I'm in charge of putting together a small-ish gathering (no more than 15 probably) to honor a retiring colleague.This takes place in connection with a conference that is meeting in Winston-Salem at one of the chain hotels.
I'm thinking minimal but elegant: wine and cheese-type reception (but good stuff), 5-7, drop-in. I'd also consider dinner at a good (food and ambiance) but not outrageously expensive restaurant that can handle a group gracefully. I'd just like to avoid the usual cheese cubes and generic swill offered by chain hotels to captive conventioneers. I'm even thinking of smuggling in good stuff into my suite.
Any suggestions? Perhaps a good place to book a pre-dinner reception (could be informal-- designated area in a nice bar)? Restaurant ideas? Or, if I go through with the smuggling, are there good places to purchase wine, cheese, nice prepared items, etc. in W-S?
Thanks for the help. I should just make life easy and cave in to the hotel; but he's great guy and I'd like to at least explore the options.