915 the building was purchased by Robert Todd Lincoln, eldest son of President Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln added the wing and porch on the right side of the house, which is where Quinn and company will reside. Former Washington Post executive editor Ben Bradlee, now vice president at large, has owned the house since 1983.

When: Saturday, September 22, 6:00 PM

Who: About 200 of Washington’s notable under-30s and a few of their parents. According to one source, many of the invitees were “people who know people” or “people who are up and coming.” Among the more recognizable faces, however, were Brown's parents, Miss America 1971 Phyllis George and her husband, former Kentucky governor John Y. Brown. Washington Life power couple Soroush Shehabi (CEO) and Nancy Bagley (editor) mingled while letting their photographer document other familiar personalities, including EarthEcho’s Phillippe Cousteau, Reed Landry of LateNightShots, Ashley Taylor of Ann Hand jewelry (and new fiancée of developer Joe Roberts Jr.), and Winston Bao Lord. Pirooz Sarshar of the Grooming Lounge and Cafe Milano’s Franco Nuschese were also present. Posties included publisher Bo Jones and “Reliable Source” columnist Roxanne Roberts.

Scene: Guests entered the party after navigating through the team of valet parkers on the sidewalk and getting the okay from the doorman, who checked the list and let them pass through a narrow gate into a small bricked patio area. The bar was an obvious first stop—especially due to the sweltering heat—and after securing drinks, people chatted outside or explored the quartet’s newly decorated home, adding flowers or wine to the pile of housewarming gifts in the kitchen. Soon there was no room between all the men in suits and girls in stilettos, and guests were told to filter out the back gate, down a stepping stone path, and into the Bradlee's back yard for dinner. A giant white marquee stretched across the tennis court, below it 18 perfectly laid tables with white tablecloths and colorful floral arrangements, each surrounded by twelve white chairs. With lights reflecting in the pool and tea candles illuminating the tables, the entire area seemed to sparkle. A live band and small dance floor dominated the south entrance, and guests boogied the night away to classic oldies, Eighties hits, and some more modern tunes, including at least one 50 Cent song.
After dinner the housemates made speeches, thanking their guests and—more important—Sally Quinn for organizing the event.

Food: Guests snacked on tortilla chips and fresh guacamole at their tables before heading to one of two buffet lines. The menu included mixed greens with pear, artisan blue cheese, and pine nuts tossed in champagne vinaigrette; sliced beef tenderloin; barbecued chicken breast; tricolored tortellini in pesto with feta; fresh corn salad with tomatoes; and roasted potato wedges. Several hours later, dessert was served—chocolate birthday cake, in celebration of Ball’s 26th birthday earlier in the week.

Drink: Bartenders at two well-stocked bars offered an assortment of cocktails, among them sunset-colored cosmopolitans, blue margaritas (heavy on the tequila), and dirty Russians. Uncorked bottles of red and white wine placed on each table eventually caused guests to notice the only slight flaw of the evening: no wine glasses. No matter—by evening’s end most of the bottles were empty.

Bold Face Names: 2 (out of 5)
Swankiness: 4 (out of 5)
Food/drink: 4 (out of 5)
Exclusivity: 4 (out of 5)
Total score: 14 (out of 20)