Guests are being announced as they walk through Booksellers, past tall vases fashioned of ice filled with masses of flowers. We can hear strains of string music. > > Some guests stopping to talk to reporters have connection to Nordic nations. Will Ferrell and his wife, Vivica Paulen, for example--she was born in Sweden and the couple visits frequently. > Ferrell says it's their first White House dinner. "I hope we don't do anything wrong." > Actor Joel Kinnaman is Swedish American, and says he wants Americans to know "we are a friendly country,well-educated and strong bearers of democracy in the world." > > Others, though, seem to be here by chance--or because of their relationship with the Obamas. "I honestly don't know," answers actress Connie Britton when asked if she has a Nordic connection. She noted she had been to the White House egg roll and the White House correspondents association dinner. "I'm a groupie at this point." > > "I'm here to see my First Lady," says tux-wearing Janelle Monae. > > Rapper Common said it was his first visit to the White House when he wasn't performing, so he could enjoy it more. "I'm looking forward to the unknown," he said. "I want to get information from some of the...dignitaries here tonight, to meet and hear from them."
the First Lady is wearing a blush-colored dress designed by Naeem Khan.
Pool entered Crosshall and saw few guests in glamorous evening gowns chatting , we were holding for few minutes outside the SDR doors . The pool entered in a chaotic scene and stayed for around 30 seconds or so . POTUS and FLOTUS were in the middle of the line standing against the Nordic flags . Below is the set up Of the standing order from the WH "POTUS, FLOTUS, Nordic Leaders, and Nordic Spouses stand in the following protocol order for group photo in the State Dining Room (From left to right when facing the fireplace) · Denmark Spouse, Denmark PM, Norway Spouse, Norway PM, Iceland Spouse, Iceland PM, FLOTUS, POTUS, Finland Spouse, Finland President, Sweden Spouse, Sweden PM" The First Lady wore a blush-colored off the shoulder dress designed by Naeem Khan . An American Indian designer based in NY . He designed the Duchess of Cambridge , Kate Middleton 's Taj Mahal 's dress . He also famous for bridal collections . POTUS was engaged in a chat with the spouse of Finish President and were exchanging smiles . The pool was told to leave immediately after the official photo . Next event is the State dinner .
There were some funny moments as guests arrived - though they didn't come from the all-star comedian lineup in attendance (Aziz Ansari walked right by, and David Letterman only waved). Asked about his Nordic connection, All Roker said he's ""frolicked on the fjords...actually, I drive a Fjord."
And when we jokingly asked singer Glodean White how Secret Service had let her in with her weapons -- verry long fingernails painted metallic gold -- she replied. "I told them I have a license."
We asked Miranda Kerr, who was with her boyfriend, Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel, whether she would Snapchat her way through the evening, she answered, "If it's allowed."
Samantha Power, ambassador to the UN, might have best summed up the evening. Asked if the night was more about diplomacy or fun, she answered "Both! It's a chance to drink wine and make progress on the most serious issues of our time," she said.
Farrell's wife's name is Viveca Paulin
A few extra notes about the North Portico greeting. President and FLOTUS were chatting in an animated fashion before and between the individual limo arrivals, as if they were genuinely enjoying themselves. FLOTUS gown, already described by White House as ``blush -colored . . . designed by Naeem Khan,'' was off the shoulders, pretty impressive. (Pooler repeats denial of any fashion cred). After the arrival of each limo, the Obamas greeted each individual Nordic leader and spouse, then arranged themselves to pose for pictures by the photogs on a riser opposite. A military escort then took each couple inside while the Obamas waited for the next limo to arrive. Some housekeeping on tonight's dinner: The state dinner for the Nordic nations prime ministers and president marks the administration's 12th ``State or Official Visit'' dating back to November 2009 when the president hosted a delegation from India. Fortunately the weather has turned from overcast to clear, so the dinner is under tents on the South Lawn. In a break from tradition, no table clothes and Nordic-style chairs _ which, per Washington Post, the White House insists are not IKEA. About 350 guests are there. Singer Demi Lovato is the scheduled entertainment. Guest list for dinner includes most of the usual administration suspects (Josh Earnest seen in a dashing tux), plus a smattering of media, members of Congress, business people and, of course, the delegations of the Nordic nations. Vice President Biden is there with wife Dr. Jill Biden; Secretary of State John Kerry also there. Among the notables, per White House list: Mr. Aziz Ansari, Actor & Comedian Ms. Fatima Ansari Ms. Connie Britton, Actress Mr. Gregory Clark Mr. Common, Rapper Mr. Derek Dudley Mr. Will Ferrell, Actor & Comedian Ms. Viveca Paulin Mr. Lester Holt, Jr., NBC Mrs. Carol Hagen-Holt Mr. Joel Kinnaman, Actor Ms. Cleo Wattenstrom Mr. David Letterman, Television Host Mrs. Regina Letterman Ms. Demi Lovato, Singer Mr. Michael Bayer Mr. David Muir, ABC Ms. Patricia Mills Mr. Al Roker, NBC Ms. Deborah Roberts This is probably more than you want to know about the dinner, but in any case: The dinner menu accentuates local ingredients - some of it from the White House Kitchen Garden. In large measure it is meant to evoke the style and spirit of Rene Redzepi of the world-famous Noma in Copenhagen. Per the White House, the first course is Atlantic tuna, salt-cured, then lightly dressed with California olive oil and tossed with spring onion, tarragon, and chives from the White House Kitchen Garden. The second course is a tomato tartare served alongside diced citrus fillets and garnished with White House Kitchen Garden micro lettuces. The main course is tender beef short ribs from Nebraska. The meat is brined in red wine, herbs, and aromatics for two days, then slow braised for eight hours. It is served with hot kale salad and creamy lemon thyme dumplings. For dessert, each table sports a handcrafted fishing boat made of gum paste and chocolate. These showpieces, topped with a display of all five Nordic flags and the American flag, are intended to celebrate the many species of fish living in surrounding waters. Additionally, sweet miniature pastries, including raspberry kringle, elderberry custard pie, ginger gooseberry cookies, strawberry rhubarb tarts, and red currant chocolates will be served. Each guest will also be served a caramel almond mille feuille with multiple layers of flaky pastry, salted almonds, apples slow roasted in White House Honey Ale, and finished with vanilla bean Chantilly and lingonberry cream. This dessert is accompanied by strawberries, raspberries, and black mission figs with fresh lemon verbena and mint glaze from the White House Kitchen Garden.
a beautifully decorated huge tent with Chiffon like material ceiling lined up with little lights resembling stars . It was at the end of the White House garden opposite the Fontaine . Guests were already seated . Spotted , Victoria Nuland , Assistant Secretary for European Affairs in a blue gown . The tables looked stunning with cubed ice and different colored flowers of pink and mauve and light red . Beeswax candles adorned each table . Guests of 6 sat opposite each other's . They were also beautiful white longer stem bushy flowers on each side of the tent but not on the tables in the middle . POTUS welcomed the Nordic leaders making jokes bout the Viking and their table manners and their outfit . He said that hopes that his guests "will behave better tonight ".He joked about the most popular TV show in Norway which is about nonstop wild fire burning . He said that the Nordic countries compete about who the happiest among them . He also mentioned a Danish philosopher who influenced the civil rights movement in the US . POTUS said that he values the friendship and alliances of the Nordic countries. The president invited the Prime Minister of Iceland to speak first , then the Prime Minister of Denmark . Both made jokes about punching above heir weight . The Danish PM talked about heritage and contribution to the US . He reminded the guests that Scarlet Johsnson was of Danish origin but "Norway gave you Carl Rove ." The audiences laughed . The funny lines of the Danish PM promoted POTUS to come back to stage and suggest that he should be the next comedian at the next White House Correspondents dinner . The Prime Minister of Denmark called Obama " the best President you have ever had ", addressing the US citizens I guess . He also made a joke about Donald but it turned out it was about Donald Tusk the President of the EU Commission . He gave POTUS an advice " take up cooking " once he leaves the White House .
At about 10:30, pool re-entered the ``tent'' for the performance by Demi Lovato. With little introduction, she launched into her hit ``Stone Cold.'' Pool was at the back and not in position to see the reaction of the head table. Her range and musical talent was just what you'd expect if you're familiar with her repertoire. For those who don't know it, ``Stone Cold'' is a breakup, guy-left-me-for-another song. But its final line, ``I'm happy for you,'' was a reasonable coda for the love fest today between President Obama and America's faithful allies from Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland. Pool escorted out after the one song.